So a couple of years ago, I noticed that when at work, little black bugs flew around. They weren’t especially tough to swat, and I remembered having seen something like that many years before, and it was associated with houseplants. Which I happened to have, right on my desk.
Some googling, and evidently they’re called fungus gnats. I seem to have gotten rid of them via letting the plants dry out quite thoroughly a few times (supposedly eliminates the damp-loving fungus the larvae feed on); hadn’t seen one in a year or more.
Brought the plant home. Not sure that one was an issue, as I saw no pests. Then I brought a couple new plants home… and all of a sudden we’re overrun (er, overflown?) with the damn things. In our faces (evidently they like carbon dioxide), occasionally falling into soapy water when we’re doing dishes, etc.
Googling suggests that we need to strongly avoid overwatering / standing water (ok, doing that, check), put out sticky traps (did that, check), and apply bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis (as opposed to the assorted other BT varieties out there). Bought that (granules; also suitable for adding to ponds etc. outdoors for eliminating skeeters) and applied to soil and watered - sparingly.
Nearly 2 weeks later and we seem to have as many bugs as ever. Well, probably somewhat fewer, as we’ve placed a number of sticky traps in plants and those have gotten covered in stuck dead gnats. Oh, and the BT granules? Where I sprinkled them, and wet them to “water them in”… there’s mold growing.
Someone please tell me you’ve had infestations like this and gotten rid of them! We’ve had some of these plants for years and I’d hate to have to get rid of them - one is a ficus that’s taller than I am, others are descended from plants we owned before we were married 25 years asgo. On the other hand, I’m really really tired of risking a high-protein snack every time I inhale.