Friday, February 7, 2014

My Shasta Daisy Is Included With Gnats

The Shasta daisy fills the garden with cheerful blossoms all summer long.

The beloved Shasta daisy is a perennial renowned for its floriferous nature. The bright, yellow centers of the eye-catching blossoms tend to attract gnats. Adult gnats thrive in humid conditions and breed in damp soils. Gnat larvae spend their lives feasting on fragile root hairs and young plant stems. A massive gnat infestation can lead to stunted plant growth, reduced vigor and rotting roots. There are a number of simple ways to remove gnats from the garden.


The Shasta daisy is a sun-loving plant that thrives in well-drained soil. Over-watering the flowers creates the ideal environment for gnats. To discourage these garden pests, allow the soil around the flowers to become extremely dry. Wait until the foliage displays visible signs of heat-stress, such as wilting or drooping, before adding water. Gnat larvae cannot survive without damp soil and adult gnats cannot breed in dry conditions.

Bug Sprays

Common baking soda makes an excellent repellent for small, soft-bodied, flying insects. Simply stir 2 tsp. of baking soda into 1 pint of water and spray the affected foliage. Reapply the solution every seven days to keep gnats, aphids and thrips at bay. To create a spray that is a bit more potent, combine ½ cup of pure vodka and 1 ½ cups of water, and soak the leaves and saturate the soil surrounding infested plants with this solution. Reapply the spray every two days for three weeks to completely eradicate resident gnat populations.


Anything that is bright yellow will attract gnats. To use this to your advantage, cover yellow objects -- margarine tub lids, squares of poster board, yellow painted sticks -- with a thick layer of petroleum jelly and place them near affected plants. The insects, drawn to the yellow color, will be trapped in the viscous gel. Rinse the traps twice a week to remove any insects and refresh the petroleum jelly coating.


Nicotine sulfate is the active ingredient in tobacco. One of the older forms of pest control, this naturally potent alkaloid paralyzes insects on contact. Rid the garden of gnats, whiteflies, thrips, aphids, beetles, mealybugs and mites by removing the tobacco from a handful of cigarettes and sprinkling it around the base of any infested plants. Bear in mind, nicotine is highly toxic to mammals; do not use this remedy on edible plants and herbs, and be sure to keep pets and children well away from the garden area.

Related posts

    Fungus gnats are those little hopping bugs you see when you water your indoor plants. They are 1/32 to 1/50 inches with black or gray bodies and clear wings. Plants grown under cover are most susc...
    Your freshly grown basil can be a target for any number of pests.Though there are technically no bugs called basil bugs, there are plenty of bugs that feast on basil plants. Aphids, mites, cutter...
    When looking for ways to control grubs in your lawn or garden, natural remedies are more attractive to many people than chemical pesticides. With these recipes for grub control, you don't have to...
    Tobacco leaf tea will kill most common plants.Herbicide, or weed killer, is a pesticide used to kill unwanted vegetation. Several different types of herbicides are available, some targeting only s...
    Nontoxic insecticides are especially important for a vegetable garden.When choosing an insecticidal spray for plants in a vegetable garden, it is very important to choose sprays with nontoxic ingr...