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The Fungus Fly, also known as the Sciarid Fly, can cause severe damage to many plants including house plants and plants being propagated. These tiny flies will lay eggs in compost or soil, from which larvae develop. The larvae often feed on young plants and seedlings at propagation and are a very common pest in house plants. Damp conditions and organic plant matter will provide an ideal breeding ground for the larvae, which will feed on plant roots causing damping off and seedling collapse. The larvae, at large numbers, can also spread soil-borne diseases such as Pythium. Once the larvae develop into adults they become nuisance pests, forming small clouds of flies when disturbed.
Fungus Fly Killer Beetles are supplied as the Rove Beetle; Atheta coriaria. This small beetle feeds on Sciarid Fly (Fungus Fly / Fungus Gnat) eggs, larvae, and pupae, as well as Shore Fly larvae, Springtail larvae and Thrip pupae and larvae.
The adult beetles are small, coloured brown and black, and the larvae a pale yellow. Fungus Fly Killer Beetles are supplied in a cardboard tube containing 1000 of the beetles.
Introduce Fungus Fly Killer Beetles as soon as Fungus Fly activity is identified. Both the larval and adult life cycle stage of Athetawill feed on Fungus Fly and Shore Fly larvae. The adults are winged so are very mobile compared to predatory mites. They will also consume Thrip pupae, and the adults will sometimes feed on Thrip larvae.
Simply gently sprinkle the bottle so little piles of carrier material are left at the base of infested plants. The beetles will then quickly get to work within the soil of the plants, hunting out Fungus fly and shore fly larvae, or Thrip pupae and larvae.
Apply 50-100 beetles per introduction site. One unit will make 10-20 application piles.
If applying the beetles in a greenhouse with a soil floor, apply the beetles in piles under benches.
If applying to House Plants, apply the beetles in piles on the surface of pots. The Atheta larvae will be found in the soil, or compost, and the beetles prefer damp places where there are plants or rooting plant material. Application is best suited to early or late in the day.
The beetles are tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, light and humidity. They are active from 12-35°C with an optimum temperature of 25°C, and thrive in damp conditions with rotting plants.
The life cycle, from egg to adult, is 3-4 weeks, after which the adults can continue to live for another 3-4 weeks. So the average life expectancy per beetle is around 8 weeks. Adult females can lay up to 8 eggs a day.
Atheta Fungus Fly Killer Beetles and our Fungus Fly Killer Nematodes can be used to treat your plants at the same time. Simply apply the beetles before or after nematode applications.