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Homeade Gnat Traps


peacefulfield
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 Hey everyone I have searched the forum for gnat traps and I didn't really see anything. This being said I have the worst Fungus Gnats outbreak I have ever seen!!! I have pyritherin bombed them, drowned them sprayed them sticky taped them, Burned them on bulbs, & old fashioned swatted them...

 

  I read about some Gnat traps online that involve Vinegar or fruit & dish soap in a bucket of water. Which I'm trying now... Has anyone used any traps that work??? I have yet to try the sand on top... 

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Yeah me too, but I have gone threw about 8-10 of them in 2 weeks time in a 7x7x7 room.. This is unreal like the plaque... Yet my plants are healthy as can be... I was thinking of using sand on top but my soil pots look like net pots so they will just go threw the holes. I have thought about wrapping pots in trash bags but then my roots can't breath.  HELP........ MY mistake was using Cocoa Shell Mulch which I never tried in pots and never will again. I got dung flies as well but I killed all of those with bomb...

Edited by peacefulfield
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I have been using the apple cider vinegar in a clear bottle with a baggie covering the top with holes poked in the baggies so when they fly in they get stuck and die..(I say apple vinegar, because the reg clear vinegar didn't seem to catch any vrs the 20 the apple did)

I just took a empty water bottles and chopped the top off and made it about 3-4in tall with a inch or so of vinegar, it catches about 15-30 a day... now if I can figure out how to stop them from continuing to come back, I catch them then the next day they just seem to come back..

Good luck..

Trix
:bong2:

 

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Dry about a half cup of habanero peppers and grind them to a fine powder in a blender or coffee grinder. Be careful not to get the stuff in your eyes and wash your hands thoroughly. Cover with a cup of water and simmer for about fifteen minutes. Costs a couple of bucks. Add a drop or two per gallon of water when you feed or as your hydro system requires. Gnats hate the stuff. Putting up a couple of sticky yellow traps is a nice touch along with that.

Edited by GregS
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OK I'm going to go and get some playground sand from the store... This is getting way outta hand... I'm not sure what kind of bugs these are but I have maybe 1,000+ today. I'm going to cover the top with sand and wrap trash bags around the pots because I have 7 gallon net pots with holes... I knew about sand for a long time but I never had to use it... Well I have to use it now...

 

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I saw a similar method, but in the top sand layer the poster had sunken some shallow cups of coffee, and the bugs were attracted to and drowned in the coffee.

OK I'm going to go and get some playground sand from the store... This is getting way outta hand... I'm not sure what kind of bugs these are but I have maybe 1,000+ today. I'm going to cover the top with sand and wrap trash bags around the pots because I have 7 gallon net pots with holes... I knew about sand for a long time but I never had to use it... Well I have to use it now...

 

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Buy mosquito dunks from Home Depot. Break into 4 equal size pieces and soak one of the pieces in 2 liters of water for 24 hours. Strain the dunk mixture with a medium to fine screen and put into a spray bottle. Spray the top of your medium daily for 7-10 days and Bam.... no more gnats! Fly paper only treats the symptoms, you must kill the breeding grounds below the medium surface. Mosquito Dunk solution will not hurt your plants. Concentrated coffee and sugar in a small bowl placed at the plant base works as good or better than fly paper., again just a symptom treatment. Use the dunks, they work as a real cure to the root of the problem.

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You know I bought Predatory nematodes a week ago & I have not seen any improvement yet as far as that goes.. What do they look like can you  see them? Anyway I have wrapped my Pots in Trash bags because they are the 7Gal net pot style soil pots. Then I put sand on top. Just when I'm thinking I'm winning the war more appear. So maybe on to Mosquito Dunks? I have spent more money on these pests than anything I have ever encountered. At this point I wish I just had mites would of been cheaper to get a jug of wipe out or mighty wash and been done with this chaos...

 
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push your large plants through flower, remove spent soil from area. concentrate on your next generation w the dunks in your veg. It takes a bit for them to really work. break them up and let them soak in your main resevior. find white play sand that bubbles the least when you add vinegar (it may have tons of calcium if you see lots of bubbling). this essentially 'glass-mulch' will make watering a little trickier. always hang ylw sticky traps.

 

I like Gregs habanero pepper idea as all pests don't like it.

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Seeing that they are contained in trash bags. I was thinking of hitting the bags with Pyretherin spray or something that will kill them while confined in bags. I think the life cycle is about 7-10 days eggs to fly. So I'm going on that with bags...  I've even been using a wet vac with water & soap in it & suck them out of room. But the labor & cost is getting intense... Lesson learned here >NEVER USE ANY MULCH< as a mix... Unless you personally heat treat it...

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Sand is an ok mulch/top dressing. your pyrethrum idea will knock em down a bunch for sure. Do the other stuff and you'll be in good shape going into winter when it really counts.

 

you can also mix diatomaceous earth in the future. Im also adding crab shell to attract benefials that eat buggers.

Edited by abe supercro
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You won't see the nematodes unless you look with a microscope. Any chemical treatments will kill them off. Same with residue left on top of your medium from the chems. The nematodes and mosquito dunks will both work at killing the larva not the adults. The nematodes should have included instructions for releasing them, those need to be followed for the most effective release.

