House Plants & Fungus Gnats

Today I was thinking about attempting the backsplash. But I woke up with both my right ankle and back hurting. So I’m hobbling around.

Right now I have an ice pack on my back between me and my chair.

Used to be, there would be a immediate reason for such pain. As I get older I see that past injuries just choose their own time to flare up whether there is a reason or not.

However I do overdo it, no doubt about that. I know this and I’ve tried to break the habit and have so far been unsuccessful.

I should have worked outside in small increments instead of pushing on over the weekend. Once I get started I’m a whirling dervish, trying to get all the pots cleaned up and the dead vines pulled off the fence and disposed of.

I always seem to forget that I’m going to pay for using the clippers to cut through wood that probably needs something much stronger. Then I end up with my hands aching due to the pressure I had to use to cut through them.

Yesterday I could no longer stand the gnats that have been flying around in my apartment. This had been going on for several weeks.

At first I could not find any gnats in the house plants. But upon checking each one and digging down deep yesterday, I found two plants with fungus gnats.

I immediately took the two plants outside and set them on a table. Then I went to Southwoods and got what I needed to rid the plants of gnats. I dug down with a small stick and put the tiny granules in both containers. But I held off with the spray.

I don’t like strong sprays, even outside. It is called Neem. I probably shouldn’t have even purchased it, though the house plant expert advised me to get it. And they’re very knowledgeable there.

I ended up not using it and put it in the kitchen cabinet under the sink where all things tend to go that have chemicals I’m a bit worried about. As did the leftover granules.

I’m going to leave the plants outside this week. It isn’t supposed to freeze.

That is the one thing about house plants. They are beautiful. But fungus gnats can easily become a problem.

My kitchen sink is a mess with white paint and epoxy streaks. But I’m not going to clean anything in there until the countertop is fully cured, which should be around Friday.

Ivy has been mad as a March hare. I suppose that’s appropriate for March. She plays much of the night and sleeps during the day.

Most every time I go in the bathroom she jumps up on the lip of the tub and cries till I turn on a small stream of water for her to drink. She just recently got into this habit.

Then she sneezes and sputters as she dips her head into the stream of water. Good thing Charlie is satisfied with his water bowl.

Someone mentioned wanting to see the hairline cracks around my sink. I took a few photos this morning to show you.

It is like this all around the sink. My daughter tried to apply caulk over it but the epoxy surface is too slick for it to adhere to.

The gold tinges inside the lip of the sink is from epoxy that accidentally got brushed there.


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  1. I used Thieves cleaner (diluted 1 capful to 1 16 oz bottle of water) and spray that on my houseplants, I used it 2 times and it seems to have gotten rid of the gnats. It’s an all natural cleaner and recommended by an Instagrammer I follow @nestingwithgrace. I think the cleaner is $22.00 from Young Living but I haven’t even used the 1st capful/16 oz cleaner I bought over a month ago yet! So, it will last me for years!

  2. You should try using a heating pad on your sore back and other areas for pain relief. Ice is really only good for swelling.

    1. Every night for many years I have used a heating pad and ice pack on my back and neck and often my ankle as well.

  3. Neem is a natural herb that comes from the neem tree, other names for which include Azadirachta indica and Indian lilac. The extract comes from the seeds of the tree and has many different traditional uses. Neem is known for its pesticidal and insecticidal properties, but people also use it in hair and dental products. It is not a chemical.

  4. Neem is an organic product from Neem trees which grow in India. Totally safe and some people apply pure neem oil to acne and fungal infections.
    Looking forward to seeing your countertop once fully cured.

  5. Corrections: wood not would.
    Aspercreme products

    Auto correct drives me nuts.

    Frances in MD

  6. Hobby lobby might have small bags of craft sand. Aquarium shops probably have small bags of coarser sand. My daughter uses sand in her tanks.

    Does your daughter have a larger lip sink you could have put in that might cover the cracks? Or know how to buy one wholesale? Those stores that sell items from Reno houses might have a sink at a fair price?

    A little gig saw might cut would and save your hands. Mine get sore after hours if yard work but I use Asoercreme on my hands or back, rub in well, and it really helps. I use lie warm heat to increase circulation for better absorption of topical
    Ointments. I also use drug store maximum strength cortisone cream over the asper cream. Works like a charm.
    Glad you got to work with your plants though.

  7. I have had good luck getting rid of gnats by sprinkling cinnamon on the soil. Cinnamon is also good for your plants. My parents bought a water fountain made for pets to drink from because their cats love to stick their heads in water plus like fresh flowing water to drink. Just a suggestion

    1. Yeah, I’ve thought of that. But worry about Ivy tipping one over. Might still get one if I can find one flat enough and can put it on a surface that won’t be harmed by spattered water.

