Fungus gnats on cannabis can be a real problem if they’re left unchecked. Before they run riot on your cannabis find out how to identify fungus gnats in your garden and then get rid of them. After this, you can put measures in place to prevent future infestations.
How to identify fungus gnats on cannabis plant
The following are the ways to figure out if you have fungus gnats cannabis problem:
- Small, black, winged insects buzzing over your plants and scurrying across the ground
If you observe fungus gnats leaf damage on your plants, it’s a sign that your soil is contaminated with fungus and has to be dried up. Avoid letting the infestation get out of control. As soon as you discover any bugs in your grow area, you should get rid of them!
They are merely an eyesore (and filthy), but they don’t harm you or your plants much except for transmitting illness. But even though these adults pose no significant damage to your plants, the presence of adult fungus gnats symptoms indicates that your cannabis soil has been contaminated with their maggot young, which is the source of the significant issues.
- Larvae that are either white or translucent and have blackheads
Your seedlings and young plants are particularly vulnerable to the harm caused by fungus gnat larvae in the soil.
What causes fungus gnats on cannabis?
Wet conditions are necessary for the growth and development of these common cannabis pests. Overwatering is a typical mistake made by soil gardeners, and damp soil is an ideal breeding ground for fungi and decomposing organic materials, you may also encounter this with veganics cannabis growing. Fungus gnats deposit their eggs on the top layer of damp soil after the fungus has formed or overwatered debris has started to decompose.
As soon as the eggs hatch, they become larvae that resemble tiny maggots and can only survive in the top 2-3 inches (5-8 cm) of soil. The larvae of the fungus gnat are responsible for damaging cannabis roots.
Although they get caught in the crossfire, fungus gnat larvae don’t eat cannabis roots as their primary food source. The larvae of fungus gnats joyfully eat the root hairs and young sensitive roots of cannabis plants, despite their primary diet consisting of a fungus and decomposing debris.
There are difficulties with the leaves and development. It slows down because of the harm to the roots caused by these small suckers. Young seedlings may be killed by a fungus gnat invasion that is too severe.
Adult bugs on cannabis plants may also transfer illnesses (such as pythium, which is a significant cause of root rot) by their feet, which is the primary concern. Getting rid of bugs on cannabis plants as soon as possible is critical because of these issues—fungus gnats damage cannabis at an alarming rate.
Where does the fungus come from if gnats in grow tent require decomposing materials to survive? Because it thrives in moist environments, the fungus is a necessary component of our ecosystem (where it breaks down organic matter like dead leaves). Fungus spores are all around us at all times, yet without moisture, these spores cannot begin to increase. Fungus thrives when the soil is warm and damp and organic matter decomposes. The fungus or rotting stuff may be so tiny that you cannot see it with the naked eye. On the other hand, Fungus gnats develop in your soil’s top layer when the circumstances are correct, whether or not you can detect fungus there.
How to get rid of fungus gnats on cannabis?
In the growing area, use yellow adhesive cards as a guide
If you want to learn how to get rid of gnats in grow room, you should know they are attracted to yellow. To reduce the population of fungus gnats during flowering, use these yellow adhesive notes (available at most gardening supply shops). But the most crucial reason to use yellow sticky cards is to track how severe the present fungus gnat infestation is. The yellow sticky traps will catch fewer adults as the infestation is controlled. That’s how you can tell whether your strategy is paying off.
Set up a fan to circulate fresh air over your plant’s growth medium
Gnats on cannabis plants can’t fly about and lay eggs while your soil is wet, which helps dry it out and discourages them from reproducing.
Allow your plants to go for a few days without any water
Before applying treatment, you want to begin drying up the soil to kill as many larvae as possible (which will involve watering). Your soil should be warm and moist at the top for the larvae of fungus gnats to thrive. You may think fungus gnats are gone after going through all of these processes, but overwatering plants is the most prevalent cause of fungus gnats. Once the top several inches of soil have dried, proceed to the next stage. The last thing you need is fungus gnat cannabis.
Destroy the soil larvae
- Apply a broad-spectrum insecticide to the top layer of soil (follow the directions).
- Dust soil with food-grade diatomaceous earth using a powder duster. Using this method, you can kill fungus gnat larvae and prevent future infestations. Adding diatomaceous dirt is a good idea, but it isn’t required if you want to get rid of cannabis gnats and their larvae as quickly as possible. Diatomaceous earth, a natural insecticide derived from fossilized seashells, is genuine. When used to empty insects of their bodily fluids, it is sharp on a microscopic level yet safe for people and pets to ingest and even be eaten.
Do this for a few days, then switch things up since the cannabis fungus gnats will soon become resistant to your selected therapy (find out more about cannabis plant resilience here.) Consider one of the following other treatments:
- Pesticide Essentria IC3 Insecticide is an organic and safe blend of horticultural oils. As a “bed bug killer,” it may also be quite efficient against fungus gnats, provided that the plants are frequently treated. It would help if you used this every day or mixed it with other methods.
- Mosquito Bits, for example, include “BT” bacteria (specifically, Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis – there is another form of BT that’s suited for cannabis caterpillars) that you may sprinkle on your plants.
If you do not have access to any goods, you might begin to experiment at home. If you don’t have access to the “genuine” material, you can still get rid of pot flies using these cures!
Dealing with fungus gnats outdoors
Controlling these pests will only be possible if we can figure out what triggers them in the first place. Overwatering is the most typical cause. Moist areas are the ideal habitat for the fungus gnats. To live, the larvae of these insects eat fungus, which needs damp circumstances—allowing the soil to dry completely between waterings, particularly for houseplants. Don’t let water accumulate in the saucers under the pots. Remove excess water from big potted plants.
You drastically reduce the survival rate of eggs and larvae when you allow the medium to dry up. Adults will be less likely to deposit eggs in your medium due to this. Fungus gnats when growing cannabis outdoors will not disappear overnight, but with patience and persistence, you may get rid of an infestation. It’s possible to speed things up by repotting your plant into fresh soil without overwatering it. It’s not always a good idea to do this since it might put a strain on your plants. A remedy to the issue should cause no more harm.
Stop fungus gnats before it becomes a problem
If you’ve been plagued by gnats, cannabis, or other pests, be careful to clean your growing environment properly. Get rid of any indoor plants that are crawling with insects. Always avoid buying soil contaminated with fungus gnats or flies.
Before allowing their cannabis plants near fresh soil, some growers would roast it to kill any fungus gnat larvae. When purchasing cannabis seeds, make sure they come from a reputable source, and you thoroughly inspect for fungus gnats before using them (as well as spider mites or other pests). There are several reasons to start with seeds rather than clones if you are growing in soil and are concerned about problems.
Check out other amazing growing articles like this one about growing cannabis on a cellular level.