Yale Park Homeowners Association News and Information from the
Yale Park Homeowners Association
Yale Park Homeowners Association

Texas AgriLife Extension Service

Kimberly Schofield
Program Specialist-Urban IPM

Fungus Gnats Fluttering Around

Be aware of the possibility of fungus gnats being brought into structures as we begin to bring outdoor plants indoors.  Your plants could have become infested with fungus gnats during warmer weather and then these plants are brought indoors.  This could result in more flying insects fluttering around indoors.

Adult fungus gnats are small, 1/8 to 1/10 inches in length, grayish black in color, have a slender body with long legs and antennae.  They also are identified by the Y-shaped wing vein.  Fungus gnats are typically weak fliers, so they usually remain near the potted planst, resting on foliage or growing media.

Fungus gnats undergo complete development: egg, larva, pupa and adult.  Female fungus gnats lay tiny, oval semi-transparent eggs in moist organic debris.  Fungus gnat larvae are legless, white to clear in color, with shiny black heads.  They eat organic mulch, compost, root hairs, and fungi.  The larvae can damage roots of plants, causing wilting, poor growth and loss of foliage.  Then the flies pupate in the soil within silk-like cocoons.  The complete lifecycle from egg to adult occurs in around 4 weeks, with continuous reproduction occurring in controlled environments.

Some Suggestions for Control Measures:

  1. Inspect plants before purchasing and use sterile potting soil.
  2. Allow soil to dry for several days to kill some larvae, since over watering, poor drainage and water leaks can result in a large population of fungus gnats.  If the top layer of the soil becomes dry, then the larvae will die and the females will not lay eggs in the soil.
  3. Discard plant, if heavily infested as to avoid infesting other plants.
Biological Control
  1. Some larvae predators including Steinernema nematodes and Hypoaspis mites can be applied to the soil.
  2. thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) can be applied soil to control larvae.
Chemical Control

Larvae can be controlled by many chemicals, including azadirachtin and imidacloprid. Adult fungus gnats can be controlled by foliar treatments, such as those containing bifenthrin, permethrin, resmethrin, and neem oils.

Fungus Gnat
Picture of fungus gnat.
Photo by Texas A&M University:

Mention of commercial products is for educational purposes only and does not represent endorsement by Texas AgriLife Extension or The Texas A&M University System.  Insecticide label registrations are subject to change, and changes may have occurred since this publication was printed.  The pesticide user is always responsible for applying products in accordance with label directions.  Always read and carefully follow the instructions on the container label.

Email Mark Solomon Link to www.Assurnet.biz website

Email Abby Miller Link to www.FathomRealty.com website

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