Every summer, gnats infest millions of homes. They ruin your food, eat your plants, and spread disease. Although gnats only live for about a week, they can reproduce quickly and in very large numbers. Preventing and getting rid of gnats is easy with the right tools and know-how. It only takes three steps to get rid of gnats infesting your home.
Gnats are any species of small flying insects. You’ll see them in large swarms called clouds. This is where they mate at dusk. These insects love moist environments and thrive between 75 to 80 degrees. This is why southern states often have the worst infestations. Dealing with them can be frustrating and can seem never-ending. This guide shows you how to easily keep gnats out of your home and off of your plants.
To get rid of gnats, all you need to do is:
- Eliminate the source
- Create a trap or bait
- Prevent future infestations
Step One: Eliminate the Source
Gnats are fungal-loving insects. They need lots of heat and moisture and are most active at night. Gnats feed on plants and will hatch eggs in the soil, which can rot roots. Gnats don’t use their sense of smell to find these moist spots. Instead, gnats use their antennae to find the most ideal spot to lay eggs.
Start by deep cleaning your home. Eliminate all sources of moisture and dirt to prevent any fungus’ from forming. This also helps prevent other pests like rodents or ants. Consistently keep your home clean and be sure to:
- Clean dishes right away.
- Thoroughly clean your sink with a bleach solution.
- Clean the dishwasher with its recommended solution.
- Store food in air-tight containers.
- Look out for leaks and clean damp spots.
- Get covered trash cans and seal outdoor ones effectively.
- Regularly change plant soil and make sure they’re draining properly.
If you find that gnats in and around your plants, change the soil and clean the roots. Replace the soil with high-quality moisture-retaining soil meant for indoor plants. Add extra protective measures like neem oil or diatomaceous earth to prevent future infestations.
Also Read: Neem Oil For Pest Control Guide
Outside the Home
Once your home is cleaned inside, take some time to do the same outside. This prevents pests from coming anywhere on your property. Even if you find that the problem is mostly inside your home, making every part of your home is unattractive to gnats creates a stronger defense agianst them.
Cleaning out your yard is especially important if you have any kind of garden or vegatation around your home. Gnats love to breed in plants, so it’s best to stop any kind of infestation by further growing. Start this process by:
- Keeping your garden free of mold, fungus, and rot.
- Draining soil properly.
- Using mulch to absorb moisture.
- Raking out mulch layers to keep soil dry.
- Ensuring no gutters or drains are form pools.
- Keeping birdbaths, fountains, and other water features clean.
- Using sodium light bulbs to reduce attraction at night.
- Watering your yard and garden in the morning.
Watering and gardening in the moring allows any mositure to absorb throughout the day while the sun is out. Consistently keep your home, yard, and garden clean and dry during the summer. This will prevent gnats from coming onto your property.
You can also call an exterminator to have your yard sprayed for gnats, mosquitos, and other vectors. Not all store-bought sprays offer a wide range of protection, so you may need extra help no matter how clean your yard is.
Also Read: Review: The In2Care Mosquito Trap
Step Two: Creating a Trap
After you’ve eliminated everything that attracts gnats, it’s time to kill off any infestations inside your home. Similar to fleas, it may take a while for you to eliminate all the gnats inside your home. This is especaily true if they haven’t hatched yet.
Here are some DIY gnat traps you can make with things you probably already own. Start by filling an old jar with one of the following mixtures:
- Apple cider vinegar and some dish soap
- Red wine and some dish soap
- Mashed up banana slices
- Rotten fruit
Next, cover the jar with plastic wrap and poke small entry holes with a needle or pin. Leave this trap close to your sink and change the trap every day or two.
Try testing out which mixture works best with your infestation. If you find that none of your DIY solutions are working, try using a chemically-formulated products or a sticky fly trap.
Also Read: 5 Natural Pest Control DIYs
Step Three: Prevent Future Infestations
The final step to get rid of gnats in your home is to prevent them from coming back in. Consistently keep your home clean, and be especially cautious during the summer. In addition to keeping your home clean, here are some other ways you can repel insects.
Essential Oils To Get Rid of Gnats
Cedarwood, neem oil, and citronella are particularly helpful in both repelling and killing gnats. Cedarwood is a moisture-absorbing essential oil and is best for these fungal pests. These essential oils can also be used to protect against other pests as well. You can defuse them in places that get particularly infested, or make your own insect repellent by mixing together:
- ½ cup of witch hazel
- ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp of your choice of essential oil
Funnel mixture into a spray bottle and spray onto yourself, your garden, and other parts of your home where gnats commonly gather.
Also Read: Cedarwood Oil Guide
Block All Entryways
You can block possible entryways by using detachable mesh screens on your windows and doors. Fill any cracks in your home’s structure, especailly on windows and walls. You can also use sticky fly traps in your entryways to stop gnats from finding their way inside.
There are lots of retail products that stop gnats from entering. Try spreading a thin layer of any pest-killing chemicals like diatomaceous earth or boric acid with a paintbrush. These chemicals can be harmful to pets and other wildlife always read and follow the label of any product you’re using.
Also Read: Reviewing The Top Five Terro Products
Call Your Local Exterminator
At Pest Brigade, we’ve partnered with thousands of local exterminators to help keep gnats out of your home. If you have any questions about gnats in your home, call us at (833) 431-0401. Pest Brigade connects you with the first exterminator in your area who’ll get rid of your gnat problem for good.