 

The problem with diatomaceous earth is that once it's wet it's no longer effective. It begins to break down.

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The nematodes are basically dormant when you receive them, They take a couple hours to wake up and get active. During that time they are sensitive to light and heat. Best to release them at lights off. Like Abe said you can see them with a microscope.

 

DE is crushed shells from shell fish. Once it gets wet it clumps and begins breaking down. It is a good source of calcium as it breaks down. On top of soil it will form a hard surface layer that I assume would make it hard for the bugs to get out.

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i usually have pretty good luck dealing with gnats so i'd be happy to share. 

 

if your using fox farm soil, i would suggest switching. that and several others i've always had bad gnats problems with. i would see the buzzing around the stack of fox farm at hydro shops. i've had good luck with the stuff otherwise, but the gnats got to me bad. if you have them bad enough and have the same plants around for a long time like mothers or revegged plants, they can be a lot harder to get rid of. if you keep on them, you can keep them down to a minimum. i've been pretty good at keeping them at bay, but once in a while i see them come back. i suspect either hidden in a mother plant or they can even really just fly in through the window and nest. it just takes 1 sac of eggs to be laid. roots organic and amazon bloom are other ones that was loaded with gnats. this could have been from soil being improperly stored at the shops though. i dont really like to talk bad about these soils as i think they are great for outdoors. i cant say where the gnats are coming from, but the same soils always seem to have them.

 

anyway heres what i do. use a good soil that has a reputation to be gnat free. i use sunshine mix pro #4 and i never see gnats in the soil anymore. fertilome is another good one i've used in the past. there is another one but i cant think of the name for some reason. 

 

first do some research on the net on fungus gnats and about them. here is a brief overview off the top of my head. gnats like the top layer of soil. they lay a lot of eggs, become larva which are like these little tiny white worms almost microscopic. they they grow into nymph stage. they sort of resemble a mite but are not mites(mites are arachnids, gnats are insects). if you do hydro and have a problem this is the stage they are most plentiful in. they get all over the roots and stick on them like ticks. the next stage is adult and they grow wings. the fly, have sex, make eggs, then make more of the c0cksuckers. they are weak fliers but still get around just fine. they have a very short life span which is why it is such a problem. it's nearly impossible to kill all the eggs and every last one. as soon as you get rid of them a new cycle is always starting. it can get really tough with soil. 

 

get rid of your top layer of soil. throw it in the garbage and seal it so the gnats dont fly out or throw it outside. get some fertilome fruit tree spray. its about $20 for a 16 ounce bottle. its concentrate and you mix 1 ounce per gallon of water. its pyrethrins, peperonyl butoxide, and neem extract. i prefer to mix it and use in a pump sprayer. spray the soil of every plant after you remove the soil. saturate it pretty good. too much can stress your plants. do not spray your plants leaves or buds because fungus gnats are in the soil. if they are on the leaves or buds they are either going to be dead from being stuck in the crystals or just landing for a while. they do not live in the buds or leaves so you dont need to spray. however if you have spider mites you may be able to use it on the leaves and buds but i never tried it for spider mites. i cant say if its safe for leaves/buds. to be honest i never have spider mites anymore because i stopped taking in plants from people. ever since doing everything on my own from seeds, mothers, clones, no outsiders, no more mites. do not use this around reptiles, amphibians, fish, or feline pets. pyrethrins can be very dangerous for them. it's safe for humans and dogs though. as a matter of fact, pyrethrins is the biggest 2nd gen pesticide used by farmers. however we do wash food before we eat it. this is not the case with buds unless you water cure, but that is another reason why i dont spray it on the plant, just on the soil. after you spray the soil good, add another layer of soil to make up for what you took off. spray the top of that soil also. make sure your spraying all plants though, even if you dont see gnats. you not only want to kill them, but prevent them from respawning.

 

now get some sticky traps. i mean a LOT of them. taping them to the sides of your hoods depending on what kind of hood, is a great way to catch them. maybe people do this just to identify what insect problem they have, but you want to capture as many as possible to prevent mating. i prefer the seabright laboratories. dont get the cheap knock off ones, they suck and are not nearly sticky enough. im sure there are other brands that are good but be careful before you buy in bulk. i like to cut the seabright ones in half and place each half on a single plant. on bigger plants you can even hang them from branches or the main stem. place them all over. tape several on the walls even. dont be afraid to go nuts and make it like fort knox. i got em all over even when i dont see gnats but im picky and a germaphobe. the ones on the soil may get dirty but they're good for quite a while. i try and prop them up on the lip of the pot and it seems like they dont get as dirty.

 

another trick is get air pots. you know the pots made of that cloth fabric. i like this because it has no holes in the bottom. ever notice with grow bags and normal pots the gnats seem to sneak in and out of the bottom holes? not anymore with air pots. they are forced to the top. if your stuck with regular pots or grow bags there is 1 small trick. spray a strong dishsoap solution(never use bleach alternative dish soap, it's terrible for plants) on the trey. it should help kill some of the gnats on the bottom. dont use too much because it's probably not good for your plant. but a little here and there shouldnt hurt it. 

