If you are a hydroponics gardener you have to be careful about pests that can attack your plants. Pests like thrips, spider mites, and whiteflies can severely affect your plants’ growth. However the biggest worry for the hydroponics growers these days are an upstart pest called fungus gnats. What are these, and how do you get rid of gnats?
It’s those pesky little black insects that are about 1/8 inch in size and looks quite like mosquitoes. Fungus gnats or sciarid flies are often mistaken for fruit flies. They love humid environments and thrive in the damp soil of houseplants.
Gnats feed on plant roots. It affects the growth rate of plants. Plants mature slowly, the leaves start yellowing, curling and overall vigor is lost.
Fungus gnats lay eggs and the larvae feed on hydroponics plants’ root. The more they feed, the faster they grow into adults and lay more eggs.
This leads to the colonization of fungi on your roots. Gnat is fetal to a plant because it is a vector for the root zone diseases including the notorious Pythium root rot.
Not just in its living form, but as dead fungi too are harmful to your plants. It leaves behind carcasses that turn into sludge in the root area. This sludge encourages the growth of more fungi on it. Gnat is more of a threat in case of hydroponics since
So now the question is, how can you prevent the growth of fungus gnat on your plants’ root while practicing hydroponics? There are some easy ways to achieve the feat. First, take all precautionary measures.
Build a wall between the outside and the inside your garden. Also, sterilize all the tools and appliances in your garden. This will prevent the entry of vectors.
Try to keep pets out of your garden as they can be a source of infesting diseases. It is well-known that fungus loves the hydrophilic, moist atmosphere.
So, do not overwater your plants. You can also use sticky stripes to catch adult gnat fungi.
One more effective method is to add hydroponics enzymes to the root zone of your plants. This will destroys the organic matter. Since gnat fungi feed on organic matter, this will cut off their food supply and curb their growth.
Keep the surrounding of plants, the root zones clean. Keep drying the surroundings. Some suggest using hydroponics peroxide to get rid of a gnat. You can find it in any hydroponics store. But it may also kill useful microbes which are required for healthier growth of hydroponics plants.
Try to avoid using chemical fungicides to kill the gnat fungi as the chemical residues left on your plants are harmful to the plants as well as they may be contained in vegetables and fruits and cause health issues when consumed.
You can get organic pesticides in any hydroponics store.
Just a few precautionary measures will help you keep gnat fungus out of your garden and you can have flourishing, high growing hydroponics plants.