For a gardener growing an indoor container garden, gnats can be an extremely annoying type of garden pest. While it is true that they damage plant tissue and increase the risk of plant disease, they also manage to escape all over the house and create gnat zones in areas nowhere near the potted plants.
Getting rid of gnats without pesticides or poisons is easy to to, and these safe methods should be the only choice for indoor vegetable gardens that produce food products that people eventually eat. Using pesticides and poisons on food plants is not safe. Prevent and get rid of gnats in your potted plants with these pesticide-free tips for trapping and killing indoor gnats.
Homemade Gnat Traps
For a fungus gnat infestation in full force, the only way to get rid of them is to kill as many of them as possible before they breed. To make a safe homemade gnat trap, cut a piece of bright construction paper into squares about two to three inches on each side. Coat the squares with a thin film of petroleum jelly.
Put the coated paper down gently on the soil in the pots in areas in which you have noticed gnats tend to gather. Carefully put a few drops of vegetable oil on the top sides of the coated paper.
The petroleum jelly will keep the oil from soaking into the paper, creating pools of oil. The gnats will be attracted to the bright yellow paper and stick into the pools of vegetable oil and drown. Remove and replace these gnat trap pieces when they get full of gnats, and continue until the gnat numbers are under control.
Gnats breed best in soil that is constantly wet. Unless you are harboring a delicate plant that will absolutely perish if it doesn’t receive water for a short period of time, consider imposing a short-term drought until the gnat numbers have decreased.
Remove Organic Debris from Pots
Gnats love to breed and feed in fallen leaves and organic fertilizer in the top of potted plant soil. Getting rid of the dead leaves in your potted plants makes the soil a less friendly place for annoying gnats to mate.
Gnats like breeding in soil. Adding a one-inch thick layer of a mineral soil additive like perlite can deter gnats from breeding in potted plant soil. Make sure you mulch all of the potted plants which have a gnat problem or the gnats will just move to another pot in your indoor container garden to breed.
Fungus Gnat Information – http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2114.html