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How to Get Rid of Gnats

A gnat infestation is a common occurrence for many homeowners. Keep reading to learn how to get rid of gnats and how to prevent future infestations.

Fruit flies on a lemon. iStock

Gnats are small flying insects that include fungus gnats, fruit flies, and drain flies. Fungus gnats are dark and have long legs, fruit flies are brown and round, and drain flies have moth-like wings and are attracted to water. Because gnats breed frequently, addressing an infestation promptly is crucial for successful treatment.

In this article, we explain where gnats come from, provide five effective ways to treat and prevent a gnat infestation, and recommend the best pest control companies for treating these pests.

How Do Gnat Infestations Start?

Typically, gnats will enter your house from the outdoors through cracks or holes in your foundation, walls, windows, or doors. Gnats often infest trash cans, rotten fruit, and other moist places where decomposing organic matter exists. They can also be found near sinks, drains, and toilets.

5 Ways to Get Rid of Gnats

There are multiple ways to get rid of gnats, with five effective ways highlighted below. If you have a severe gnat infestation, it may take more than one of these methods to eradicate the pests.

1. Make an apple cider vinegar trap

Place a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a few drops of dish soap, and a tablespoon of sugar in a bowl and stir the contents. Set your bowl in an area where gnats are prevalent, like your kitchen or bathroom. The sugar and apple cider vinegar combination will attract gnats, and the dish soap traps the gnats and eventually causes them to drown.

2. Make a fruit trap

Homeowners can cover a jar of rotting fruit with perforated plastic wrap. The gnats will enter the jar and get stuck in it.

3. Pour diluted bleach down the sink or tub drain

If you notice gnats around your kitchen sink or bathtub, pour a cup of diluted bleach down the drains to kill the gnats.

4. Make a candle trap

Place a candle in a candlestick and fill the holder partially with water. Light the candle and turn off the lights. The gnats will flock to the flame and be burned or will fall into the water and drown.

5. Hire a professional pest control company

If you have a lingering gnat infestation, a professional pest control company can help address it. The best pest control companies have expertise in treating gnat larvae and adult gnats and will create a customized treatment plan for your home.

Best Pest Control Companies

Homeowners who wish to save time and hassle can work with a professional pest control provider to treat their gnat infestation. The This Old House Reviews Team evaluated every major pest control company in the industry and found that Terminix, Orkin, and Aptive provide the best service.

Each of these companies will implement a customized treatment plan for your home and educate you on ways to prevent a future infestation. Use the table below to compare the best pest control companies and get a free quote.

Pest Control Company Comparison Chart

Provider Terminix Orkin Aptive
Provider Terminix Orkin Aptive
Get a free quote Visit Site Visit Site Call 855-697-0130
Our overall score out of 100 98.5 94 91
Best for Best Overall Best for Urgent Service Most Customizable
Annual cost for general pest control $550–$700 $575 $560–$620
States available 47 47 23
BBB rating C+ A+ A-
Online chat Yes No Yes

How to Prevent Gnat Infestations

Once you have treated your gnat infestation, there are a few tips to help prevent a future infestation.

  1. Clean up food and drinks after meals—Don’t allow food or drinks to sit out after meals and clean up any food or drink spillages shortly after they happen.
  2. Take out your trash every night and use a sealed trash can—Gnats are often attracted to items in the trash. By taking out your trash nightly and using a sealed trash can, gnats will be less likely to enter your home and gather around your trash.
  3. Water plants with less frequency—Only water your indoor plants when necessary. If you overwater your plants, gnats may use the area for moisture and to lay eggs.
  4. Put fruit in your refrigerator—Because gnats are attracted to the smell of fruit, leaving fruit exposed on your counters can attract gnats. Place your fruit in the refrigerator instead of leaving them out.
  5. Remove moisture inside and outside your home—Homeowners should repair plumbing leaks and sink stoppages and remove moisture accumulation from rain gutters and birdbaths.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gnats

Does flypaper get rid of gnats?

Yes, flypaper can be an effective method to kill gnats. However, some flypaper formulas have an unpleasant odor and may not be an aesthetically pleasing treatment option, as they hang from your walls and ceilings.

What attracts gnats to a home?

Gnats are attracted to sweet scents from fruit, moisture, garbage, houseplants, and other warm, moist areas like your bathroom or kitchen.

Why are there fruit flies in my bathroom?

Even if there’s no food present in your bathroom, flies and gnats may be attracted to this space because of its warmth and moisture buildup.

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