How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats in Houseplants

How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats in Houseplants

It's that time of year!  The weather is warming up, the sun is shining, the days are getting longer, and your houseplants are *finally* putting off new leaves.  You sigh a long sigh of relief until suddenly - what's that?  - you see GNATS!  Little tiny flies flying around and interrupting the vibe.  

Keep reading to learn how to get rid of the pesky gnats seem to be taking over! 

First of all, what causes fungus gnats? 

Fungus gnats thrive in moist environments with plenty of organic matter to feed on.  Knowing how they live and reproduce is key to eradicating them for good!  You haven't done anything *wrong* to cause them, so don't beat yourself up.  

The 3 stages of Gnats

First, there are the adults.  These are tiny, black bodied flies that you can easily see flying around.  Then, there are the juveniles.  They are translucent and can sometimes be seen on the surface of the soil.  Lastly, are the eggs.  The eggs are laid in the top half inch of soil.  The lifecycle of fungus gnats can be as long as 45 days, so buckle up because we've got some work to do! 

Step 1 - Repotting

Depending on how severe your gnat problem is, consider repotting your plants.  This is quick and relatively easy way to get rid of the eggs and the juveniles!  We recommend repotting with our Packer Plant Co Potting Mix - it's soil free, fresh, hand mixed, and full of organic and inorganic ingredients to create the best environment for your plants.  
When you are repotting, gently shake off as much excess soil as you can from the roots.  You can also spray the roots with Neem & Gleam to kill any juvenile gnats that may be hanging out.  Once you have repotted, move onto step 2.  

Step 2 - Topsoil Treatment 

The next step is to treat the plant with Bye Bye Fly.  BBF is our fungus gnat topsoil treatment powder!  It works by creating in inhabitable environment for the eggs to live and juveniles to live.  Sprinkle a generous amount on the top of your soil.  Any eggs that hatch will not be able to make it to the surface to start flying around.  Leave the BBF powder on for at least a month!  NOTE:  BBF does not work when it's wet.  You will have to bottom water your plants during treatment, keeping the top inch of soil completely dry.  

Step 3 - Neem & Gleam 

Our Neem & Gleam plant spray will kill any adult fungus gnats on contact, and will also repel any adults that are still alive nearby.  Spray the foliage weekly (avoid spraying the soil if you're using Bye Bye Fly).  If you are NOT using BBF, feel free to spray the top of the soil as well to kill juveniles.  

Step 4 - Sticky Gnat Traps

Sticky Gnat Traps are effective at trapping any adults that come your way and are looking to take up residence on your plants.  They are easy to use, just throw them away as soon as they become full! 

Following all these steps should result in a significant reduction in your gnat problem!!  I never say that you can *completely* eradicate them, but this should make a huge difference.  

Comment below if you have any questions, or send us a message on Instagram!  We love to be a resource for you all! 


Hi Jodi! The Bye Bye Fly should help quite a bit to eliminate the gnats!! It may take a little while longer since the plant is so large but stay the course :) let us know how it goes!!


Thanks for all the info, repotting would be so difficult, it’s a 9 ft tree with a huge pot. I put a sticky trap nearby, sprayed with neem oil on the leaves. I will let top dry out and bottom water but do you think that would be enough to get rid of the gnats? Bye bye fly in addition?

Jodi Kostick

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