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Drat those little fruit-fly-type thingies!

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; I know there's a name for them - gnats of some type - and I ...

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  1. #1
    mauraec's Avatar
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    Default Drat those little fruit-fly-type thingies!

    I know there's a name for them - gnats of some type - and I would include a photo if I had a microscopic lens and could get one of them to pose for me, but I don't....

    So, I'm talking about these tiny little flies - that really do fly - and kind of buzz around the top of the medium, and, like fruit flies, drop dead all over the shelf on a daily basis. I think I've read that they're not particularly harmful to the plant, but I'm not sure, and I despise them anyway. I have also read, I think, that they lay their eggs in the medium, which is why yellow sticky-paper doesn't get rid of them.

    I have insecticided my plants a few times and it gets rid of them for a little while, but they always come back, and I don't want to have to use insecticide every time I water my plants.

    By the way, I don't think I'm overwatering - if anything, my plants are drying out so fast I can hardly keep up with them.

    Anyone have any solutions or similar experiences?

    Thanks.

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    They are fungus gnats...I have had problems with them as well. I don't remember who suggested it, but mosquito dunks will help out.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    Spraying them with alcohol I think helps. I also recently purchased two things that look like tennis racquets you put batteries in. You push a button and fry the little buggers when they touch the surface of the racquet. I take great pleasure in zapping the mosquito's out back as well. lol

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    Oh, thank you, thank you.....! Okay - can y'all PM me with the details? I have no idea what "mosquito dunks" are, by the way, although I suppose I should - it's not like they're a rare occurrence.

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    Mosquito dunks are the tablet type things you can get at box stores to control mosquitos in garden ponds.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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    Mosquito dunks contain Bt -- Bacteria thuringiensis. Mosquito dunks area easily found in BBS in their pesticide/herbicide section. (Bt can also be purchased in liquid form but that would likely take some serious searching. Said liquids would be far more expensive than the dunks but that is because you are getting far far more bacteria in the bottle.) The dunks are tan/beige colored, approx 2" in diameter and donut shaped. They contain a great deal of inert matter which causes the dunks to float.

    For your needs the following would likey suffice. Put a quarter of a dunk in a gallon of water and let sit for several days to a week. On "watering day" decant and use in a ratio of 1C solution per 1/2G water to water your plants. NOTE: You will NOT see instant results. The bacteria kill the larvae not the adults or those pupating.

    Btw, for those interested, Bt is also used in gardens to kill off caterpillars.

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    Thank, Paul. How long do you think this treatment would last? My insecticiding seems to kill them for 2-3 weeks at a time, but then they keep coming back.

    I wonder about the name "fungus gnats" - does this mean that there is a fungus underlying all this gnat activity? Should I be fungiciding as well?

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    The presence of the gnats doesn't necessarily indicate the presence of fungus. They are more a sign that conditions are favorable for fungus to grow. They need a moist environment to thrive. I get them occasionally in my stanhopea and bulbo baskets. When I see them, I let my plants dry out a little more than normal.Posted via Mobile Device

  9. #9
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    Thanks, once again, Jason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cakedaddy View Post
    The presence of the gnats doesn't necessarily indicate the presence of fungus. They are more a sign that conditions are favorable for fungus to grow. They need a moist environment to thrive. I get them occasionally in my stanhopea and bulbo baskets. When I see them, I let my plants dry out a little more than normal.Posted via Mobile Device
    This is what I was going to say. Your conditions might be a bit too wet.

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