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Posted 8M ago by @Katy410

Gnats.. how to get rid of them?
I’ve noticed little gnats flying around. I loved Betsy to a room by herself to isolate her and let her dry out hoping to dry out the larvae and kill them off that way. What else should I do?

I don’t think I have overwatered this plant so I’m a little concerned on how she got gnats. 🙁 I have been trying really hard to let my plants dry out and not overwater them as I know I did overwater a bit at first. #plantpests #NewPlantMom #PestControl
6” pot with drainage
Last watered 2 weeks ago
Sprinkle some cinnamon on the soil. Or I spray Dawn dish detergent on mine.
I use sticky traps for the adult ones and systemic granules for the ones in the soil
@Katy410 I agree with @AMG and @SkilledBeans Just be careful using the dawn dish soap as it’s a very good at removing grease but can damaging on some more sensitive leaves by removing the natural coating that the plants produce. Dr bronner’s peppermint soap is really good as a insecticide soap.
one creative solution I heard is using very fine sand as a top soil. The gnats can't penetrate it.
How to Treat Common Pests
◦ Mealybugs can be treated by pruning, and dabbing a rubbing alcohol soaked cotton swab on the infested areas.
◦ Spider mites are first treated by pruning infested areas before spraying the leaves with neem oil diluted in water.
◦ Scale, if treating small infestations, responds well to pruning and rubbing alcohol. For larger infestations, you’ll likely need to discard your plant.
◦ Thrips can be treated by pruning and a diluted neem oil treatment.

What To Do if your Plant Has Erwinia Blight Disease
Erwinia Blight Disease is much easier to prevent than it is to cure. It’s a bacterial infection that causes wet, transparent mushy looking patches on the plant.
It starts just below soil level and creeps up to the stems and if left unchecked will cause wet lesions on the leaves.
Erwinia is serious disease that can kill your philodendron in days. It’s caused by too much overwatering from overhead (this is one reason I recommend you don’t mist the leaves).
Prune the infected leaves, change the potting mix, minimize watering applications, and allow spacing in between plants for rapid drying of leaves. Unfortunately, bactericides have been shown to be ineffective against erwinia blight.
If the disease has spread to lots of leaves or many parts of the stem, it’s likely it’s incurable.

Foliage Pesticide Spray
1. Mix equal parts 3% hydrogen peroxide and distilled water.
2. Use a spray bottle to thoroughly soak the infected plants. Make sure to get the undersides of the leaves.
3. Spray once a week or after it rains. Hydrogen peroxide both treats and further prevents pest infestation.
This weaker solution will prevent damage to the leaves but is effective as a general insecticide. I've found that it is effective against a variety of mites and aphids.
Because it also has fungicidal properties, one may find it as a possible solution to mildew and fungus outbreaks.

Treating Black Leaf Spot Fungus

Baking Soda and Water
If you don’t want to use chemical fungicides, try spraying your plants with a bicarbonate solution:
• Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 quart of water. Spray plants thoroughly, as the solution will only kill fungus that it comes into contact with. You can also add a teaspoon or less of neem oil to help it stick to the leaf better.

The plant might have leaf spot disease
If your plant’s leaves have small brown spots trimmed in yellow, this could be a sign that it has leaf spot disease, which is a fungus or bacteria that feeds on the leaves. If this is the case, don’t start planning a plant funeral just yet. This problem is treatable. It is best to immediately remove the affected leaves and isolate the plant from your other greenery for a bit. 
“To treat leaf spot disease, put a tablespoon or two of baking soda and a teaspoon or two of mineral oil in a spray bottle of water. Shake the solution well and then spray all areas of the plant that are infected with brown spots. It may take a couple of applications before the bacteria is totally gone.

Water Treatment
For a general water treatment and dechlorinator, mix one tablespoon hydrogen peroxide for every gallon of water used.
The hydrogen peroxide acts instantly to drive out chlorine, excess iron and sulfates.
A Word of Warning
You'll be pleasantly surprised with the effectiveness of hydrogen peroxide for plants! My one word of caution is to avoid using it in the soil too often. Since it will easily rid your soil of harmful pests, it can also take its toll on beneficial soil organisms. So, use it wisely and only treat when an infection or rot has been confirmed.
@Katy410 also Neem oil will control that.
If you’re interested in a more natural route to manage/kill fungus gnats, I’ve had good success applying Steinernema feltiae (beneficial nematodes) to my soil. If you’ve used systemics or other sprays you wouldn’t want to go this route though as they would also kill the nematodes.
I use a three step system. mosquito bits I let them soak in water and water my plants with it plus a secon punch by adding systemic granuals and finish the adults by using yellow sticky paper
@SkilledBeans @UberZelkova I’m trying cinnamon first as I already have some on hand. Does this actually kill the gnats, or just discourage them? I’ve already seen fewer of them since I sprinkled some around on the top of the soil.
@JessaBurra that’s cool!
@KikisOasis I keep hearing about neem oil, I’ll definitely have to get some. Would I just wipe some on the leaves? Or would it be okay to put in the soil since that is where the larvae are?
@UberZelkova aha! Thanks!
@Katy410 I use Neem oil all the time for gnats. It’s works like a charm.
@Katy410 just use that list I posted for other issues.
@KikisOasis thanks!
I went the nematode route with great success.

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