Plant fly problem? Get rid of plant flies and keep your plants fly free! ?

Tiny black flies hovering around your plants? These tiny plant flies (officially called fungus gnats) can cause - despite their short lifespan – a long term problem. As they multiply quickly, these tiny flies soon turn into a big plague. A disaster for your plants - and for you – that you would rather prevent from happening. Where do these tiny flies come from? And how can you drive them away or catch them? Discover handy DIY solutions and effective plant fly control products.

What is the difference between plant flies, plant mosquitos and fungus gnats?

That tiny black plant fly - that looks a lot like a fruit fly – hovering around your plants is actually a gnat. Officially these bugs are called fungus gnats. So, when people talk about a plant fly, a plant mosquito or fungus gnats, they are actually talking about the same little bug.

Where do plant flies come from and what attracts them?

The plant fly is being drawn to plant-based material, such as wet soil, trees, and flowers. The little fly and its larvae feed themselves with dead plant remains and the roots. It’s possible that you attract the tiny flies from outside, but you also may have brought in the little flies with a new plant. Due the rapid reproduction, the little flies can soon turn into a plague.

In which season do the plant flies mostly appear?

The reproduction of the plant fly takes place in the spring. Then in august again larvae will fly out. Plant flies flourish with moisty weather, so their reproduction and development strongly depend on the amount of rainfall in the concerning period.

How fast do plant flies multiply?

The little plant flies only live a few days. However, in this short lifespan they can cause a long-term problem. By laying over 200 eggs, they use their time on earth rather productively. After 3 weeks the eggs will hatch, after which they develop themselves into mature plant flies with a size of 1,5 mm to 3 mm.

Are plant flies dangerous or harmful?

The tiny flies are not dangerous for your health, but they do harm your beloved plants. Especially the larvae. As the larvae live in the soil, they feed themselves with the roots of the plants. Due to the damaged roots, it becomes harder to absorb water and nutrients. Also, the tiny flies are being perceived as quite annoying, as they tend to hover around your drinks and face.

5 tips to prevent a plant fly invasion

Preventing a plant fly problem is of course even better than solving one. To make sure your plants will remain fly free, there are some things you can do to tackle the potential problem at its roots – literally.

1. Check the soil of new plants

Often plant flies (fungus gnats) appear in your house via the soil of a new plant. Before you bring a new plant into the house, make sure the soil is free of larvae.

2. Measure the amount of water

Larvae develop themselves super-fast in wet soil. When watering the plants, make sure you don’t give them too much. This way the soil gets the chance to dry up after watering.

3. Place your plants in a drainage pot

By placing your plant in drainage pots, you make sure the soil will never get too wet – which makes it harder for larvae to develop themselves.

4. Remove dead plant remains in time

By removing dead plant remains in time, you will take away an important food source for the flies and larvae.

5. Repot the infected plant

Find out which plant is infected, isolate the plant and replace the soil. Only move the plant back in with the others when you are absolutely sure that the soil doesn’t contain larvae anymore.

4 ways to get rid of plant flies

Is the harm already been done and are you facing a real plant fly invasion? There are several ways to stop the infestation and to get rid of the tiny plant flies.

1. Make a DIY plant fly trap

Plant flies love white wine. Place a mix of water, white wine, and a drop of detergent – to break the surface – near to your plants. The mix will attract the plant flies – or fungus gnats – after which they will drown in it.

Pros

  • You can easily make the trap yourself

  • No need for chemicals

Cons

  • The self-made sticky trap can look rather unappetizing

  • The trap works, but isn’t 100% effective

2. Use cinnamon to control the plant fly problem

Plant flies and their larvae don’t like cinnamon. By adding some cinnamon to the soil, or by mixing it with the water you’re about to give them, you can make the plants and soil much less appealing to the tiny flies. This way you can prevent plant flies from laying new eggs in the soil.

Pros

  • A simple DIY solution that can be found in your kitchen

  • A smart trick that can very easily be applied

Cons

  • It works but doesn’t solve the problem entirely

3. Use nematodes to fight the little plant flies

You can fight the little plant flies in a very natural way, using nematodes. This microscopical worm-like creature will intrude the larvae, after which they will give off bacteria that kills the larvae.

Pros

  • Effective to tackle the problem by its roots - literally

Cons

  • Controlling plant flies with nematodes is relatively expensive

4. Use Super Ninja’s sustainable sticker trap

Super Ninja offers a super effective and sustainable plant fly trap. The cheery traps can easily be stuck into the soil of the pot, after which they start to attract the plant flies immediately. The yellow color increases the effectiveness, which helps you to catch the tiny flies directly, before they get the chance to lay new eggs in the soil.

PROS

  • Immediate result and the traps stay effective up till 3 months or longer

  • Easy to use and can be placed discretely

  • Sustainable and safe, for the environment, human and pets

Would you like to know more about Super Ninja’s sustainable sticker trap?

About Super Ninja - sustainable pest control

Super Ninja believes that sustainable and responsible pest control should be todays’ standard. Effective to remove nuisance, safe for people, pets, and the environment.

Due to a lack of sustainable pest control products and as a result of his own frustrations, in 2014, our founder Ferdinand developed our first product: the Fruit Fly Ninja.

While he was trapped at home with a knee injury - surrounded by fruit flies – he discovered how natural ingredients can be just as effective as chemical ones. Especially when combined into an innovative product design.

We find the best alternatives

We believe in the power of natural ingredients and innovative designs.

We respect the environment

We aim for a positive impact – without negative side effects.

We keep on developing

We continuously search for more – and only the best - pest control solutions.