Cannabis Pest COntrol: Fungus Gnats
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Fungus Gnats Pest COntrol - Portland, Oregon & Washington
The majority of cannabis growers cultivate their crops in soil so fungus gnats are marijuana pests that aren’t entirely new to them, especially among those who maintain indoor grow spaces. The chances of running into a fungus gnat infestation outdoors may be pretty slim, but it is a common issue among indoor growers. And there’s one primary reason why—moisture.
Fungus gnat larvae need wet conditions to thrive. It isn’t uncommon for indoor growers to overwater their cannabis plants or maintain incorrect humidity levels inside grow rooms and wet soil is the perfect home for fungus and decaying organic matter. After fungus has grown or overwatered matter begins to decay in the topsoil, fungus gnat lays their eggs in the top layer of moist soil.
WHAT ARE FUNGUS GNATS?
Fungus gnats are small flies that infest soil, potting mix and other container media. They also thrive in other sources of organic decomposition. Their larvae primarily feed on fungi and organic matter in the soil, but will also attack plants when their primary food source runs out. In the case of cannabis, fungus gnats can eat root hairs or chew directly on the roots.
Adult fungus gnats measure about 2 mm and are black, gray or dark brown. They have long legs and can pretty much look like fruit flies at first glance. The best way to tell is by size and color, as fruit flies are slightly bigger and typically yellow, orange or light brown in color.
Female fungus gnats can lay up to 200 eggs each week. These eggs hatch into larvae that look like tiny maggots which only live in the top 2-3 inches of soil. Some eggs may also be found in the lower sections of cannabis plants, usually along the stems and leaves. Larvae or maggots have black heads and clear bodies, but are impossible to see with the naked eye because they are too small. Still, both maggots and adult fungus gnats are equally harmful bugs on marijuana plants. Besides feeding on cannabis roots, the fecal matter fungus gnats leave behind can cause soil to suck up more moisture which can lead to increased pest and mold problems.
HOW TO SPOT FUNGUS GNATS ON CANNABIS
Of course, you first need to verify that fungus gnats are indeed attacking your cannabis plants. As mentioned earlier, fruit flies are often mistaken for fungus gnats, so make sure the ones you see are dark brown, gray or black in color and not yellow, orange or light brown. Also keep in mind that fungus gnats are a lot smaller than fruit flies.
Among the best foolproof ways to check for fungus gnats is using yellow sticky cards which you can purchase at any gardening shop in your neighborhood. Don’t go for any other color because gnats are particularly attracted to yellow. I suggest you place a couple of cards in the soil next to your cannabis plants. Just leave them there and observe if they’re covered with gnats after a couple of days. If they are, then you probably have an infestation.
Cannabis plants can die from a fungus gnat problem, particularly if your plants are quite young or if the infestation is so bad.
There are telltale signs, however, that can prevent this from happening.
HOW TO GET RID OF FUNGUS GNATS
While it may be easy to trap adult fungus gnats using yellow sticky cards, it’s the larvae that actually needs more of your attention since they’re a bit harder to deal with.
ORGANIC PEST CONTROL AND TREATMENT OF FUNGUS GNATS
To control and eliminate a fungus gnat issue in cannabis grows, I normally use BTi (Bacillus Thuringiensis), a bacteria contained in pest treatments that effectively kills the fungus gnat larvae. It works by preventing the larvae from eating and, in effect, kills them off effectively. This also will have no harmful side effects to you or your plants.
At Ant & Garden Pest Control in Beaverton, Oregon, I only use top-of-the-line equipment and safe, eco-friendly products combined with the latest techniques to ensure we get rid of fungus gnats and all unwanted marijuana bugs in cannabis plants.
Ryan Smith of ANT & GARDEN PEST CONTROL in Beaverton is the most trusted and reliable pest control guy in Oregon, and for good reason! I care about helping my clients as though they’re members of my own family. Whether you’re in need of urgent treatment for an existing ant pest problem or are looking for the best prevention methods for your home or business, I am committed to bringing you only the best ant and pest control Beaverton for your complete peace of mind.
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