It is that time when overwintering pests are starting to venture out. One pest that is not affected by seasons is the common indoor plant annoyance, the sciarid fly or more commonly known as, a fungus gnat. You may have noticed small black flies buzzing around your home and head having hitched a ride on a new plant acquisition or been hiding in a bag of potting mix. This 4mm little black fly loves running across the damp potting mix of our plants and laying its eggs in it. Whilst the adults are a minor irritation it is their larvae that are the real problem, as they can feed on the roots.
The good news is that there are various ways to outsmart the gnat! As the larvae live in the top few centimetres of soil, you can try bottom watering for a while, or let it dry out for as long as the plant can take it. A layer of fine gravel covering the soil can limit the adults ability to lay their eggs. Some people pull out the fly spray or use an insecticide drench. Sticky traps can also work, but carnivorous plants are a much cooler method (e.g. Sundew) and a valid excuse to increase your plant collection!
To find out more tips and tricks to keep your indoor plants happy and healthy join our next Indoor Plant Care class coming up on Tuesday 12th October 7-9pm at the Kiosk.