Amanda Doofenshmirtz
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Monkey Cup plant fixed my fungus gnat infestation!

Hello everyone!

If you are suffering with small flies in your home (fungus gnats, shore flies, fruit flies, etc...) then please read on! I have suffered with them for over a year now, but they are all gone and I did not spray any chemicals.

Two winters ago my mother in law caused a fungus gnat infestation in my house. I think I have complained about this situation on this site before. I was beyond angry about it! :evil: They got into my 4 season sun porch in the winter and laid eggs in ALL of my potted plants. They were flying around my face, into my food and drinks, up my nose... I was going cuckoo bananas! I was seeing them in class when there were none! :shock:

But I fixed the problem by buying a Monkey Cup! It eats flies and it works! :mrgreen: It takes a little bit of special care but nothing outlandish or hard! Anyone can handle it.

Here's what I do: Because my sun porch is so dry, I filled a large tub (unused crock pot ceramic bowl) with water and I keep it beneath the plant. It is in a hanging basket so I attached the plant to a hook on the ceiling and it hangs about a foot above a table. I put the tub of water on the table directly below the basket. As that water evaporates, it helps raise the humidity. I refill it with boiling water once a week or so. I also mist the plant 1-2 times a day WITH RAIN WATER! This plant does not like tap water. I run rainwater through a funnel with a coffee filter shoved into the hole, or melt snow and filter it through the funnel. Mist that puppy once or twice a day and it'll keep putting out flowers. If it gets too dry the flowers abort and stop forming. My flowers are still forming and the mature ones are not scenescing. Also make sure the cups are filled with an inch or two of water. I bought it in October and I have not seen a mature fly flying around since before thanksgiving. I also bought some pyrethrin spray but I will be returning it! Yay!

You don't need to deal with small flies in your home, and you don't need to spray poison in the air. You never need to look at the dead bugs, never have to clean up their nasty dead bodies and never have to fertilize that plant. If you have ever had issues like mine, get this plant, don't spray poison.
Here's my Monkey Cup
Here's my Monkey Cup
Flies inside the cup! Bonus points if you can identify the striped ones!
Flies inside the cup! Bonus points if you can identify the striped ones!

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MoonShadows
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Re: Monkey Cup plant fixed my fungus gnat infestation!

Fungus-Gnats.jpg
Fungus gnats belong to the families Sciaridae and Fungivoridae and typically are found in and around areas with high humidity. Female fungus gnats deposit their eggs in soil or other damp, decaying organic plant material. These eggs hatch into larvae. The larvae of some species feed on fungus in overwatered soil, but there are other species that consume plant roots as a source of nutrients. This leads to diminished health in affected plants. When infested with fungus gnat larvae, plants show signs of stunted development. Gnat larvae also carry plant pathogens and make plants highly susceptible to various plant diseases.

Unlike some other flying insects, fully mature fungus gnats often remain low to the ground, close to plants and soil. Adults are seen on leaf litter and foliage, while larvae remain in the soil until they pupate. The larvae of fungus gnats are legless and have transparent bodies with black head capsules. Pupae are difficult to see without the use of a magnifying glass. They are stout and dark in color.

There at numerous ways to control or get rid of them. The easiest way to prevent fungus gnats is to water your plants properly. Overwatering, which causes your potting mix to remain moist for extended periods of time, attracts fungus gnats which seek out a steady supply of fungi, algae, and decaying plant matter for their larvae to eat.

Here is a cheap home remedy. Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with four parts water. Allow the top layer of your soil to dry, and then water your plants with this solution as you normally would. The soil will fizz for a few minutes after application; this is normal. The fungus gnat larvae will die on contact with the hydrogen peroxide. After a few minutes the fizzing stops and the peroxide breaks down into harmless oxygen and water molecules. Repeat as needed.

Also, for fungus gnats, cider vinegar in one small glass and for fruit flies, smashed bananas in small glass in water. Saran warp over the top, taped or rubber banded around the lip. Poke holes, the size of lead to a pencil, in the Saran wrap and set somewhere off the side. They will crawl into the holes and not be able to get out and drown. It is a slow cure but it really works.
r gnats.jpg
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Fungus-Gnats.jpg
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pepperhead212
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Re: Monkey Cup plant fixed my fungus gnat infestation!

I buy a container of Bt israelensis liquid to prevent these. A six oz container lasts me about two years, as it is very concentrated, and sold to add to ponds to kill misquito larvae. I moisten seedling mix with it, before packing the pots, and before I bring my plants back indoors in the fall, I water them a couple of times with it, then every couple of months I water them with it again. And in my hydroponics, I simply break off about an eighth of a mosquito "dunk", and toss it in every two months. These have the same bacteria to kill mosquito larvae, which also kill fungus gnat larvae. I never see a gnat!
Dave

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applestar
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Re: Monkey Cup plant fixed my fungus gnat infestation!

I agree with all the other solutions as possible, but I PREFER THE EXCUSE TO BUY THE HANGING PITCHER PLANT!! :lol:

Thanks Amanda. :wink:
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MoonShadows
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Re: Monkey Cup plant fixed my fungus gnat infestation!

