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Knats are Driving me Crazy

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  • Knats are Driving me Crazy

    Okay, I am ready to take apart my live viv so I don't have to deal with the knats anymore. I have been using sticky traps and apple cider which help a lot but these annoying little pests just keep reappearing in droves! I figured they must have laid eggs in my substrate and are just getting hatched every couple of weeks. My isopods and springtails I'm sure are helping but the cycle just keeps repeating.

    I take Petrie out when this happens and put him in a holding tank. But I would really like to get him back into his regular cage.

    Plus my pothos are getting all spotty looking so I'm not sure if that means too much water, not enough water, etc... I have a great LED light that has made one of my plants thrive. I lost my mahogany firm awhile back and replaced it with a fake fern.

    I worked so hard getting this viv set up that I am frustrated with all the little issues I am dealing with. Might just clean it all out and put the healthy plant in a pot and store in this tank with paper towel substrate...but then I'd hate to lose all those great isopods and springtails. Ugh.

  • #2
    Do you have a drainage layer under your substrate? Any pictures of your setup?

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    • #3
      Try leaf litter so they can't get directly to the soil. Spray the decor but let the soil dry out on top. You can water plants directly at the roots once a week or as needed. Good luck!
      Specializing in Crested Geckos
      Working with Uromastyx | Uroplatus | PI Chahoua
      Also keeping: Australian Shepherds (Chester & Sadie)
      Moon Valley Reptiles | MVR @iherp | Facebook

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      • #4
        Thanks! I do have drainage layers. and leaf litter. I will give it a couple of more days to see if they disappear...at least until the next outbreak. vicious cycle.

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        • #5
          Another thing to try, if you're not already doing this, is to add food just before lights out and to take out whatever is uneaten as soon as you get up in the morning. If the gnats (or fruit flies?) are active only during daytime, this will deprive them of food.

          If you keep to a strict schedule, you can also put in sticky fly paper into the vivs during the day as long as you religiously remove it before the geckos become active at night. I've done this before when I had a fruit fly infestation and the combination of high mortality and not enough food reduced the population to zero in a few weeks without requiring an overhaul of the enclosure or the use of any nasty chemicals.

          Good luck and keep us posted!
          3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

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          • #6
            If your pothos are getting spotty looking, I'm thinking you don't have quite enough water. I've grown pothos out of the tops of aquariums, and they've done fabulous. I try to keep a little bit in the bottom of my drainage layer. Not so much it touches the soil, but enough that the plants stay well watered. My Mahogany fern also seems to relish plenty of water.

            For the first month my latest terrarium was set up, I fully covered the terrarium with saran wrap, and misted heavily twice a day. The plants have adapted quickly, and unlike previous fresh terrariums, I didn't seem to get any gnats once my gecko was introduced, and the saran wrap was pulled back.

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            • #7
              My home has always been plagued with the little flying boogers, even before I got geckos. So I've done lots of trial and error getting rid of them in my vivs.

              +1 for the leaf litter. Let the top of the soil dry out. Only mist the sides of the viv, and plants' leaves as needed. Keep water and food dishes on side ledges, rather than sitting on the substrate. Another thing to try if you have a drainage layer is to get a piece of 1/2" PVC pipe. Dig up the substrate in a corner to expose the top of the drainage layer. Place the pipe vertically so it goes from the drainage layer to just above the soil surface. From now on, water the plants using the pipe, so the water goes directly to the drainage layer and seeps up into the soil. This helps keep the top layer more dry.

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