Are you itching to drag out the potting soil or the rototiller? If so, you’ve got plenty of company in Des Moines. Many people are gearing up to plant cool weather herbs, fast-growing annuals, perennial edibles and container-grown vegetation. Consequently, that means they’ll be mixing up DIY potting medium or buying bags of soil amendments from area retailers.  If you plan on joining in, remember to watch out for fungus gnats.

Like their name suggests, fungus gnats are often found near members of the Kingdom Fungi. And where are fungi found in Des Moines? That’s right, the often show up in overly damp earth and unsterilized potting mediums. However, when the planting mediums are initially put into use, even the most experienced gardeners may not notice the fungi spores. It depends on which stage of development the spores are in. The same goes for the visible identification of fungus gnats.

By their very nature, even the adult gnats are small. Des Moines pest control professionals widely agree that most species rarely grow more than 5 millimeters in length. For comparison sake, that’s the equivalent of stacking five dimes on top of each other. Of course the fungus gnats’ eggs and larvae are much smaller than the width of a dime. So they’re often mistaken for miniscule pieces of perlite, vermiculite, worm casings, sand and sphagnum peat moss.

But unlike those items, fungus gnats are not Des Moines gardeners’ friends. They’re more apt to be describes as foes because they are deadly to a wide variety of vegetation. The death may be slow or fast, depending on scope of a property’s fungus gnat infestation. It isn’t so much the flying nuisances’ life span that residents should worry about. All things considered, it is just a blip on the radar, typically lasting no more than three weeks.

It’s the gnat’s ability to procreate quickly that’s truly the problem. Female members of the Bradysia and Orfelia species typically wait until soil temperatures are in the mid-70s to lay their eggs. Each clutch may contain upwards of three to four hundred viable eggs, which typically hatch within 72 hours’ time. The ensuing instars tend to move quickly but only leave the gnats with about a week’s time to mate before their natural deaths occur. Thus, a lawn or home may be teeming with thousands of fungus gnats in month.

And like other gnats, these fungi lovers also tend to swarm. Although not harmful to domestic pets or humans, the swarms are potentially disturbing. Why? In their haste to mate, the swarming insects may inadvertently fly into a person’s eyes, ears, mouth or nose. And we know no one wants to end up with a face full of fungus gnats. Thankfully, it is avoidable.

How may Des Moines residents’ prevent themselves and their properties from running into swarms of fungus gnats? Ordering planting medium from reliable sources is one way but it’s not a surefire solution. After all, some eggs may enter the medium after sterilization and sometimes it’s just cheaper to use untreated amendments. So the best way to approach a fungus gnat problem is calling in the pest control professionals.

Pest control companies in Des Moines have a variety of effective, efficient, fungus gnat treatment methods at their disposal. Most of the methods tend to reduce or totally eliminate gnat populations in as little a few weeks. To learn more and have all of your fungus gnat treatment questions answered quickly, please contact Miller Pest & Termite today. We currently kill fungus gnat populations in the Des Moines metro area. Plus, we have high, consumer and pest control industry ratings.