Gnats are tiny flying insects that can be a great nuisance in your home. They include fruit flies, fungus gnats, and drain flies. Fruit flies are small, brown, and round; fungus gnats are dark with long legs, and drain flies have wings like moths and love water. These bugs exist in swarms. It is essential to deal with gnat infestations promptly because gnats breed frequently.
Where do gnats come from
Like most bugs, gnats are attracted to warm and humid environments. They get into your house through cracks in the doors, windows or walls. They come in search of food. They mainly feed on rotting or decomposing matter. If you have overstayed without emptying your trash can, you make your home a favorable environment for a gnat infestation.
They also love stagnant water. You will find gnats near your drains, sinks, and toilets. Any decomposing matter within these places will make them ideal breeding grounds for gnats. Overwatering your plants can also be an attraction for them. Moist soil is perfect for fungus gnats.
Fruit and moth flies are attracted into your house by moist organic matter like fruits and vegetables. If you leave your fruits or veggies uncovered, you will notice gnats swarming around them.
How to get rid of gnats
You can choose to use natural home remedies or the commercial products available for the same. Essentially, it is wise to select non-toxic products as they are safe for use at home.
Use sticky traps
Sticky traps are readily available at a local store. Purchase the yellow sticky tapes and cut them into smaller pieces that you can stick on wooden skewers and flowerpots. When gnats swarm around these areas, they sit over the tape and get stuck.
Gnat repellent spray
To get rid of gnats inside your house, you can make your homemade gnat repellent spray. A repellent spray is one of the fastest ways to get rid of gnats. To make the spray, add a tablespoon of baking soda and vinegar and a few drops of dishwashing soap to one cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray this repellent to the gnat-prone areas like drains and flowerpots.
Raw potato chunks
The fungus gnat larvae are attracted to raw potatoes. Place a few raw potato chunks in the soil on your earthen pots. This method works by tricking the larvae away from the roots of your plants. The larvae choose to feast on the potato chunks. After a few days, you can remove the infested potato chunks. Replace them with fresh ones.
Use gnat killer spray
You can make a homemade gnat killer spray using ½ a cup of isopropyl alcohol, ½ cup water, and a teaspoon of dishwashing soap. Mix them in a spray bottle and spray the mixture directly on the gnats to kill them.
Gnatrol is a non-toxic, naturally occurring fungus. It is, however, toxic to gnat larvae and can be applied on your potted plants often for best results in gnat control. You can find it in nurseries.
Use apple cider vinegar
You can also use apple cider vinegar to make a gnat trap. You will need a few drops of dishwashing soap, a tablespoon of sugar, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Mix these ingredients in a bowl and place it in gnat-prone areas like your bathroom or kitchen. The apple cider vinegar and the sugar attract the gnats, and the dishwashing soap traps them, which leads to their death by drowning.
Use a fruit trap
Rotting fruits attract gnats. Place a few rotting fruits inside a jar and cover it with a perforated plastic wrap. The gnats will be drawn to the fruits and will get inside the pot and be stuck there as they will not escape.
Use a candle trap
Light a candle and place it in a candle stand. Fill the candle stand halfway with water, light the candle and switch off the lights. The candle flame will attract the gnats, and they will fall into the water and drown or get burned by the flame.
Flypaper is the fastest way to get rid of gnats in your home. The flypaper catches the gnats on its sticky surface. You can hang the flypaper on gnat-prone areas or use the window flypaper that covers the whole window.
For your drains or bathroom, you can use bleach to get rid of gnats. Dilute ½ a cup of bleach with one gallon of water and pour the mixture down the infested drains. The bleach kills the gnats.
Seek professional pest control
If DIY remedies and commercial products fail, it may be time to seek professional help from a pest control company. Also, if the gnat infestation is severe or lingering, pest control may be the best way to deal with it. The pest control company will create a customised treatment plan for your house.
How to prevent a gnat infestation
After getting rid of gnats inside your house, you will need to take measures to prevent future infestations.
- Empty your trash can daily to destroy the breeding ground of gnats. It is also advisable to use a sealed trash can.
- Water your indoor plants less often. Overwatering your plants is one of the reasons why you may experience a gnat infestation as gnats are attracted to stagnant water. Water your plants only when necessary to avoid having stagnant water in your potted plants.
- Clean food and drink spillages as soon as they occur. Leaving them uncleaned will attract gnats into your house.
- To prevent your fruits from rotting, you can put them in a refrigerator. Also, gnats are attracted to the smell of fruits. Leaving your fruits on the countertop will attract the gnats into your house.
- It is important to address any plumbing leaks to prevent moisture accumulation both inside and outside your house.
How to get rid of gnats in the house with white vinegar
You can also use white vinegar to get rid of gnats in your home. You will need three tablespoons of sugar and 1⁄4 cup of white vinegar. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and add water. Place this in a container with an inverted funnel-like top to make it easy for the gnats to go in but not come out. Place the container in a gnat-prone area.
How to get rid of gnats without apple cider vinegar
If you do not have apple cider vinegar readily available, here are some ways you can use to get rid of gnats in addition to the ways already discussed above.
DIY sticky traps
If you cannot purchase the ready-made sticky traps, you can make your own at the comfort of your home. To make the trap, you will need honey and yellow index cards. You can cut the cards to your desired size and apply honey to each card. Use glue to stick the card to a chopstick or straw and stick it into the soil on your potted plants. The yellow cards are used to trick the gnats that the plant is under stress. This is because plants turn yellow when they are weak, making them unable to withstand predators. So the gnats will be drawn to the yellow cards and will get stuck in the honey.
There are highly effective gnat traps you can purchase. These traps are non-toxic and help to get rid of fungus gnats found in houseplants. Purchase as much as you need and place them on your houseplants.
Pour a little wine into a bottle or container with a small opening. Gnats will get inside the container to investigate the wine. The small opening prevents them from flying away once they get inside the container.
Alternatively, you can use red wine and dish soap to create a gnat trap. Pour a little red wine into a container and add around five drops of dish soap. Stir until the mixture mixes well. Take a piece of cardboard and bore holes of around ½ a centimetre in it and use it to cover the container. As gnats become drawn to the soap and alcohol mixture, they get inside the container and get stuck.
What scent gets rid of gnats
Vanilla repels gnats greatly. Purchase the sugarless pure vanilla extract from a local store.
Dilute 10ml of vanilla with 10ml of water and stir until they are properly mixed. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and use it to apply the vanilla solution over your exposed body parts. As you walk around your home, the vanilla scent will send away the gnats.
Mix two cups of water with two tablespoons of citronella oil and around five drops of dish soap. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and spray it around your home.
The citrusy smell of lemons repels gnats. Place lemon rinds in gnat-prone areas to get rid of them. Also, you can mix a dishwashing soap that is lemon-scented with water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto the infested areas and coat your houseplants as well. This mixture kills any gnats in your house.
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Gnats hate the strong scent of peppermint. You can buy peppermint oil and spray it in the infested areas. You can use these essential oils in place of peppermint: rosemary, eucalyptus, neem, tea tree, and cedarwood.
Gnats can be a nuisance. Use any of the methods discussed above to get rid of gnats in your house. It is essential to get rid of them as soon as you see them.