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Pesky little black flies

Posted by irrigationcontractor 4 (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 19, 06 at 19:10

I am new here, and would greatly appreciate any information on this subject:
I have tiny little black flies (not gnats) that seem to be living in my cocoa bean mulch. They don't bite, they just swarm, and they seem to love to hang out on my porch in the summer. This is a nuisance, since they get in when the door is opened and they gross me out when I sit on the porch.
I asked a nursery person last summer about them and she recommended a systemic for my flower beds. I will do the systemic if it will work, but I have a lot of ground to cover so I don't want to do it unless I'm reasonably sure it will work.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Pesky little black flies

I got out my handy home remedy book and here are some ideas. I haven't had the opportunity to use any of them lucky me.

1 tablespoon Dr Brommer's Pepperment Soap liquid in 2 cups water, spray on the plants,in your case coco shells.

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar in one cup water, mix and put in low jar near where they are for a few days. They will be attracted by the sweet smell and drown

Mix 1/2 cup Vodka and 1 1/2 cups water, spray on the plants (coco beans) in the cool of the day.

It is worth a try.

Do you know that the coco beans are poisiones to dogs?

RE: Pesky little black flies

Thanks for getting out your book!
I don't know what they are, but through Googling them I suspect they may be mold gnats... I think identifying them is the first step to getting rid of them. I also think their larvae is eating my plant roots.
I knew chocolate is poisonous to (some) dogs, but never put the cocoa bean/chocolate connection together. I used to have a dog who loved to eat fresh ones.. he never got sick.
If anyone has any ideas on what these little buggers could be, please tell me!

RE: Pesky little black flies

Sound like you have fungus gnats, or related insect, that live in moist, moldy, organic material. Cocoa shell mulch has a reputation for getting moldy, especially if it is applied too thick and/or stays wet all the time. If the mulch looks moldy, I would consider either turning it and thinning it out or removing it. Taking away the insects home and food source would seem like the best way to deal with the problem.

RE: Pesky little black flies

I have the same problem, definitely a mold and it's in a shaded area. I'm going to try some of the remedies listed above. Thanks!

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