Tagged: aphid control

Treatment for black fungus gnats

Black Fungus Gnat – IPM Treatment

Fungus gnats
Fungus Gnats on Cacti

GNATS

We all know what a gnat is. Most likely you have had a few gnats flying around your home, more commonly known as “fruit flies”. But fungus gnats are your gardens worst nightmare! They are small flies that infest soil and potting mix and lay their eggs in your container gardens as well. Their eggs can lay dormant in soil for weeks and then release these nasty little larvae that wreak havoc on your plants. Their larvae primarily feed on fungi and organic matter in soil, but also chew into roots and can be a problem in greenhouses, nurseries, potted plants and interior plants. Adult fungus gnats may emerge from houseplants and become a nuisance indoors too.

Fungus gnat larvae
Fungus Gnat Larvae
Fungus gnat Adult
Adult Fungus Gnat

 

 

 

 

 

 

TREATMENTS

There are a bunch of organic and chemical treatments for fungus gnats. The organic solutions include:

Hydrogen peroxide w/ no additives, Boiled grapefruit rind, Neem oil and a plethora of IPM.

We discovered we had gnats in our indoor Sunglo greenhouse after purchasing a bag of store bought miracle soil. It has been a HUGE problem. At least 100 plants have been ruined. So we researched online and came to the conclusion that we would try nematodes.

What are nematodes?

fungus gnat
Microscopic Nematode

The nematodes or roundworms constitute the phylum Nematoda. They are a diverse animal phylum inhabiting a very broad range of environments. Nematode species can be difficult to distinguish, and although over 25,000 have been described, of which more than half are parasitic, the total number of nematode species has been estimated to be about 1 million. Unlike cnidarians and flatworms, nematodes have tubular digestive systems with openings at both ends. Nematodes have successfully adapted to nearly every ecosystem from marine to fresh water, to soils, and from the polar regions to the tropics, as well as the highest to the lowest of elevations. They are ubiquitous in freshwater, marine, and terrestrial environments, where they often outnumber other animals in both individual and species counts, and are found in locations as diverse as mountains, deserts and oceanic trenches. The earth benefits from these microscopic worms. They are pretty much everywhere!

NEMATODE TREATMENT

fungus gnat
A Fungus Gnats Worst Nightmare!

There are lots of brand of nematodes to buy but we settled on this baby. Above. The nematodes come wrapped in a soft wet sponge ready to swim their way into your soil and eat the fungus gnat larvae!

fungus gnat
Remove sponge from bag..

 

fungus gnat
Dunk sponge into a watering can.. and water all your plants.

By dunking the sponge in water and swooshing it around a bit, it will release the microscopic nematodes into the water and allow them to be transferred into your infested soil. One they have broken the soil barrier the nematodes are free to wreak

havoc on the fungus gnat larvae! Too bad they are microscopic. It would be pretty neat to see 🙂

CONCLUSION

The nematode treatment worked, along with sticky tape but only for a week or so. It was difficult keeping our greenhouse contained. The gnats had too many places to hide in our building and were able to fly freely in and out of the greenhouse. In a different situation the nematodes, I’m sure, would have wiped out the larvae and our problem would have disappeared. We eventually cleaned out the entire greenhouse, cleaned all pots and containers, threw away all the dirt that was sitting around and moved most of the plants outside for a weekend to try to abolish the pesky gnats! And so far we’ve gotten rid of ALMOST all of them. The orchids we have in the greenhouse now are doing pretty well – See picture below. There are still a few gnats buzzing around but they have not harmed our orchid collection. We definitely learned a lesson from this… no more store bought generic soil! And to keep the greenhouse as clean as possible when planting seeds. The next time we see the first signs of gnats we’ll reach into our Google arsenal and find the next best treatment.

fungus gnat
Our display greenhouse after being cleaned out

Other pest problems? Click here for thrip information. Click here for aphid & white fly treatment. And for more information about greenhouses and greenhouse gardening visit our Facebook page!

 

Ladybug pest control

Ladybugs – Your best ally in the fight with aphids!

Ladybug

Ladybugs –

 Let’s learn a little bit about these pest eaters. Ladybugs have many names. Such as lady beetle, Asian lady beetle, multicolored Asian lady beetle, ladybird and many more. They are actually not bugs but are beetles. Ladybird Beetle is the correct name but I still like “ladybug” There are about 5,000 species of ladybugs worldwide, only 400 are native to North America. The convergent lady beetle is the most common species.

Ladybugs are widely used as a form of natural pest control. Aphids seem to be the top food choice for them but they also eat scale insects, mealy bugs, mites, white fly and other soft insects. A fully grown hungry ladybug can eat 50 aphids a day! They could eat 5,000 aphids in their lifetime in both larvae and adult stages.

 

LadybugsAphids-

Aphids are the most common garden pest insect and they feed on almost every type of plant. There are many different species of aphids but they all seem to have the same goal in mind… destroying you’re garden! They feed in colonies which is why they are so destructive and fast.

Signs of aphids are dried and colorless leaves and curled leaf tips. Aphids usually can be found on the underside of leaves and close to the top where the most nutrients can be sucked from the plant. They are savage little things and need to be dealt with as fast as possible.

LadybugsPest control-

Here at our Kent, WA. Sunglo office and warehouse we have a few greenhouses on display and like to grow plants and veggies ourselves, so we take advantage of the opportunity by growing a few things here and there. We bought a few herb plants from a home and garden depot only to find aphids on them!

We decided to try ladybugs for pest control. And boy let me tell you… it was awesome! We were able to purchase 1500 bugs online and they arrived within 5 days, let them free in our small lean-to greenhouse and within 15 minutes almost every aphid had disappeared! Overall I would 100% recommend ladybugs to get rid you of your pest nuisance! They are cute, inexpensive and best of all non-toxic! We freed most of them by keeping the doors wide open but a few are still around, stalking their next aphid meal.

Ladybugs

To learn about another common pest; thrips – click here.