Friday, May 20, 2011

Nasty Gnats!

The moistness of the banana plant's soil is attracting some pretty serious gnats. I hate them. With a passion. I may run around the house randomly clapping like a seal at the aquarium just trying to send them to their graves.

But that makes me look bizarre. So I'm trying something new. It's apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Supposedly they're lured in by the smell and then they land in it, but that's when the tiny bit of dish soap I mixed in gets them and they're stuck and they die horrible horrible deaths. Ah ha ha ha ha ha. Wow, that's a lot of anger towards something the size of a large pencil dot.

I'm hoping it will work. If it doesn't, do you have any better ideas?


  1. fungus Gnats are a real pain...they were probably in the soil when you got your banana plant. There are some products out there especially for them, but I do think you should keep the Banana away from your other plants or they could contaminate them as well.

  2. I have them also and they are driving me loony. I put vinegar out the other day also and most say it works but I don't have a one yet. However I left some lemon juice on the counter the other day and had to throw it out as they seem to love that.

    They don't hurt anything but sure are a best. They love my computer screen. And yes I guess you might say I look like a seal going around the house clapping also. Since only the dog is here no one seems to mind.

  3. Don't water your banana plant as often. The larva live in the soil, so drying-down the soil will help somewhat.

    I've had a huge problem with fungus gnats in the past (and yes, they drove me crazy/running around the house clapping them to death). They seem to come and go depending on the season (they'll get worse in the summer and decline in the winter).

    I know there are treatments, but most of them are pretty harsh and probably require a pesticide applicators license. My best solution would be to put the plant outside (if possible).

  4. Gnats are one thing. Fruit flies are another. You can usually tell the difference because fruit flies are stronger flyers. They are much harder to hand kill. Gnats can usually be killed if you time your clap right.

    If it's fruit flies, the best thing I've found is the vacuum. Vinegar and dish soap works, but not as well as the vacuum.

    If it's gnats, the options are different. I use sticky traps to catch them. If you have a lot of them and you have (young) vegetable seedlings, they will weaken the plants by eating the roots. Another option is neem oil. See for all the details.

  5. Thanks for all the suggestions everyone! I'll try them out and hopefully be gnat free soon!

  6. I also read that placing a slice of raw potato on the surface of the pot for 2 days will attract the larvae and then you can discard the potato. This needs to be repeated to get all the hatching larvae. They also migrate to sink drains (for the water) and you need to pour bleach or ammonia or something else in the drains and leave it sitting overnight a couple of times. Lastly they suggested that you replace the top 2 inches of soil in the infected pots with sterile potting soil and a layer of milled sphagnum moss on top and decrease watering to discourage the gnats from returning.

    Good luck!

  7. i hate those rude little gnats. when it comes to pest control i'm all about introducing natural predators, like bringing in ladybugs to eat aphids...and i didn't do this intentionally, but a couple weeks ago a jumping spider took up residence in the windows where i keep my seedlings (where i was having a big problem with gnats.) since the first time i saw the spider i've seen maybe four or five gnats, when i used to see at least that many in a day.

    jumping spiders are the best because rather than spinning a web and waiting to catch things, they hunt down their prey and attack. obviously keeping a gnat-eating spider loose in one's house would not be the most attractive option for everyone, but it works great for me.