Gnats are an annoying problem inside any home. They buzz around, often in large numbers, and can be difficult to get rid of. If you’re dealing with an infestation of gnats in your house, you might be wondering how to get rid of them. Unfortunately, the exact method depends on the type of gnat you have. While most of us call any small flying insect a gnat, there are actually many different types of gnats. The three most common are fruit flies, fungus gnats, and drain flies. We look at the causes of these types of gnats and explain how to get rid of gnats inside your house.
What Is the Best Way To Get Rid of Gnats?
Unfortunately, the best way to get rid of gnats inside a house depends on the type of problem you have. Here are the three most effective methods to kill gnats:
Use Vinegar or Wine Traps
The best way to get rid of fruit flies and gnats is with a cider vinegar trap. Pour a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a shallow glass, then add two drops of dish soap and mix with a fork. Cover the glass with plastic wrap, then poke a few holes in the plastic.
The vinegar will attract the flies, while the holes will make it hard for them to get back out. The dish soap will lower the surface tension of the vinegar, causing the flies to drown. Toss out the vinegar and replace it every few days until the gnats and fruit flies are gone.
If you do not have cider vinegar, there are a number of alternatives you can use. A wine that is a few days works great, but you can also add a few drops of white vinegar to fresh wine too.
ou can also use white vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar or honey. The same goes for flat soda and old fruit juice, as long as it’s not citrus juice. Whatever you use, remember to add a few drops of dish soap.
Use Fly Paper or Sticky Traps
Sticky traps are the most effective for killing fungus gnats. Available at most big box and home improvement stores, fly paper sticky traps are easy to use and effective at trapping and killing gnats.
Hang the traps around indoor plants and anywhere you frequently see gnats. Check the trap every day and change it once it start to get full.
Unfortunately, they only treat adult gnats, so ensure you clean regularly and address moisture issues.
Clean Drains and Garbage Disposals
The best way to get rid of drain flies and drain gnats is by deep cleaning the drain. Start by pouring one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the drains. Let the foaming action work for 20 to 30 minutes, then pour 6 to 8 quarts of boiling water down the drain. Repeat this process for every drain.
What Are the Most Common Type of Gnats Inside a House?
There are several types of gnats that are commonly found inside houses, but the three most common types are fruit flies, fungus gnats, and drain flies.
- Fruit flies: As their name suggests, fruit flies are attracted to overripe or decaying fruits and vegetables, as well as sugary and sweet substances. They are usually tan or brown in color and have distinctive red eyes. Fruit flies can breed quickly, and a small infestation can quickly turn into a large one.
- Fungus gnats: Fungus gnats are attracted to damp soil and decaying plant matter, and can often be found in potted plants or near indoor gardens. They are usually black and have long, thin legs. Fungus gnats can also breed quickly, and their larvae can damage plant roots.
- Drain flies: Drain flies are attracted to moist areas, such as sink drains or damp basements, where they lay their eggs. They are usually gray or brown in color and have fuzzy wings. Drain flies can be difficult to get rid of because they can breed in hard-to-reach areas.
To control a gnat infestation, it’s important to identify the type of gnat you’re dealing with, remove or eliminate the sources of attraction, and take steps to prevent future infestations, such as sealing up cracks and keeping your home clean and dry.
How Do You Get Rid of Gnats?
While the methods above are effective at getting rid of a gnat problem, they will not keep them from coming back. In order to kill gnats and keep them from coming back, you need to follow these steps.
- Identify the Source: Before you can get rid of gnats in your house, you need to find out where they’re coming from. Gnats are attracted to damp environments and organic matter, so check your drains, garbage cans, wet mops, and other sources of moisture for signs of gnats. This is most effective for fungus gnats and drain flies.
- Eliminate Moisture: Once you’ve identified the source of moisture, take steps to eliminate it. This could include repairing leaky pipes, emptying standing water, and improving ventilation in your home. This method works best on fungus gnats but will also have a small impact on removing drain flies.
- Clean Organic Matter: All gnats need a food source. Most gnats are also attracted to organic matter like food scraps and rotting fruit. To reduce their numbers, make sure to clean up any spills or crumbs immediately. Also, throw away old fruit and food in the kitchen, and take out the garbage regularly. Cleaning up fruits and sugars will help control fruit flies while cleaning up decaying food will help kill fungus gnats.
- Use Natural Repellents: If you’d prefer to use a natural solution, consider using essential oils like citronella or lavender. You can make a homemade spray by adding 10 to 15 drops of the oil to a cup of water and then spraying it around your home. Natural repellants like lavender will work on most gnats.
- Use Pesticides: As a last resort, you can use pesticides to get rid of gnats. Pesticides are available in both spray and powder form and should be used as directed on the packaging. Keep in mind that pesticides can be hazardous, so use them with caution. Pesticides typically work on specific types of gnats, so you need to determine the source of the problem first.