Saturday, April 19, 2008

Just another Saturday (Now with Fungus Gnats!)

Andrea's out at a language exchange lesson where she is trying to learn some Chinese. I also need to organise that for myself.

I have my hot coffee, a partially obscured view of the harbour skyline, and almost a week's worth of facial hair.

Our potted plants have been struggling lately. Being from arid Australia, I thought that they needed more water. That turned out to be the wrong thing to do. We have been plagued by small black flies for a while now and I thought that they were fruit flies. They seemed to love playing in the soil in our potted plants. We only discovered this morning that they are the adult forms of Fungus Gnats. Here's a picture (not to scale):

[source: Texas Agricultural Extension Service; ]

Yuck! I hate Fungus Gnats. And they have been killing our plants! Bastards!

Yes, with a quick search via Google we found a description that matched our situation and when we investigated the top inch or so of soil we found a plethora of Fungus Gnats in the larval stage, wriggling around like they were part of some kind of perverse Disco Fever boogie woogie. Argh! There were many treatments suggested in the sites we visited but one recurrent piece of advice was to let the top layer of soil dry out. Oops! My arid origins had proved the undoing of my favourite ferns which I intermittently doted upon with the care and concern of grandfather who loves his kids when he has time for them (when he remembers to water them). Well, to be honest I only watered them a few times. Andrea watered them more regularly as part of the grander scheme of watering for which I respect and admire her. It takes a lot of memory to remember to water plants all the time. I would probably have to write it on a calendar or come up with some other kind of memory cuing system. Anyhow, while we are stuck with the Fungus Gnats for the time being, their days are numbered and don't extend into double digits! Try to tell me that I don't know how to talk tough!

Fungus Gnat kill sheet: Saturday 19th April - larvae 7, adults 12.

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