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Fungus Gnats - Garden Insect Library - Saferbrand

Fungus Gnats

Adult fungus gnats are tiny, measuring no more than 1/8" in length. Fungus gnats have a very short lifespan. The adult female fungus gnat will lay up to 300 eggs in damp soil then in about a week or so, the adult male and female will die.

 

During their life span, fungus gnats carry plant disease from one host plant to another creating big problems for home gardeners.

 

 

Image courtesy of Oklahoma State University and Forestry Images.com.
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So... What are Fungus Gnats?

Adult fungus gnats are tiny measuring no more than 1/8" in length. They have medium gray to black bodies with clear or light grayish wings.

 

Fungus gnat larvae have whitish bodies and reach about 1/4" maximum length.  Eggs are somewhat round in shape and are either clear or light in color, making them difficult to see.

 

Fungus gnats can be annoying to gardeners, homeowners with indoor plants, and greenhouse staff.

 

 

 

 

Reproduction Patterns of Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats have a very short lifespan even though they do go through four stages of development. The adult female fungus gnat will lay up to 300 eggs in damp soil then in about a week or so, the adult male and female will die.

 

After the eggs hatch in about 5 days, the larvae will emerge and feed on the plants and organic matter.  At the end of two weeks of feeding, the larva will pupate for 5 days or so before emerging as an adult who is ready to mate and lay eggs. 

 

This continual cycle can result in large numbers of fungus gnats during an infestation.

 

 

 

 

Fungus Gnat's Habitat

Fungus gnats prefer dark, damp areas found in organic material and soil. They appear to favor African violets, poinsettias and cyclamens as well as bedding and foliage plants.

 

 

 

 

Images courtesy of Oklahoma State University and Forestry Images.
For a complete list of content sources please visit our site bibliography page

 

 

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