How to get rid of fungus gnats

Got some unwanted, flying guests at home? They may well be fungus gnats. Find out how to get rid of fungus gnats with our simple tips and guidance below.

Updated 4 April 2023


AuthorBy Cleanipedia Team

Reading Time2 minutes

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pest-free geraniums on the window sill after getting rid of fungus gnats

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Key steps

  • Never over-water your plants.

  • Water your plants using a cache pot or drip tray.

  • Place yellow sticky traps near your plants.

  • Replace the top soil.

  • Use a layer of sand or gravel to protect the soil in the future.

Fungus gnats are small, black flies that live on houseplants. Not only can they destroy a beloved collection of house plants, but they are also an irritating presence in the home. Here we'll explain how to get rid of fungus gnats in indoor plants and how to avoid a more serious infestation.

If you have a serious fungus gnat infestation, try an organic pesticide. Make sure that it is safe for indoor and houseplant use, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label.

How to get rid of fungus gnats: an easy guide to removing these household pests

Have you discovered flies in house plants around your home? Don’t panic! Take a look at our tips to get rid of fungus gnats quickly and easily.

  1. 1

    Control the moisture of your houseplant soil. Fungus gnats can only survive in moist soil. Avoid over-watering your plants and you'll take away their favourite habitat.

  2. 2

    Use a cache pot or drip tray to water your plants. Did you know that fungus gnats only live in the top inch of soil? Try placing your plant into a cache pot or onto a drip tray. Your houseplants will absorb water through the drainage holes. Then, take away the tray of water after around 30 minutes . This will prevent the top soil from becoming too moist, making it inhospitable for fungus gnats.

  3. 3

    Place yellow sticky traps near your houseplants. These will trap any adults as they attempt to fly from one house plant to another. Note: this will not deal with larvae or eggs already in the soil. However, it will help to prevent a further infestation as these adults will not be able to lay any more eggs!

  4. 4

    Replace the top soil. As these little plant mites will only be living in the top inch or so of soil, you could remove the infestation by changing over the soil. But be gentle – rough removal could affect your houseplant, too!

  5. 5

    To prevent a future infestation, lay down a soil cover. It doesn’t have to be anything special. Simply laying down a layer of small gravel or sand at the top of the pot will prevent there being a home for the gnats to survive in.

  6. 6

    Make sure you’re taking the best care of your houseplants. Getting rid of plant bugs is important, but there are other steps to ensure you keep your houseplants alive. Check out our guide to being green-fingered indoors.

Now you know how to get rid of plant mites, you don’t need to worry about these household pests bothering you again! Fungus gnats aren’t the only pests you might be dealing with, however; take a look at our guide for how to get rid of fruit flies, too!

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