Fighting sciarid mosquitoes

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fungus gnat

Mourning gnats are widespread. They usually occur in infestation quickly in harsh quantities. The hovering "mini-flying" do no harm, they are only considered disgusting.
Dangerous for the plants are the larvae that live in the potting soil. The feeding on the roots and especially young plants die from it. In the open air, sciarid spiders are very useful. They decompose humus and fungi, thus improving the soil. One must recognize the infestation of sciarid mosquitoes as early as possible, before they spread so. The best way to prevent them from laying new eggs in the ground is to leave them quickly.
Causes of mourning gnats
  • Mourning gnats are often brought in, with newly purchased potting soil, compost soil or else with plants. The larvae are then already in the ground.
  • They just fly in to the open window, which can not be prevented.
  • Newly purchased potting soil can only be left for a few months and exposed to cold or germ-free soil in a warm oven. The larvae are killed. Temperatures between 60 and 70 ˚C are required.
  • For sowing and cultivation use seed (germ-free)!
  • In the greenhouse, preventive with parasitic nematodes, predatory mites or Bacillus thuringiensis var. Israelensis (BTI) pour or splash!
  • Do not pour too much! The earth must not be constantly wet! Just do not let dry out completely!
Control with home remedies
Before you reach for the chemical club, you should try to fight the sciarids with home remedies. Some are very good and they are not dangerous. Adhesive traps, so yellow stickers or the like, only act against the adult mosquitoes. You can not catch the larvae with it. The sticky traps are not very effective, much like a flyswatter. You never get caught and the sciarids that are left over lay new eggs. A carnivorous plant can not help.
  • Make a mixture using lukewarm water, baking soda, oil and salt in a spray bottle to directly pollinate the potting soil.
  • Matches sticking their heads in the ground.
  • Put garlic bulbs in the ground or chop garlic and spread on the surface! Combating without chemistry Anyone who has had no success with the home remedies can also try it with other means. Often it is a bit more involved, but this is how the fight works quite well.
  • You put the whole flower pot in a stocking or a leg of nylon tights. Both ends of it must be tightly closed, both under the pot, and up around the plant. The goal is that the hatched new small flies do not get out of the trap. More importantly, the adult animals are prevented from laying their eggs in the ground. It only works when there is no way in and out. The stocking has to stay like that for 4 to 5 weeks!
  • A layer of sand, preferably quartz sand, on which potting soil prevents the mosquitoes from laying their eggs. The layer must be at least 1 cm thick.
  • SF nematodes or BTI can be used not only for prevention but also for control. This biological control decimates the stock significantly.
Chemical control

Mourning gnats on yellow sticker

Chemical control should be chosen as a last resort. Insecticides and other chemical pesticides often not only work against pests, but also against beneficial organisms. When choosing the funds you should be so very careful! In the specialized trade one can inquire, which means are admitted.
care errors
  • If you put the plant in a stocking, it is important that the drainage holes are closed with. Everything has to be closed properly around!
  • Do not use bird sand, it contains too much lime and other additives!
  • You must water all plants with the biological control agents, not only those in which the infestation is recognizable. The sciarid mosquitoes otherwise give way to other plants. In addition, eggs can already be laid without you seeing anything.
Mourning mosquito is not uncommon. The small pest ghosts appear almost everywhere. There are many things that can be done against them, but these measures usually only help for a short time. Those who prefer a permanent solution must repot their plants, from soil to seramis, perlite or another mineral substrate. But this does not tolerate all plants, so you have to weigh.
Editorial tips
  1. Always test the more harmless means before you reach for the chemical club!
  2. Always clean vessels thoroughly when repotting!
  3. Dispose of old plant substrate!

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