There are several tiny flies that might be causing a problem. Could these be fungus gnats? They can often be a problem in wet, rotting organic matter. The adult gnats don't harm your plants, but they lay eggs in the soil. The larvae of the gnats live in the top of the soil feeding on decaying matter, root hairs, mulch, compost, and fungi. Since they can feed on root hairs, the larvae can stunt a plant's growth if in large numbers, but this usually only occurs in indoors situations, such as greenhouses. Outdoors, they usually don't cause serious damage.
Outdoors, they might be harder to control, but to help get rid of the eggs, you can try to remove and discard some of the loose soil around your plants without disturbing the roots. Add fresh sterile soil and a thin layer of sand to the surface of the soil. Let the soil dry out and only water when the soil becomes dry down to about 2 inches deep or so.
To control adult gnats, you can try setting out yellow sticky traps. Or, trap them by setting out a jar filled with 4 parts apple cider vinegar and 1 part liquid dishwashing soap; cover the jar with a lid in which several holes have been punched.
Free Email Newsletters
Almanac Weekly Companion:Editors handpick timely topics: weather, gardening, the Moon, folklore, and more.
The Almanac.com General Store: Great savings, exclusive offers!
Almanac Recipe Box: Our best recipes delivered twice a month.
Great Almanac Giveaway: A monthly chance to WIN a fabulous prize.
Check out this month's prize: from Almanac.com
Enter to win!
Visit the Almanac Live!
See where we live.
Look through the Almanac webcams.
Visit our sister Web site: www.YankeeMagazine.com
Custom programming and server maintenance by Reinvented Inc.
©2014, Yankee Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 520, Dublin, NH 03444, (603) 563-81112014-08-21 02:00:07