Gants, these tiny insects, which resemble mosquitoes, are the most undesirable and unwelcome visitors to our home. They not only look like mosquitoes but even bite and suck blood from human bodies just the way mosquitoes do. They leave a red spot on your skin and can be very itchy.
Female gnats can lay up to 300 eggs at a time so it is very much important to get rid of them as soon as you notice. As they can multiply in numbers within a blink of an eye. And can spread the infection way too fast than you can imagine.
Are Gnats Harmful?
Gnats are little insects with long, slender bodies and very narrow wings that are black or dark brown. And they are considered to be the major cause or trigger for diseases like Myiasis, and microfilaria.
They even carry Leishmania parasites and when they bite it is likely to transmit to another person which eventually leads to Leishmaniasis.
Gnats come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the most prevalent forms in our homes are fungus gnats, fruit gnats, and phorid or drain gnats.
Fungus gnats: These types of gnats breed on soil and accumulated water. Your indoor or outdoor flower pots can be their favorite spot especially if there is water accumulated. Even if there are any dead leaves it attracts them.
Fruit gnats: These types of gnats are found in our kitchen. They are attracted to rotten or overripe fruits.
Phorid or drain gnats: These types of gnats are found in drains, gutters, or any water leakage. They breed in moist dirt areas. They are more active at night.
Why Are There So Many Gnats in My House?
Seeing a few Gnats isn’t a big deal as they could be visiting for food. However, if you see swarms of them everywhere, then you’ve got a problem. You need to find the source and get rid of them completely.
Here are a few reasons why your house has so many gnats:
Over Watering Your Indoor or Outdoor Plants
You must be very careful about watering your indoor and outdoor plants and make sure you don’t overwater them. As moist potting soil, damp soil where there is too much moisture is an ideal breeding habitat for fungus gnats’ eggs and larvae.
Uncleaned Rotten Fruits, Plants, or Any Other Decaying Material
Rotten, overripe, and other sweet fruits attract fruit gnats. So, if you have any rotten fruits in your home, get rid of them right away and cover your overripe fruits.
In the case of Fungi gnats, they are attracted to decaying plants and flowers. Fungus, mildew, moss, and compost are among their favorite foods. They prefer to dwell in potting soil, where they can feed on root rot or decomposing leaves.
Delayed Emptying of Trash Cans
Make sure you store rubbish in bins with tight lids that cover the whole cans. There is usually a lot of moisture in kitchen garbage cans and decomposing organic waste leftovers of meals, bones, veggies, etc. Leaving these garbage cans open and delay to throw can attract house gnats.
Too Much Moisture in Kitchen and Bathrooms
Gnats prefer to congregate in the kitchen and bathroom because they are a constant source of moisture. The kitchen sink contains unfinished food particles and when the dirty dishes are left for a long time they are attracted to these smells.
Sometimes our bathroom sink or showers get blocked with hair and other dust particles which results in slow drainage. When there is standing water in the sink it is very enticing for gnats.
Leakage in Drains or Gutters
Another popular site for gnats is a leaking faucet, leaky pipes, or sweating pipes under the kitchen sink. It’s the dark, wet habitat that’s ideal for egg-laying. If there is leakage in roof gutters or any such place this can be ideal for gnats to start breeding and spreading in numbers.
If there is any standing water in your yard, or flower pots indoors or outdoor you need to get rid of them immediately. Female gnats lay eggs there as it is perfect for them. Try to keep your yard, washroom, and kitchen dry.
Fragrance in Skincare products
If none of the above-mentioned reasons apply to you, then fruit-scented hygiene and cosmetic products sometimes can be the reasons too.
Fruit gnats are drawn to specific floral and fruit scents. If you’ve been using any kind of fragrance or beauty product, they may have been drawn to it as well.
How to Get Rid of Gnats
Depending upon which part of the house the gnats are more seen you can decide which type are they and how to get rid of them. They are mostly found in the kitchen, bathroom, basement, living room, and yard. Here we have mentioned some simply natural and commercial ways to get rid of them.
Making an Apple Cider Vinegar Trap
This simple apple cider vinegar trap is the most effective and widely used approach for gnat control. It is very simple to prepare as well
- A cup of apple cider vinegar
- A Big shallow bowl
- Dish soap
- Pour some apple cider vinegar into a bowl.
- Pour the dish detergent into the same bowl.
- Stir it well using a spoon.
- Place the bowl with the mixture where there is the maximum number of gnats.
