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Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

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Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby grant » Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:27 pm

Fungus gnats are driving me crazy!

I have repotted all of my plants. I washed the plants and the roots pretty thuroughly during repotting. Now, there aren't near as many fungus gnats as there used to be. But they are still hanging around. Though they make nice meals for my plants; I dont want an infestation to re-start.

I have been watering about every four to five days. Bottom watering about 2 inches of water. All of my plants have been doing well with that watering schedule so far...

But yesterday, and I'm not 100% if it has been four or five days since my last watering, one of my younger plants (my Clone B1 from carnivorousplants.com) became very emaciated and wilted. I watered all of my plants last night and a litte more this morning. So, the newer traps on the Clone B1 are popping back up now.

But what should I do? About both; my watering schedule and the fungus gnats?

Matt - you told me about a tab, or something, that I could use for fungus gnats. What was that again?
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby dionaea muscipula » Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:34 pm

i suggest you lower the water level to maybe 1 inch or less
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby bpullin » Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:46 pm

I've heard different things about fungus gnats. The adults usually are just annoying. But the baby maggots may eat on the roots.
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby grant » Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:52 pm

Matt - I remembered that you told me about the Mosquito Dunks in an PM. Here is the link you gave me: http://www.planetnatural.com/site/mosquito-dunks.html

Still, any input is appreciated :D

Fungus Gnat info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fungus_gnat
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby renesis » Sun Aug 23, 2009 8:02 pm

You can get BTi, (Bacillus thuringiensis). Its a bacteria that feeds on the fungus gnat larvae and will be harmless to the plants. You apply it with watering, and once again after a week. I think its available under a few commercial names, Gnatrol being one of them.
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby Matt » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:51 pm

grant wrote:Matt - I remembered that you told me about the Mosquito Dunks in an PM. Here is the link you gave me: http://www.planetnatural.com/site/mosquito-dunks.html

Yep, those are the things I used to get rid of my fungus gnat problem. I got them at Home Depot. I think they were less than $5. I broke off about 1/4 of one of those round dunks, smashed it up and put it in the water tray of my plants. In three weeks, no more fungus gnats!
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby grant » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:42 pm

What is your watering schedule, Matt?
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby Matt » Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:41 am

Well, it's changed a lot over the last year. If my plants were in 3.5 inch pots, I used to keep them sitting in about a half inch of water. Now I never leave them sitting in water. It takes a bit more work, but I think they're healthier for it.

What I'm doing now (after harnessing some knowledge from Steve) is watering my plants every other morning. I flood their trays with about 2 inches of water, let them set for an hour and a half or two hours, then I siphon off the water. In the winter, I'll probably knock that down to every 5 to 7 days.
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby grant » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:03 pm

hhmmm. Sounds good. It's a learning process, for sure. I really love having this hobby, but sometimes I think about throwing in the towel. But then I think about all the time, effort and money I've spent on these little plants, and I just cant bring myself to do it. Well, next summer hopefully I will see some impressive growth from my plants.
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby Adam » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:25 am

I wouldn't sweat the fungus gnats. if you really want to get rid of them, sprinkle D. capensis seeds everywhere :D
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby grant » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:15 pm

Adam wrote:I wouldn't sweat the fungus gnats. if you really want to get rid of them, sprinkle D. capensis seeds everywhere :D


:lol: thats great

I'm just worried about the larvae hurting their roots...
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby Matt » Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:22 pm

grant wrote:I'm just worried about the larvae hurting their roots...

Don't worry about that too much grant. They definitely don't hurt larger plants. I haven't really noticed them hurting my seedlings either, but it's possible that they do.
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby grant » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:30 pm

Alright. Well, I guess I just leave them be. I can always reorder new plants if they die, too. Though I'll keep a close eye on my Bohemian Garnet and Clone B1.

When the infestation was bad a few months ago I used Ortho Orthorex spray. It only seemed to kill the flying gnats. I assume there were already eggs in the soil, because they returned within a few weeks. And the spray kind of set back the growth of my plants... :? and even still after repotting all of my plants, they still managed to hang around...

I'll try keeping my plants a little on the drier side still. that might help with detering the gnats from reproducing... but if it gets bad, maybe ill try the mosquito dunks.

Thanks everyone!
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby Adam » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:54 am

letting the top of the soil dry between waterings will definitely slow their reproductive rate. I still think a bunch of D. capensis seedlings will do the trick.
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Re: Fungus gnats and watering! @#&*%$

Postby Jutty_Boy » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:21 pm

I didn't water for 2 days and the gnat nest went away ^_^ It didn't hurt my plant in anyway either so that is how i fixed me gnat problem.
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