Gnats are small flying insects that include fungus gnats, fruit flies, and drain flies. Fungus gnats are dark and have long legs around 2.5 mm in size; fruit flies are brown, small, and round; and drain flies have moth-like wings and are attracted to water. Gnats breed frequently and often seen in swarms. They are more of a nuisance than a danger. Gnats usually enter the house from the outdoors through cracks or holes in the walls, windows, or doors. They infest trash cans, rotten fruits, and other moist areas with decomposing organic matter. They are often found near sinks, drains, and toilets.
What causes gnats to enter the house?
Gnats like a warm, musty environment and the presence of stagnant water, plants, and over-ripe fruits.
- Moist soil: Moist soil is an ideal habitat for fungal gnats.
- Decomposing organic matter: Wastes and sewage from faulty pipes and drains cause wastes to accumulate in the soil or drains, which are a breeding ground for gnats.
- Moist organic matter: Fruit flies and moth flies are attracted to moist organic matter, fruits, and vegetables. They are commonly seen swarming around fruits and vegetables left uncovered.
How to get rid of gnats
You can rid your house of gnats using commercial products and natural home remedies. These are non-toxic and safe for home use. Some effective ways to get rid of gnats include:
- Sticky traps: You can purchase the sticky traps available at retail nurseries and garden centers. Yellow sticky traps can be cut into smaller squares and stuck over the wooden skewers and flowerpots. Gnats sit over them and are stuck.
- Potato chunks: You can place raw potato chunks in the soil around the earthen pots. Potatoes are very attractive to fungus gnat larvae. This trick will trap the larvae away from plant roots. After a few days in a pot, you can remove infested potato chunks and replace them with fresh pieces.
- Homemade gnat repellent spray: A mixture of dish soap, water, baking soda, and vinegar can be filled into a spray bottle. The mixture should contain a few drops of dish soap, a tablespoon of vinegar, and baking soda per cup of water. A few sprays of this mixture is an effective gnat repellent. They may be sprayed in areas where gnats are commonly seen, such as around plants, in the bathrooms, etc.
- BTI or Gnatrol: This is a naturally occurring fungus that is toxic to gnat larvae. This can be applied over your potted plants repeatedly for gnat control. It is non-toxic to humans and available in the nurseries.
- Homemade gnat killer spray: A mixture of half a cup of water, half a cup of isopropyl alcohol, and a teaspoon of dish liquid can be filled in a spray bottle. This mixture can be sprayed on the gnats directly to kill them.
- Apple cider vinegar gnat trap: A few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a few drops of dish soap, and a tablespoon of sugar can be mixed in a bowl and placed in an area where gnats are commonly seen such as the kitchen, bathroom, or indoor garden. Sugar and apple cider vinegar attracts gnats, the dish soap traps the gnats and causes them to drown.
- A gnat fruit trap: Rotting fruits may be placed in a jar covered with a perforated plastic wrap. Gnats get attracted to rotten fruits, enter the jar, and get stuck inside, unable to escape.
- Diluted bleach down the drains: If gnats are commonly seen around the kitchen sink or bathtub, a cup of diluted bleach may be poured down the drains to kill them.
- A candle trap: A candle should be placed in a candle stand, and the candle stand should then be partially filled with water. The candle should be lit, and the lights should be turned off. Gnats get attracted to the flame, get burned or fall into the water, and drown.
- Professional pest control: If home remedies and commercial products fail and there is a serious gnat infestation in the house, a professional pest control company can help address the problem by creating a customized treatment plan for the home.
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