Fungus gnats

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by gwenn, Nov 12, 2006.

  1. gwenn

    gwenn Active Member

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    Hi,

    I have some fungus gnats on my citrus and i don't know how to get ride of it.

    I tried a basic insecticide but it didn't work.

    Does anybody have an idea?

    Moreover,some of the leaves look like somebody made a cut on them like with cissors, is that cause of bugs or dryness or something else?

    My plants are in pots inside of my apartment. I have a grappefruit tree a lemon tree and a lime tree, only six month old, growing from seed, and i have a citrus (i don't know the name) taht give small oranges, very bitter, that i bought 2 months ago. This last one is the one with the cut and dropped some fruits ans leaves.

    For the fungus gnats, i see them on the different trees.

    Thanks in advance.

    gwenn
     

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  2. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

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    I don't know about your leaves, but gnats are the easiest pest to get rid of. Just water less. They only breed in the top area of the soil. They need water to do this. So, just let the top inch of the soil dry out between waterings. Don't worry, the lower part of the soil will have lots of water.

    M.
     
  3. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The small sour/bitter citrus is probably a variety called Calamondin. If it is a Calamondin, the fruit will get just a little larger than a marble. They turn yellow and will have 2 or three seeds per fruit. Calamondin are usually eaten when the fruit is just beginning to turn color. Also the little brown inspect on the surface of the leaf in the second picture of the top row is an insect called scale. Scale are sucking insects that suck the juices from the leaves. Scale on citrus are very common, and will show up from time to time. You can smash them with your fingers or spray the plant with a forceful water spray to remove them. The will also get on the branches and trunk, so look for them. I would not worry much about the cuts in the leaves. Take care. - Millet
     
  4. gwenn

    gwenn Active Member

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    I thought like you and left the soil being really dry between watering but they are still there, so... I don't know.
    Thanks anyway.

    gwenn
     
  5. gwenn

    gwenn Active Member

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    My plants are inside plants ans i'm concern about the dryness, what can i do against that? Is vaporising some water on the trees (leaves and trunk) a good idea?

    Is there anything else i should do?
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Fungus gnats do not pose a problem unless there is a large number of them. I wouldn't worry too much.

    The leaf damage could just be from physical contact - it looks like it anyway. I suggest you purchase a hygrometer to determine the relative humidity of the air. Money well spent to remove the guesswork.

    Are the Christmas lights really necessary? Typical indoor temperatures don't reach the point where citrus go dormant. And if you indeed have lower humidity levels, wouldn't the rising heat and its drying effect just exacerbate the problem?
     
  7. gwenn

    gwenn Active Member

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    Hi,

    The chrimast lights were an advise from another forumeur... but you might be right.

    If I buy an hygrometer and it show the humidity is too low, what are the solutions to bring some humidity in the room?
     
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The lights may be of use in an unheated room adjoining the exterior of the building. It comes down to a matter of creating the proper balance in conditions to suit the tree in accordance with whether dormancy is desired or not.

    A humidifier could be used to increase the humidity in the air. However be aware that these devices need to be cleaned regularly (once every few days, I believe) in order to avoid bacterial contamination. Water filled pebble trays can also be used but are less effective. IMO, periodic spritzing with a sprayer is ineffective as the resulting humidity is very short-lived.
     
  9. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hello:

    Are you kidding me? - fungus gnats eat roots and otherwise disturb happy plants! My plants completely stop growing until I rid them. I use cinnamon (a natural anti-fungus remedy) sprinkled on top of the soil. Also, a spray bottle filled with a bit of dishsoap and water, will kill them on the spot! The cinnamon trick works great - they'll take a hike. They multiply like crazy, so get rid of them as soon as you notice them!
     
  10. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Fungus gnats commonly damage plants. Larvae of these flies feed on roots, thus stunting plant growth. Root damage can occur *if* high populations infest moist, organic-rich soil. Most of a fungus gnats life span is spent as larvae and pupae in the soil, so most control methods target the immature stages, not the mobile and short-lived adults. Hollyberry Lady says cinnamon deters the adult fly, I don't know anything about using cinnamon, so I don't know if it is effective or not, but I don't think cinnamon would do much to control the larvae in the soil. Most any chemical soil drench obtains quick control. - Millet
     
  11. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Since I've been using the cinnamon - the gnats have gone the way of the wind! It worked for me, Gwenn. You can even sprinkle some of the leaves with the cinnamon too.
     
  12. Therion

    Therion Member

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    I think the point of the cinnamon is that it controls the fungus the gnat larvae feed on. Ie. it does not directly affect the fungus gnats, only their food source. Makes sense. I'm having a bit of a gnat problem in my Christmas Cactus right now. I think I will give the cinnamon a try. Thanks for the recommendation.
     
