Have you ever heard of using cinnamon for fungus gnats? The infestation of fungus gnats in your home or garden is an irritating and frustrating problem.
It is one you must deal with responsibly. Fungus gnats are small black flies and part of the Sciaridae family. You often see them flying around houseplant pots.
Problems with fungus gnats are not restricted to your garden. Dealing with them goes beyond simply researching “how to get rid of fungus gnats.”
If you bring an infested plant indoors, your other plants will risk an irritating fungus gnat infestation.
- Cinnamon To Control Fungus Gnats: A Natural Option
- Cinnamon Fungus Gnats FAQs
- What Are Fungus Gnats?
- What Damage Do Fungus Gnats Cause?
- How To Control The Fungus Gnats Pest: Other Methods
- More On Controlling Plant Pests
In this article, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about cinnamon and fungus gnats. Read on to learn more about how to use cinnamon to kill fungus gnats.
Cinnamon To Control Fungus Gnats: A Natural Option
You may wonder, does cinnamon kill fungus gnats? The answer is YES.
- Cinnamon powder is very effective when it comes to curbing fungus gnats. It is a common and readily available natural fungicide.
- It’s effective against damping off. Cinnamon powder destroys the fungus on which the larvae feed.
- The method of how to get rid of gnats in plants with cinnamon powder is simple. All you need to do is sprinkle enough cinnamon across the top layer of soil.
- Cinnamon’s power to fight fungus can effectively destroy the types of fungus usually found in rotting plants and potting soil.
Cinnamon Fungus Gnats FAQs
How Does Cinnamon Kill Gnats In Plants?
Cinnamon helps kill fungus gnats by disrupting their lifecycle. It specifically targets their larvae. Fungus is a primary food source for fungus gnats. The natural fungicidal and insecticidal compounds in cinnamon can help stop the growth of the fungus.
How Long Does It Take for Cinnamon to Kill Gnats?
There isn’t an exact timeframe for cinnamon to kill gnats; its effectiveness varies. Some sources claim cinnamon takes a few days to a week to impact fungus gnats. Others claim cinnamon works quickly.
The best advice is to observe after applying cinnamon to the soil surface. The speed of the effectiveness of cinnamon for gnats depends on your specific conditions.
What Does Cinnamon Do To Gnats?
Cinnamon doesn’t directly kill gnats. It does help keep them in check and interrupts the growth of the young larvae.
The strong smell and rough feel of cinnamon discourage adult gnats from laying eggs in the soil. Additionally, cinnamon on plants for gnats can cause the larvae to suffocate by blocking their breathing tubes.
Cinnamon’s properties show that it can be efficiently used as a preventive way to combat gnats.
How Often Should I Put Cinnamon On My Plants?
The application frequency of cinnamon on plants depends on the severity of the infestation.
As a general guideline, apply cinnamon once a week to deter fungus gnats from laying eggs in the soil. If the infestation is severe, more frequent applications or other control methods might be needed.
What Are Fungus Gnats?
Adult fungus gnats and their larvae can hurt your home garden. If you don’t deal with them, they can damage your plants fast.
The larvae cause lots of trouble. The adult gnats lay their fungus gnat eggs in the soil where your plants are growing.
Once fungus gnats hatch, the larvae will get attached to your plant roots and deprive them of nutrients.
If you have any decaying organic material (dead leaves) in your houseplant, adult gnats will find it and get attached to it.
Adult fungus gnats like to lay their eggs in moist soil. They also like moist organic matter like peat moss, wood chips, and old leaves for laying eggs in.
So, it’s very important you do not give your plants too much water.
What Damage Do Fungus Gnats Cause?
Since the larvae take away food from the plant roots, your plants might not survive.
Adult fungus gnats carry deadly fungus diseases and make you sick.
How To Control The Fungus Gnats Pest: Other Methods
These tiny, creepy bugs can hurt your plants a lot. So you need to know some tried and true methods to get rid of a fungus gnat problem. Here’s how you can get rid of these common indoor plant pests.
Some people think getting rid of gnats is harder than fruit flies. But to keep those bugs in check, you can use simple things like:
- Neem oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- Making your own vinegar traps
You don’t need a green thumb to control the gnat infestations well.
#1 – Drying Out Soil
- Lots of fungus gnats infestation happen because of too much soil moisture and overwatering of plants.
- To keep the soil dry, wait longer between the times you water your plants.
- Wait to water your plant until the top inch of the soil is dry.
- Dry soil makes it hard for gnats to live in the soil.
- Mix up the top part of the plant soil (3/4″ or 2 cm).
- Mixing up the soil will expose the eggs and larvae and dry out the soil.
- The method helps reduce the number of fungus gnat larvae, but it doesn’t fix the problem for good.
- That’s because lots of plants can’t go without water for too long.
- When you water your plant like you used to, the gnats might come back.
#2 – Sticky Traps
Another easy way to get rid of fungus gnats is totally different from using cinnamon. You can use or make sticky traps.
You can buy safe, non-toxic yellow sticky traps that help the environment and don’t cost much. Or, you can make your own traps.
Make your own trap by spreading Vaseline on a 4″ x 6″ inch cardboard.
Then, put the card flat on top of the soil in the pot. This helps catch the adult gnats as they leave the soil.
In the same way, put a sticky trap standing up in the pot to catch whiteflies and gnats flying toward the plant.
#3 – Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Another method to get rid of a fungus gnat infestation is using food-grade diatomaceous earth. This mineral dust contains tiny sharp pieces of silica that shred insects’ bodies.
Mixing diatomaceous earth with the soil on top or in your pot can even kill the fungus gnat larvae that contact it. We recommend wearing a dust mask to cover your nose and mouth when using DE.
Why? Inhaling the dust can be detrimental to your health.
#4 – Biological Controls
Here are some of the best and most effective biological controls for gnat problems.
- Make a solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. In a bowl, mix:
– 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide
– 4 parts of water
- Put the hydrogen peroxide mix to the side. Wait until the top layer of soil is completely dry.
- Once the soil is dry, spray your solution on the potting mix just like you’re watering them.
- When spraying, you might see the soil fizz or bubble up.
- Fizzing is a very normal reaction.
- The hydrogen peroxide drench is a simple, effective way to get rid of adult fungus gnats.
Related: Home Remedy for Fungus Gnats
Another effective treatment for killing adult fungus gnats is by sprinkling weak chamomile tea on the plants.
- Brew a quart of chamomile tea and then add it to a 1-gallon watering can.
- Use this chamomile tea water whenever you are giving water to the plant.
- Sprinkle it on the soil’s surface to kill the larvae and disrupt the lifecycle.
Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis
Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis, or Bti, is a kind of bacteria found in nature. It can kill different types of worms, insects, and their larvae. To learn more about Bti, read our article on using Mosquito Dunks for fungus gnats.
The specific types of Bt, H-14, or israelensis effectively kill fungus gnat larvae.
- Steinernema feltiae is the type of beneficial nematode used to kill fungus gnats.
- These worm-like creatures enter the larvae. Next, they release a bacterium lethal to the gnat.
- Cut up a potato into large pieces and put them into the soil.
- Then, after four to eight hours, take out the pieces of potato.
If the infestation is heavy, you will see the flies crawling on the potato.