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Fungus Gnats, Crane Flies, and Clear Eggs?.. OH MY!?

Hi all,

I've been struggling for about 2 months trying to deter these danged bugs from my small indoor garden. I have peppers, eggplant, okra, and onion started under some growing lights, and in the beginning, I noticed a small number of fungus gnats hanging out around the sprouts. I did a little research, found how big of a problem they can become, and spread some food-grade DE over the surface of the soil and began giving only an inch of water after the soil had dried pretty well [every day and a half]. After waiting about 3 weeks, the problem only got worse, and I noticed crane flies had began taking residence amongst my seedlings. Wonderful. So, more DE and some sticky traps a few inches above the plants. About a week later, I was watering and rotating my seedlings when I noticed some clear egg-like balls under the leaves of my Okra seedlings..? What? I've researched and cannot find a dang thing! I removed them with a cotton swab, and when I crushed them they seem like little water-filled sacs, which leads me to believe they are eggs, but every time I remove them, more appear, and the ones I didn't remove as a control are still there. Is this some type of excretion from the okra? I'm so confused.

Any advice on how to get rid of these bugs would be greatly appreciated. I'm doing my best to keep the soil from remaining damp and I'm trying so hard to keep fresh traps up for the Crane Flies, but I'm so frustrated. Is there a better way?

Thank you!

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Super Green Thumb
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Re: Fungus Gnats, Crane Flies, and Clear Eggs?.. OH MY!?

Well, I'm thinking the little "water filled sacs" are not eggs. They are fertilizer capsules. As they stay in the potting soil for awhile they take in water, expand and thin out. We've had several discussions of this around here. Here's one I could find; ... gs#p301468

So then you are back to the original issues. I've never had to deal with crane flies, so maybe someone else will speak to that. You are doing things right as far as letting the soil dry out in between waterings as much as you can. The fungus gnats have to have water or they die. Another thing that helps for me is cinnamon. It is a natural anti-fungal. It doesn't kill the gnats, but it kills the fungus they live on. For my seedlings that I can't let thoroughly dry out, I just always put a little bit of cinnamon in the water I water with. It prevents the fungus gnats and the damping off fungus.

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

Re: Fungus Gnats, Crane Flies, and Clear Eggs?.. OH MY!?

Like fungus gnats, crane flies emerge from the soil mix, so there must have been eggs or larvae in the mix you used. There seems to be good crane flies and bad craneflies. I know we get two different kinds -- or at least sizes - around here.

...I've never been bitten by one though. Our kitties love the wobbly fliers -- to chase and snack on. :P

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