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By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm

For the last couple of years I have really liked the thought of breeding my own Mexican Pinguicula hybrid; I have parent plants in mind and know where I can get them from, however every attempt I have made over the years of growing Pinguicula from seed to adult has failed. (Confessions of a Ping Addict!) The seeds germinate and the seedlings flourish but fungus gnat larvae eventually end up in the container and no amount of tirelessly picking them out with a toothpick saves my precious babies. With the delicate nature of Mexican Pings in particular (and due to health issues on my side) I am not willing to use chemicals with my plants.

I have tried a variety of natural methods to either deter or outright prevent the larvae from encroaching upon my baby Pings but have never had great success rates. This is likely due to the fact that I have, over the years, had an unusually high population of fungus gnat larvae in my bedroom (where my plants are kept); I have kept a variety of animals that feed on watery fruits and vegetables and the gnats would come in to feed off those, then breed in my carnivorous plant pots. I haven't kept any animals such as these for some time now and because of this the number of gnats that I have seen in my room has been reduced to a single specimen, which my smallest P. 'Weser' plants is happily devouring. (Can you see the irony?)

I think that now is the time to have another go, but I am still a little bit nervous, so was wondering what sorts of techniques/methods you employ to prevent or deter gnat larvae. It may be helpful to know that I only grow my plants on my windowsill and do not have the resources for an artificial set up. Thank you for your thoughts.
By Grey
Posts:  3255
Joined:  Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:48 pm
Hey Leathal_Traps. Thanks for the info, unfortunately I'm in the UK and would have to pay a small fortune to get this particular product imported. I'll do some research into the brand to see if it's available in the UK, but also because I'm not entirely comfortable putting stuff in the water, but as I say, I'll do some research and see if I can find out more about the components. :-)
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By nimbulan
Posts:  2076
Joined:  Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:03 pm
Mosquito bits/dunks are very benign - it's a very selective bacteria that kills mosquito larvae (and happens to kill fungus gnats as well.) The ingredient label on my bottle indicates that it is Bacillus thuringiensis ssp. israelensis, strain 144. Different strains of this species, often abbreviated BT, are also used to kill caterpillars.
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