Seed starting time (indoors) is almost upon us here in the Midwest. You know what that means? Yep, fungus gnats. Those nasty little buggers that fly around your plants and cause all sorts of problems.
The biggest problem with these gnats is not the adults, they don’t do any damage to your plants. However, they do lay their eggs on the top layer of your potting soil. Those eggs hatch into small larvae that burrow down and eat the roots off your little seedlings. Not a great thing if you have tender, slow-growing plants or cuttings that need to root.
Thankfully there are a couple easy ways to get rid of them.
#1—Apple Cider Vinegar
Using a small, wide mouthed jar (like a baby food container), fill it 3/4 the way with ACV, add a squirt of dish soap and then fill the rest of the way with water. Some say if you make constant bubbles on the top, it will help catch the adults. Others say the dish soap breaks the water tension and that causes the gnats to drown when they come looking for the sweet ACV. ONLY ACV will work, not any other vinegar.
#2—DIY Sticky Traps
This is also a way to catch the adults. Using bright yellow card stock, smear it in vaseline or something sticky. The gnats are attracted to the bright yellow paper and they get stuck upon landing. Make smaller strips and hang them and switch them out easy when the yellow is looking a bit covered in flies.
The final way to kill fungus gnats and my personal favorite, is with Cinnamon. Now this doesn’t actually kill the gnats, but when dusted on your potting soil (it won’t hurt your plants) it works as an anti-fungal and kills the fungus that the gnats feed on. This breaks their life cycle and eventually they can’t find food. This should, at the very least, keep their population to a minimum.
Get those seedlings going!
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