Tiny black flies or gnats that you have seen are hanging around the outside plants or seedling trays. Usually, they are harmless for humans or plants, but their larvae are mainly fed on organic material. That means larvae can cause damage to the roots of the plant.
They don’t create any nuisance, but if the infestation is way more than expected, then you have to take immediate action to get rid of these flies because, as a group, they can carry harmful bacteria from their habitat and transmit them to humans.
So, if you want to know more about this pest, learn how to deal with their infestation or prevent them from infesting your house once again. Then you have come to the right place, and here you will find everything that you need to know about these black flies.
Let’s start now!
What Are Tiny Black Flies On Outdoor Plants?
These tiny black flies are fungus gnats, which are often confused with fruit flies. You should know that a fungus gnat has a smaller body compared to a fruit fly. These black gnats are attracted to decaying organic material, which is a perfect place for laying their eggs because it provides them with a moist place and a constant supply of food.
After three days, the gnat eggs hatch into larvae and feed on organic material available inside the soil. They can even strip the roots to feed on and grow. Once they are adults, they will find their way out, searching for a new place to procreate and grow.
Where Do Tiny Black Flies Come From?
Several factors could be the reason why these gnats are infesting your areas. First, you should know that they love moist soil because it provides a perfect breeding place for them. Other regions are like pot liners or containers, or places with standing water like open bottles of beverages, sinks, etc. They are likely to enter your house from open doors or windows, searching for breeding places and organic material to feed on.
What Are Tiny Black Flies Attracted To On Outdoor Plants?
As discussed above, the gnats are attracted to decaying organic matter such as leaf husks, dead leaves, fungus, etc., and moist places like sinks, potted plants, drains, etc. They even like to hang around light sources like lamps, windows, and other light fixtures.
How To Get Rid Of Tiny Black Flies On Outdoor Plants
To get rid of these tiny black flies on outdoor plants, you can use natural remedies available at your home or combine several methods to improve the effectiveness of killing these tiny black flies. So, here is a list of proven methods that you can use to eliminate tiny black gnats.
Let The Soil Dry
As discussed above, moist places are perfect for breeding, such as potting plants or overwatered plants. So, to prevent them from growing around your plants, you should let the soil dry completely before watering the plant again. It will help in killing most of the larvae and eggs.
Remove Dead Leaves
If you notice any dead leaves or other debris inside the container or in the soil, ensure to remove it. As you know, dead or decaying organic matter is a perfect food source for feeding their larvae.
Remove The Upper Soil Layer
Once you think that the larvae are completely dead, you should remove the upper layer of soil to ensure other eggs are removed and prevent them from hatching again. It would be better for you to replace the upper layer with soils that drain quickly.
Vinegar Or Beer
These gnats are attracted to vinegar or beer, and you can place a jar halfway filled with beer or apple cider vinegar near the infestation. Ensure to place a plastic cover over the jar’s opening and poke some holes to let the gnats inside the jar.
Gnats are likely to enter the jar to drink the vinegar or beer and fall inside the solution. You should repeat the process until there are fewer or no gnats inside the jar.
How To Get Rid Of Tiny Black Flies On Inside Plants
For those gnats hovering around the plants inside your house, you should consider the following methods to get rid of these pests.
Place A Potato Slice To Lure Larvae
As these gnats grow into adults, they need a stronger food source to feed on than the plant roots. That means if you place potato slices over the soil, it will help in luring more larvae towards the strongest food sources. Then you can dispose of them, and you have to repeat the process until there are no larvae left.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide
First, let the soil dry out, and before watering the plant again, you need to add 1/3 of hydrogen peroxide to ⅔ water. After making a diluted solution and pouring it over the soil, it will kill the eggs and larvae. You can find hydrogen peroxide at the nearest drugstore.
Yellow Sticky Traps
Sticky traps are the most effective home remedy for getting rid of these tiny black gnats hanging around your home. All you have to do is place it over the infested areas. Then, whenever a gnat takes a flight on the yellow sticky traps, it will get stuck there.
How To Prevent Tiny Black Flies Infestation On Outdoor Plants
There are several measures that you can take to prevent future infestation for these gnats. Some of them are as follows.
- You should not over-water your plant, which means let them dry out between the watering regime.
- It would be best to remove dead leaves, debris, steam, or any other organic matter lying around the soil.
- You should replace the upper layer of soil with sand because the water will pour inside the pot faster and prevent these gnats from laying their eggs on the sand.
Now you know how to deal with these tiny black flies, so if you are sensing any infestation around your house, you should take preventive measures to get rid of them.