  8. I tho’t that Neem was a natural substance, no a chemical. I have used Neem oil on my rose bushes, although it’s a nuisance to dilute and spray as it’s oily. I guess I should read the label again.

    Maybe to solve the sink problem you should get a new sink with a wider lip on it to cover up the imperfections in the surface material! Stainless steel sinks aren’t that expensive. Is that a crazy idea or what? I bet your daughter could order you one at cost.

    Do take care of your back and ankle so they mend. Don’t want you to be unable to work outside when the real Spring weather hits.

    1. The management wouldn’t let me put in a new counter top (which is why I did what I did because I’d done it before.) I don’t know if they’ll let me do a sink.

  9. I have used diatomaceous earth (food grade) for fungus gnats, just sprinkle a layer on top of the dirt. Some plants you may purchase already are infested since they are so common.

  10. On the side of the sink, you could put a drain board and align the edge of it with the edge of the sink, covering cracks at least on one side. Could also use a plastic cutting board. You could do this on one or two sides of the sink.

  11. I use Bon Ami for my sink. It has the motto, “It hasn’t scratched yet”. A cute chick says that. ?

  12. Just an idea about the area around the sink……when it is fully cured, I would carefully stick painter’s tape about 1/8 inches or less, all around the sink, then try to “sand” off that epoxy. Then, I would paint a color that matches the sink…..that way, it would look like the sink lip. Does that sound feasible?

      1. I think the reason it cracked was the caulk that was around it before….the epoxy didn’t penetrate through it…….we are real thinkers, this group, lol!

  13. Went to Lowe’s yesterday. The house plants were abundant and beautiful! Ended up buying a faux plant!! Houseplants don’t like me. Your plants look healthy and pretty.

  14. Brenda, there are several places where you can get small bags of sand or rocks. Craft stores and Walmart have both near the vases in the craft area. I can’t remember if it was Lowe’s or Home Depot where I got sand in a jar – maybe a cup or 2 of sand. It wasn’t too heavy. I used it in a small outside birdbath as decoration. I didn’t think about using it in indoor plants so I’ll be getting some more now.

  15. The cracks are not as bad as I was imagining, and they’re not radiating out from the sink. With time I think one of us, or you and your daughter, will come up with a solution. If not, you will cease to even notice them with time. They really are tiny. Get enough rest, and don’t work outside unless you really feel like it. Sometimes it’s just the weather that’s making us feel achy. Take care!

  16. I buy aquarium stones, the tiny ones, in varying colors, and when I repot my plants, I put a layer, about half-inch thick as the last layer of dirt in the pot. Apparently, if gnat eggs are in the dirt, once hatched, they can’t work their way to freedom and flight.

    I also buy these prefilled fruit fly traps from Amazon (link below). Whil the gnats that are in our plants, are not fruit flies specifically, they will fly into these little traps, begone! And then no more flies to lay eggs in the plants.

    1. I have always “topped off” my cacti and succulent planters with aquarium rocks, they come in multiple colors (I prefer the white ones) and bags are not too heavy, also gnats will drown themselves in small bowls of apple cider vinegar mixed half & half with water.

  17. Bar Keeper’s Helper, in liquid form, will clean and polish your kitchen sink when you are ready to do so. I’ve used it for years and am always pleased with how well, and easily, it works and no chemical odor! If you prefer. It to store garden and plant related chemicals you could return the unused spray to the shop where purchased and check out your local water treatment facility as some take unwanted paint and chemical products so they can be properly disposed of.

  18. Is the product you put near the sink white like White Out? When I moved to my home the owners had used that to cover up spots that were missing or rusted on the stove. I thought it was a clever solution although a little sneaky. I replaced that stove a couple of years.

  19. This may seem like a wacky idea, but what do you think would happen if you used some crazy glue on the cracks after the surface is fully cured? I imagine that you want to prevent moisture from entering. You’re probably the only person to notice, but I’m the same way. I’m so glad you were able to start gardening. Please take care of yourself so that you can enjoy the Spring.

  20. My cousin, who is an expert, advised me to get either sand or gravel to put on top of the soil in the houseplants. The gnats get cut by the sand or gravel and it stops them, thus cutting down on the gnats. I also watered with a hydrogen peroxide and water mixture. I got rid of the gnats and didn’t have any for two years. I’ve noticed two gnats in the last month so I will probably do the same thing again. I bought that toxic treatment, but have never used it. My cousin said I wouldn’t want it in my home. The gnats come from over watering, so try to cut back on that as much as possible. xo Laura

    1. I’d read about sand. But thought it would be heavy to bring in and didn’t know where to get small amounts of it. Do you? My ankle and back can’t do any heavy lifting right now.

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