Xericstyle

Xeric and stylish gardening in San Antonio, Texas

Applied BENEFICIAL NEMATODES for the fungus gnat larvae

It seemed like nothing I did was taking down the fungus gnat population – I cannot even explain the infestation I have – it is ridiculous.  Over several weeks I have tried the soap and water – neem – spinosad – and still the mulch pretty much flies when you crouch down and look at it.  I finally realized (duh) I also needed to get these guys while they were in the ground as larvae as well.  I applied beneficial nematodes 4 days ago and (knock on wood) I have noticed a significant decrease in the flying adults the last two days.  I hope to continue to use the soap and water on the foliage and apply the nematodes every couple of months or so when the temperatures support that.  Apparently you are wasting your money if you apply nematodes if it is too cold, too hot, or too dry – so that means the Texas summer is out…and the gnats can survive droughts.  I plan to be proactive and keep this problem at bay.  Also, the nematodes are amazing at keeping the yard free of grub problems, ticks, termites, fire ants….you name it.  So it is only good to keep it up – especially with two little ones that like to play and sit and dig in the yard.  The Texas fire ants are NASTY little critters.

An interesting observation I have made, as well as a testament to organic gardening practices, is the amount of green lacewings I have in my yard.  Mother nature is incredible – green lacewings love a diet of fungus gnats and so here they are….all over the place.  I hope these beneficial guys stick around once I get the gnats down to non-plant destroying numbers.  Had I nuked the yard they most certainly would not be around.  Although I did use spinosad (which I only do as a last resort because it can also kill precious bees) so this baffles me a little.

I am going to keep on keepin’ on with my little organic ecosystem – ORGANIC GARDENING RULES!

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