Why Do My Plants Get Fungus Gnats in The Winter?

Indoor plants provide a number of benefits, but they may harbor at least one unwanted side effect. Are your plants a breeding ground for fungus gnats? Read on to find out why NJ pest control doesn’t stop during the winter months.

Why Do Fungus Gnats Show Up in Winter?

Fungus gnats are often found indoors during winter. Unlike many other pests that head inside for warmth, fungus gnats thrive in over-watered potted plants. While plants require less water in colder temperatures, people don’t cut back on watering them. As a result, the conditions are perfect for fungus gnats to breed.

Due to their similar physical characteristics, fungus gnats may be mistaken for fruit flies. Adult fungus gnats are small, averaging about 1/8-inch in length, with grayish-black coloring and one pair of wings.

Life Cycle of Fungus Gnats

  • Females lay approximately 100 to 150 eggs in a surface of moist potting soil, where the resulting larvae get sustenance from fungi and organic materials. They may also damage plants by eating the roots and stems.
  • The white, slender, and legless larvae resemble maggots. Translucent bodies and dark-colored heads complete their appearance.
  • When fully grown, the winged adults are attracted by lights, faces, windows, and food, creating a nuisance as they flit from one to another.

Tips to Prevent Fungus Gnats

  • Reduce the amount of water in the topsoil by allowing it to dry and watering less frequently. You may also replant for better drainage.
  • Garden stores sell yellow sticky card traps that can be placed on the surface of the soil to catch winged adults.

NJ Pest Control for All Seasons

Get peace of mind with our year-round home and business plans for NJ pest control. Contact us at Allison Pest Control to learn more from one of our professionally trained technicians.


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