dunks and gnats

bonniejean001September 15, 2010

I have read numerous posts on GardenWeb that say watering plants with mosquito dunk water will rid you of this obnoxious pest.

I have a lot of plants so I'd like to know how much dunk per gallon of water. I am planning on putting the dunk in the food processor to make a powder and then adding the recommended amount to the water. Does it matter if I use the donut shaped dunk or the granules? I know the former has a residual effect and the latter a quick kill effect.

Would anyone be able to tell me what ratio they think will do the trick?

Would you recommend I use the apple cider vinegar and dish soap technique at the same time?

And how do these buggers find my face so quickly and expediently?

Thank for your help.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Can't comment on the recipe for mosquito dunks. I believe that most people simply break off a piece to put into their watering containers and let it sit for a few hours. Then water as usual. If there is any of the piece left, it can be used for the next watering cycle.

If you have a lot of plants, then it might be more convenient for you to order or locate some Gnatrol, a liquid that you simply mix with water and apply.

Fungus gnats aren't attracted to the vinegar. Those annoying adults flit around the plants so that they can lay their eggs in the (usually overly moist) potting medium. The adults can be attracted to lights and windows.

It's fruit flies that will be diving into a vinegar solution, not fungus gnats.

If you have a lot of plants and a big gnat problem, it's time to address the real problem....either the type of potting medium you use OR the frequency of the watering. These insects really thrive when the potting soil is too moist for too long....a consequence of improper watering or a slow-to-drain medium.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2010 at 10:44PM
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gobluedjm

I agree with rhizo solve your watering problem with the proper soil and watering technique. It doesn't do any good to keep killing them if you give them a home.

I wouldn't put anything like that in my food processor, just put it in a plastic bag and hit it with a hammer a few times. On the back on the dunk package it should tell you how much to use based on surface area of a pond so use that logic. In other words it doesn't take much in a watering can.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 12:20AM
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tima9209

>It's fruit flies that will be diving into a vinegar solution, not fungus gnats. So fruit flies breed in potting soil? If what you say is true, they must, because recently I caught a bunch in bowls of vinegar/Dawn, and I positively identified that they were breeding in one particular pot housing a Chinese Evergreen. That said, I really don't care what they're called. All I care about is the approach to eradicating the tiny monsters. Is there any difference in that respect?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 3:24AM
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bonniejean001

Okay, I'll just wing it.

Maybe I have both gnats and fruit flies. I just want to get rid of these flying monsters.

I will have to think about my watering practices but for now I will take this two pronged approach of bt and vinegar. I used to use Miracle Grow soil but now I bought Promix and added additional perlite.

Thanks for your input everyone.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 6:14AM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Bonnie, you don't need to crush or even break the dunks - just float one in a container of water over night and next day use that water to water your plants. You can't overdo it with these, the measurements needed aren't that precise and you are not going to end up with too strong a solution. You can let the dunk dry out and use it again, intermittent drying and wetting is said not to alter the effectiveness.

Once is not going to solve your problem, plan on using the BTi infused water when watering your plants for at least three consecutive waterings to break the breeding cycle. It's a slow fix taking 3 or 4 weeks but the dunks do work. I grow quite a bit from seed and have begun keeping BTi (active ingredient in the dunks) in granular or liquid form on hand for convenience - we can get the gnats in outside flats here even in winter, tough little bugs that love uniformly moist pots as in seed growing :(

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 12:13PM
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bonniejean001

Thanks morz.

I started using it this week and see results already. It is great not to have one of these pests flying at my face while watching TV. I used the quick kill granules since it was easier to get it into the milk jugs I use for watering.

I will continue to use it for a few weeks.

Thanks to all.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2010 at 1:07PM
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tommyr_gw

In a one gallon or less can use 1/4 of a dunk. READ the package label. ALWAYS. I use 1/2 of one in a 25 gallon rain barrel (plastic garbage can actually).

    Bookmark   September 21, 2010 at 8:21PM
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