How to Get Rid of Tiny Black Bugs on My Plants

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Placing plants in your home increases oxygen, adds a decorative touch and contributes to stress reduction. However when you find tiny black bugs -- called gnats or fruit flies -- on your plants, you must get rid of them. Although gnats do not feed on plant leaves, they multiply and get into the soil and harm the plant's roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Watering can
  • Small dishes
  • Vinegar
  • Sticky traps
  • Pie tins
  • Soil
  • Wheat grass
  • Commercial product containing Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Find gnats crawling in the soil or hovering above the surface and around the leaves. Understand that gnats multiply quickly.

  • Remove all fruits and vegetables from countertops and place them in the refrigerator.

  • Refrain from overwatering your plants. Dry out the soil between waterings, sometimes up to two weeks. Try this only if your plant is drought-tolerant. Resume watering with a light hand every other day or as directed.

  • Pour vinegar into a small dish and place it near your plants. Vinegar attracts bugs, which drown after landing on the dish.

  • Apply yellow sticky traps to the plants. Place the trap onto the holder and push the stake into the soil. The bugs stick to the trap and stop mating.

  • Put a pie tin filled with soil and wheat grass near the plants. As the fresh grass grows, the gnats will fly into it and get trapped. Throw the tin away and repeat until all the gnats are gone.

  • Use an commercial product that contains Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt-H14). Place 2 to 8 tsp. into a gallon of water. Water the plant three times weekly. This controls the larvae and keeps the plants clean and healthy.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are not sure if black bugs are present, blow on your plant. The bugs will fly in response to the blowing and you can see them.
  • Bringing in new house plants may mean starting the process over again.

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References

  • Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
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