This really isn't about African Violets. Where would I go to get some advice on how to get rid of fungus gnats?
I just saw the houseplant link above. I'll try there too.
Go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy a "NO PEST STRIP" or something like that which draws the gnats to it and sticks.
Fred in NJ
Tammy, I had a real problem with Fungus gnats. Hopefully you dont have too many plants?? But what I did was I repotted all my plants and then I put them all in individual plastic bags and daily I checked the bags for the insects flying around inside - when I saw one or two - I squished them in the bag. Always leaving the bag closed. I have had my plants in individual bags now for about 2 months and I have pretty much gotten rid of these darn pests. The problem was I was starting a whole bunch of African violet leaves so the soil had to be damp. My other house plants I basically let them dry out completely as the gnats like to lay eggs in the damp soil. They are extremely frusterating and if you dont nip them in the bud now you will have a problem. Do go out and by the strips also. I used them too in my little cake boxes where I had some leaves starting also. Good luck! Golden
Thanks to both of you. I will go out and buy the strips tomorrow. I'm already having a problem with them. I have several of those very large plants that people give at funerals..can't remember the name. So the bag idea probably won't work. Thanks again.
I to have tried they strips. They work O.K. but I found if I mix systemic granules in with my soil they pretty much eliminate these pests. The granules do not hurt the plant. At least they never have harmed mine.,
Thanks Joanne. I'll try anything and everything!
One teaspoon bleach in one gallon water.
Water your plants. By the second or third watering all the fungus gnats should be gone.
For gnats flying around, use the yellow no pest strips.
The bleach won't hurt the plants, I'm assuming.
I'll try it. I have the pest strips out and it has caught a few...but not many.
You might try this: Put one of the no pest strips in a garbage bag with one tray of plants and leave overnight. This should pick up most of the fliers. Then you'll have to wait for those flying in the room to discover the no pest strip.
One teaspoon bleach per gallon of water should not hurt plants but will kill the babies and eggs. At least that has been my experience.
I also have a Pinguicula plant, an insectivore which secretes an odor for insects--not for us. It has a sticky substance on all parts of the plant. When an insect goes in for a closer look, it gets stuck. It doesn't look as bad as the yellow sticky No Pest Strips because the plant absorbs the insect within a day or so. You water this plant but you need no fertilizer since the insects feed it. I love my little plants and have one on almost ever light stand.
Wow! You learn something every day if you pay attention.
I'll have to find a Pinguicula. Right now I don't have a problem with any bugs but last winter there were a lot of very tiny black gnats around my tropical bonsais. I thought they were the males of the dreaded scales, which had invaded one of the trees but perhaps not. I'll definitely stock up on some of those strips. In any case, the insectivore might be fun as well as environmentally correct :-)
What do you feed the Pinguicula after it's eaten all the bugs?
Where do you get one of those plants. And the pest strips are they the cylinder looking thing that you sit out? It kind of has a plastic stand?
To find out more about Pinguicula, commonly called Sundew, try an internet search.
Pings have several varieties. The fatter the leaves, the more sticky surface for the bugs to get trapped.
Pings need to grow in sphragam moss, not in soil. They need to have bottled water and not water from the tap. No fertilizer is necessary since they feed from insects trapped.
I am now trying other Sundews--seeds planted in spragham moss.
You can also do a search on insectivores which will have pictures of a few other plants that will help you out. These range in price from about $$5.-$9.00 depending on size and seller. They can be purchased from ebay. Just write in Pinguicula and it should pop up.
I'm not sure what it feeds on after all the bugs are eaten. I seem to have pretty much a bug free room (tap on wood) and my three plants are doing very well. They will grow 9-12 inch spikes and have pretty lavender single flowers. Even the flowerstalk is sticky and will catch dust or bugs.