Had to look that plant up!

And, here are some other fungus gnat solutions...

Physical Controls

Sand – Controls larvae
Adults lay their eggs in the top 1/4 inch of moist soil. If you dress the top of your soil with a 1/4–1/2 inch of sand, it will drain quickly and often confuse the adults into thinking the soil is dry. You can use colorful decorator sand and have fun with this!

Vinegar – Control adults
A good trap for both fungus gnats, and especially fruit flies is to put out baby food jars filled halfway with apple cider vinegar or cheap beer with a couple drops of dish soap added to break the surface tension. Once you’ve filled the jars, screw on the lids, and poke several holes into them large enough for fungus gnats to enter.

Place these jars in areas where you are having problems with either fungus gnats or fruit flies, and they will dive into the vinegar and drown. Strain and re use the vinegar until you have gained control of them.

Potato slices – Controls larvae
Slice raw potatoes into 1-inch by 1-inch by 1/4-inch pieces. Place the slices next to each other on the surface of your potting media to attract fungus gnat larvae. Leave the potato slices in place for at least 4 hours before looking under them. (Be prepared to be grossed out a bit.)

Once you have seen just how bad the problem is, replace the potato slices every day or two to catch and dispose of as many larvae as you can, and consider adding additional control measures.

Sticky Traps – Controls adults very effectively
Make your own sticky trap by smearing Vaseline or Tangle foot on a 4″x6″ piece of bright yellow cardstock, and place the card horizontally just above the surface of your potting media, where it will catch the adults as they leap from the soil. Set another trap vertically to catch incoming gnats, whiteflies, thrips, and more.

Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth – Controls larvae
Food grade diatomaceous earth is another effective treatment for fungus gnats. Diatomaceous earth (DE) is mineralized fossil dust that is both natural and non-toxic to the environment. Make sure you get food grade diatomaceous earth—not pool grade, which is not pure enough for use around food gardens and pets.

Always wear a simple dust mask when working with DE: Inhaling any kind of dust is never a good idea.

DE contains microscopic shards of silica that physically shred any insect that walks through them, therefore it will not work in hydroponic gardens. But if you mix some into the top layer of infested soil—or better yet, into your potting mix before planting—it will kill any gnat larvae (and adults) that come in contact with it, as if they were crawling through crushed glass.

DE works the same way to kill fleas, bedbugs, slugs and other insects too, so don’t use DE to control fungus gnats in your worm bins. (Poor worms!) Some people eat DE therapeutically to kill intestinal parasites.

Biological Controls

Hydrogen Peroxide – Controls larvae
Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide with four parts water. Allow the top layer of your soil to dry, and then water your plants with this solution as you normally would. The soil will fizz for a few minutes after application; this is normal.

The fungus gnat larvae will die on contact with the hydrogen peroxide. After a few minutes the fizzing stops and the peroxide breaks down into harmless oxygen and water molecules. Repeat as needed.

Chamomile Tea – Controls dampingoff
Weak chamomile tea (after it has cooled) is another natural fungicide that is effective in stopping damping off, though it does not treat fungus gnats at all. Simply brew a quart of strong tea, let it cool, and add it to your 1-gallon watering can. Add more water to the can until full, and use whenever you water.

Cinnamon – Controls larvae and damping off
Cinnamon powder is a natural fungicide that has been shown to be particularly effective against damping-off. It helps control fungus gnats by destroying the fungus that the larvae feed on. Only true Ceylon cinnamon, or Cinnamomum verum, will work.

Simply sprinkle enough cinnamon to form a visible layer across the top of your potting media, and repeat every few weeks, if needed. DO NOT use to control fungus gnats in worm bins as cinnamon will kill your worms.

BT – Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis – Controls larvae very effectively
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a naturally-occuring bacteria that kills many types of worms, caterpillars, larvae and insects. There are specific strains of Bt called “israelensis” or “H-14” that specifically kill fungus gnat larvae. (Othervarieties of Bt will not work for fungus gnats.)

Used extensively in organic greenhouses, Bt-i can work to stop fungus gnats where nothing else will, though it is a little pricey. Bt-i is safe for use in worm bins, and can help control mosquito larvae too.

Beneficial Nematodes – Controls larvae
There is a type of nematode, Steinernema feltiae, that can be used to drench the soil each time you water. These tiny worm-like creatures will enter the larvae of soil pests like the fungus gnat and release a bacterium which is lethal to it.

Nematodes are expensive, and are best used on a large infestation of many plants, because they are hard to control in small quantities. Nematodes kill a variety of soil-borne pests, and are safe for use in worm bins, too.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Monkey Cup plant fixed my fungus gnat infestation!

nice summary, moonshadow

I use cinnamon to prevent both fungus gnats and damping off when starting seeds/seedlings indoors. I just put some cinnamon in the water I use to water them with.
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MoonShadows
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Re: Monkey Cup plant fixed my fungus gnat infestation!

I never mixed it in the water. I usually just sprinkle it on the surface.
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