DanaRae
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I don't like using chemicals i use a small fan and flystickers they work as long as you can keep out of them lol :)
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rainbowgardener
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Well "chemicals" is an interesting term. Are you considering my cinnamon and chamomile chemicals? They are of course in the broadest sense, but in that case so is everything else you might put on your seedlings, including the soil itself. And your flysticker has to be coated in chemicals of some sort.

I tend to think of "chemicals" as synthetics, non-natural and then my cinnamon and chamomile fall out of the definition.

But fans and air circulation are good and do definitely help keep down the fungus and therefore fungus gnats.

PS the cinnamon and chamomile treated water continues to work perfectly -- no fungus gnats!

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Rainbow, thank you for perfecting the meme; I think you have a winner there... :D

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I'm P.Ming RG for advice from now on :>
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NO NO NO :shock: I mostly ignore PM's or refer them back to the forum!

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Ugh...

These gnats are evil! I am just glad people have written a lot about it... I will try some of these fixes and see what happens.
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Fungicide/pesticide regime to get rid of fungus gnats/larvae

maveriiick wrote: I used Dyna-Gro Neem Oil 100% with consisted of one tsp of neem into a quart of water and 1/4 tsp of dish soap. I sprayed the affected plant and also flushed the soil with this combination so that all the soil was drenched, and the gnats were dead within a day.
OK, I've read a ton of posts on here about using the neem oil/soap soil flush and the cinnamon/chamomile infusion. Thanks everybody for posting that stuff.

I am thinking to use the neem oil/soap flush first, and to subsequently water with the cinnamon/chamomile infusion.

Do I only need to do the neem oil/soap flush once, and then do cinnamon/chamomile every time I water? Or do I need to do the soap flush multiple times?

Please advise about what kind of a schedule I should use for these, how to alternate it, etc.

Thank you!
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appetoni
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gnats

I have them bad and I just sprinkled cinnimon on everything. I'll let you know.

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rainbowgardener
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Well, maybe too late now, but if you read from the beginning of this thread, you will find my comments:

1) starting with a bad infestation, sprinkling with cinnamon reduced the numbers considerably but did not eliminate them, for me

2) when I did that I already had seedlings sprouted. Hard not to get cinnamon on the seedlings and anywhere it touched them, it produced a burned spot.

3) last year I was keeping cinnamon stick in the water pitcher all the time, from the beginning (prevention vs cure). That worked excellently and I never saw a fungus gnat, but by the end of the indoor seedling growing season, some of the plants that had been growing there quite awhile were starting to look kind of burned. I think too much cinnamon.

4) This year I am using more chamomile and less cinnamon, just a few grains of cinnamon powder in the pitcher of water. So far still no damping off or fungus gnats. Too early to really know yet about the burning. With what I did last year, the burning didn't show up until they had been watered with the cinnamon water for weeks and weeks (like 2 months).
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I like nematodes as the best control; more expensive but certainly effective. It has become the industry standard, replacing the chemicals as the most often used remedy. No burning, REI's, flavors or smells, and NO possibility of resistance (antelopes do not become resistant to lions).

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A few years ago, I had a lot of fungus gnats in the plants in my kitchen. I picked up a Butterwort (carnivorous plant, sold usually with pitcher plants and venus fly traps). I planted it in a brandy glass and used plastic wrap on the top with a hole in it to keep it nice and humid in there.

In a week, all the gnats were gone, and I had the happiest carnivorous plant ever. Thing bloomed continually for 6 months.

Maybe something like that will help control your gnats too!

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I have a little recipe that stops the gnats right away and I will be using the cinnamon for long terms... but short trem, this is quick and easy and I haven't seen it ever hurt any of my indoor or greenhouse plants.

I use:
1 large sprayer
1 tbspn joy dish detergent
1 tbspn salt
1 tbspn baking soda

I use distilled water or water that has been sitting out a few day to dechlorinate and to be luke warm. I add all ingredents to the strayer and spray the top of the soil as well as the leaves if they need a cleaning. This works for short term gnat relief for killing the fungus on the top of the soil.

