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Adult fungus gnats fly in swarms (a mating ritual) and are attracted to light, yellow color, smells, and CO2. Adults are a nuisance but are harmless.
Fungus gnats may end up indoors, attracted by light, or plants brought indoors already containing fungus gnat eggs, larvae, or pupae.
Female gnats are continuously looking for a place to lay their eggs, ideally near the base of a plant growing in organically rich, moist soil.
Areas in Your House that Fungus Gnats Love
In their 7-day-long lives, adult fungus gnats have only one thing on their mind – a drive to procreate camouflaged as survival of the species.
Gnats lay their eggs in moist locations, including lakes, ponds, potholes, dripping pipes, and drains. Gnats love unprotected compost bins or overflowing trash cans because they provide everything a gnat could need to survive!
Honey and vinegar attract gnats, so mix some of each into a glass bowl and use the lure method to catch the gnats. Scent candles, potpourri, and fragrant oil burners also attract them.
Fruits, vegetables, fresh flowers, and houseplants are all potential food items for gnats. A swarm of gnats will be drawn to spilled food, an open trash can, a sink drain, or any unattended fruit or vegetables.
Why Are Fungus Gnats in My Yard in the First Place?
Do you love your garden? Fungus gnats adore your garden – they think it’s paradise. It offers moisture and food in garden beds, fruit trees, and decaying organic debris.
Fungi are their delicacy, so any leaf mold, compost heaps, and overwatered areas; are fungus gnat magnets. And then there’s their penchant for yellow and lights, more attractions.
You may have noticed them hovering in a group in mid-air above a patch of lawn. Adult fungi gnats only live for a week. During this time, they must mate, and females must get their eggs into larvae-friendly soil or organically rich drains.
The group huddle is an orgy in which males move up and down through the group, and females stay stationary.
Once spent, the males die, and the females are left to find a safe, fertile spot to lay their eggs – between 100 and 300 hundred in clusters of 30 to 40—the one-week frenzy.
They scatter for a moment if they’re disturbed, only to regroup.
Should I Worry About the Fungus Gnats in My House?
Fungus gnats are safe to be around as they cannot bite and don’t spread diseases. They are only a real risk if you have indoor plants, as their larvae spread plant pathogens and can harm the hair roots.
Still, they’re unwelcome guests. And the fact that they always head for your face irritates them. They do this because they’re attracted to the CO2 you exhale – it’s them, not you.
The smell is the cause of everything. Most gnats are drawn to odors, particularly fruity and sweet aromas, including deodorants and scented candles.
As a gardener, you understand what plants need. Knowing what fungus gnats need helps you better understand them and respond appropriately to eliminate them.
Gnats generally inhabit organically rich environments outdoors and enclosed spaces where dampness encourages fungus growth. There are, however, a lot of additional factors.
Dirty drains, leaking appliances, and dripping pipes could all be a source of indoor fungus gnats. But most likely, they’re merely attracted to the light (or coolness in hot climates).
Do Fungus Gnats Serve Any Purpose?
Although we would all like to get rid of gnats since they are so annoying, they have a place in nature. Excellent flower pollinators, gnats also serve as a vital food source for larger insects, bats, and birds.
The presence of a few gnats in your garden is an excellent indication that your plants and flowers are getting enough pollination, primarily if you farm organically.
How Do I Get Rid of Fungus Gnats in My House?
If you have a persistent fungus gnat problem throughout the year, regardless of the season, the source is probably indoors.
- The culprits are frequently potted plants, so check whether the soil is excessively wet and for the presence of larvae – white, almost translucent little worms.
- Look for moisture in kitchens, bathrooms, utility rooms, and leaks.
- Examine other places that may accumulate water, such as roofs, crawlspaces, and walls and floors close to exterior walls.
- Cleaning the area and fixing a moisture issue should swiftly eliminate the fungus gnats.
Sprays containing pyrethrins or aerosols marketed against flying insects will quickly kill adult fungus gnats.
These sprays are only a very temporary and short-term fix. Once the chemical wears off, more flies will likely appear unless you can reach and treat the area where larvae develop.
Summarizing Why There Are Fungus Gnats in My House
It is becoming more apparent how dangerous these seemingly harmless creatures can be to plants, spreading pathogens and damaging roots. Fighting with adult fungus gnats is futile – you need to find the site where eggs, larvae, and pupa develop and deal with them.
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