Monday, August 18, 2008

Dark-winged fungus gnats

Vermicompost with flytrap in their natural environment (I didn't use the flash due to low battery when I took this photo - I haven't soften it to make vermicomposting romantic ;) ).

Bummer! The other week I tried to show my son the worms in the vermicompost - of course with the evil plan to introduce him to recycling and the circle of life. I mean: worms seems to be an important part of boys' childhood, he could hardly find them repulsive.

And he was ok with the worms. It was the CLOUD of fungus gnats he didn't like. He found himself some important thing to do in another room, and I was left alone with the composting chore. I was warned that vermicompost would bring out flies, and now I could see the result of not putting up fly-traps in time.

The gnats thrive among my plants too, and I've added a hunting session to my daily routine. Every gnat I find is killed on the spot. This wont make my home completely free from the pest, I'm aiming for a substantial decimation of the population. I don't want to use pesticides, we live here ourselves and I feel sick every time I step into a room where spray has been used. Nemablom, an insecticide containing nematodes, is under consideration, but I won't use it untill I know if this kind eats other larvae and worms too. If they infect worms they're not much use in a vermicompost...

There are a few advantages. Crushed fungus gnats (which I think sometimes are refered to as fruitflies even in english language - this is a common mixup in Sweden at least) smells good. Some smells faintly of musk, others like sea- and lemon scented cleaning agents. This sometimes work the other way around, I know elders that can't stand the smell of modern cleaning agents since they associate it with fungus gnats. For my own part I focus on the positive side - and wash my hands afterwards.


Whitney said...

Hi, I have been totally enjoying your reading about your experiences with indoor gardening. I too have had a ffruit fly problem in the past and found this very helpful

I tried several of the different solutions they offered but the one that really worked best for me was #4 - the funnel trap. I used apple juice and sweet white wine in my traps and caught sooo many of those little buggers.

Rosengeranium said...

Thanks! Great tip! This is exactly what I need.