When growing and caring for succulents, you sometimes go through some common problems. A very common problem when growing succulents is having gnats attack and be attracted to them. Gnats are very hard to spot, so you sometimes have no clue if gnats are attacking your succulents.
When gnats attack succulents, they aim for the roots of the succulents. Gnats also live in the soil, this is why it’s very hard to spot them when they are attacking your succulents. They aren’t like mealybugs, where you can find them under the leaves and spot them easily. They literally live and hide in the soil and attack the roots of the succulent! This is super hard to notice and to stop them for sure!
So how do we get rid of gnats on succulents! I mean they live in the soil, how do you even stop and get rid of them from attacking your succulents. We will be discussing different types of gnats you may encounter, where the gnats come from, getting rid of them, and preventing gnats from attacking your succulents!
What are Fungus Gnats?
Fungus gnats are the gnats that are attacking your succulents! Fungus gnats love wet environments and will continue to attack succulents if the soil stays wet and not dry for several days. Fungus gnats are scientifically known as sciarid flies and they love wet soil and other wet environments!
These gnats mostly live under the soil trying to eat the fungus in the soil and also other plant substances that fall in the soil. Most importantly the fungus gnats will also aim for and chew on the roots of the succulent. This is why fungus gnats are a huge issue, if they chew the roots of the succulent then they are threatening the succulent. If the roots get chewed on then the succulent will get sick or will die.
The thing about these fungus gnats are you can’t really see them. This is why it’s very hard to spot them and to also get rid of them. A lot of growers don’t even know they are attacking the succulent until they barely see one one day. These gnats will also lay around 200 eggs, making more fungus gnats trying to attack your succulent.
What Causes Fungus Gnats on Succulents?
There are 2 main reasons why your succulents have fungus gnats. It could be from overwatering, or using the wrong succulent soil or even both. Fungus gnats are attracted to water and wet environments.
Overwatering a succulent will simply allow fungus gnats to occur and attack your succulents. If you overwater a succulent, the soil will stay wet for several days basically forming a small puddle. Fungus gnats are attracted to water and wet environments, so you now can tell why overwatering would attract fungus gnats.
Remember, succulents don’t need or want too much water. They are drought tolerant plants than can go days without drinking water. If you simply overwater your succulents, you will cause root rot and fungus gnats to appear for sure.
Also, these fungus gnats will lay eggs on top of the water, this will allow more fungus gnats to occur and attack your succulent.
Using Wrong Succulent Soil
Another reason why gnats are attracted and attacking your succulents could be due to using the wrong succulent soil. It’s not mainly the soil that’s the issue but it is. The issue still is due to water being left on top of the soil for several days. As you know water environments do attract gnats, so if your soil stays wet for several days gnats will arrive.
It’s very important to use fast/well draining succulent soil when growing your succulents. It’s mainly important for preventing root rot and overwatering. If your soil isn’t fast/well draining then the water won’t get absorbed and will just sit out for several days. Basically the soil will not be draining and will leave a puddle which will then attract those fungus gnats.
This is why it’s very important to use fast/well draining succulent soil so the soil can stay dry and not wet for several days. This will prevent fungus gnats because there won’t be any layers of water just sitting on top of the soil.
How to get rid of Gnats on Succulents
There are many ways to get rid of fungus gnats on succulents, you can use sprays, nematodes, and traps. All of these work super well and will definitely get the job done and will get rid of the fungus gnats. We definitely recommend getting some spray that is on amazon or local shops, but there are also other ways that are convenient as well.
Nematodes are basically microscopic parasites that are also worms that get rid of fungus gnats. No, nematodes will not and do not harm or attack humans or succulent plants. They will only harm the fungus gnats that are attacking your succulents! I know it sounds very weird and gross to have parasites living in your succulent soil, but nematodes really do well with getting rid of gnats attacking your succulents! They will easily get the job done, and after using them you will just need to take out some soil to get rid of them for sure.
Traps/Yellow Sticky Traps
You can also use some indoor insect traps that work super well! These traps are a little pricey but they easily get the job done! They have lights that attract the insects/gnats into a stick substance that makes them get stuck forever! They work for every insect out there! So if you have many other insects in your home this will work for all of them!
