Have you been noticing small, black flies buzzing intermittently in your kitchen area, around the house and around the yard outside? If your answer is affirmative, then you might have the pesky problem of gnats in your hands.
So What Exactly Are Gnats?
Gnats are flying insects that are more pests than anything else. They may be of different kinds such as fruit flies, fungus gnats, sand flies, drain flies and phorid flies. Now there are certain reasons as to why these gnats are drawn towards your home, both inside and outside.
Gnats basically operate on the basis of scent, whether it be that of fruits or another sweet smell. Beginning with the yard outside, gnats are drawn to freshly watered patches that may develop fungus.
This fungus is one of the main sources of food and moisture for the fungus gnat and hence the prevention of overwatering of the patches is vital. It has been noted that some kinds of gnats are also drawn towards the light.
The interiors of the house, are a source of many an item that could attract gnats. Uncovered and unsealed food and garbage bins, fruits are all shelter and breeding centers for them.
Potted plants inside the house can also be utilized by the gnat to live and reproduce using the high moisture content in the soil.
Now that we know what attracts them to your homes, it is important to try and figure out remedies to get rid of gnats in your home and make it less attractive to them.
Once you identify the tiny buzzing insects as gnats, it is fairly simple to get rid of them if you use the correct methods.
Here Are a Couple of Easy DIY Home Remedies To Use Indoors To Get Rid of Gnats
Homemade Vinegar Trap for Gnats
This is a very cheap and effective go-to natural method of disposal for pests like gnats. Mix some apple cider vinegar, water, sugar and dish soap in a flat container.
Place it in an area where you feel most gnat would be found. The gnats would immediately get attracted by the smell of the vinegar, but the moment they touch it, they will perish due to the soap present in the mixture.
This method would be more effective if you set it up at multiple locations around the house for maximum disposal of the gnats.
Red Wine Trap to Remove Gnats
This way works on the same principle as the homemade vinegar trap above. They are attracted by the scent of the wine but drown in it as soon as they get close.
The wine should be poured in a small container, which should then be covered with a plastic wrap punched with small holes in it.
The insects would crawl in and be unable to crawl out again. You could use mason jars to set this particular trap up.
Learn how to make a trap with red wine for gnats/fruit flies from this Video Tutorial.
Ammonia or Bleaching Powder In Sink/Drains
Pouring bleach or ammonia down your sink or drain in bathrooms and kitchen is an effective remedy to your gnat problem.
However, sometimes it may not completely eradicate the problem in case the gnats have bred deep within the drainage system.
Firstly, never mix ammonia and bleach together as it can lead to deadly, noxious fumes; use each separately whenever needed.
Dilute either of them with water before pouring it in the sink. Make sure to cover your mouth and face while doing so as well.
Using Rotten Fruits to Get Rid of Gnats
This trap requires the use of a rotting or overripe fruit like banana or apple. Put it in a container that has been wrapped with some plastic that has been poked with some holes. Once again, the insects will crawl in and be unable to crawl out.
Lemongrass Essential Oil
The strong aroma of lemongrass essential oil with the peppermint flavor helps to keep both gnats and fruit flies at bay.
This is intended to be used as a preventive measure since the oil itself will not kill flies that are already present.
Ways/Quick Solutions to Get Rid of the Gnats Outdoors ~Yard, Gardens, and Lawns
Sprinkling a layer of this over the affected soil area would repulse the gnats. However, this method should not be used for plants that are consumed or are herbal in nature.
With one gallon of water, mix some liquid soap and spray over the damp soil that has been hosting the pests. Once the soil has been drenched with the spray and has been left to steep, wash away the leaves with clean water.
Slice up a few pieces of potato and bury it in the soil with the gnat infestation and leave it for a few hours. The gnat larvae upon eating the potato would then die.
Sprinkle Cinnamon to Reduce Gnats
Cinnamon controls insects and pests in an excellent way. You can ward off gnats with it by sprinkling cinnamon powder near the infested areas and around the plants.
Cinnamon’s fungicidal property will kill the fungus, on the rotten fruit or food, which is the main food for the fungus gnat’s larvae and prevent infestation. This cinnamon remedy is very effective in gardens and plantations.
Rubbing Alcohol Spray
A cup of rubbing alcohol mixed with a litre of water and then sprayed on the infected plants and soil for a few weeks every two-three days is an easy and fastest method to get rid of gnats.
Different Ways to Prevent Gnats at Home and Outdoors
The work isn’t over with using the above methods to get rid of gnats. The next step is to make sure those pesky fruit flies and gnats do not appear again by applying some preventive measures. Here are some things to consider when you are setting up the defense.
Keep Clean Areas & Trash Bags
Firstly, it is vital to eliminate the source of gnats since prevention is essentially better than cure. Hence, start covering up your exposed food and fruits, your garbage bins, etc.
Throw away your trash frequently as well. Wash your fruits and vegetables well so as to prevent fruit flies from getting attracted to any residue that may be on the produce. Make sure to clean and put away all dirty dishes that may be lying around after use.
Cover and Clean Drains & Damp Areas
Flies feast on the sewage, bacteria, garbage that may be found in the drains. Cover your drains well, clean out toilets that are used less frequently. Scope out damp areas in the house and fix them so as to prevent the flies from breeding there.
Change the Pot Soil Frequently
For the fungus flies, on the other hand, try to not overwater your plants and vegetable patches. Repotting houseplants in fresh, new soil can help immensely too.
Insect Spray Method
You can also opt for the instant insect sprays available in the market. Spray it in all the areas inside the house that they usually are found in.
The success of all of the above DIY methods all depends on the severity of the situation and on your ability to correctly identify the insect in the first place and then to find out where they’re actually coming from, so as to apply the methods at the source itself.
It is definitely worth trying before calling in the professionals and spending lots of money on gnat infestations.