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kalanchoe with tiny black gnats

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by timmy on June 04, 2004 03:47 AM
i have a potted kalanchoe indoors, and recently i have noticed quite a few very tiny black gnats... they are extremly small...

as time passes, i notice more and more on the leaves...

i have plenty of other plants closeby, but no other ones are affected...

does anyone know what these are? is there anything i can do to get rid of them?

thank you

by weezie13 on June 06, 2004 04:36 AM
Hi, I think I'm going to move this one into
the House Plant section...
I think this plant is a HP???

I"m sure some one will grab it...


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Don't forget to be kind to strangers. For some who have
done this have entertained angels without realizing it.
- Bible - Hebrews 13:2

by Will Creed on June 06, 2004 09:06 PM
Hi Tim,

If they have wings and fly, then they are fungus gnats.

Adult fungus gnats fly around and are an annoyance, but they are not harmful to people. Each gnat lives for about 5 days. The trick is to get rid of the next generation - the gnat larvae that live in the top layer of the soil. The larvae feed on decaying organic matter. Decaying pine bark in potting mixes and decaying plants roots feed the larvae.

Try to keep the soil as dry as possible. Remove all loose soil from the surface and put a light layer of coarse coir (coconut husk) or sand or diatomaceous earth on the soil surface. These substances have sharp edges that carve up the larvae. (Recent studies indicate that fine-textured peat moss also deters gnat larvae.)

Another safe technique is to place inch slices of raw potato on the surface of the soil to attarect the larvae. After a day or so, discard the slices along with the larvae inside. Repeat this until there are no more larvae in the potato.

For more serious infestations try Knock-Out Gnats to treat fungus gnats available from Gardens Alive for about $20. See

Another bio-control method is Gnat Not, a parasite that destroys gnat larvae and other soil pests. It comes on a sponge in plastic (5 weeks shelf life) that is rinsed into water and applied to the soil. For information, go to

Detection trick: Add a little water to the soil and then look very closely for tiny fungus gnat larvae swimming in the water as it pools on the surface. You need good light and good eyes to see them. If you don't, then your plant is probably gnat free.

Prevention is often the best remedy. Use sterile potting mixes that are free of bark chips. The potting mix should have ample drainage material, such as perlite so that it drains well and allows the soil to dry out frequently. Fungus gnats can nearly always be traced back to overwatering and/or poor soil quality.
by Nako on June 06, 2004 11:27 PM
that would explain how the gnats got into my house... I brught in a piece of tree bark to spoon feed my venus flytrap, cuz i didn't wana touch the icky caterpiller on the end of it >.o I'll try the sand thing. Thank you mr. Creed! I posted a pest problem in the "plants and pests" part of the forum, and no one answered >.<

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