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Tiny flies on houseplants - Fungus Gnat?
Hi! what an amazing site you have! Found the answer to one of my questions (how to deter houseflies after covering/putting food away) but have a second one: I have a small collection of mainly quite ordinary houseplants which are all doing very well, most of them standing quite close together, but all have tiny 'flies' 'buzzing' around them. Is this normal and/or can I do/should I do anything to get rid of them? The ones that are hanging from a window pole appear to have none. The ones which are standing separate seem to only get the odd one. I need the cluster of plants (each one is in a separate pot) as a feature, so hopefully I can keep it like this. With many thanks,
Your flies may be fungus gnats which can be annoying but usually would not damage the plant. This creature is a small, slender, long legged, fragile black or grey fly about 2 1/2 mm long. The gnat lays its eggs on the soil and these hatch into larvae in about 4 days. The larvae make cocoons in the soil with the adult gnat hatching out after about a week. The adult stage lasts only a week and the entire life cycle lasts 4 weeks.
Some plant damage may occur if numbers become high, but if damage is on the leaves, it is probably due to another cause. To control the gnats, use Bt and yellow sticky tapes or simply dry out the soil between waterings, as the larvae need a damp environment.