Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fruit Flies and Fungus Gnats by Carol King

Have you noticed  little black bugs flying around your house this winter? You probably have either have fungus gnats or fruit flies.  You need to look at your particular situation.  Did you get a new plant for Christmas?  Probably fungus gnats; check the plant soil. Did you just start to compost your garbage or receive a fruit basket?  Probably fruit flies; check the compost collector. Neither one of these are harmful so if you don’t mind gnats buzzing your head (a la B.O. Plenty) just ignore them.

If you want to minimize fungus gnat problems allow the potting soil to dry between watering, especially the top 1 to 2 inches.  Insecticides can also be useful; check at your local garden center and be sure to follow the directions. 

For fruit flies, you can purchase fruit fly traps at the hardware store or try making your won. Construct a trap by placing a paper funnel (rolled from a sheet of notebook paper) into a jar which is then baited with a few ounces of cider vinegar. Place the jar trap(s) next to your compost collector.