How to kill gnats

Have you been noticing a gnat problem around your house? That could be bad because without proper treatment, they’ll keep laying eggs and reproducing. Soon your whole house can be over run by the little annoying bugs! Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to get rid of gnats.

There are a few tricks to getting rid of gnats. First, you must find whats attracting them. It could be a food source, an alluring smell or even dampness. Whatever it is, it must be taken care of immediately to prevent them from growing in numbers.

how to get rid of gnats

Once the gnat problem is eliminated, you’ll need to know how to prevent them from ever coming back. We have a few suggestions for that as well. From cleaning the house to replacing your windows, we’ll make sure your gnat problem doesn’t return.

What’s a Gnat?

First, let’s identify what a gnat is. They’re very small bugs that are attracted to sweet smells and dampness. They lay their eggs in moist soil or decaying fruit which the larva eats before hatching. Gnats can lay 100’s of eggs so your infestation problem will get worse unless it’s handled quickly.

If You Have Gnats, Look Out for These Bugs As Well

According to Orkin, if you have a gnat problem, it also means you could have one of these types of flies in your home:

  • Fruit fly – light brown and often found in the kitchen. They’re mostly attracted to fruits and vegetables that have spoiled. Adult fruit flies can live for weeks and lay multiple batches of eggs so it’s important to take control of the situation immediately
  • Phorid fly – black flies that run in a zig-zag pattern when on a surface. They’re often found near drains and are only active at night. They get into the home through sewer lines and septic tanks so needless to say, they’re disgusting bugs
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How to Get Rid of Gnats

It’s time to learn how to get rid of gnats. There are many routes you can take and each situation is different. Sometimes a trap will work and other times you’ll need to use chemical sprays.

Either way, we’ll show you several ways on how to get rid of gnats below. You’re sure to find a solution that works for your specific problem.

Set a Trap

Traps are one of the most common ways to get rid of gnats. You can buy one or make them yourself using certain scents to lure them in. We have some of the most effective gnat traps below.

Store Bought Gnat Trap

There are many gnat traps available to buy in stores. They usually consist of a sweet scented sticky strip that catches the gnats and doesn’t allow them to fly away. Just place a few around the problem areas and wait for the gnats to trap themselves.

Vinegar Trap

If you don’t want to buy a gnat trap from the store, you can make one yourself with items from around the house. Start by getting a jar and filling it with apple cider vinegar, sugar, dish soap and water. Mix it well and place the solution near the problem areas.

The gnats will be attracted to the smell of apple cider and sugar but will die on contact because of the soap. Since gnats look for damp or sweet smelling places to breed, this solution should stop them from laying anymore eggs as well.

Red Wine Trick

The red wine trick is somewhat similar to the vinegar trap. Get a container and fill it with red wine. Then cover the container with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in it. The gnats will end up trapping themselves in the container and drowning in the red wine.

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Pour Bleach Into the Sink

You already know that gnats and phorid flies are found near damp drains. You’ll be able to eliminate any flies found in this area by pouring bleach down the drain. Just pour it in and let it work its magic. Be sure to let the bleach sit for a few hours and dilute itself before running the water.

Bleach can be just as harmful to humans as it is to bugs so be very careful when using this technique. Don’t pour bleach in a room with the door closed and keep all children and pets away. That being said, this is a surefire way to get rid of gnats near your drains.

Use Spray: Fogging

When you ask a professional exterminator how to get rid of gnats, they tend to gravitate towards using chemical sprays. What’s good for a professional exterminator is good for us. Products such as Raid, Home Pest Spray and Zep are specifically made to kill gnats, flies and mosquitoes. This process is called fogging.

If you don’t want to use chemical products, you can make your own organic spray. You can make it out of lemon scented dish soap, vinegar and water. It may not be as fast acting as Raid, but it’s much safer in homes with pets and children.

Remove Plants That Attract Gnats

Gnats, especially fungus gnats, are attracted to damp soil and that’s where they lay their eggs. If you’re overwatering your plants, these bugs will find their way there and start laying eggs. They can lay up to 800 eggs in one breeding cycle so this can become a major problem very quickly.

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person overwatering their plants

If you’re starting to notice a lot of gnats around your plants, you can do one of two things. First is to put the plant outside and far away from your home. Then clean where the plant was so gnats are no longer attracted to the area.

The other option is to put your plant into a new pot of soil. The old soil was extremely damp and what the gnats were attracted to. If the soil is removed from the home, so too will the gnats.

Dispose of Spoiled Food

Fruit flies and gnats are also extremely attracted to rotten food – especially fruits and vegetables. In fact, it’s where fruit flies lay their eggs so the larva has something to eat once it hatches.  You’ll want to eliminate their food and breeding source immediately. Make sure any rotten food is disposed of and not just thrown in a garbage can. Get it far away from your home.

Call an Exterminator

If the problem really gets out of hand, you’ll need to call a professional. They know how to get rid of gnats and will make sure your problem is dealt with quickly. This is only for extreme cases where nothing else is working for you.

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