Fighting small flies in potting soil – these tips will help

Flies in potting soil - fighting indoor plants

At the beginning of the winter months, penetrating, small, black flies are more often noticeable on the window, in flower pots or in the remains of untidy earth. They can become a real nuisance if they spread rapidly among indoor plants and populate the apartment. What one against Flies in potting soil can do, we reveal below.

Small flies in potting soil – get to know the enemy

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Usually the flies of the houseplants look similar to the fruit flies, but they are a kind of mosquito, especially fungus gnats. But it can also be fruit flies, cider flies or vinegar flies. Generally speaking, they all develop from larvae. These feed primarily on the potting soil and the roots of a plant. The plant can cope with a small number of small flies, which usually leads to an increase in the number of pests and is therefore later perceived as a plague.

Flies in potting soil – from outside in the apartment

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Unfortunately, the unpleasant insects not only stay in the area of ​​plants, but also reach surfaces such as window sills, tables or the floor through flies and can therefore transmit bacteria. It is important to mention that a houseplant can be infected with larvae, only if they are in one Period of time, for example, in the summer, stood outside and then brought it back in. Another way to get the annoying flies into your home is to buy potting soil, in which the larvae of the fly can already be found.

Fighting small flies in potting soil – with natural methods and home remedies

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Chemical agents drive away pests, but they are not a good solution for indoor plants as they could cause allergies in residents. However, chemical-free, natural methods can be used to control flies in potting soil. The fly swatter is primarily used. It is therefore necessary so that the flies cannot lay new eggs in the substrate. The vacuum cleaner is also suitable for the purpose.

Water the houseplants moderately and prevent infestation of small flies in potting soil

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Plentifully moist to wet earth and warmth are ideal conditions for the development of mushrooms, which in turn provide food for the sciarid gnats or small flies, which subsequently promote their reproduction. Which is why it is also worthwhile for this reason to take regular watering into account. Houseplants usually tolerate drought better than a frequent water supply anyway. Coasters and planters should not be full of water all the time.

Yellow boards against the small Flies in potting soil


The yellow color attracts the small pests and they settle on the yellow board. This should therefore be coated with a sticky surface so that the flies cannot get rid of it. Yellow stickers or panels should remain in the soil of the houseplant for a few weeks to clear the pest.

Eliminate flies in potting soil with home remedies – water-juice-washing-up liquid solution 

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You don’t have to buy chemical solvents to get rid of those annoying little flies and you can make one yourself from water, juice and conventional dish soap. Mix the ingredients together and place them in containers next to the houseplants. The sweetness attracts the small insects, but they do not find a hold on the surface because of the detergent and go under.

Fight small flies in potting soil with coffee grounds


Coffee grounds are an old home remedy that every hobby gardener can use in growing plants. It can even fight flies in the potting soil. Simply spread a sufficient amount of it regularly on the substrate in the flower pot. Another old but effective method is to stick matches upside down in the potting soil. The swell they contain kills the small flies and their larvae.

Remove the small flies in potting soil by closing the flower pot

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In the case of a large fly infestation, the method of sealing or ‘packing’ the plants would be most useful. The infested potting soil should be covered. Stockings can be used for small plants and put over the pot. Seal large flower pots tightly with fleece or foil that wrap around the flower pot. This can be cut into strips and fastened with string. It is very important to close the water drainage hole airtight. It should take 4-5 before the plague is completely removed. Another option is to sprinkle the surface of the potting soil with bird or quartz sand at least 1 centimeter high. The sand layer should always remain dry. That means blow-drying the surface when watering, but with cold air.

Combat fly infestation in indoor plants with their natural enemies

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Nematodes are the natural predators of small flies, especially their offspring. They feed on the eggs of the flies and when there are none, the nematodes also die. You can get them in hardware stores or garden centers and it’s very easy to use. They are mixed together with the irrigation water and the plant is watered with it. They penetrate the larvae in the substrate and kill them.

What to do against flies in potting soil – clean and repot

Plants with flower pots and gardening tools

The last thing you can do against the flies in potting soil is to repot. Careful cleaning of the roots of the plant under running water is recommended so that the larvae are completely removed. Proper cleaning of the flower pots is also essential when repotting. If only one flower is attacked by small flies, it should be isolated from the others to prevent the plague from spreading.

Small flies in the potting soil of the house plants


Larvae of the small flies in potting soil – pay attention when choosing the substrate

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