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The Fungus Fly is also known as the Sciarid fly, and the name can also sometimes be used to include the Shore Fly. Sciarid flies are either of the Bradysia pauperaor Lycoriella ingenua species and Shore flies are of the Scatella tenvicostaspecies. These flies can be nuisance pests of indoor grown plants. Sciarid flies have long antennae and the Shore flies have a stubby appearance with short antennae. Adults of the Sciarid, and Shore, fly can build up in large numbers and will fly off plants once disturbed.
Sciarid flies lay their eggs in compost or soil, and these eggs will develop into small white larvae. This larvae can damage seedlings and spread plant diseases such as Pythium, often known as damping off, where seedlings collapse. Shore fly larvae can cause the same damage symptoms but not all of their eggs are laid in compost, and can sometimes be found in other areas, such as under greenhouse benches in the soil, instead.
The first line of defence against Fungus Fly should be the use of Yellow Sticky Traps. These will help catch the adult Fungus flies and provide a warning of increasing numbers. Hang the sticky traps just above plants or seedlings and replace them when they are full. Once Fungus Fly adults are noticeable treat the infestation with Fungus Fly Killer Nematodes which can be watered into seed trays or pots. This provides a safe, natural, and chemical free method of controlling Fungus Gnats.
Soil, or compost, can also be treated for Fungus Gnat infestation with Mighty Mite or Hypoaspis miles mites. These soil borne mites will feed on any small Fungus fly larvae on, or in, the compost and can serve as a highly useful preventative treatment. Find our full range of relevant products below.