Why are there mosquitoes on plants?

Mosquitoes are one of the most annoying insects that can be in … well, in the world. It’s really uncomfortable being outside, enjoying the outdoors, and having to go back inside so you don’t get bitten. Although there are repellants that can be used, they are not always as effective as the packaging says. But even more unpleasant is to find them among the leaves of the plants, because that is when you realize that the focus of the problem may be in your garden.

It is something that has happened to me, and it is an experience that I do not recommend to anyone. For this reason, I am going to talk to you about why there can be mosquitoes on plants, and what you can do to solve it.

Why does my plant have mosquitoes?

Fungus gnats harm plants

Mosquitoes are very favored by the heat . In temperate regions, it is in spring and especially in summer when they breed and develop most rapidly. But if the winter is especially warm, with maximum temperatures of at least 15 degrees maximum, it is possible to find them too.

But apart from the high temperatures, it is important to know that they love humidity. In fact, they leave the eggs in puddles, buckets, chlorine-free pools, … in short, anywhere where there is stagnant water , even in the dishes that we put under the pots. And is that the larvae feed on decomposing organic matter, but also on the root hairs of plants, which makes them very weak since, as if that were not enough, pathogenic fungi can enter through these micro-wounds. that they would cause them a lot of trouble.

So, if we have, for example, a Venus flytrap to which we have put a plate, it is possible that an adult mosquito will leave its eggs there, in the water. In addition, it must be borne in mind that if stones are placed on the substrate, the breeding of mosquitoes is also favored , since the earth takes longer to dry.

What is the mosquito that affects plants the most?

Although there are many types of mosquitoes, the ones that most harm plants are known as fungus gnats or ground gnats . Although it needs humidity to be able to breed, its water needs are not as high as those of the tiger mosquito. The female of this variety lays around 300 small and elongated eggs, which once hatch become elongated larvae of translucent color and later become pupae for about 6 days. After that time, they will be adults and the cycle will restart again, which lasts approximately 28 days.

It is easy to find in the pots that are watered too much , as well as in those areas of the garden where the water remains stagnant. That is why it is crucial to take measures so that they do not harm plants or humans.

How to remove mosquitoes from plants?

If we see that the plants have mosquitoes, we have to act fast. As we know that these insects love humidity, what we will do is the following:

  • Suspend watering : if the plants resist drought , such as those of Mediterranean origin or succulents, we will temporarily stop watering. And this is very important if we want the larvae to die.
  • Immerse the pot in a basin with water : it may sound contradictory, but if we have plants that do not withstand drought but do with humidity, a homemade option is to do that, fill a container with water and put the pot in it. If we leave it there for half an hour, then let it drain and then wait for the soil to dry before watering again, the problem may be solved.
  • Treat the plants with anti-mosquito insecticides . There are several options here: setting sticky traps, using chemical insecticides or making our own homemade product. 

How to make a homemade insecticide for mosquitoes?

To do this, we will simply need 1 liter of water and 200 grams of chamomile . We put the chamomile in the water, inside a small pot, and we light the fire so that the liquid boils. When it does, we turn it off, filter the solution with the help of a strainer, and finally wait for it to cool down a bit, at least until it is at room temperature.

Once done, we will have our homemade insecticide ready to use, something that we will do by spraying / spraying the earth. In this way, the mosquitoes will disappear.

How to prevent mosquitoes on plants?

Lavender is a low subshrub that repels mosquitoes

To prevent mosquitoes on plants it is important to avoid excess moisture. For this reason, we must control the risks ; that is, do not water more than is strictly necessary. If we have doubts about when to do it again, we must check the humidity of the earth. This is something that can be done with a digital humidity meter, or even with a simple wooden stick, since when we remove it from the substrate, if we see that it has a lot of attached soil, we can know that we do not have to water even when it is wet.

Another thing that we must not forget is to drain the dishes that we have under the pots after each watering. Thus, we will prevent them from leaving the larvae in them, and in the process we will also be able to minimize the risk that the roots of our plants rot.

Likewise, it is very interesting to grow mosquito repellent plants , such as lavender , anti-mosquito geranium , citronella , mint, basil , sage, rosemary or catnip. All of these give off an aroma that drives away these insects, but they are also very easy to care for since what they need is sun, well-drained soil and moderate watering.

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