I do not use anything other than the lemon joy due to the ingredients.

But the cinnamon is something I will be using on all my office plants! Thanks for the information!

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I read through all of these pages, again. I am trying the sprinkled cinnamon on several plants and will be checking for results. I have used it before with varied results.

Now, once the pots/plants are outside with a bit of real sun and air, some breeze are the gnats blown away? The pots also get to dry out some with the real sun/air.
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I think that, in the sun and open air, the top part of the soil dries out faster. That's where the larvae live, and it has to be moist for them to survive. JMO.
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Agree with Kisal... I've only ever had trouble with fungus gnats in my seed starting operation where I have potting soil kept consistently moist so the seeds don't dry out and not much air circulation. I've never seen fungus gnats in anything grown outdoors, or in any of my regular houseplants which I let dry out thoroughly between waterings.

Re the cinnamon, please read the caveats about that in my post above from 2/10. If you are sprinkling powdered cinnamon directly, any that touches a plant will burn it. These days I keep a chamomile tea bag in my watering pitcher and use it til it has no scent at all and I put a few grains of powdered cinnamon in the water every time I fill it. It seems to be working just as well to prevent the fungus gnats and nothing is getting burned.
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rainbow, I don't have stick cinnamon... so how much cinnamon powder would be appropriate, iyho?

I like your chamomile infusion idea and I am going to try it on my seedlings, but don't want to overdo the cinnamon.

So a pinch, or two? or more?

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BTW when I re-read the cinnamon burning leaves, went back and with windex sprayer with water showered leaves/stems.

For me,some of the most offended pots are getting to go outside for play dates on the deck. Then may be rolled back in if temps low or stormy weather hitting. Even if cloudy outside has to be better than in! Well, plants told me that, and look down and out when rolled back in!

I am looking at a long 6 weeks as our last frost is April 15!

Thanks again for tips
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rainbowgardener
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alaskagold wrote:rainbow, I don't have stick cinnamon... so how much cinnamon powder would be appropriate, iyho?

I like your chamomile infusion idea and I am going to try it on my seedlings, but don't want to overdo the cinnamon.

So a pinch, or two? or more?
A small pinch of cinnamon powder in a pitcher full of water.
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Hey! I'm new to the forum, but am already getting more than the help i need. I also saw some gnats hanging around my indoor garden, particularly around two plants. I sprinkled some cinnamon onto the top layer of soild and am going to water as usual tomorrow. I will post another reply with the results. Wish me luck! :D

P.S. I have mostly cherry with a few regular tomatoes I am starting from seed, and two bell peppers I acquired from a friend. They are of varying ages and all recieved a small sprinkling cinnamon on the top layer of soil, will the seedlings be negatively affected by the cinnamon?
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rainbowgardener
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YoungBuck wrote:
P.S. I have mostly cherry with a few regular tomatoes I am starting from seed, and two bell peppers I acquired from a friend. They are of varying ages and all recieved a small sprinkling cinnamon on the top layer of soil, will the seedlings be negatively affected by the cinnamon?
Probably not if it was on the soil, not the plants. In any case, mine that did get a little burned, just got some pale, sunburned like patches on them. Plant wasn't damaged and did fine once moved outside.

The more dry and airy you can keep them, the less trouble with fungus gnats.
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Ok, so I watered the cinnamon into the soil, and have changed my watering regimen to spread out waterings and feedings until I transplant them. So far i have seen only two gnats, compared to the many that were flying around. The cinnamon is clearly working swimmingly, and smells nice :D. Plus the seedlings were fine once I lightly misted them with seltzer water.
Last edited by YoungBuck on Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[quote="YoungBuck"]Ok, so I watered the cinnamon into the soil, and have changed my watering regimen to spread out waterings and feedings until I transplant them. So far i have seen only two gnats, compared to the many that were flying around. The cinnamon is clearly working swimmingly, and smells nice :D. Plus the seedlings were fine once I lightly misted them with seltzer water.

quote]



Ok well the gnats came back...I'm gonna throw a pinch of cinnamon in my watering can.
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Cinnamon worked!!