  13. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hello Therion:

    Oh but it does directly affect the fungus gnats! When I first sprinkled the cinnamon on the soil, all these gnats started crawling on the soil trying to get away. I watched a bunch of them take a few steps, then fall down dead! It kills them, if it gets directly on them. The ones flying around in the air will not return to the soil, now ladened with cinnamon, so you can get them with a spray bottle filled with water and dishsoap. I had a huge gnat problem - now I haven't seen even one, in a long time! You're welcome for the tip.
     
  14. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    If the remark is directed at me, my answer to qwenn was qualified.
    I have not come across any documents that recommend the use of cinnamon for controlling fungus gnats so I'm somewhat skeptical. Having said that perhaps its antifungal and antibacterial properties have an effect on the soil chemistry, making it less favorable to the larvae. In any case cinnamon's relative high cost would preclude its use on but a small number of plants.


    I think the presence of fungus gnats is a symptom of less than ideal cultural conditions. Improvements in that area would, if not eliminate fungus gnats, greatly reduce their populations, likely to the point where other control measures become unnecessary. [The goal of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) is to reduce pest populations to a tolerable level.]
     
  15. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hello!

    I don't come on this Forum to argue with other people's experiences - I just share what has worked for me. In London, fungus gnats are everywhere - even if you don't have plants, they come inside, in the fall especially. Fungus gnats multiply so quickly, that even if you just have a few, the problem will be tripled in no time flat. Get rid of them altogether!

    If you buy it in the right place, cinnamon is not expensive at all - I pay $4.97 for a big 560 g bottle at "No Frills"! It does over 50 pots, and I still have lots leftover!

    Some of the best natural remedies and eliminators I have ever come across, will not often be found in any documents or books - tips like these come from great-grandmothers and grandfathers, who have more garden wisdom than any of the books I've ever read!
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  16. aesir22

    aesir22 Active Member

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    Cinnamon is used widely in the alternative therapy world for fungal problems. I don't know how it would affect plants or animals though, so not sure how well the treatments work on fungus gnats. Maybe a couple of members could try at some point if they have to and see how it turns out?

    As for gnat problems...well, they are the bane of my life lol! I let my citrus dry out slightly before watering, as we all should, but they all get watered at different stages, so while some soil surfaces are dry, others are freshly watered. I hear some people don't have the gnat problem when they use soil-less mixes, like chc and others variations.

    Me, I use the good old fashioned method. I bought some of those sticky tape things. They are really bright yellow - a colour the gnats adore - and are highly sticky. The little creepers love it, and it banishes the problem for me when an outbreak occurs. It's also environmentally friendly, cheap, and preferable to pouring chemicals into the potting mix :)
     
  17. aesir22

    aesir22 Active Member

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    Posted at the same time there hollyberry lady :) You are correct in that there are a lot of alternative methods passed down from other generations that are really good. I know of a few sprays that, though I haven't tried, are meant to be effective pest repellents and treatments.

    On the other hand, though, do remember that resistance is a natural form of evolution. What would kill some pests fifty years ago may not kill the newer generations. Which I know from working in pharmacy lol half of the products for headlice don't work anymore as the lice built up resistance over time to the chemicals lol.
     
  18. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hello:

    I do use soil-less mix, but it never stopped the gnat problem for me. The cinnamon trick works well for me, and I intend on continuing to use it. The gnats are gone!
     
  19. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Please explain how anyone involved in this discussion has been argumentative.
     
  20. aesir22

    aesir22 Active Member

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    If the cinnamon works for you to keep them away, thats great. But people might want to know more about how and why it works, as well as some further evidence, before trying it themselves. Doesn't question your theory, and not suggesting you stop or anything, but I for one would like to know more about how and why and see more evidence suggesting it before I tried it.
     
  21. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hello aesir22:

    Of course, you have a right to investigate something before you use it - to each their own. I was just sharing my experience - that's all!
     
  22. MickiS

    MickiS Active Member

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    thanks for the advice Hollyberry Lady. I will try the cinnamon the next time I over water and have a gnat problem. I recently read that covering the surface of the soil with an inch of sand stops gnats from breeding. I would think one should also cut back on the watering as well. I haven't tried this out yet.
     
  23. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hi MickiS!

    Well, for me, I cannot cut back on the watering because I grow vegetables and flowers in sunny windows, that are very demanding for water - even in the winter. I did try the sand trick a couple years back, but I hated the look of it! Everyone has their own way of doing things, so use whatever method you feel will work best for you.
     
  24. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Well, I'm interested enough to give it a try. I have a flat of Piñon Pine seeds that I am germinating, that have fungus gnats. I will apply Cinnamon in the morning and report back. - Millet
     
  25. The Hollyberry Lady

    The Hollyberry Lady New Member

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    Hello Millet!

    Well, it might take more than one application to rid them entirely, plus some will escape into the air. I am worried about the cinnamon affecting the seedlings - I use only on full grown plants. Use at your own risk on seedlings, or germinating plants! I am generous with my sprinklings too.
     

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