 

now at least once a week you need to go around and spray the top of the soil with that fruit tree spray mix. even if you dont see gnats. you need to do something to help prevent them and make their living space undesirable but at the same time give the plants comfort. 

 

another added bonus, when you water add 1 tsp of azamax per gallon. azamax is extracted from neem oil. keep an eye for stress though. too much of this just like the fruit tree spray can hurt the plant. different plants respond differently to stress. you may have to play with the dosage a bit. 

 

make sure your room and house is sealed good. they can get in easy thru screens. they are everywhere outside. 

 

check all your house plants. either get rid of them or treat them too. i've seen a lot of house plants with them at peoples houses. just dig a bit in the soil.

 

now most forms of hydro, fungas gnats can be fairly easy to get rid of. people say hydro you get no bugs, that is the biggest crock of sh!t! it's just easier to treat for gnats and other pests. say you got your net pot in 5 gal buckets. put it in a empty 5 gallon bucket full of a fruit tree spray mixture. it will crush them all into oblivion. let it sit for a couple minutes. then put it into a new clean bucket and rinse it very well. it may take a lot of water being pretty oily. you will have a little residue but it will be ok. put it back in the system. check everyday to make sure they dont come back.

 

i've never tried this but i've heard of people using those clothing steamers. its like a small tank of water with a hose and nozzle. you plug it in the wall, the water heats and evaporates through the nozzle making steam. they use it on clothing to get wrinkles out, almost just like an iron. they go over the top layer of the soil to kill all the gnats with the steam. by the time the water soaks in it's not supposed to be hot enough anymore to damage the roots. not sure if it soaks in enough to kill the gnats though. if you got roots on the top from bigger plants though im sure it does damage them at least a little. 

 

i really hate the idea of adding bugs or other life forms to the garden. yeah it's more natural but they're never going to kill as much as pesticides. more bugs on your plants = more bug poop and more dead bugs.

 

all this stuff i telling you and these products i mentioned, look them all up and get as much research as you can. know the enemy, then kill the enemy! good luck. gnats suck!

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A little update on my Gnat problem... I bought the sand works great I must say.. Also I put my vented pots in trashbags & sprayed pyrithern in them and sealed them up for 24 hours. I also hit the sand with pyritherns when I see them trying to lay eggs. I'm not going to say that there gone totally but the numbers have declined dramatically!!!  One more thing I've noticed is they fly to my ceiling and mate back to back to get the female fertile and kind of look like 1 long bug when doing this. So I make sure I fly swat all Gnats that are doing that as well..

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also one very important thing i forgot to mention but is well known for soil growers. dont over water your plants. gnats really like the extra moisture. seems like no one really gets specific on over watering. if you water your plants and they look like they're drooping a while after, you over watered them. it looks just like they are thirsty and need water not long after being watered or fed. the trick i like to use is, pick up the pot and observe how heavy it is. this will obviously vary depending on the size of the pot but for this example we'll just say about a 5-7 gallon pot. if the pot is heavy like a bowling ball, it's fine, leave her alone. if shes light like a basketball, then she is thirsty. 

 

the reason for plants drooping when they're over watered is the lack of oxygen to the roots. the same thing happens in hydro if you take away the air stone. it is very crucial for cloning in an aeroponic system.

 

you should have it set so your watering your plants about every 2 days. this also includes feed days. if shes still pretty heavy after 2 days, back off a little next watering. one variable you also need to pay close attention to is your temperature. obviously if you have colder temperatures, growth will be slower so not as much water will be taken up. also not as much will be evaporating in the air. humidity is also another small variable to take into consideration. for optimal growing, you really need to keep your temps up like 75-80F and humidity about 40%. going lower in temp or high humidity is an invitation for mildew and other molds which can lead to disaster for an entire grow. i keep my temps closer to 85 with co2. too hot will cause stress and sometimes females develop hermaphrodite traits like growing pollen sacks. 

 

i know this isnt really a whole lot to do with fungus gnats but it's good info to know since gnats love those extra moist areas. remember, put those sticky traps everywhere! spray with neem and pyrethrins. even when you dont see them anymore always keep traps out. you want to catch an infestation right when it starts. wait too long and who knows how many new colonies they made. also i've tried captn jacks spinosad. it's supposed to be a bacteria deadly to them and safe to humans and animals. havent had much luck with it. i think they reproduce before the stuff kills them. cant say for sure though. im all about going more organic and doing safer things but pyrethrins isnt all that bad. most popular 2nd gen pesticide used by farmers. a lot of organic/natural stuff is toxic as well like bug poop, diseases, and such.

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  • 4 months later...

I have tried a garden club remedy for the mold that forms on the leaves of gnat infested soil, and it helps a lot. Use a powdered milk mixture with water to spray the plant's leaves thoroughly. Do this every couple of weeks.  I apply a light spray of windex to my soil surface every couple of days, and it does keep the gnats way down compared to what I had. Also if you do an initial spray of the leaves with windex, and then wash it off in an hour, you will kill all of the mold you presently have.  Just think of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."

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