I have been dealing with an infestation of what I assumed to be fruit flies around my indoor lettuce pot the last few days, which proliferated when I moved them from my windowsill to the grow lights with some of my seedlings for better light a few days ago. I had originally tried sprinkling some garlic powder on the soil, but to no avail. Three days later, it's steadily getting worse, so I looked it up and discovered that they actually could be fungus gnats - I always keep the soil moist for my leafy greens, it's more warm under the grow lights (perfect for fungus growth), and though I haven't seen any of the larvae in the soil yet - everything else fits the bill. Not to mention, I farmed fruit flies in my college biology class and these guys look slightly different (if I remember correctly). They're more "gnat-like", a bit smaller than fruit flies.

After reading this post, I lightly misted my soil with an organic fungicide that I happened to have on hand (Safer 3-in-1), since the larvae eat fungus in the soil, and then I sprinkled a good layer of ground cinnamon all over the top of the soil. The flying adults jumped ship immediately, so hopefully the rest will work its magic in the soil to kill the larvae, too...
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Fungus gnats and cinnamon with other remedies.

I'm new the forum, I signed up as soon as I read the post about using ground cinnamon (thank you to all who tried this and confirmed it works). The adults jumped ship as soon as I covered the top layer with cinnamon... be sure to keep your mouth closed when you do this.. lol. I also read on a different website that fungus gnats are attracted to the color yellow and to vinegar. I used one of those funnel things that someone posted on this forum and filled it with vinegar and placed a yellow sheet of paper under it. So far I haven't attracted any of the little flies, but I figured it doesn't hurt to try this. I'm also going to try the chamomile tea treatment. Hopefully this works.

I also have another issue with a caterpillar, but I will start a new thread or look for an existing one... so if you would like to help me out please look for the thread :) .


Thank you.
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Kisal
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Vinegar doesn't attract fungus gnats. It attracts fruit flies, which are a different insect altogether. :)
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But soapy water does. Here's Applestar's method:

Set out a wide container of soapy water next to the plant. fungus gnats love to drown themselves in them
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searched the internet for a clue on how to get rid of gnats, found this, joined forum :)
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Welcome! Glad you found us!
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Glad I found this forum!

Hello all! I am new to this site and I am glad I found this thread!

Like many others who have posted here in the last couple of years, I too potted (and re-potted) some indoor plants in Miracle Grow Potting Soil (damn them!) and ended up with what I now know are fungus gnats (thanks to all of you wonderful people!) I have about 10 plants in total, and about 5 are infected (one is a really bad case). After reading through all 5 pages of posts, I went on a "killing spree" yesterday and tried to squash every adult gnat in sight to avoid more eggs being laid. I then sprinkled a good amount of ground cinnamon on the top layer of soil of all the infected plants and mixed it around to try and get about 1-2 inches of soil covered. Then, I placed a small container of soapy water near the really bad plant to attract and drown the adults. So far, there are definitely less gnats flying around but I am guessing that the eggs that were laid will eventually hatch, so I'll have to go through the process a couple more times before I get rid of them altogether. I am also going to wait until all the plants are completely dry before re-watering and I'm going to water them with chamomile tea-infused water as one final shot at getting rid of these sick little creatures! I will keep everyone posted on the progress. I also ordered a bottle of Neem oil in case the other methods don't work.

So now that that problem is being resolved, 2-3 of the infected plants also had little, tiny, white bugs crawling around in it that look exactly like the ones in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fyrTJPNfuQM. Does anyone know what these are and how to kill them? I have read that they could possibly be soil mites (hypoapsis miles) or springtails, but I just don't have enough knowledge to make any conclusions. It sounds like if they are soil mites, that could actually be a help in killing the gnat larvae, but again, not sure. Please help!

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Re: How to Get Rid of Fungus & Gnats

I think the tea you're looking for is chrysanthemum tea, althoug maybe chamomile works too. I have not tried it.

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Re: How to Get Rid of Fungus & Gnats

Chamomile does work, but I think the cinnamon works better, especially if you already have an infestation, you aren't just doing prevention.

