Houseplants, Pests and prevention

Hypoaspis mite – the cure for fungus gnats

I went shopping yesterday to look for a solution to my fungus gnat problem.
Fungus gnats are those tiny black flies that flit around your plants and find their way into your kitchen and bathroom – any moist environment.
My aim was to find something that would be natural.

I found Hypoaspis mites in the insecticide section of the local garden centre. The container was under $20 so I decided to try one container. There wasn’t much information on the label which was disappointing so I have done some research on Google.
The Hypoaspis comes packed in a medium of bran, vermiculite, and peat. They are tiny brown mites that can be seen under 10-15X magnification.
I used my container immediately when I got home. I applied one tablespoon to the base of each houseplant. The soil should be damp before applying the mites and don’t mix them into the soil – they won’t survive.
Each of these hungry little insects will consume 1-5 prey or eggs per day!
The complete life cycle takes 18 days. Hypoaspis can also survive as a scavenger, feeding on algae and plant debris.

Two weeks later I have still noticed a reduction in the appearance of fungus gnats – not totally eradicated, but a significant decline in the numbers. For more information go to http://www.biconet.com/biocontrol/hypoaspis.html

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