How to Avoid, Or Get Rid Of, Fungus Gnats

Our Texas insect expert answers common questions about bugs.

By Laura RiceNovember 30, 2015 9:30 am

If you bring your plants indoors during the winter, buy holiday plants, or keep indoor plants all year long, you’ve probably encountered fungus gnats. Don’t worry – there are some simple steps you can take to keep them from ruining the holidays. Wizzie Brown, an insect specialist with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office, has the details on these pesky critters.

What attracts fungus gnats? 

“If [you’re] overwatering the plant, the fungus gnat larvae develop in that really moist soil, because they feed on the fungus that’s growing there. The fungus gnats start emerging. [You’ll] see these things flying around.”

How do you get rid of them? 

“All [you] have to do? Stop watering [your] plants so much, and the problem will go away.”

But I have to water my plants, how do I know it’s okay to do so?

“The whole ‘stick your finger in and see if the soil is dry’ – if that’s the case, water your plant. Otherwise, leave it alone.”