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Flies and gnats are tiny insects that infect indoor succulent plants and prevent the plants from absorbing nutrients from the soil, thus preventing plants from growing. Mainly, the pests feed on plant roots and hide in soils. It is challenging to notice flies and gnats if you don’t inspect your succulent plants frequently.
Flies and gnats can have severe effects on the plants if not dealt with instantly. The pests are attracted by warm, dry, and moist conditions required by succulent plants for their survival. Sometimes, the flies and gnats can invade your house and find the best hiding spots to feed on your growing succulent plants.
- How to get rid of flies and gnats and flies in potted succulent plants
Signs of flies and gnats in your potted succulent plants
Plants that gnats and flies have infected are easy to identify. Once your succulent plants have been infected, they tend to change starting from the roots, leaves and stems. The following signs can help you identify if the pests have infected your succulent plants.
- Stunted growth in succulent plants
Once your succulent plants have been infected, they develop stunted growth. Succulent plants fail to absorb the nutrients required for their growth. Ensure you check your plants frequently and see if your succulent plants are increasing in size and height. If you notice that your succulent plant is not increasing anymore, check for any pests around that may have affected the plant.
- Yellowing of plant leaves
Flies and gnats feed on succulent plant nutrients, especially the root area. The absence of nutrients in the plant results in the yellowing of the leaves and even the stem. Once you examine your succulent leaf color turning from green to yellow, it means that pests have infected your plants. Yellowing of succulent plant leaves is also a sign of malnutrition in your succulent plants.
Therefore, ensure you check your plants frequently and supply adequate well-balanced nutrients to improve the health of the plants.
- Weakening of the succulent plant stem
Flies and gnats usually feed on the plant stems and extract all nutrients leaving the plant stem weak. Once you see your plant stem weakening and failing to support the whole plant, check for the presence of flies and gnats in your potted plants.
- Presence of small insects in your potted plants
While checking your plants, you may notice some small insects in your container or parts of your succulent plant. The insects can be transparent with blackheads and hides in the soil. After identifying the presence of pests, try to act immediately to prevent the pests from damaging the succulent plants further.
- Succulent plants are showing signs of stress
If you check your potted succulent plants regularly, you can identify the presence of stress in your plants. For instance, plants fail to absorb nutrients and water required for their survival. Stress can result from planting, wilting and dying off. Check the presence of pests if you discover such signs.
- General body weakening
Succulent plants that have been affected by pests like flies and gnats begin to deteriorate and weaken. Plant weakening is a sign of the presence of flies and gnats.
How to get rid of flies and gnats and flies in potted succulent plants
Despite flies and gnats adverse effects, there are different ways of getting rid of the pests. Most people prefer using natural ways of getting rid of the pests because they are easy and straightforward to implement. The steps below will help you get rid of the pests in your succulent plants.
1. Keep your soil dry
Flies and gnats survive in a moist environment; therefore, ensure you dry all soil to destroy hiding and breeding places for the flies and gnats. Also, avoid watering your plants daily and wait for some time until all pests are killed. The approximate time is around six to 9 weeks.
2. Implement a trap that will capture the flies and gnats
You can implement your trap that is sticky to attract all flies and gnats in the plant containers. First, collect all material required, such as wooden cards, wooden sticks, marking pens and oil.
Using a marking pen or color, color all sides of your card. Ensure you use a bright color such as white to allure the pests. Stick the wooden card to the wooden stick using super glue and ensure the wooden card and the wooden stick firmly attach.
Place the trap you have implemented in your container holding succulent plants. Ensure you place the trap in the best position that can attract flies and gnats. Leave the trap for some days for the pests to be attracted and move to the bait trap. You can redo the process until all pests are captured.
After the pests have been captured, you can burn them or spray them with insecticides until they all die. Dispose of the pests correctly as recommended. Secondly, you can create your trap using sweet food such as sugar. Place the sugar together with vinegar to a cup and close tightly and place the cup near potted plants with a wrap hanging. Wait for some time for the flies and gnats to be trapped.
3. Use pesticides sprays
Buy appropriate spray that can kill all pests in the potted plants. Place the pesticides in the spray bottle and spray evenly on the succulent plants and soils. You can also use water and soap if you cannot afford the insecticide at the moment. Repeat the process until all pests die.
4. Quarantine infected succulent plants
Quarantining infected succulent plants prevents pests from spreading to other plants. The method is quick, easy, and simple to apply. First, take a plastic bag or any other material you can use which will not affect succulent plant roots. Cover soil that is in the infected plants. Ensure you don’t interfere with the roots of the plants.
Sanitize your succulent plant using recommended soap and water. After sanitizing the plants, bring a new container that has the required soil. Remove the plant from the soil and wash the roots before placing it in the new container. Dispose off the container with the pests appropriately to ensure that the flies and gnats don’t return to infect the plants.
5. Spray hydrogen peroxide on the plants to kill the pests
Before using hydrogen peroxide on the soil, ensure that it is completely dry. Using a spray bottle, spray the soil surface and the whole plant to ensure all pests are killed. You can also spray deeper for more efficient results.
Frequently asked questions:
- How can I prevent my succulent plants from flies and gnats?
There are many ways to prevent flies and gnats from getting into your potted succulent plants.
- Avoid using too much water when watering plants since flies and gnats are attracted by moist and warm environments.
- Avoid using soils that have poor draining abilities. Soils such as clay soil retain a lot of water that results in too much moisture, which attracts flies and gnats.
Many pests such as gnats and flies survive in a moist and warm environment. The pests pose a danger to your succulent plants if not treated instantly. You can kill pests using the above methods. This article has described how to make your traps to kill all flies and gnats.
Finally, ensure you check your plants frequently and monitor the growth and well-being of your succulent plants. Moreover, regular checkups help you treat your plants before plants are damaged more.