My Thumb Isn’t Green

I inherited three house plants last fall. I have no idea what they are – except one. It’s a peace lily, but that information isn’t important for this post. The surprising part is that I’ve managed to keep them all alive.

One of them was almost dead. I had put it in an upstairs bedroom and basically forgot about it. The leaves were so sad and wilted. I thought about tossing it in the trash, but didn’t have the heart to do it. So, I watered it. After a few days, it was perky again. I thought I was careful not to over water. I didn’t want fungus gnats inside my house.

Did you know fungus gnats don’t always fly? Sometimes, they walk, really fast, over the leaves of plants. The larva help with decomposition of organic matter in soil. They can carry mushroom spores. I don’t think that would go very well with my house plants.

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It’s pretty tough for freezing temperatures to kill fungus gnats. Some species have “antifreeze proteins” that protect the head and thorax. Control measures can include putting a layer of sand on top of the soil in potted plants or using yellow card stock with a sticky adhesive added. Fungus gnats are attracted to yellow. Who knew?

My solution is the prevention…. just don’t excessively water the plants.

Published by Melisa Arnold, A.C.E.

My career in pest management began while working in a flour mill as the “in-house” technician in 2008. I am certified in multiple states including a DOT CDL/HazMat. I began working full time as a fumigation-pest control tech in 2010. I achieved my Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) in 2018. I have a Master Tech certification from Kansas State University/Kansas Pest Control Association. I hold a Bat Management certification from NWCOA. Every day, I realize how much I DON’T KNOW. My goal for this blog is to share my every day experiences from the field and to make us all think outside the box for solutions to make pest control make sense.

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