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KPRC and the Houston-area Texas Ford Dealers invite you to a Texans-size tailgate party just before the big Texans-Packers game Sun., Nov. 21. Hook up with us at Jones Plaza for our 5 p.m. kickoff featuring a free pre-game Collective Soul concert!! Then, watch the game on the giant GoVision screen. It'll be the biggest and the best tailgate party in Houston — from Subway and KPRC.
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Pam McKay, general sales manager
||Fungal Gnat Control
As I noted in last week's email tip, thanks to the numerous emails on particular topics, you folks were helping to dictate the email tip of the week. This week is no different. It seems there must be a infestation of fungal gnats of late, if the multiple emails on this very subject are any indication. So, this week's email tip is how to find them and how to control them.
There are usually four places that fungal gnats exist. Yes, they can come in from the outside, but the only reason they persist is because they breed in one of these four places.
1. Decaying Fruit or Vegetables (That's why some people call them fruit flies)
2. Fungal Pockets in Indoor/Potted Plants
3. Fungal Pockets in the Sink/Drain
4. Trash Containers.
So, the first thing you do is look for any of these four situations, and take steps to control them. For the first example (DECAYING FRUIT/VEGGIES), you simply remove/throw away the fruit or vegetable in question. They are usually breeding in the mold on the underside of said fruit/veggie that is rotting, but that you are unaware of. This is usually the most pervasive and oddly enough easiest to control situation. `
The second situation is also very common, but a little more labor intensive in the control practice. If you can find the obvious plant that they are hovering around, and more than likely breeding in, then the control measures can be one of many. You can drench the soil with a liquid B.T. (Bacillus Thuringiensis), which takes care of the larvae in a natural way. You can cover the top of the soil with about 1/4 inch of sharp sand (builder's grade or sand box style) to suffocate the breeding ground. Or you can take the suspect plant outside, and drench the entire root ball with any liquid insecticide approved for houseplants.
The third situation is probably the most difficult control method against fungal gnats. That's because if they are breeding in pockets of fungal disease in a sink, that usually means they are doing so just under the lip of the sink/drain. More times than not, they are doing so on the sink-side with the garbage disposal. Which is actually easier to control than the sink without the garbage disposal. That's because, you can purposely clog/fill the sink with soapy water and turn on the garbage disposal and hopefully disinfects the area that the fungal gnats are breeding. Another fun way to control them is to fill the garbage disposal full of ice, and again turn on the disposal switch. The pulverization of the ice will tear up the breeding pockets just under the lip of the sink.
The fourth example is pretty obvious. If you have fungal gnats hanging around the trash can, then throw it all away, and disinfect the trash can.
If for any reason you still can't seem to find where the source of the fungal gnat is coming from, there is a fun way to bait them and kill them, all in one step. It's a simple method of using apple cider vinegar and water. Fill a plastic glass (little plastic see through ones are helpful -- you know, those 4-6 ounce party glasses?) half-full with equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water. The fungal gnats love this stuff, but can't get out. They dive-bomb the mixture and kill themselves. This helps you identify the general area of fungal gnat infestation, and more importantly, it helps control them.
Until next issue, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.
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