But for all the folks who are writing about covering their soil with cinnamon, be a little careful. More is not necessarily better and too much can burn your plants, especially if it gets on the leaves. This year I have just been using a little shake of cinnamon powder in the watering water preventatively, every time from the beginning, including the water I use to moisten the soil with before planting in it.

That works beautifully. I had confirmation that it was really the treatment working (as opposed to "see my elephant repeller is working great, I don't have a single elephant around"), because once I was well in to seedling season and had big plants, I decided it was okay to quit doing it. Sure enough after I had not been doing it for awhile, a couple fungus gnats showed up!
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Re: HOW TO GET RID OF FUNGUS GNATS

My office has recently developed a fungus gnat problem. Since I'm the one who pleaded to replace the dusty fake plants with real ones, everyone is now glaring at me to find a solution :oops:

The plants are all mature: snake plants, poytail palms, dracaena, arboricola schefflera. The cinnamon will not likely be touching the plants, but will inevitably get on the roots when applying to the soil... will this burn the plant? I've already read that cinnamon can be used as a substitute root hormone so I was surprised to read about the plants being burnt, but this may only apply to stems and leaves...?

I'm going to put some dishes of soapy water out today, but am confused by all of the mixed reviews and information I found online regarding soil solutions. I found some suggestions of diatomaceous earth, obviously the cinnamon recommended here, hydrogen peroxide (although I'm worried about stripping the soil of good bacteria), and neem oil. Any suggestions for what would be best for large tropical plants in an office?

We've had the plants for years and this is the first time we've had a gnat problem. It could be due to some fresh soil I recently replaced on the top layer and also because I had been underwatering and may have overcompensated by now watering too much :(
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Re: HOW TO GET RID OF FUNGUS GNATS

I don't think the cinnamon will bother the roots, it just can burn the leaves if it gets on them. Even so the plant isn't really harmed, you just get some whitish spots on the leaves.
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Re: HOW TO GET RID OF FUNGUS GNATS

Hi all, new to the forum here. Its a great place for some info for sure. To the point, I decided to plant some lemon seeds this year as an experiment on container plants. The past two years I have tried planting apples from seed fruit flies took over and killed all of them. This year I noticed a new type of fruit fly- wispier and solid black with transparent wings. I finally identified them as fungus gnats. I count it as a good thing because so far they seem to be less damaging than fruit flies. So far I have tried letting the soil dry (as much as possible as lemons have to keep moist) and replacing regular water with soapy water. They didn't seem to mind the soapy water treatment, cinnamon is indeterminate, though I suspect not doing much as I am seeing new flies each day. After reading through this thread I decided to try the mint tea treatment.
I have an old box of Celestial Seasoning Tummy Mint, thats past date so I decided to use that. I has a content listing of 51% peppermint, 39% chamomile and 6% fennel. I brewed it at a strength of 2 teabags to 1.5 liters water. I gave the plants a watering and put some in a little spray bottle that does a fine mist. I give the lemon seedlings a spritz a few times a day if I pass by them and see any gnats present. They seem to hate the spray and drop to the shelf or ground if I hit them with it, then I smash them for good measure. Most of the gnats I have observed are sitting on the outside of the pot or hovering. Few are actually on the plants themselves now.
I have to say the gnat population has dropped off sharply in only a few days. I get up in the morning and there are only between 2-6 hovering around the potting shelf now, and maybe 1-2 lurking around during the day. I am quite confident in the next few breeding cycles I will have the problem solved. On a side note, I read on another site that fungus gnats are related to mosquitoes and fennel is a natural mosquito repellent.

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Re: HOW TO GET RID OF FUNGUS GNATS

I started out mixing cinnamon in the soil for sowing and repotting and putting chamomile tea bags in my watering can, but I stopped doing that after the plants matured and suddenly I had gnats all over my office. :/

So, like a fool, I overreacted and sprinkled the powder directly around the base of every plant. A fluffy mold developed all over the cinnamon on about half of them. >:(

I had to scrape the top of the soil off of everything and I'm drying it all out in a pan. I put a layer of fresh soil on most of them and tried to let everything dry out. I still have a little mold here and there. I think the main problem is circulation, but yeah, anyway, just going to put the cinnamon in the water from now on and be more patient.

