Fruit Flys / Gnats?

Thread starter #1
High all. I've had my grow going for several weeks now and a week or so ago I noticed what are very, very, tiny winged critters... if I had to identify them, I'd say they were either fruit flys or gnats but that would be my best guess. They do not appear to be bothering my plants at all but a member posted to my journal that they may be doing root damage that I can't yet see!! This would be a disaster! There are many more of them today than were there last week. What can I do to rid my girls of these pests? I would have posted pictures but I doubt my camera could zoom anywhere near close enough to capture them. Thanks. :peace:
 
This does sound like Fungus Gnats, if this is the case you can create a barrier with sand over your soil. You must be proactive to rid these little buggers as they will damage your plants root systems especially in smaller younger crop. Water and feed your plants as soon as the lights come on, the reasoning behind this is so that by the time you light cycle has ended, the top portion of your soil will be dry. Fungas Gnats thrive in damp wet locations, with dry surface soil they will not find this appealing. They are also attracted to the coloyur yellow, so I recommend picking up Sticky Yellow Fly traps at your local home and garden store for a few bucks.
 
Thread starter #3
This does sound like Fungus Gnats, if this is the case you can create a barrier with sand over your soil. You must be proactive to rid these little buggers as they will damage your plants root systems especially in smaller younger crop. Water and feed your plants as soon as the lights come on, the reasoning behind this is so that by the time you light cycle has ended, the top portion of your soil will be dry. Fungas Gnats thrive in damp wet locations, with dry surface soil they will not find this appealing. They are also attracted to the coloyur yellow, so I recommend picking up Sticky Yellow Fly traps at your local home and garden store for a few bucks.
Oh man... I've been watering right before I turn the lights OFF!! Damn. That is generally when I water vegetable crops and I just made an ASSumption. :) Sand, fly strips, and watering time change.... sounds like a fairly easy fix! :thanks::peace:
 

COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
Dry soil isn't exactly healthy soil though. If you happen to be shooting for an organic type grow, there are other ways to beat fungus gnats (and any other insect that lays eggs in the soil). Neem meal (also called neem cake) and crab meal are excellent products to use in an organic IPM routine. In the soil mix, and on top. If you were to top dress with neem and crab and then an 1.5" layer of vermicompost you would see the gnats reduced down to next to nothing. I had them pretty bad and then I took this route and problem solved. It seems I will always have one or two gnats flying around but definitely managed and under control. What happens is the larva are not able to eat, die and the cycle is broken.

Here's a link for you to learn all about organic IPM if you are so inclined. Here it is from the source, which is a lot better than my stoney memory. ;)
The bulk of this stuff could be used in a synthetic grow with great results as well.

 
It's organic forest mix (bought), garden soil, and perlite. :)
Nice, I assumed it was Peat based because Fungus Gnats seem to love it. I ran into the same problem I was watering maybe a few hours before lights out due to my work schedule. Glad I could help. Remember I never said completely dry out your soil, I said top layer will by dry by the end of your light cycle. ~1.5 inches deep. :peace:
Of course you can also shoot for the green sand idea if you prefer moist soil. There are alot of solutions you can use, I simply listed the easiest that worked for me.
 

COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
Once you listen to the IPM link I posted you will have a handle on what you need to do. Not just for gnats but for all pesty bugs.
 
Thread starter #11
I checked out the site with the Neem Cake.... a small bag should be plenty to get me started. I like that. :thumb: Also, not expensive! (I really like that!) :) Until I can get some.... what would you guys think about first putting down landscaping fabric then using Kraw420's solution and putting a layer of sand on that? My thinking is that could be a good temporary solution and when the Neem cake gets here, I could simply lift off the sand layer using the landscaping fabric?? :peace:
 
I tried the perlite, didn't work for me so I didn't suggest it. Order the neem cake, and in the mean time grab the yellow fly traps to catch the adults. Will keep them at bay anyways until your cake arrives lol
 

COorganics

Member of the Month: Nov 2014
I am guessing you haven't found time to listen to the IPM link yet, you really should.
There is a little more you can do that will ensure your success. Make a mixture when u receive your neem of equal parts of neem, crab meal, and kelp meal. This is really effective (as pest control) when used globally in your soil mixes, in addition to a top dress. When you top dress cover that up with an inch layer of vermicompost or worm castings if available. Use compost otherwise. Done. Neem crab and kelp are also mellow , broad spectrum natural fertilizers. Lots of bang for your buck.

Go get 'em.
 
Agree with COorganics. :goodjob: The most recommended option is IPM. IPM is an environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment.
Well, its really hard to get rid of Fruit flies and Fungus Gnats. But few tips are-
Remove food sources attracting the flies
Properly clean areas that attract flies
Removing fruit flies already in the room or building- This easy-to-make method takes advantage of the fruit flies inability to get back up the funnel once they have gone into the jar. Drop a piece of rotten fruit into a large, clean jar.Place the jar near the greatest concentration of flies. Once they get in, they are not able to came back.