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Go Back   Orchid Board - Most Complete Orchid Forum on the web ! > ORCHID DISCUSSIONS > Pests & Diseases
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  #1  
Unread 02-19-2013, 01:10 PM
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Default FUNGUS GNATS!!!

I hate these little flies, they were in some other plants and have recently been enjoying my phals. They LOVE my humidity trays. I know everyone is going to say water less but its unfortunately not an option (i let my avocado dry out for 2 days extra then normal and its leaves started falling off) also the gnats still are in the dry soil. I plan to repot everything but don't have any sphag available for my orchids. so my question is if i sterilize there current media in an oven will this work to kill the eggs /larva? Has anyone tried it with a mostly sphag but some bark/perlite combo? I have been trying all kinds of home remedies for these flies and am pretty fed up.
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  #2  
Unread 02-19-2013, 01:24 PM
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Fungus gnats love broken down mix, which is what may be drawing them into your environment. The gnats seem to cause few if any problems, but they are a nuisance. I have had relative success in hanging fly strips in the areas where they are most prevalent.

CL
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  #3  
Unread 02-19-2013, 02:08 PM
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You can try suffocating the bugs in CO2. Someone recently suggested using dry ice but this can cause them to suffer from the cold, I recently came across this thread on how to kill bugs in a tank, but you can use bags with your orchids in them instead. Just leave them in bags filled with CO2 for 24 hours and the bugs will die and the plants will really like the boost as well.

Building and Using a Co2 Generator - Dendroboard

And yes, I'm sure sterilizing the media will kill the eggs. So you can do both, the CO2 will kill the adults and the sterilizing will kill the eggs.
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  #4  
Unread 02-19-2013, 02:34 PM
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the media has been thoroughly rinsed with soapy water (plants removed ) then rinsed clean its now on its way to the oven. die little beasts die...

---------- Post added at 01:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:20 PM ----------

Also really interested in the Co2 thread thanks for thank i plan to give all my plants a boost
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  #5  
Unread 02-19-2013, 02:42 PM
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try this:

10 drops dish soap
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon extract
2 cups tepid water

spray the plants until soaking wet
soak the pot for 5 min in this mixture to kill eggs

repeat next week

it works for me ....I am in an apartment and plants in the windowsill
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  #6  
Unread 02-19-2013, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kailyn View Post
the media has been thoroughly rinsed with soapy water (plants removed ) then rinsed clean its now on its way to the oven. die little beasts die...
At this point you really should probably just use new media. Fungus gnats (as said previously) are most attracted to media that is breaking down, so I don't think you want to reuse the same media. I've also had reasonable success with fly strips, though they are somewhat unsightly.

And even if you sterilize your media, there will most likely still be gnat eggs/larvae on your orchid roots.
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  #7  
Unread 02-19-2013, 04:37 PM
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I am planning to get new potting media but as my local garden center is out of my preferred choices I am in the making do mode. I don't doubt they will re infest soon as I still have to re-pot my other plants but for now I will keep them in a separate area to see if i managed to get all the little buggers

---------- Post added at 03:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:36 PM ----------

Where do you get/how do you make cinnamon extract?
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  #8  
Unread 02-19-2013, 04:47 PM
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As Cym Lady points out, those little bugs are just annoying without causing harm.
I have lots unfortunately. They came in on some potted houseplants.
They seem to go dormant during the summer as I don't see any. then as soon as the weather gets cooler, they come back.

I tried a few things, but didn't get rid of them all. so I just live with them now. lol
I tried the yellow sticker thing, but my fungus gnats must be color blind.

Drying the pot doesn't work becase you may end up killing orchids before gnats. They are not that sensitive to drying as some literature says they are. and you already found out yourself that this doesn't work.

I do kill every single thing I find. with my hands.
You hear clapping of hands quite often.
Considerig the fact that each female can lay hundreds of eggs, killing every single one you find manually really adds up I think. When I see rather fat one, meaning loaded with eggs, I make sure it is dead all the way.

If you have just a few pots, then CO2 chamber might work. but dryice can chill your orchids as well as the bugs.

A warning about using the cinnamon extract, I used it last spring on a few of my flowering orchids.
Well, all the flowers were dropped within a couple of days after the application. no damage done on the leaves, so make sure you don't spray the solution on any flowers as you risk losing them or severly browning them.
Cinnamon extracts are found at spice section at supermarkets by the way.

Last edited by NYCorchidman; 02-19-2013 at 04:53 PM..
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  #9  
Unread 02-19-2013, 05:17 PM
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I once had a terrible problem with fungus gnats but I couldn't unpot my plants (some have sensitive roots) and I have a few plants that die if their soil dries (one rainforest plant must always sit in a saucer of water). Then I discovered CP's...canivorous plants. A butterwort and purple pitcher plant added to the collection takes care of the problem...completely. We get a few...then they are gone. The butterwort has been divided twice and I have one everywhere I have plants. The purple pitcher will be divided this spring. I highly recommend them.
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  #10  
Unread 02-19-2013, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafmite View Post
I once had a terrible problem with fungus gnats but I couldn't unpot my plants (some have sensitive roots) and I have a few plants that die if their soil dries (one rainforest plant must always sit in a saucer of water). Then I discovered CP's...canivorous plants. A butterwort and purple pitcher plant added to the collection takes care of the problem...completely. We get a few...then they are gone. The butterwort has been divided twice and I have one everywhere I have plants. The purple pitcher will be divided this spring. I highly recommend them.
True, I wouldn't disturb my plants or myself for something that doesn't harm plants.

Anyways, I think I remember you mentioning butterwort as a solution to fungus gnat removal.
Where do you buy them?? I haven't seen them sold anywhere.

I did have a pot of pitcher plant but no bugs seem to be attracted and so I dumped it out last year. well, after the plant nearly died due to dehydration. lol
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