How does one get rid of tiny flies in the dirt of potted plants?

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  • SandyG SandyG on Dec 12, 2017
    1
    Spread a layer of aquarium gravel or very coarse sand over the top of the infested dirt in the plant pot. Pick a color to accent your room décor. Fruit flies lay their eggs in topsoil, where the young hatch. The gravel or sand particles will prevent newly hatched larvae from climbing out of the soil. They soon die and interrupt this cycle.
    2
    Color both sides of a 3-by-5-inch index card solid yellow with a highlighter. Glue or staple one end of a wood craft stick to one side of the card to create a plant stake. Smear enough petroleum jelly on each side of the yellow card to coat it thickly and evenly. Poke the stake into your potted plant’s dirt. Fruit flies are attracted to yellow sticky traps.
    3
    Pour about 1/4 inch apple cider vinegar, fruit juice or beer into a disposable plastic cup. Add a drop of liquid dish soap, and stir to blend thoroughly. Cover the cup loosely with plastic wrap. Secure with a rubber band. Poke some holes in the plastic wrap with a toothpick.
    4
    Set the trap near the infested plant. Fruit flies are attracted to fermentation and cannot resist these traps. The bugs enter the holes, touch down on the liquid and drown. Even though the critters are light enough to walk on water, the soap in the solution breaks the surface tension and prevents their escape.
    5
    Monitor your watering practices carefully. You may be loving your plants too much. Give just enough water to keep them from wilting. Fruit flies are attracted to damp dirt. Eggs and larvae present in soil cannot survive if it doesn’t remain moist at all times.
    6
    Empty plant saucers immediately after watering to prevent moisture from accumulating in the area. The dirt in the pot will also tend to dry out a little, further discouraging fruit fly infestation.

  • Repot the plants with fresh soil. I would also rinse the roots off under running water so you do not transfer the bugs from the old soil to the new. Sterilize the old pots with vinegar.

  • Reta Cole Reta Cole on Dec 12, 2017
    I bought small citrenella candles from the $ Store. I don't light them.
    Occasionally I scratch the surface which seems to put out the candles scent.
    No more bugs.

  • Deanna Feaster Deanna Feaster on Dec 12, 2017
    repot the plants using fresh dirt because the flies' eggs are in the dirt and is why they keep reappearing. Change out the dirt completely.

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Dec 12, 2017
    No matter what you do to prevent them, you need to do as Naomie said. If you have the flies around any pots, it means you have fungus in the soil and you have to change it out. Get a moisture meter so that you will know if you have too much moisture in the soil and develop the problem again. The vinegar on the pots will kill any remaining spores that are present. Once you do that, make sure you have something to get the remaining flies that are still around, like a solution to attract them or even fly strips so that they don't reinfest your plants.

  • Amanda Amanda on Dec 12, 2017
    HI Juliet. I would remove all of the soil and put into a plastic bag and toss it. Repot the plant in all new soil. This should help. Good luck!

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Dec 12, 2017
    This are fungus gants which lay eggs in the soil. You have to re-pot them in fresh soil.

  • Peter Peter on Dec 14, 2017
    Spray (mist) with a detergent solution... I'd do this before the 'New soil' soulution. It may be a simpler fix.