When it comes to outdoor gnat control, it can be difficult to know what to do. In this article, we will look at how to kill fungus gnats and how to get rid of outside gnats plaguing your outside house.
The first thing to do is to ensure that you have a gnat infestation and not something that looks similar but is completely different. One of the most common misidentifications is between a gnat and a fruit fly.
However, the difference can often be seen in behaviour and small details in their appearance. For instance, gnats are often hanging very close to plants and soil. Gnats lay their young in wet soil, where they will feast on the roots of the plant, sometimes causing significant damage to the plant.
When mature, the gnat will eat the plant or sometimes bite passers-by.
In contrast, flies generally hang around rotting materials like food. Therefore, they are more likely to be around rubbish piles, bins, composts, or something similar. They tend to not rest on materials either, preferring to hover around them and lay occasionally.
Another difference is how they look. Gnats have long legs and no eyes. Flies all have a similar appearance, with large eyes.
While both have shorter lifespans, it is important to note that the 10 days that gnats live will be long enough for them to spawn the next generation.
Why is it Important to Control Lawn Gnats Australia?
Lawn gnats are not known to be a significant problem to humans. They tend to be a rather big annoyance, but to humans, they cause very little harm. Bites are very rare, usually caused by other species.
However, on plants, gnats can have a significant impact. They are known to transmit several diseases to plants that include black root rot, pythium blight, verticillium wilt, botrytis blight, and fusarium wilt. The larvae are also known to cause damage to the roots of plants, which can stunt their growth or cause them to die.
The stress of large infestations can cause plants to wilt or die as well. Therefore, even the best-kept gardens can quickly become unattractive because of the activities of gnats. And this can be annoying and costly for homeowners.
How to Get Rid of Outside Gnats
Gnats outside are a major problem. Partly because by the time that you’ve noticed them, they are already well established. You’re not just dealing with one or two individuals, you’re dealing with hundreds or even thousands.
You might need to try more than one option when you want to kill fungus gnats in your garden. These are the best options for you to consider.
Spray for Gnats Outside
There are commercially available sprays for gnats outside. These are designed to kill the gnats as they come into contact with the product. However, there are some issues. The chemicals are usually strong and they can cause damage to other wildlife.
In addition, the spray can sometimes miss individuals and all you’re doing is allowing for the process to start again. In a couple of months, the infestation can restart.
There are some homemade options as well. For example, using a mixture of dish soap, water, baking soda, and vinegar is known to be an effective gnat repellent. But it doesn’t kill the insects and you will need to regularly respray.
Check Husbandry for the Plants
One of the most important things to check is that you have the right husbandry for the plants. If you’re overwatering the plants or there is not enough drainage where they are, then you’re going to have some problems with gnats.
Fungus gnats love to be near wet soil. This is the perfect environment for the gnats to lay eggs in. It is also the perfect condition for their close cousins, the mosquito, to lay their eggs. Therefore, you should look at ways to reduce the wetness in the soil.
Reducing the amount you’re watering the plants or improving the drainage can prevent large infestations.
Another option is to add hydrogen peroxide to your plant’s water. If you mix in one part hydrogen peroxide to four parts of water, the solution can kill the larvae in the soil, but will not cause any damage to the plant.
This process needs to be repeated every week for about six to eight weeks. After this, you should notice there are no more gnats around your plant as the older generations should be too old and the larvae should all have been killed off.
There are also commercially available gnat traps. These are usually sticky traps that target all flying pests that include gnats, fruit flies, house flies, mosquitoes, and others. The sticky pads don’t cause harm to other animals normally. They are often placed high on a wall or fence.
The best location would be somewhere near where the infestation is.
The trap would need to have a new sticky pad every one to two weeks depending on the level of the infestation. Once the majority of the gnats have been killed, the replacement can sometimes be reduced to once a month, though in dry areas you might need to replace quicker because the glue will dry out.
There are also natural predators that you can encourage in your garden to take care of the gnats. These might include Hypoaspis, which are predatory mites that attack and kill the larvae of the gnats, therefore they are a natural predator.
When an infestation goes on, normally the hypoaspis will die off soon. You can buy these online as well as encourage them.
Final Word: Outdoor Gnat Control
Outdoor gnat control can be rather challenging. You must look to ensure that the infestation you have is a gnat or whether there is another best. And then you need to look for a solution. The problem is that there are so many options, which include commercial, home-made, natural, and unnatural that you need to carefully consider what is best for you.