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Got Fungus Gnats? Get nematodes.

Let's face it, us plant parents will do anything to protect our green babies, especially if there is a pest that can harm it. And it is even better when we can use a natural biological method of control, instead of always resorting to the insecticidal soap.

Biological pest control is a method of controlling pests by understanding their life cycle and finding a natural enemy to parasitize the pest at a certain life cycle stage. 

A very common pest that many of us see hovering around the soil in our indoor plant pots, known as fungus gnats is not something to ignore, why - because they can multiply pretty quickly and make our 'zen' greenspace in our home a little more 'buggy' than we would like.

Fungus gnats are one of the most common sciarid flies  and are detrimential to plants because they feed on decaying organic matter in the soil but more importantly can also feed on plant roots and root hairs, making the plant vulnerable to other plant diseases.  The adults live for only ten days, however each adult can lay over 200 eggs in the soil of our houseplant pots. The eggs incubate in the soil for a period of 4-6 days into larvae and this larval stage, which lasts for 12- 14 days  is the most dangerous stage as this is when they feed on healthy plant roots. They then enter the pupal stage for around 6 days before emerging as adults to start the life cycle all over again.

Nematodes are microscopic parasitic worms that feed on fungus gnat larvae. It is the BEST way to control fungus gnats and we offer a product called Guardian for Fungus Gnat 2Kit that contains the live nematodes .

How to use the Guardian for Fungus Gnat kit. The kit comes with 2 sticky traps for monitoring and trapping to verify the presence of the pest, and  2 sponges with live nematodes for 2 successvie treatments of nematodes 2 weeks apart.

Remove the sponge from the kit and you will notice a light brown patch on it , those are the nematodes. Gently squeeze the sponge 5 to 10 times in a litre of water to make a nematode solution which is then added to water in your watering can in 1:1 ratio ( equal parts nematode solution to water). Then water all your plants and do not try to achieve full drain as that will leach out the nematodes. Repeat in 2 weeks time with the second sponge, but remember to refirgerate your second sponge until it is time to use  - it stores best when kept cold. 

Here at Sun Harvest, biological pest control is the cornerstone of our integrated pest management program and we are happy to share our expertise with all plant parents and gardening enthusiasts about these safe and effective means of pest control. 

PLEASE NOTE: As beneficials must be preordered, deadline for orders is Wednesday at 3pm for delivery the following Wednesday. It is imperative that you pick up your beneficials on delivery day to ensure the best results at home. You will be notified when your order arrives so that you can arrive by closing of that day.