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How to Get Rid of Gnats in Episcia Plant

Updated: April 24, 2022

Episcia plants, also known as flame violets, are a popular indoor plant due to their colorful foliage and ease of care. However, these plants are also prone to attracting gnats, small flying insects that can be a nuisance and even harm the plant’s health. In this article, we will discuss how to get rid of gnats in Episcia plants.

Identify the Problem

Before treating the gnat problem, it is important to confirm that the plant has indeed been infested by gnats. Gnats are small flying insects that are typically dark-colored and about 1/8 inch long. Gnats lay eggs in the soil, and when they hatch, the larvae will feed on the organic matter in the soil. The larvae can cause damage to the roots of the plant, which can result in stunted growth or even death of the plant.

To confirm if your Episcia plant has a gnat infestation, check for the following signs:

  • Small flying insects around the plant or within close proximity
  • Presence of larvae in the soil
  • Yellowing or wilting leaves

Methods to Get Rid of Gnats

There are several methods to get rid of gnats in your Episcia plant. Here are some effective ways:

1. Allow Soil to Dry Out

Gnats thrive in moist soil, so allowing the soil to dry out can help eliminate them. Avoid overwatering your plant and give it only as much water as it needs. You can also let the top inch of soil dry out before watering again.

2. Use Sticky Traps

Sticky traps are an effective way to catch adult gnats. These traps can be purchased at most garden centers or online. Simply place a trap near your plant and wait for it to catch any flying insects.

3. Apply Beneficial Nematodes

Beneficial nematodes are microscopic worms that can help control the larvae of gnats in the soil. These nematodes can be purchased online or at garden centers. Apply them to the soil according to the instructions on the package.

4. Use Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is a natural and safe way to kill gnats and other pests on your Episcia plant. Simply mix the soap with water and spray it on the plant’s leaves and soil.

5. Repot the Plant

If the infestation is severe, repotting the plant into fresh soil can help eliminate the gnats. Be sure to remove as much of the old soil as possible and sterilize the pot before repotting.

Preventing Future Infestations

Preventing future gnat infestations is key to keeping your Episcia plant healthy. Here are some tips to prevent gnats from returning:

  • Avoid overwatering your plant
  • Use a well-draining soil mix
  • Clean up any fallen leaves or debris around the plant
  • Keep the area around the plant clean and free of standing water


Can gnats harm my Episcia plant?

Yes, gnats can harm your Episcia plant by feeding on its roots and causing damage that can stunt growth or even kill the plant.

How often should I water my Episcia plant?

Water your Episcia plant only when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch.

Can I use vinegar to get rid of gnats in my Episcia plant?

While vinegar can be effective in trapping adult gnats, it is not a long-term solution and may harm your plant if used excessively.

How do I sterilize my plant pot?

You can sterilize your plant pot by washing it in hot, soapy water and then rinsing with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.

Can I use chemical insecticides to get rid of gnats in my Episcia plant?

While chemical insecticides may be effective, they can also harm beneficial insects and may not be safe for indoor use. It is best to use natural methods to control gnat infestations in your Episcia plant.