We all love having beautiful indoor plants. Unfortunately, the flies are the bane of all houseplant gardening lovers.
They are attracted to decaying plant materials and the consistent moisture you maintain in the plant’s soil. There are two main types of flies that bother us – fruit flies and fungus gnats.
Both are small-sized flies, but fungus gnats look similar to mosquitoes. The fruit flies are much smaller.
Luckily, they don’t bite us, and although they are very annoying pests, there are many simple and natural ways to eradicate them.
1) Control Your Soil Moisture By Adjusting The Watering Habits
Annoying pests like fungus gnats and fruit flies can’t survive in dry soil. That’s because the eggs and larvae don’t survive without constant damp soil.
Have you thought about reducing the water supply to your houseplants than you usually do? The chances are your houseplants can often handle a smaller amount of water than you already supplying it.
But how can you be sure that you are providing enough water for your lovely plants?
Well, you can always use your finger and test the soil. You can only water the plant if you feel dry at least two inches down. By this method, you can be sure you never overwater your houseplants.
But even if you don’t feel satisfied with testing the moisture all by yourself, you can always use a moisture sensor and check it.
2) Empty Your Drainage More Often
If you are using some saucer or tray underneath your plant for drainage, you must consider emptying it after watering the plants.
It will help control the accumulation of moisture around the plant.
But if you consider watering the houseplants from the bottom, it is also perfect for eradicating the flies. Watering the plants from the bottom means allowing the plant to soak up the moisture through drain holes.
It would help you to maintain a dry top layer of soil. As flies live in the top layer of the soil, this is a perfect method for getting rid of them.
But remember to throw away the excess water in the drainage after 30 minutes of soaking.
3) Try Using Sticky Traps
Sticky traps would be handy in this process. They are not just perfect for mice. But yellow straps are especially useful when catching flies. You can just put them on the soil or place them near the house plant.
You will catch flies who are on the move, and you have to replace the trap every 2-3 days. But remember that sticky traps are only useful in catching the adult flies. By this method, you can’t catch the larvae or eggs.
4) Sterilized Compost
Most commercially bought composts are sterilized, so they don’t contain eggs or larvae. That doesn’t mean you no longer need to make your own compost in your garden.
You can use your compost for the garden and use store-bought compost for the houseplants.
5) Use Biological Pest Control Methods
If you have many houseplants with you, it would be good to use a biological pest control method. To handle the gnats, you can introduce beneficial nematodes. Even if you feel awkward about this, it’s a straightforward solution to control the flies.
Nematodes are tiny worm-like bugs so that you can’t even see them with the naked eye.
But if you have only a few house plants, you can grow a sticky carnivorous plant, like Sundew( Drosera), because this plant is very useful in trapping flies in house plants.
6) Use Vinegar Traps
A fine mixture of vinegar and a dish soap would do the trick. You can put the mixture in a tall glass and cover it with a plastic wrap. You can use a rubber band to secure the cover and poke some small holes in it.
As the vinegar contain a smell that attracts the flies, they will fly through the holes, and the dish soap will make them drown there.
7) Use A Spray Bottle
Well, this is an easy method. If anything doesn’t work for you, you can make a soap and water solution and put it in a spray bottle. Then spray it to the top layer of the soil.
It would be more effective if you use an insecticidal soap solution or neem oil. Neem oil would be beneficial in this process.
8) Store Unused Soil In A Sealed Container
You would know the importance of doing this. Open soil bags would be an excellent breeding ground for flies. So, it will be useful if you store them in sealed containers.
9) Try Not To Reuse The Soil
You would understand what I’m saying here. If you use old potting soil again, there would be a great chance of having flies again inside your household. Because the old soil can contain eggs and larvae. So, try to use new potting soil every time.
10) Make Use Of A Good Soil Cover
You can use a thin sand layer or decorative stones on the top layer of soil. Then the flies would not be able to breed inside your plant pots.
The house flies could indeed really annoying from time to time. But by opting for natural pest control methods, you decided it right, as your decision would show your love and care for the environment and your family.
Although these natural methods would only be effective after several applications, they are worth waiting for. Just try not to expect instant results.
They would be great solutions for you and your family. Especially as you are using them inside your house, it’s great to use natural methods than using harmful, artificial pesticides. Soon you will enjoy the benefits of using a natural approach.