Pothos are common household plants with heart-shaped foliage that is green and glossy. Pothos grow like a vine and is perfect for growing in hanging pots or climbing a trellis as they drape beautifully above.
When it comes to invasive bugs that attack pothos plants, gnats are one of them. Before we delve in on how to get rid of gnats in pothos, it is essential we examine why gnats favor pothos.
Fungus gnats are mostly found in an overwatered pothos plant. It may seem that the key to get rids of these invasive pests is to reduce the frequency of watering your pothos plant. There are also methods of getting rid of gnats which will be discussed below.
What are Gnats?
Gnats are also called fungus gnats and are usually opportunistic pests that invade your plants, especially when they are heavily diseased or weakened.
Fungus Gnats are very tiny and come in black colors. They are attracted to decaying material found in houseplant soil, just as the name suggests.
Adult gnats are harmless to your plant, but once their larvae hatch, that's where the real problem starts.
Baby gnats will feed on the delicate roots of your houseplant until they destroy it. They also secrete honeydew, thus leaving black sooty mold on your plants.
Symptoms of Gnats Infestation on Pothos
As mentioned earlier, gnats secrete honeydew, thus leaving black sooty mold on your plants – once you see these molds, it's probably a sign of gnat infestation.
Gnats don't like being disturbed. Most times, when you water or shake your plants, you will find the mosquito-like insects dispersing to settle back on your pothos,
With gnat infestation, your pothos plant will grow slowly, losing its usual vigor. Also, sudden leaf yellowing and wilting are signs of gnat infestation.
Why Gnats are Attracted to Pothos Plant
Most often than not, gnat infestation usually means you are overwatering your plant.
As mentioned earlier, fungus gnats are attracted to decaying material found in houseplant soil. Decaying and root rot are typically associated with an overwatered plant.
So yes, if the care and love poured into your pothos plant in terms of watering is too much, you are indirectly inviting these invasive pests to feast on your pothos.
In some cases, gnats can fly into your home through open doors and windows, or it’s even possible you purchased already infested pothos plant.
If the soil you used to plant your houseplant is already infested with fungus gnats, you may have a bigger problem to deal with.
How to Get Rid of Gnats in Pothos
There are various methods that can be adopted in getting rid of these troublesome pests.
1. Stop Overwatering your Pothos
As a beginner, it is normal to overwater your plant, especially if you are not conversant with the care requirements of the specific plant.
The first step to controlling gnat infestation on your pothos is to efficiently manage the watering schedule of your plant.
Gnats thrive in moist soil, and in a situation when you are watering your pothos once a week, you are indirectly inviting these pests.
Switch to watering your plant once every ten days to once every two weeks. Wait for the soil to completely dry out before watering.
You should also water your pothos plant according to the climate. In arid climates, you can water it at least once every 7 days, while in humid climates, water at least once in 10 days or 2 weeks.
In dry weather, you can occasionally mist the leaves using a spray bottle.
You should also water your pothos according to their size. At most, just a cup or two of water should be sufficient for your pothos.
2. Use Yellow Sticky Traps to Catch Adult Gnats
Another way to eradicate gnats is by ensnaring them with yellow sticky cards. These cards can be purchased in most gardening shops.
Place them very close to your pothos plant. The yellow sticky card will attract the gnats, which fly into the cards and get stuck. Change the cards when they are smothered with goo-trapped bugs.
3. Wash Off the Gnats Using a Blast of Water
This method becomes necessary when gnats have spread to all the leaves of your pothos plant.
Use a garden hose to wash the underside of the leaves to remove the gnats and their eggs weekly.
4. Use Horticultural Oils, Soaps, and Neem Oil
Usage of neem oil and insecticidal soap is a great way to get rid of gnats organically. Most insecticidal soap can be made at home with a spray can, a teaspoon of liquid dishwasher liquid, and water.
You can also purchase products containing natural Neem oil insecticide for plants. When spraying, ensure to coat the entire plant.
Focus more on hidden spots like the undersides of the leaves and where the leaves attach to the stems.
5. Use Chemical Insecticides Meant for Houseplants
Insecticides should be used as a last resort because of the potential damage they could wreak on your pothos plant.
If you must use a chemical insecticide, make sure to get a houseplant-friendly insecticide that contains pyrethrins.
The pothos plant is loved, especially in an indoor setting. The beautiful plant, which is famous for its climbing nature, can be wrapped around just about. In addition, the plant can filter out toxins in the air naturally.
Dealing with gnats on your pothos is probably a result of overwatering it, which answers how to get rid of gnats in pothos.
Other methods of getting rid of these troublesome pests are extensively discussed in this post. With the right amount of persistency and consistency, you can completely eradicate these pests.