Do you have a fungus gnat problem with your indoor plants?
Do not give up on your indoor garden. I have read too often people getting rid of their indoor plants because they cannot get rid of the gnats. They have tried everything. We have done our research and tested every organic environmental safe way to get rid of those annoying gnats and we have found the ultimate combination of methods in only 4 steps that WILL work using the safest products and will keep your garden organic.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Affiliate Disclosure here.
Here are some methods you might have tried and likely failed to get rid of your indoor fungus gnat problem
These methods may have worked on one or two plants but if you’re trying to do as much indoor gardening as you can, you most likely are still having a problem. Can you relate to these methods?
- Organic fungicide
- Organic insect killer
- Sand or rocks
- Neem Oil
- Watering less frequently
These are just a few methods that have not worked for many. Some of these methods likely affected your plants and did nothing towards killing off the gnats. Some of these methods may have lessened the problem but did not kill all of the gnats. You have to kill all of them to fix the problem with your indoor garden. These little annoying pests have found their way to burrow deeper than the typical 1/2in down you might have read in the soil to lay their eggs. These guys are burrowing up to 3 inches deep. The eggs can also wait until the water is introduced to hatch.
Let me tell you a secret, the gnats are finding a way through the bottom of your pots and burrowing in from those holes to help with drainage and in the trays of the self-watering pots. You might not have thought to treat the pests from the bottom of indoor container pots.
To see if they found their way through the bottom just lift up the pot and tap it on a table a few times. At this point, you have your hand ready to smash about ten of them that come flying out of the pot.
So what will work?
Here is the ultimate way to KILL those indoor fungus gnats and what you need.
There are 4 steps you need to do in your home once you’ve introduced fungus gnats indoors. You must follow these 4 steps and repeat for a few weeks if you have a huge infestation. The items needed are environmentally safe and organic products, won’t damage your plants or anything else, and will keep your indoor garden organic.
- Hydrogen peroxide. A mixture of 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water. This works! The hydrogen peroxide breaks down into oxygen and water. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural compound. It might not be made naturally but the combination of the molecules are still found in nature and completely harmless when diluted to your plants. Do not be afraid to use it! This dilution is actually beneficial every once in a while since the roots need some oxygen and they love water. We tested it on Ivy plants, Aloe Vera, succulents, tomato plants, celery, avocado, dracaena, etc. So far, there has not been any reports of damage and more reports on a boost in growth.
- Gnat trap for the adults. This is a cup of apple cider vinegar, sugar, dish soap, and water. You don’t need to cover it with plastic wrap, gnats love this stuff and they will instantly find their way in there and drown.
- Kill the larvae living in your drains. Fungus gnats like fungus. Fungi is likely growing in your drains. So even if you kill them in your soil, they might still be living in your drains, then they will find their way back to your plants. Simply poor vinegar and baking soda down your drains.
- Lastly, Diatomaceous Earth. This stuff is 100% natural and is so powerful, it can even be used to treat bedbugs. It is soft to our touch and safe around kids but is razor sharp if ingested by the gnats and will soon die of dehydration. Sprinkle a solid layer over the top of the soil AND put it under your pot or in the water catching dish you are using for plant containers.
These steps will kill the larvae and eggs in the soil, kill the adults flying around and burrowing at the bottom of the plant containers, and kill them living in your drains. Once your house is free of gnats, we recommend having a cup of the apple cider vinegar mixture around your plants just in case an adult gnat makes its way indoors.
Now that you have rid your household of the fungus gnat problem, continue to grow indoors.
There is nothing more therapeutic, nutritious, and overall healthy than having an indoor garden. Do not be afraid to have plants indoors because it might bring in pests. Usually, the fungus gnats are coming from the soil you purchased at the store or online. Sometimes contamination happens so it’s hard to say which soil is completely free of fungus gnats. You have better chances if the soil includes “indoor” or make your own is best.
Whether you are tending to an herb garden, vegetable garden, and/or air purifying plant garden indoors. This 4 step method will get rid of your gnat problem for good and you can continue seeing your indoor gardens flourish.
Here are some extra good reads for gardening:
How to Turn One Ivy Plant into Many and Why You Should
Why You Should Have a Dracaena Plant in Your Home
Why You Should Never Use Tap Water in Your Urban Garden
Thank you for stopping by! Learn it – Grow it – Change it – DO IT!
Thank you for the tips! What if the pot doesn’t have a drainage hole at the bottom? How would I tweak your method for this type of scenario?
I would personally repot your plant and put it in a pot with drainage holes. Not having drainage at all promotes more fungal growth since the water sits in the soil longer. If you keep it in a pot without drainage, I would try to figure out the right amount of water where the plant gets enough but not too much. You can still use this method until your gnats are killed. It might take longer to figure out the right amount of water. Just notice how your plant is doing and dry out the soil as long as you can and experiment with different levels of water. It also depends on what type of plant you have. Some plants tolerate periods of dryness more than others.
Hi! What are the exact measurements of each ingredient for the gnat trap? And do I just add the Diametrous Earth one time or repeatedly? Thanks!
The measurements don’t have to be exact and will still work great. I use mostly water in a cup then add maybe a couple tablespoons of the apple cider vinegar. Then about a tablespoon of sugar and maybe a teaspoon worth of soap. I hope that helps. Also, you can add DE repeatedly if you need to. As you water your plants the layer will start to dissolve and go away eventually. It takes about a month or two for that to happen and depending on how bad your gnats are, you might not need to reapply but you can if they come back.