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.

In this article, we explain where gnats come from in the first place, give step-by-step instructions for five effective ways to get rid of gnats, and outline tips to prevent another infestation. For homeowners who want fast, high-value results, we also recommend the Katchy Indoor Insect Trap 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 your gnat problem, from traps to professional help. If you have a severe gnat infestation, it may take more than one of these methods to eradicate the pests.

1. Make a DIY Gnat Trap

Trying to figure out how to catch gnats? The most popular option is a vinegar trap, which is simple and cost-effective to create. Simply place a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a few drops of dish soap, and a tablespoon of sugar in a bowl and stir. Set your bowl in an area where gnats are prevalent, such as 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.

If you don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand, a combination of red wine and dish soap can create a similar gnat trap. If your gnat infestation is particularly intense, you may want to set out a few bowls of this wine trap mixture around the house.

Finally, a fruit trap can prove effective. Homeowners can cover a jar of overripe fruit with plastic wrap and poke small holes into the wrap’s surface. The gnats will smell a food source and enter the jar, becoming trapped.

2. Use a Spray

If you have a smaller pest problem, a simple spray bottle of one tablespoon of vinegar and a small amount of dish soap may be enough to treat your issue. If gnats are hovering around houseplants or crawling in your potting soil, the issue is likely due to overwatering. To treat this type of gnats, spray a gentle insecticide, such as neem oil or dish soap diluted in warm water, onto the plant. If you use dish soap, you’ll need to carefully wash the solution off after two hours.

3. Bleach Your Drains

If you notice gnats around your kitchen sink or bathtub, pour a cup of diluted bleach down the drain to kill the gnats. Be sure to pour the cup of bleach down each drain or garbage disposal very slowly until there are no more gnats in your line of sight.

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. Obviously, this trap is less convenient than a wine or vinegar trap, and you’ll need to remember to blow out the candle before falling asleep.

5. Hire a Professional Pest Control Company for Gnat Extermination

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



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 humidity inside and outside your home: Homeowners should repair plumbing leaks and sink drain stoppages. To prevent outdoor gnat problems, clean up any damp areas around rain gutters and birdbaths.
  6. Set up preventive yellow sticky traps: Place these near any trouble areas, such as near ripe fruit or houseplants, to keep an infestation at bay.
  7. Keep your drains clean: Perform regular drain maintenance with diluted bleach or a specialized cleaning solution to keep them free of food particles and fungus gnat larvae.
  8. Don’t overwater plants: Indoor plants are often home to gnats, and overwatering them leads to damp soil that’s the perfect breeding ground for an infestation. Ensure your plants are in a pot with a drainage hole, and cut back on your watering schedule if you notice gnats buzzing around your houseplants. Since they can also carry gnats into the home, check any new plants thoroughly for gnats before bringing them into your household.



Our Conclusion

Homeowners who wish to save time and frustration can work with a professional pest control provider. The This Old House Reviews Team evaluated every major pest control company in the industry and found that Terminix and Orkin provide the best service to homeowners across the country.

Both of these companies will implement a customized treatment plan for your home and educate you on ways to prevent a future infestation. We always recommend getting quotes from at least two companies to ensure you’re getting the best price on your service.



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