There are many different species of pests that can cause damage to your garden. Certain bugs will attack only one particular type of plant, while others are more indiscriminate. Identifying garden pests should be the first step on how to keep pests out of garden while keeping your plants and flowers safe.
If you have ever walked through a greenhouse or plant nursery and found yourself surrounded by a massive cloud of tiny black flying critters, it is highly likely that they were fungus gnats.
These pesky creatures are a nuisance that can be an economic problem. Controlling fungus gnats in plant production areas is a real concern.
The fungus gnat life-cycle (egg to larvae to adult) spans about six (6) weeks. The adults live for about ten (10) days. During this time each female can lay about 200 eggs in the soil, potting media, or artificial substrate where the plants are grown. The larvae feed on plant roots and can transmit plant diseases.
Even a few insects can create a nuisance problem in a relatively short amount of time. So, you must be vigilant and take the necessary step to control the pests.
Some greenhouse and nursery managers take preventative steps, while others take reactionary measures to control fungus gnat infestations.
Both of these methods can be effective. It depends on your management ideology and labor and supplies budget. The cost of prevention can be rather expensive.
The cost of waiting for the problem to arise before action can be expensive if the infestation is substantial.
One of the easiest and safest methods for controlling fungus gnats is by placing yellow sticky cards around the production area. The tiny flying adults are attracted to the yellow coloration and subsequently become permanently trapped in the glue on the cards.
The cards are economical, effective, and safe for the environment and workers. There is no mess involved, except for maybe some residual glue.
Depending on the nature of your plant rearing facility, you may also choose to use biological or chemical methods to control fungus gnats.
Biological treatment includes the use of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), a bacteria that produces a natural insecticide.
Chemical treatments include the use of a systemic insecticide, such as imidacloprid, or pyrethroid-based insecticides, with residual properties, such as permethrin.
Maintain A Clean Area
In addition to determining and utilizing the best control methods for your operation, it is also extremely important that good hygiene and sanitary practices are incorporated into the process.
A clean and well-maintained plant production zone reduces the possibility of fungus gnat infestations and nuisance problems.
If you are uncertain as to which prevention or control measures you should utilize, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of a pest company to diagnose your problem and to make suitable recommendations.
Controlling fungus gnats is a relatively easy pest management practice. A clean and sanitary plant propagation area is the first step to controlling most of any pest population.