Did you know that potted soil from garden centers often is contaminated with eggs and/or larvae of fungus gnats? That means before you even start, you could have a fungus gnat problem and not even know it. Whatever the source of your fungus gnats issue, larvae are the source of plant damage. They feed on algae, fungi, decomposing organic matter, and plant roots in the growing medium. They prefer feeder roots and root hairs, both of which are important for plant health and vigor. If these roots are damaged plants may lose vigor, wilt, have poor growth, leaves may turn yellow and drop.
What’s more, even though adult fungus gnats don’t bite or feed, as long as they are able to complete their life cycle, there will always be potential for plant damage from larvae. Up until now, there was no way to significantly disrupt a gnat’s life cycle without the use of chemicals.
Kansas State University research data on Growstone Gnat Nix for fungus gnat population management indicates that when Gnat Nix is used as a top dressing on the surface of growing media, it disrupts gnat’s life cycle and significantly reduces its population. All without chemicals, pesticides or toxic substances.
Studies indicate there are at least two relatively simple but effective mechanisms acting in sync which are responsible for this disruption using Gnat Nix:
- Physical barrier limit larvae mobility – Top dress limits larvae ability to crawl up to the surface of Gnat Nix, pupate and emerge as adults that would continue to reproduce. Using Gnat Nix right after plants are transplanted into the permanent growing container will significantly reduce larvae survival chances. Trapped in Gnat Nix, larvae end up dying.
- Dry and inhospitable conditions limit egg survival: The dry and rough surface of Gnat Nix top dressing creates inhospitable conditions that negatively affect fungus gnat eggs survival. It also reduces the appeal for females to lay their eggs on its surface. When growing conditions promote fungus gnat population growth, applying Gnat Nix as a top dressing prevents future problems — as the fewer eggs laid by adult females have a significantly lower chance of survival.
Regardless of the moisture content of the growing medium, or exposure to rain or the sun, Gnat Nix applied as a top dressing interrupt fungus gnat life cycle effectively reducing adult population and plant damage with one single application and zero pesticides.