Jun 072018
 

Photo by John Tann. Sourced from Wikipedia

It is the larval stage of these small flying insects that create the most havoc, but their numbers can build up to such a level that the flying gnat itself creates an unpleasant nuisance in the house. Small dark bodies with long legs and a single pair of wings, these small flying insects commonly live around a week before dying en masse, usually on your sunny windowsill just before your mother in law comes to visit.

The gnats lay their eggs (100-300 per female) in the soil. Once they hatch, the larvae feed for 8-14 days on root hairs, feeder roots, organic material, fungal material and even the tender lower stems of the pot plants. It is this stage that causes damage: sudden wilting, poor growth, loss of vigour, yellowing and leaf drop. After 1 to 2 weeks the larvae pupate for 7 days and then hatch into the adult flying gnats. Total life cycle is around 3-4 weeks.

Control

Gnat Splat is an Entomopathogenic Nematode (a nematode that kills insects) which is naturally occurring and is totally safe to humans and harmless to the environment. Applied as a soil drench it is a very safe and effective biological control agent for fungal gnats. Simply water into the soil and the nematodes will destroy the fungal gnat larvae.

Some of our staff are currently trialling Gnat Splat at home on their Indoor Plants. If these trials prove successful we will be making it available to BAAG customers. As it is a live product (with a very limited shelf life) this will only be available by special order. If you are interested in trying Gnat Splat, please contact the nursery on 8850 3030.

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