Among all the problems a plant experiences, pests pose a great threat. And pests like flies may seem harmless but can be a nuisance if they start laying eggs in your house plants. Let’s understand.
Flies like fungus gnats lay eggs in the house plants when the soil remains too moist. Fungus gnats prefer a moist environment, so wet soil becomes their ideal breeding ground. Allow the soil to dry by placing the plant under bright light, and use neem oil or insecticidal soap to eliminate the eggs.
If you spot flies around your houseplants and doubt that they have laid eggs in them, read this guide to know why that happens and how to deal with it.
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Where do flies lay eggs in the house?
You will find different types of flies around your house or building.
Not all of them will lay eggs in your house plants.
Let’s look at some common flies and where they lay eggs.
|Types of flies||Where they lay eggs|
|Housefly||They lay eggs in moist decaying organic matter such as trash.|
|Drain flies||As the name suggests, drain flies lay their eggs in drain pipes and garbage.|
|Blowflies||These lay their eggs in decomposing animals and animal feces.|
|Fungus gnats||These flies are our common culprit as they lay eggs in the moist houseplant soil.|
|Fruit flies||These lay their eggs in rotten and decaying liquid food waste.|
|Cluster flies||More commonly found outdoors, but you can spot them in your house during cooler months. These lay eggs in soil with earthworms.|
|Phorid flies||These resemble fruit flies and lay eggs in potted plants, garbage, drains, rotting vegetables and fruits, etc.|
Why do I see lots of flies in the house suddenly?
Nobody wants flies in the house.
Not only are they harmful to your health, but they also cause an irritating sound that everyone dislikes.
If you spot many flies in your house during the cold, these might be cluster flies.
Cluster flies can come inside the house for warmth during the cold months.
These flies will not lay their eggs in your house plants unless there are earthworms in the soil.
They will just take shelter to go dormant till spring and try to come outside the house once the weather becomes warm.
If you spot flies during summer, they might be attracted to the light inside the house.
You might have left the windows that helped the flies enter the house.
Beware, as the flies tend to lay eggs during the summer, and you wouldn’t want them to lay eggs anywhere inside your house.
Which fly lays eggs in house plants?
Fungus gnats and phorid flies can lay eggs in the house plants.
If you notice fungus gnats around your houseplant, check the soil.
Fungus gnats are usually attracted to overwatered houseplants.
This is because moist soil is ideal for laying eggs.
If you don’t want flies to lay eggs in your house plant, you should allow the soil to get dry.
Overwatering not only brings these pesky flies but also damages the plant.
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How do I remove flies and eggs from my house plants?
Most often, fungus gnats lay eggs in house plants.
You can also find phorid flies and black flies laying eggs in the soil.
The flies usually lay eggs on the soil’s top layers, around 1-1.5 inches.
You must scrape this layer out of the pot containing the eggs and the larvae.
To remove the flies from the house plant, you can use:
- Beneficial nematodes
- Yellow sticky traps
- Carnivorous plants
- Indoor flycatcher
- A vinegar solution
Let’s understand these in detail.
Get beneficial nematodes
You can get beneficial nematodes if too many flies have laid too many eggs or larvae in your house plant.
These nematodes are tiny invertebrates that kill the larvae and don’t cause any harm to the plant.
If you are wondering what these nematodes do, they release bacteria that enter the larvae’s bodies and destroy them from inside.
Yellow sticky traps
Yellow sticky traps are easily available in the market.
Their color attracts the flies around the house plants, which get trapped in the sticky substance.
This will not work on the eggs or the larvae but on the flies that will eventually control the eggs.
You can use double-sided sticky traps that you can hang from a branch or lay over the potting soil.
Try to get the non-toxic ones, and don’t keep them in contact with any leaves.
Once the traps get filled with the flies, replace them with new ones.
Insecticides are used on all types of pests, including flies.
Although you get chemical insecticides, start by trying the organic ones.
For example, you can use organic Neem oil.
This will kill the flies.
Pyrethrin spray also effectively eliminates the flies and their larvae.
One chemical that works great is hydrogen peroxide.
You can dilute it in the 4:1 ratio and soak the soil with it.
This will target the larvae.
Grow carnivorous plants
Many plants feed on small insects and flies.
These are called carnivorous or insectivorous plants, and some examples are pitcher plants, sundew, etc.
If you keep these plants around the infected house plant, the flies will get attracted to them, and the plants will feed on them.
You can get an indoor flycatcher if you are disturbed by frequent fly infestations in the house and around your house plants.
An indoor flycatcher is a device that uses LED lights to attract flies and trap them inside it.
It is a great investment if you notice too many flies too often.
A vinegar solution
This is an easy method where you can prepare a trap by mixing white vinegar with 2 drops of fragrant mild dish soap and 1 tbsp of sugar.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and cover this tightly with a wrap.
Make tiny holes on the wrap and place it near the house plant.
The flies will get attracted to the smell, enter through the holes, and drown in the solution.
How to prevent flies from laying eggs in your house plants?
After you have removed the eggs and eliminated the flies, you wouldn’t want to see them again.
And for this, you need to know how you can prevent them in the first place.
Prevention saves you from all the headaches and hard work you need to get rid of the flies and their eggs.
Let’s look at a few ways of preventing flies from laying eggs in the house plants.
Don’t overwater your house plants
Overwatering creates an ideal environment for the flies to lay eggs.
Overwatering keeps the soil moist most of the time, creating an unfavorable condition for the plant and favorable for the flies.
To avoid overwatering, don’t follow a watering schedule blindly and always check the soil before watering.
You can use a moisture meter or your finger to determine if the soil is moist or ready for watering.
Keep the surroundings clean
The surrounding of your house plants can also attract flies.
Flies usually get attracted to decomposing plant parts, rotting fruits, trash, etc.
If you find any such components around your house plants, remove them immediately.
Always keep the surroundings clean.
Check the drainage
You might not be overwatering your plant.
But a poor drainage system can create the same environment that overwatering does.
The soil can remain soggy due to this and attract flies.
The pot and the soil largely make the drainage system.
Use a pot with drainage holes that will allow the excess water to drain out every time you water the plant.
Don’t use heavy soil.
Keep it loose, so it doesn’t hold excess moisture for too long.
If you use a cache tray to collect the excess water, don’t forget to empty it on time.
Provide sufficient light
Light plays an important role here as how fast the soil dries up depends on how much light the plant receives.
The soil will remain moist longer if your house plant doesn’t get enough light.
This happens due to 2 reasons:
- The plant functions less with low light
- Due to low light, the water doesn’t evaporate fast and remains in the soil longer.
So, keep your house plants in well-lit spots and use artificial lights if they don’t get enough natural light.
Remove the decaying matter
You might notice dead and decaying foliage on the house plants or the soil.
It is best to remove these whenever you notice them or every 2-3 days as the larvae of the flies and gnats feed on them.
Don’t use the old soil
It is best to use fresh potting soil after removing the old soil with eggs and larvae of the flies.
Reusing the old soil can bring the same problem again.
Many growers have faced problems with flies laying eggs in the soil of their house plants. If you keep the surrounding of your house plants clean and don’t overwater them, you might not face this problem.
Avoid ignoring the flies whenever you notice them, and try eliminating them before they lay eggs in your house plants. If they have already laid eggs, try using the remedies I have mentioned above.
Reference: Common insect pests and diseases.