Are you looking around your kitchen and seeing a horde of little flying insects? Are you concerned about the potential health risks that may come with these little creatures that are covering your fruit bowl? Don’t worry! I’m going to teach you how to get rid of that pesky gnats infestation!
What are Gnats?
Before you can find the right solution for your gnat problem, you need to know what you are dealing with. A gnat is a small black or brown insect. They may look similar to a fly; however, they are smaller.
These tiny pests are usually slender in their body with fragile and small wings. You may assume they are all fruit flies, but there are a variety of different types of adult gnats that may make their way into your home.
In general, you may find that gnats are broken down into two primary categories: biting and non-biting varieties. The gnats that get into your home are usually the non-biting varieties. Gnats are not strong fliers, so they may stick to one area of your kitchen or your home rather than moving around like a fly.
Although gnats have many similarities, you should be aware that most homes are infested with three primary types of gnats: fruit flies, drain flies, and fungus gnats. The drain flies may also be called phorid flies.
Related: How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies
Types of Gnats
Identifying the type of gnats that may infest your house is a critical part of finding a solution to get rid of them. When you are looking into how to get rid of gnats, you want to focus on eliminating the right type of gnat.
Fruit flies are often found in your kitchen and usually have a rounded brown body with red eyes. You will often notice these annoying pests hanging out above your fruit bowl. When I notice that fruit flies have made their way into my kitchen, I make sure to take measures to eliminate them before they are able to cause problems.
Drain flies differ from fruit flies in the way they appear. You may notice that some flies in your home look similar to small moths. The flies will spend time around your drains, so you can find them in any bathroom, your kitchen, or other spaces with a drain.
The final type of gnat that you may notice in your home is a fungus gnat. The gnat has a long black body with long legs. You will notice that it seems to spend time around your potted plants or similar areas of your home. You may also see fungus gnats in your yard and garden, so be aware that this gnat is found in many different areas with soil.
Although other types of gnats may fly in through an open door or window, they are usually found in outdoor spaces. The three primary types that you will find in your home are the ones to consider when you are looking for natural remedies to get rid of gnats.
Related: How To Get Rid Of Ants
Where Gnats Come From
Gnats are a pest that commonly comes from an outdoor space. They are attracted to rotting fruit, damp soil, and similar environments. In most cases, they need a reasonable amount of moisture in the air to grow, live, and thrive. A humid environment with warm temperatures is ideal for most gnat species.
They may get into your home from a variety of sources. For example, they can fly in through an open door or window. Due to their small size, gnat populations can also get in your home through small openings that you’ve overlooked.
The exact source of the gnats in your home may vary. Generally, they stay around your home due to the items that attract them to your space, such as rotting fruits and vegetables, over-watered houseplants, or smells from your drains.
How to Get Rid of Gnats By Type
When I notice gnats in my home, the first consideration is the type of gnat. When you want to get rid of gnats, it is easier to focus on eliminating their food source. Since the foods that gnats in your home eat may vary based on the type of insect, identifying the pests is the first part of eliminating them.
Fruit flies are an easy insect to address. Remove their food source by putting fruits and vegetables in your fridge or in an appropriate bin. They will not have access to the food, so they will leave your home. You also want to make sure you rinse any fresh produce you bring home from the store before you put it away, since the flies may get into your home by traveling on your purchases. See my article on how to get rid of fruit flies naturally for more info.
Drain flies are attracted to items in your drains. If you want to get rid of their food source, then you must clear out your drains and garbage disposal. Flush out your drains with an appropriate drain cleaner. You may want to consider home remedies to clear out any clogged pipes or drains. If the problem persists after using a natural remedy, then consider a more powerful drain cleaner. Keep in mind that you want to follow the directions for any drain cleaner to avoid undue risks to your pipes.
If you notice that problems with drain flies persist after cleaning out your pipes and drains, then you want to call a plumber. You may have a leak in your pipes, which is preventing your drains from clearing out. After a plumber fixes your pipes, you may notice that the problem with drain flies is resolved.
Fungus gnats spend time around your houseplants and organic matter, which may seem difficult to handle at first glance. When it comes to fungus gnats, the key is to avoid putting too much water in your plants. You can use a turkey baster to help you measure out water for your plants and reach high places at the same time. Alternatively, avoid watering your plants for a short time and then measure out water based on the type of plant.
You can also replant your houseplants in a new pot with fresh soil. By changing out the moist soil, you are getting rid of the fungus gnats. Just keep in mind that you want to water your plants based on their needs and not put in excess water after you replant in fresh soil. Fungus gnats are attracted to moist, damp soil and humid conditions, so you want to limit the environmental factors that attract the gnats.
Natural Traps for Gnats
Sticky traps that capture the small flying insects are a good way to get rid of gnats. The easiest trap to set is apple cider vinegar. Put the apple cider vinegar in a container and cover it with plastic wrap. Secure the plastic wrap to the container with a rubber band and then poke small holes into the plastic wrap.
If you prefer to use over-ripe fruit for your trap, then place the fruit in a jar with vinegar. Use a piece of paper and turn it into a cone before placing it into the jar. The cone-shaped paper will allow the flies into the jar but prevents them from leaving.
You can also use drops of dish soap in vinegar as a DIY pest control trap. The dish soap causes the gnats to sink and drown in the vinegar. The gnat trap makes it easy to get rid of the flying insects.
Tips to Prevent a Gnat Infestation
After you eliminate the gnats, you want to take DIY measures to prevent them from returning to your house. By following a few simple tips, you can limit the risk of a new infestation of the pesky pests.
Tip #1: Keep Your Dishes Clean
The obvious way to prevent fruit flies and other gnats from sticking around your home is to keep the kitchen clean. When you finish with your dishes, clean them up, and put them away. It will eliminate a common food source for flies in your kitchen.
Tip #2: Put Fruits and Vegetables in the Fridge
Don’t keep out your ripe fruits and vegetables. Clean them and then put them into your fridge or an appropriate covered bin. If you leave your ripe fruit out, then it will attract gnats to your kitchen.
Tip #3: Change Your Potting Soil
Changing your potting soil has two benefits: it improves the health of your plants and it gets rid of poor quality soil that attracts fungus gnats. Change out the potting soil when you notice the gnats and pay attention to your watering habits. Make sure that you do not over-water your plants.
Tip #4: Clear Up Damp Areas
Do not allow water to sit and fester in your yard or home. Clean up any damp areas and keep the moisture levels in your home low. Ideally, you want to use a dehumidifier or a similar tool for your basement or any other spaces that have a high level of humidity. It will discourage gnats from staying in your home.
Do you have any tips and tricks to get rid of pests?
How to Get Rid of Gnats
- Dehumidifier or something similar
- 1 dish sponge
- 1 bottle dish soap
- 1 bag poting soil You may need more if you have a lot of plants to change the potting soil for.
- Keep Your Dishes Clean. The obvious way to prevent fruit flies and other gnats from sticking around your home is to keep the kitchen clean. When you finish with your dishes, clean them up, and put them away. It will eliminate a common food source for flies in your kitchen.
- Put Fruits and Vegetables in the Fridge. Don't keep out your ripe fruits and vegetables. Clean them and then put them into your fridge or an appropriate covered bin. If you leave your ripe fruit out, then it will attract gnats to your kitchen.
- Change Your Potting Soil. Changing your potting soil has two benefits: it improves the health of your plants and it gets rid of poor quality soil that attracts fungus gnats. Change out the potting soil when you notice the gnats and pay attention to your watering habits.
- Clear Up Damp Areas. Do not allow water to sit and fester in your yard or home. Clean up any damp areas and keep the moisture levels in your home low.