Thursday, July 02, 2015

Home News Fungus gnat larvae could be damaging plant roots

Fungus gnat larvae could be damaging plant roots

Poor rooting, root disease infection may be caused by fungus gnat larvae feeding

David Kuack | February 21, 2011

Fungus gnat larvae can burrow into plant roots and into stems of cuttings that are being propagated. This can result in root damage and eventually plant death, said Tom Dudek, senior Mich. St. Univ. Extension horticulture and marketing educator. He said there have also been reports that fungus gnat adults can carry fungal pathogen spores of Botrytis, Pythium, Fusarium, Phoma and Verticillium.
Monitoring of adult fungus gnats can be done with yellow sticky cards laid horizontally near the plant pot surface. Dudek said this card orientation generally collects twice as many adults as a vertically placed card on a stake.
The adults are easily identified with a 10X or 15X hand lens. Fungus gnat adults are dark-bodied, slender, long-legged, mosquito-like insects. The larvae are wormlike with a black head capsule and a white to transparent body.
Once cuttings have rooted, Dudek said allowing the growing medium to dry between waterings is the best way to reduce fungus gnat infestations. Both insecticides and biological controls are available for fungus gnat control.

Fungus gnat larvae can burrow into plant roots of cuttings being propagated, which can result in root damage and eventually plant death.
Photo by Thomas Dudek, Mich. St. Univ. Extension

Top news

The Growing Edge: Inside the hiring process

A New York growing operation discusses the challenges of finding qualified job candidates, the hiring process and life as a startup.

Dümmen Orange acquires Florexpo

The acquisition includes the move of top Florexpo talent and management to Dümmen Orange’s new production site in Guatemala.

Four Star Greenhouse plans summer events

The Michigan greenhouse has several opportunities for growers and retailers to tour its operations.

USDA announces $150 million partnership to support California water quality and quantity

The partnership will allot public and private resources to conserve and restore the Sierra-Cascade California Headwaters.

Sakata wins water conservation award

The Santa Clara Valley Water District awarded the company the title "Water Saving Hero."

x