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Re: HOW TO GET RID OF FUNGUS GNATS

I'm a little confused on how to apply the chamomile/cinnamon. I have the gnats in my tomato bed, which is the only bed under a canopy for the purposes of keeping the soil dry (wet climate here), so I find that kind of ironic. It is not a domed canopy, so it's not trapping humidity at all, but I do wonder if the sides of the soil bed are trapping moisture. Since the dirt settled, it's a little lower than I initially planned (I didn't know about soil settling at the time--ha, I am silly). But anyway, I sprinkled the soil with cinnamon, but avoided direct plant exposure, since it seemed like cinnamon might not be the best thing for that. I sprinkled the soil and then kinda rubbed it around to get it mixed into the top 1/2 inch of soil.

But then I read this isn't very effective. =/ People are now saying they mix it in water with chamomile. I'm confused about how this is applied. Do you water the roots with it? Spray the plants? Spray the soil?

I use a punctured water bottle to water the tomato. I planted sideways (not super deep box), and set the bottle where the root ball was planted. Mostly I don't water at all because the humidity is so high here, and it seems to be enough to keep the soil moist at all times. Anyway, should I fill the watering bottle with the solution and water the roots with it, or will this harm the roots?

Also, with the dish soap thing, again--is this for watering the roots, or spraying the plant?

I'm reluctant to spray the plant because of the humidity, and tomato leaves don't like water (or so I'm told).

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Re: HOW TO GET RID OF FUNGUS GNATS

I wouldn't spray the plant. If they really are fungus gnats, they won't be on the plant very much anyway, mainly on the soil. If the insects are staying just on the plants all the time, they are probably aphids or something, not fungus gnats.

I have never had trouble with fungus gnats outdoors, but the circumstances that favor the fungus (and therefore the gnats) are high humidity and low air circulation. Your canopy is probably cutting down on the air circulation as well as blocking some of the light (low sunlight levels would also favor the fungus). I'm not convinced the canopy is helping you.

Since your soil has settled, one thing to do might be to put some nice dry, maybe a little bit sandy, soil on top.

Mixing the cinnamon in to the soil should have worked. Putting it in the water you water with should work.

One thing applestar recommends is putting a bowl of soapy water right next to where the fungus gnats are. She says they like to come and drown themselves in it.
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Re: HOW TO GET RID OF FUNGUS GNATS

Thanks for the help, RainbowGardener! The cinnamon seems to be helping--I went out later and didn't see any. We have them everywhere here because of how much rain we get. I see them in the lawn constantly. The open beds don't seem effected. I recently considered the fact that the lawn was horrendously overgrown until last weekend when Hubs mowed. I'm wondering if he stirred up a bunch and they went looking for a new home.

I put up the canopy to protect the tomato from the incessant rain we have been having (typical spring). Can't wait to see some sunshine! People around here tend to grow their tomatoes next to the house so that the eaves can protect from the rain and the light walls can reflect heat to the plant (or else they use cloches). I didn't have that option here, so I'm trying to mimic that I guess. Not sure if it will work, I guess we'll find out! I used a cloche at first, but the plant got too big. Hoping we get some good sun soon! The weekend and the week to follow are supposed to be quite nice and warm, so hopefully I can take the "roof" down and let the soil dry out.

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Re: HOW TO GET RID OF FUNGUS GNATS

hi I'm new to the forum but have been reading this and it made me register. I'm (as we speak) trying the cinnamon on my 107 house plants that have all been ravaged by these little suckers for weeks now. Because of a diferent site I put everything out side yesterday to dry out and was about to use a alcohol water mix when I read this. Glad I did, I wasnt comfortable with spraying all the different types with alcohol

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Re: HOW TO GET RID OF FUNGUS GNATS

Now after I sprinkle the cinnamon can I water right away or should I wait?

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