How to get rid of houseplant flies (fungus gnats)

House plants on a sideboard

Do you have small black flies living in your house plant compost? Or hovering around your house plants? These are fungus gnats, also known as house plant flies and sciarid flies. They’re mostly harmless – adult gnats cause little or no harm to plants, but they can become a nuisance in the home. Their tiny worm-like larvae live in the top 5-8cm of compost, where they feed on algae, fungi and plant roots. Healthy house plants usually tolerate this minor root damage, but the larvae can harm seedlings or weak plants.

How to identify fungus gnats

Fungus gnats are small black flies that fly around house plants and live in house plant compost. You may mistake them for fruit flies – but if they’re in and around your house plants,

How to get rid of fungus gnats

Getting rid of fungus gnats is easier than you might think. Simply by watering less often and using a gravel mulch you can break the fungus gnat lifecycle and stop them breeding in your house plant compost. But there are other ways, too. We list four ways to get rid of fungus gnats, below.

 

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