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This is a discussion on Drat those little fruit-fly-type thingies! within the Orchid Ailments / The Compost Pile forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Maura I would still hang some sticky fly papers. The less adults you have the ...
I would still hang some sticky fly papers. The less adults you have the less eggs in the medium. I have the yellow and blue sticky traps hanging all over my shade house all year round. I am amazed at what they catch. LOL the Thrips seem to think that they are quite pretty decoration 'cause they persist.
Aere you talking about moss flies ? They breed in the compost, especially but not exclusively where sphagnum is used. If so - or if they breed in the compost whatever you call them, then adding a general purpose disinfectant ( Physan - see my post on the "Fungus problem" thread currently running, as a side issue !) - is your answer. Just use in the water, maybe at 1:1000 the first time - but try reading the label first !!! - as a complete dunk, get rid of all air - then afterwards at 1:5000. Strong enough to be a deterrent, keeps everything sweet and clean..
I like how you think Connie........... fry em
Hmmm.... Now I'm in a conundrum. I'm fighting dehydration in my plants - inside, the air conditioning is doing a job on them (even with humidifiers going) and outside, the heat is drying out the catts and encyclias nearly daily (which I knowis okay for them). Is it possible that the sphagnum moss in some of my media is th culprit? Seems to me I see more around the plants that are either in sphag, or have some as part of the mix.
Geoff, very well could be what you refer to as moss gnats (the joy of "common" names).
Fungus gnats may belong to any of several fly families (families Sciaridae, Diadocidiidae, Ditomyiidae, Keroplatidae, Bolitophilidae and Mycetophilidae). But they have certain habits in common. Typically their larvae all feed on decaying organic material, fungus, or even plant rootlets (mainly root hairs). The larvae require a moist environment as they are very vulnerable to desiccation. Adults are weak fliers and short-lived. They are more of a nuisance than anything else.
Since sphag is quite water retentive, Maura, it would not be the least bit surprising that the pots with sphag as or in the mix are the ones in which you are finding the gnats and their larvae.
With any treatment, you will be looking at reapplication every couple weeks at least. All it takes is one fertilized female to start the cycle anew. Some thing like the Bt can be used with every watering if you wish ... it will not harm the plants or you and Bigfoot.
Pavel said "with any treatment you will be looking at reapplication every couple of weeks"
Quite - that is why I use Physan or a substitute in all my greenhouse water.....
As the ancient Greeks used to say - 'Nuff said" !
I've got them soaking in Physan right now - my favorite all-purpose and very effective deterrent. I think I'll try to repot the plants that have the most sphag as gently as I can (sorry, Amey - they're just going to have to get with the program and toughen up, or they're out!).
Forgot to add, as mentioned by Angela, sticky traps can be very useful for trapping the adults. Yellow ... school bus yellow to be a bit more (though not by much) recise ... is the color of choice for these critters.
You could also get some fish bowls or those gi-normous brandy snifters and stock them with sundews and butterworts planted in sphag amoungst your chids.
Okay - We had Repotting and Physan Day all day yesterday, at least for those of my plants that were heavy on sphagnum. No real medium change except to eliminate that, and everyone was handled as gently as possible. So far, no MFOs (Minute Flying Objects) in my house. I'll douse the outside plants with a very weak Physan solution today. Then I'm going to the hardware store for yellow sticky paper. Seems like a lot of work for such a pesty little critter, but I suppose viruses and fungi are even smaller.
Thank you everyone, especially Pavel, for their input. It has helped enormously. I'll try to update in a week or 2.