Controlling Fungus Gnats in New Jersey
Fungus Gnats are small and dark flies -- with a very short life span. The adults are 2-5 mm long, and they pollinate and help spread mushroom spores, also planting pollen. These little pests are actually quite annoying, as they fly directly into our faces and noses. They are called Fungus Gnats for a reason, and that reason is because they actually carry diseases on their feet called pythium.
About Fungus Gnats
Fungus Gnats reside all over the world, usually in well forested and wet areas. Some live in swamps, while others are known to live in open grassland. These gnats actually can spin webs under bark of dead tree trunks and branches. Although they are mainly attracted to wet forests, these creatures still live in just about every area of the world -- even in our homes due to being attracted to our house plants.
These gnats are mainly plant eaters, but they get their name Fungus Gnats because they feed off of fungus also. There are a few exotic species that live and feed off of mosses and liverworts. Their base diet is plant roots and fungi, which actually aids in the decomposition of organic matter. These little gnats are sometimes placed into the Mycetophiloidea family. They have been known to look like mosquitoes, and although they cannot bite human flesh, they can still carry many diseases to your crops and ruin and destroy your plants. They will hide up in your soil and other dark, deep wet places, just seeking out the opportune time to feast on your lovely garden.
Fungus gnats are dark gray in color and have long wings, usually traveling in larger numbers which can really become a nuisance. They are not very large, only 1/8 of an inch long in size. Not only are they attracted to plants, but they are attracted to lights and windows. Since these are fungus gnats, they can be found near trash cans and dumpsters, creating a very unpleasant trip to the trash.
Fungus Gnats only have a life span of 18-26 days. Probably because of all that fungus they eat? Whatever the reason, these little pests can actually destroy your garden, by infecting the plant they feed off of. Basically fungus gnats just fly around and eat all day, there's not much else to the life of a fungus gnat.
Hibernation and Reproduction
Fungus Gnats actually don't hibernate, however they will hideaway when there is a dry spell. These gnats are actually more of a pestilence during the cooler months. Reasons being that houseplants obtained outdoors during summer can actually be colonized by fungus gnats when brought indoor during cooler months because the warmer temperatures in the house will actually INCREASE population. Unfortunately, fungus gnats are a pestilence to humans year round and worldwide, being one of the most hated species in the entire universe.
Fungus gnats live and breed in damp and rich dark soil. Female fungus can lay from 200-300 eggs, and very fast. Since the life span of a fungus gnat is only 18-26 days, they can multiply very quickly. Eggs hatch in 4 to 6 days, and the larvae will look long and even very thin, threadlike. A sour odor will signify the presence of fungi, since these gnats carry many diseases. The female gnat will feed with her baby for 12 to 14 days and once they stop feeding, it's basically time for the baby to grow up, move out and start a family of its own.
These little pests have no other business but to eat and breed in their short life span. One has to wonder how can something that lives for such a short period of time, become such a hated and pesty species. Even though they don't bite, their name is a sure indicator that they are something you do not want flying around your home, and sure enough they carry many diseases to your crops. These pesky insects react to moist temperatures, so be sure to keep your home as moist free as possible, as well as your soil in your yard. The less moist temperature, the less of a pestilence problem you will have.
Controlling Fungus Gnats
Fungus Gnats have to be controlled by your local pest control company (Alliance Pest Services) by eliminating all of their breeding sources by carefully inspecting all properties and areas. Both small and large plants can carry larvae and homes. The key to killing eggs and larvae would be to dry out the soil since these eggs usually live in the top layer of the soil. You want the soil to not get the moisture that the fungus gnats would need to live and breed properly, so keeping the soil at a dryer level will kill off any babies and force the gnats to leave. However, you don't want to dry it out too much as that can cause problems also. This is why having a pest control company would come in handy.
Another way of controlling fungus gnats would be to buy insecticides and spray these insecticides into the soil, within the top 2 and 3 layers. This will obviously kill off any larvae living in the soil as well as destroy the home. However this is a tedious process and needs to be done precisely, so again, pest control companies come in handy.
If you feel that you have fungus gnats around or near your home, Alliance Pest Services is your local fungus gnat removal company to rid your home free of fungus gnats.