Gnats in my Gardenia plant

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Gnats in my Gardenia plant

Postby Peregrine » Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:26 pm

Wasn't sure where to post this so I stuck it in here, as there seems to be some good gardening tips in here.

So here's the dealio with my indoor plants, particularly my Gardenia. When I replanted al my plants in the summer & put them in bigger pots, I used an organic soilless potting mix, made up of Sphagnum peat moss, composted bark fines & vermiculite.

But I found there were gnats in the soil afterwards & they've taken a particular liking to my Gardenia. It seems they've taken it over & it's looking rather sickly. My other plants aren't doing that great either & I'm wondering if any of you green thumbs out there may offer some advice?
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Postby lightningBugout » Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:41 pm

Set a small dish full of beer (guinness works well) in the soil. You can add extra sugar / syrup or honey to it if you like. And let sit for 48 hrs or so. Most of the gnats will drown themselves.

Old-time fly paper strips coated with a thin layer of fruit juice work very well to decimate a bunch of gnats fast. I like to smear a bit of ripe banana on the strip. Works very well.
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Postby chiggerbit » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:14 pm

Do you think they might be hatching from the soil? You might try sprinkling some diamotaceous earth over the soil, mix it in a bit, and see if that works.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth

...Pest control

Diatomite is also used as an insecticide, due to its physico-sorptive properties. The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects' exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate. Arthropods die as a result of the water pressure deficiency, based on Fick's law of diffusion. This also works against gastropods and is commonly employed in gardening to defeat slugs. However, since slugs inhabit humid environments, efficacy is very low. It is sometimes mixed with an attractant or other additives to increase its effectiveness. Medical-grade diatomite is sometimes used to de-worm both animals and humans. It is most commonly used in lieu of boric acid, and can be used to help control and eventually eliminate a cockroach infestation. This material has wide application for insect control in grain storage.....
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Postby Peregrine » Fri Dec 04, 2009 2:38 pm

Hmmm, both great suggestions. I'm gonna try the beer one first, see if that helps, but I have a feeling they're buried right in the soil & possibly damaging the roots. I think the soilless mix was infested to begin with because when I opened the bag after I had potted all my plants, a couple gnats flew out.

Thanks you two!
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Postby chiggerbit » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:17 pm

Actually, the impression I had before reading the wiki was that the diamotaceous earth shredded the hide of the buggers, due to its abrasive qualitites.
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Postby chiggerbit » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:20 pm

Also, next time consider baking the soil at low temp for awhile before using it. Can't remember the recommended temp, but maybe 225 or so.
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Postby lightningBugout » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:39 pm

Great tips Chig. Thanks.
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Postby chiggerbit » Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:03 pm

It might not hurt to know for sure what the things are. I'm not so sure the diatomaceous earth will work, especially if the lifesycle of whatever it is isn't actually in the soil, but on the plant. Are they actually whiteflies, by chance? If they're what I think, they're about the same size as gnats, but white.

http://extension.missouri.edu/publicati ... px?P=G7275
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Postby lightningBugout » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:56 am

Any unusual tips on organic solutions to the problem of ants in the kitchen? Boric acid is not doing the trick.
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Postby chiggerbit » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:51 pm

Where did you put the boric acid?
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Postby Peregrine » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:30 pm

chiggerbit wrote: Are they actually whiteflies, by chance? If they're what I think, they're about the same size as gnats, but white.


No, they're little tiny black flies. Did try the honney/beer combo, not one drowned gnat. Bah. I did notice, however, that when I was misting my plants, there was webbing around the leaves. Spider mites, too, maybe? My other plants don't seem to be affected though, just my gardenia. It's also lost quite a few leaves.
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