MOODY, Texas – It’s creepy, it’s crawly, it has eyes... what is it?
These tiny creatures, known as the larvae of fungus gnats, were recently spotted at Mother Neff State Park in Moody, Texas. And, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials, they’re bad news for area plants.
TPW officials said these larvae feed on fungi and decaying plant material, which can be damaging to young plants, as they consume their roots.
Wildlife officials said these critters don’t pose a threat to humans, but there are a few steps you can take if you spot them near your home to protect your plants, according to Texas A&M University:
- Remove plant debris, old potting media, and any diseased plants from growing areas. These may become the source of future problems.
- Avoid using potting media containing organic matter that has not been completely composted. This could create ideal conditions for fungus gnat development and population buildup.
- Keep growing areas well-drained and avoid overwatering; moist conditions are required for fungus gnat survival.
- Eliminating algae from underneath benches or other surfaces may also help reduce populations.