Insects infesting soil in outdoor potted plants - not fungus gnats
There are swarms of flying insects that I have never seen before that have infested all of the potted plants on my deck. They seem to burrow down in the soil of the plants. The insects are about 1/4 of an inch long and are black and almost look like ants. They fly around quickly. Attached is a photo. Can you please tell me how to rid my plants of these pests? I have seen fungus gnats before and I don't think these are fungus gnats because they are much larger than gnats. Thank you.
We cannot identify the fly by the photo. No, it doesn't look like fungus gnats.
You can try sending a better photo.
However, we'd recommend that you allow the potting soil to dry down about 1-2" inbetween waterings. If the insect is a predator, it could be targeting the larvae of fungus gnats.
Here is a better photo of the bugs with a centimeter ruler.
The plants did not have fungus gnats before these bugs appeared, so I don't think they are predators of the fungus gnat larvae.
There are still swarms of them around all of my potted plants, and they dig down into the soil. I have let the soil get as dry as possible without killing the plants but that doesn't seem to bother these flying bugs at all.
These appear to be a type of flying ants.Check your plants for aphids,they exude a "honey dew' , a favorite food for ants.