We have several houseplants: jades, aloes, hibiscus, etc, which seem to be attracting or generating extremely tiny flying black gnats or fleas that can barely be seen. We have washed down the plants to no avail; the almost invisible slowly flying bugs are still showing up in many areas of the house. Any idea of what this pest is and how we can control or eradicate it? Thanks so much for your help!
Dear T.E. Boston,
My money is on the Black Gnat, Bradysia impatiens. This is a type of root gnat from the Family Sciaridae. The adults are the tiny black gnats that flit in your face while you are watching television and that always seem to get stuck in fresh paint, writes Hogue. He continues "The larva lives in decaying plant material, such as compost, peat, and sphagnum; it also commonly infests the roots and stems of various herbaceous plants. The insects may develop in the media used for potted plants, which explains its mysterious appearance indoors." A mild soapy water used to water the plants might help. Other natural methods to try are an infusion of crushed garlic in water, or nicotine in water. Try soaking some cigarette butts in water and using that when you need to water the plants. The same can be done with the garlic infusion