Anyone know a way to control or eliminate the little flies that hatch from potted plants?

amfire125

Established Member
Use something more natural.

House geckos, or day geckos. Small species like that will chase the flies.If you cage is suitable for a chameleon, it will keep these small geckos alive too.

I like the sand idea too. It won't hurt the plants as long as there is soil under it
I've been researching more natural solutions, and I was coming up empty until this thread started. I just own one chameleon (no other pets at all), so keeping another pet, a gecko, isn't really a fitting solution for some fruit flies especially since they're all around the room and not just the enclosure. I really like the sand idea as well for the op's problem as well. I'm still trying to figure out the source of my fruit flies since it only became a problem as the weather started cooling off, and in my situation I don't think it's coming from my plants. Just curious if anyone had experience with the ultrasonic pest repellers as I keep troubleshooting my own situation.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Use something more natural.

House geckos, or day geckos. Small species like that will chase the flies.If you cage is suitable for a chameleon, it will keep these small geckos alive too.

I like the sand idea too. It won't hurt the plants as long as there is soil under it
Couldn’t a large chameleon eat them? I think Bill Strand and the dude from Arcadia Reptile (forgot his name) talked about it in the Chameleon Breeder Podcast. I wouldn’t want my big guy eating them, considering the cheap feeder geckos that I would get most likely contain parasites (from what I’ve read)
 

Kiraral

Member
There are some beneficial nematodes that will kill fungus gnats in the soil. Amazon and some gardening companies will send them to you. Rehydrate them and drench the soil. Sticky yellow traps can get some of the flying adults or even more satisfying use carnivorous plants near your cages..
Would nematodes be safe in a lay bin?
 

Kiraral

Member
I couldn't guarantee that. They work by attacking the fly larva. I doubt they would affect eggs but I wouldn't risk it without more research. Mine are live bearing so I don't deal with lay bins or egg hatching.
Ah ok, ty. I’m not worried about the eggs, they’re invertile, just my female.
 

SirWilliamj

Member
One can not eliminate fungus gnats (or shore flies) with soap, sand, nor traps. The larvae live deep in the soil. Adults often breed at the soil surface and never take flight. They can breed in the soil at the bottom of the pot, so sand is ineffective. Traps only monitor a tiny fraction of the whole population, the traps don't catch all the adults, but they are a useful tool in monitoring. Sticky traps could potentially be a danger to animals.
A soil drench with the proper strain of the bacterium B.t.i. will safely control them. "Mosquito Bits" from Summit is one example. (summitchemical.com) This product is certified organic.
One makes a solution by soaking a quarter of an 8 oz. bottle in a gallon of water for 15 min. and then thoroughly drenching the plant so water comes out all the holes. A treatment usually lasts for about 6 months.
I found this product on amazon but it appears to only affect misquito larvea. Any idea if they will kill the dirt fleas as well?
 

RyanBRZ

Established Member
I see what look like fruit flies or gnats occasionally that I believe came from my pothos plants. I finally saw my cham eat one that landed on the bottomside of the top of his enclosure. So yeah, just let nature takes its course.
 

Zilla23

Established Member
I second the use of carnivorous plants for snaring any stray, pesky bugs! Since our cham rooms are typically pretty humid, they often do well as long as they receive enough light to thrive. I keep a carnivorous bog garden in a half-whiskey barrel on my back porch in Minnesota and even I have pretty good luck with them (when it's not the cold half of the year).

I find Pinguicula (butterworts) and Drosera (tropical sundew) species to be the best, most efficient gnat/fruit fly catchers. I see people try and use venus flytraps sometimes, but in my experience the tiny flying insects we want to get rid of are too light to trigger the VFTs prey response. Also my VFTs usually don't last too long tbh :rolleyes:
are the Drosera (Sundews) ok to put inside the enclosure? I got some today but didn't know if I could put is in the enclosure or not.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sundews probably wouldn't do well in the enclosure without a lot of light and proper soil. I went through a soil gnat problem a few years ago and can speak for the carnivorous plants... I had THOUSANDS and within a week 2 butterworts and 2 sundews wiped them out. Sundews are the best IME, but even pitchers will do a pretty good job.
 

snitz427

Avid Member
I've added sticky traps to the base of the plants that my chams NEVER get close to, and its caught a lot of the gnats. I also have large river rocks on most plants so there isn't much exposed soil except around the stem. This has cut down noticably on the gnats. They are common pests in nursery plants, and I'm sure I brought them home in a new plant. I don't worry about the ones in my cham's cages as they occasionally snack on them (if they are fast enough to catch them!).
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've added sticky traps to the base of the plants that my chams NEVER get close to, and its caught a lot of the gnats. I also have large river rocks on most plants so there isn't much exposed soil except around the stem. This has cut down noticably on the gnats. They are common pests in nursery plants, and I'm sure I brought them home in a new plant. I don't worry about the ones in my cham's cages as they occasionally snack on them (if they are fast enough to catch them!).
This is a disaster waiting happen. Please replace them with any of the plants James mentioned above.
 

snitz427

Avid Member
This is a disaster waiting happen. Please replace them with any of the plants James mentioned above.
What exactly is a disaster waiting to happen? Gnats are very common stow aways in garden center plants...

The sticky traps are not on plants my chams have access to. I have plants everywhere.
 

snitz427

Avid Member
Sorry - my post might have been misleading. I meant to emphasize that my chams have zero chance of getting near a trap. I like the carnivorous plants too but haven’t been able to find any locally.
 
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