- The gnats will fall for the sweet smell of apple cider vinegar
- Place such mixture in different bowls and place them in different places in your house
- Remove it when there are the maximum number of gnats in the bowl
Pour Diluted Bleach Down the Sink or Tub
If you spot gnats coming out of your drain, sink, or tub chances are high there is sludge buildup there around your kitchen sink or bathtub. Food particles get collected in your drain’s edges. So they start making a home there. You can pour some diluted bleach and pour it down the drain. Diluted bleach will kill the gnats immediately. Diluted bleach is not an environment-friendly product though.
Red Wine Fruit Fly Trap
Another best way to get those gnats in a trap can be with red wine if it is easily available to you.
- A big bowl
- Take a big bowl and pour some wine into it
- Add a few amounts of water too
- Place the bowl where there are the maximum numbers of gnats
- They will get attracted to the smell of wine and dive in
- Then they will drown in the mixture
- When there are enough gnats you can remove them and replace them again
- It’s quite cool to use a candle to attract gnats and make them into a ball of fire.
- Place a tall candlestick inside a candle holder.
- Fill a candlestick halfway with water and place a candle inside.
- Check to see if it’s stable or not. Add a few drops of dish soap to the mixture.
- Gently stir the ingredients together.
- Turn off the lights and light the candle.
- The gnats will fly to the flame and either be burned or drowned if they fall into the water.
- Set up as many candles as you can and place them in locations where more gnats are visible throughout your home.
Water Plants With Hydrogen Peroxide Solutions
To kill the gnats that are in the moist soil or in your indoor or outdoor plants this can be the best option. All you have to do is make a solution of 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 4 parts water. And water the plants where there are gnats with this mixture. You will see how this mixture will instantly kill the gnats in the plants. And for non-visible larvae and eggs, you will see some bubbling when you pour the liquid into the soil which means the solution is working.
Note: Excess use of hydrogen peroxide can harm the plant so it is strongly recommended to not use more than 1 part in 4 parts of water.
Using Essential Oil
Spraying the mixture of essential oil and water where there are gnats will help you to get rid of them. Essential oil is extracted from plants and there are some plants gnats cannot withstand. Their pungent smell will keep gnats at bay. Some of the essential oils that can be used are
NOTES: If you have pets in your houses such as cats and dogs even they might be allergic to the smell of below mentioned essential oils. So keep them away while you spray it.
- fennel oil
Getting Some Insect Repellent Plants
If there are gnats in your yard or garden planting some plants to repel gnats will help. It will stop them from entering your house as well. You can even place these plants on your windows or doors in small pots. These herbs have many benefits as they are edible, give a good and strong fragrance, and repel insects.
- Mary gold
Linalool is a chemical found in dryer sheets that are commonly used in fragrances, air fresheners, and other products that require a pleasant smell. Gnats, on the other hand, despise it. You can simply hang the dryer sheet where there are gnats. And because of the smell, they will run away or die.
If you have no time to get yourself into that hassle of DIY natural products and looking for some quick fixes to get rid of gnats. Don’t worry there are plenty of commercial solutions available in the market. Ultrasonic repellent, Sticky tape, and Gnat Zappers can be of great help.
Seek Help From a Professional Pest Control Company
If the number of gnats is way too much and none of the above methods work. We recommend you seek some professional help. Chances are high you have mistaken some other insects for gnats and they need some different treatment. In such a case call someone from a pest control company. They will guide you through with their expert opinion.
How to Stop Gnats From Coming Back
As we always say, precaution is always better than cure. And to stop gnats from coming back you can apply the following rules to your house.
- Replace old and worn-out windows.
- Don’t let mold grow in your siding.
- Get rid of damps around your house.
- Don’t overwater plants.
- Clean your gutters and put a stopper in your drain.
- Don’t pour oil directly into your sink.
- Flush the drain with hot water after washing dishes. It will eliminate any remaining debris.
- Use an antibacterial agent, such as S-hydroplane to clean the drain as it has low-toxicity pesticide but kills insects.
It is easier to avoid gnats entering your home in the first place than to try various methods to get rid of them. The two most important things you can do to keep gnats out of your house are to keep everything clean and dry. Keep your house tidy throughout the week, not only on weekends. Clean up spilled food and toss out overripe fruits and stale foods. Cover the garbage can with a lid and dispose of garbage regularly. To keep gnats out, use wire mesh screens on doors and windows.