Fungus Gnat

Pest: Fungus gnat (Orfelia et Bradysia species)

Pest Type: Insect Pest

Major Identifying Features: Dark and delicate flies, look similar to mosquitoes, adults have slender legs with segmented antennae that are longer than their head, 1/16-1/8 inch long, wings are gray to clear, Bradysia have a Y-shaped wing vein, larvae have a shiny black head, and a long white to clear, legless body,

Life Cycle: Fungus gnats develop through four stages (egg, 4 larval stages, pupa, adult), female flies lay tiny eggs in moist organic debris or potting soil, eggs hatch after 3 days at 75°F, it takes 14 days for adults to develop, larvae feed on organic matter, mulch, leaf mold, grass clippings, compost, root hairs, fungi

Pest Rating: Minor

Management Rating: Easy to moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Adult flies are attracted to light, can be noticed around windows, or near growing media, foliage, compost, and wet mulch piles, outdoors adults emerge during winter and spring, and can occur indoors any time of the year

Damage Information: Adults don’t cause damage to plants or humans, their presence can be a nuisance, larvae in large numbers can damage roots and stunt plant growth, larvae can kill young seedlings and plants, serious damage is more common indoors in greenhouses, nurseries, etc.

Management Options: Physical and cultural practices by reducing excess moisture and organic debris, by trapping flies, biological control with Steinernema nematodes, Hypoaspis mites, and Bacillus thuringiensis



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