Fungus Gnats

Identification

  • Colour Grey to black
  • Size 3 - 4 mm
  • Also known as Diptera
  • Description Fungal gnats are tiny, delicate-looking insects belonging to the insect order Diptera. They are common pests of greenhouses and nurseries; however, they can occasionally be found in homes and commercial buildings where breeding conditions are available. Though mostly a nuisance pest, fungus gnats notoriously spread horticultural diseases that stunt the growth of various plant species. Adults are weak fliers with a short lifespan.

General Facts

Why do I have fungus gnats?

Adult fungus gnats are attracted to light and may congregate on windows or glass doors. Since the pests remain incapable of travelling great distances, such gatherings indicate a nearby infestation. As fungus gnats are relatively tiny, detecting an infestation may be difficult.

How worried should I be about fungus gnats?

During the larval stage of the life cycle, fungus gnats feed on plant roots. In doing so, they damage the roots and stunt the growth of the plants. Additionally, adults and larvae spread plant pathogens that cause collar rot, root rot, damping off, and wire stem diseases. Otherwise, adults are not capable of biting or harming humans nor do they cause any structural damage and are therefore considered to be nuisance pests.

How can I prevent fungus gnats invading?

The first step to effective control of fungus gnats is to find breeding sources and eliminate them or to modify the conditions that encourage breeding. This will naturally eliminate fungal gnat populations. If adult population is high or infestations are heavy, treating with appropriately labelled insecticidal products will remedy the infestation. Many over-the-counter soil treatments and trapping methods are available to gardeners and homeowners. However, for large and challenging infestations, contacting a pest control professional is recommended for effective treatments that will successfully eliminate infestations and help prevent future re-infestations.

Other pests related to Fungus Gnats

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