Xericstyle

Xeric and stylish gardening in San Antonio, Texas

FUNGUS GNAT infestation in mulch

In early December I completed my entire front yard transformation with NO GRASS. My front yard consists solely of huge garden beds complete with mulch. I started recognizing a decline in many of the shrubs I planted almost 3 months ago that were THRIVING prior to the mulch installation. In particular, my Texas Sage was going downhill quickly. It took a little bit of research trying to figure out what these SWARMS of little tiny “mosquito” looking things were – They are FUNGUS GNATS. I have so many the mulch flies….all you see are swarms and swarms of them…their little wings catching the sunlight. DIE FUNGUS GNATS DIE! Turns out they are very hard to kill as they live in the soil and feed on roots, then emerge as the little “mini mosquitoes” and decimate your foliage. I sprayed yesterday with a mixure of spinosad and Dr. Bronners peppermint soap – does not appear to have made any difference. There are still swarms out there as we speak. Although I did read with spinosad you have to give it a few days as it causes insects to stop feeding immediately but it takes a couple of days for the creature to die. And that is only the start as the little larvae will still be in the soil ready to hatch. I am going to drench the soil today with beneficial nematodes to combat that stage. Man I hope this works! I garden organically and I REALLY, REALLY do not want to use poison. Although I have to tell you I am VERY tempted because I am losing a huge number of my shrubs. Makes me want to cry because of the huge time and financial investment I have put into my yard. I set out some yellow sticky fly traps as well to capture some of the fungus gnats so I could take some pictures.  If you click the picture you can see them a lot better.

Has anyone out there in cyberspace ever had any problems with these guys?

If so, PLEASE share what organic methods you used that were successful in eliminating them.

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