Yellow sticky traps are great as well. The bright yellow attracts them and it also gets them stuck on the sticky glue they have. The great thing is they are non toxic, so it’s a very natural way to get rid of the gnats. They are very easy to set up! Just place it whenever your succulent is growing and you will soon see the trap just filled with the gnats!
Dish soap can also get rid of gnats on succulents, you will just need to spray it on the soil. Dish soap is very well known to prevent and eliminate fungus gnats and many other insects out there. All you will need to do is add some dish soap and mix it with some water in a spray bottle.
After you make your spray bottle with dish soap you can then spray it on the soil. This will get rid of the fungus gnats and other insects.
Cinnamon is another natural way to get rid of fungus gnats on succulents. Cinnamon will simply help eliminate fungus gnats by destroying fungus. Larvae feeds on fungus, which then leads to fungus gnats. Cinnamon easily gets rid of fungus, and if the fungus is gone then so will the fungus gnats! Just simply get some cinnamon and sprinkle some of it onto the soil, it will then slowly get rid of fungus and fungus gnats.
Diatomaceous earth is used by a lot of plant growers out there. It’s basically a natural powder that is known to get rid of insects and gnats. It contains silica which is very toxic for insects and gnats, it will kill any insect or gnats that fly into it. It will not harm your succulents at all! You can simply buy some diatomaceous earth on amazon or home depot and then sprinkle some of it on the soil. This will easily get rid of fungus gnats and other insects attacking your succulents.
How to Prevent Fungus Gnats for Good
To prevent fungus gnats from attacking your succulents the main thing you will have to do is avoid overwatering. If you simply water your succulents way too much then puddles will form and stay for a while. It’s also just not good to overwater your succulents. Overwatering will also cause mold and bacteria to occur, giving your succulent root rot. If your succulent has root rot, this will also attract fungus gnats because the succulent is basically rotting.
Make sure to only water your succulents 1-2 days a week or when the soil looks or feels very dry. 1-2 days a week is perfect and will prevent fungus gnats from attacking your succulents. To avoid underwatering, also water your succulents if the soil looks or feels very dry.
Use Fast/Well Draining Succulent Soil
To also prevent gnats from attacking your succulent for good, you will also need to use fast/well draining succulent soil. Fast/well draining succulent soil will help prevent gnats because it drains all of the excess water that will be sitting in the soil for several days.
Again, gnats are attracted to bodies of water, and if you use regular soil there’s a chance that puddles have formed in that soil. The water hasn’t drained and it won’t drain making your soil have water puddles. Fungus gnats will then be attracted to the soil due to the small body of water in the soil, not draining. This is why it’s very important to use fast/well draining succulent soil. Fast/well draining succulent soil will drain any excess water at a very fast rate, keeping the soil dry and not wet. This will easily prevent fungus gnats from attacking your succulent because there’s simply no water in the soil that they are attracted to.
We have arguably the best fast/well draining succulent soil on the market. Our succulent soil is very fast/well draining because it includes perlite and sand, 2 of the best ingredients for fast draining soil. Our succulent soil also has seaweed fertilizer in it, which gives your succulent 60 trace minerals and nutrients. Your succulents will absorb the nutrients and will then start to grow bigger, faster, and healthier. Check out our soil when you get a chance, you and your succulents will love it!
Well now you know why your succulents are being attacked by fungus gnats. They are very annoying and disgusting creatures that definitely will harm your succulents if you don’t take action and get rid of them right away. It’s very important that you do take action immediately and get rid of them.
After you get rid of them it’s also very important that you prevent them from attacking your succulents ever again. If you simply just continue to not overwater your succulents, and use fast/well draining succulent soil then you will never have to deal with fungus gnats ever again. They just love and are attracted to bodies of water, and if you provide that body of water then they will come and attack your succulents.
You now know how to get rid of fungus gnats and how to prevent them. Now it’s definitely time to do so! Best of luck getting rid of them, and make sure to prevent them after you get rid of them!
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