Fungus gnats even after heat treating substrate?

Ratmosphere

Arachnoking
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Aug 23, 2015
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Anybody else still get fungus gnats even after heat treating substrate? An infestation of fungus gnats occurred when I owned my African giant black millipede. It was part of the reason why I sold her. After re-housing many Dynastes grantii larvae, I had an infestation again. This is super frustrating for me. Where the heck do they come from? I heat treated the substrate more than enough.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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Feb 22, 2013
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Anybody else still get fungus gnats even after heat treating substrate? An infestation of fungus gnats occurred when I owned my African giant black millipede. It was part of the reason why I sold her. After re-housing many Dynastes grantii larvae, I had an infestation again. This is super frustrating for me. Where the heck do they come from? I heat treated the substrate more than enough.
I've pretty much solved my problem by incorporating peat moss into my substrate. It makes the substrate too acidic for them to reproduce in, which solves the problem. I vary the concentration depending on the humidity needed. My T. stirmi is on 80/20 peat moss and topsoil, whereas my A. chalcodes is on 0/100 (since it's dry and the gnats need it humid to reproduce as well).

They'll never go away entirely, but it'll help quite a bit. I just kill the stray fly these days, and have a permanent fly trap set up to help.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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I've pretty much solved my problem by incorporating peat moss into my substrate. It makes the substrate too acidic for them to reproduce in
That would explain things. Our drains, the fungus gnat fountain of youth, get wiped clean just by running a chlorine solution down them. So the HCL vapors are enough to ruin their fun. Probably would be worth experimenting as to how much concentration of what acidic vapor trashes their life cycle. Weak acetic, vinegar, isn't enough. But maybe upping the ante to 5% to 10% would work.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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Weak acetic, vinegar, isn't enough. But maybe upping the ante to 5% to 10% would work.
I have the same thing. Are you sure that you're using undiluted vinegar? Seems to work fine for me, but you're right, diluted doesn't work. Straight vodka works as well, but such a waste.
 

The Snark

Dumpster Fire of the Gods
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Are you sure that you're using undiluted vinegar?
Revelation. Thai's cheat at anything and everything. A bottle of honey pours like water, cans of spray paint with a 10 second squirt of paint in them and so on. I bet the vinegar sold here is down at 1-2%.
 

arizonablue

Arachnosquire
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Jul 26, 2016
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I end up with gnats in anything that's moist because I leave my door open all the time, haha. I've got the yellow sticky traps in a few key places where they tend to turn up the most, and it keeps the population low, although I never seem to be able to actually get rid of all of them. The springtails in everything also help. I'm pretty sure that fungus gnats are just one of the consequences of keeping bugs in the house.
 

1Lord Of Ants1

Arachnobaron
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Sep 9, 2010
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My collection is consistently scrubbed clean by a barage of hypoapsis mites that disperse themselves several feet from their origin with no help from me. They originally appeared in a dart frog vivarium (I didn't buy them) and have since proliferated throughout my invertebrate habitats and some reptile ones too whenever a mite infestation occurred. The downside is I'm unable to establish springtails anywhere. (even for the dart frogs, luckily they happily feed on the mites)

As for their use on fungus gnats - I've never had the gnats appear alongside my inverts, probably due to their established predators nearby. However, I often get adults that probably come from outside that pester a window-sil where I germinate seedlings, in which case I simply seed the mites.
 

Ratmosphere

Arachnoking
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Not sure if the peat moss would be palatable for my larvae. Until I sell all of the larvae, I'm going to use the sticky tape that @sdsnybny recommended. I hate fungus gnats so much.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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Hypoaspis miles. Dirt cheap, considering. Will obliterate fungus gnats, springtails, harmful mites as well as nematodes, but eat mold in the absence of prey. Safe for Ts.
But if they're predatory, then couldn't they be a risk to small slings or a molting tarantula?

Plus, they eat springtails. Not exactly ideal for a lot of people. I really like the idea though, if it could be confirmed that they're harmless to slings.
 

1Lord Of Ants1

Arachnobaron
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But if they're predatory, then couldn't they be a risk to small slings or a molting tarantula?

Plus, they eat springtails. Not exactly ideal for a lot of people. I really like the idea though, if it could be confirmed that they're harmless to slings.
I see them occasionally in my sling vials with no harm becoming to the slings themselves. They disperse from the larger enclosures but there never seems to be enough food with the slings to support more than a few of them. I wouldn't keep a large amount with the smallests of T's, but all in all I'd say they're mostly harmless.
 

HybridReplicate

Spectrostatic
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But if they're predatory, then couldn't they be a risk to small slings or a molting tarantula?

Plus, they eat springtails. Not exactly ideal for a lot of people. I really like the idea though, if it could be confirmed that they're harmless to slings.
They tend to eat things that arent much larger than themselves, ~1mm. Once they run out of things to eat they start munching on each other, are successfully used in snail keeping/breeding, even crawling inside the snails to get at the mites there before exiting again!

Stan Schultz has a pretty definitive opinion on their safety here.
 

myrmecophile

Arachnolord
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Dec 22, 2006
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Funny, fungus gnats have never had a trouble living and reproducing in my various peat mixes I use for CPs.
 
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