Every summer, gnats infest millions of homes in America. They ruin your food, eat your plants, and can spread diseases. Although gnats only live for about a week, they can reproduce quickly and in large numbers. Today, we’re going to share with you our three step method on how to get rid of gnats.
Gnats are any species of small flying insects. They often form in larger swarms called clouds, where they mate at dusk. These insects love moist environments and thrive between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why southern states like West Virginia often have the worst infestations. Dealing with them can be frustrating and can seem never-ending. We’re going to share with you the ultimate guide to 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, which is why they love heat and moisture, and are most active at night. A lot of them feed on plants and will hatch eggs in moist soils and plant roots. Gnats don’t use their sense of smell to find these moist spots, but instead use their antennae to find these sources. Thankfully, this means we can easily find the source of the problem.
Inside the Home
Start by doing a serious deep clean of your home. Eliminating all sources of moisture and dirt will prevent any fungus’ from forming, and will help 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 dishwasher with its recommend 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 the gnats are forming around your plants, try switching out your current soil for a high-quality moisture retaining soil meant for indoor plants.
Outside the Home
Now that we’ve gotten rid of everything that attracts gnats inside your home, it’s time to do some major yard work to make sure they don’t accidentally find their way inside. Even if you find that the problem is mostly inside your home, making every part of your home unattractive to pests will create a stronger defense against them.
This is especially important if you have a garden, or plants around your home, as these pests love to breed in plants. Start this process by:
- Keeping your garden free of mold, fungus, and rot
- Making sure your soil is draining properly
- Using mulch to absorb moisture and rake out layers to keep them dry
- Ensuring no gutters or other water drains are forming pools
- Keeping birdbaths, fountains, and other water features clean
- Watering your your yard and garden in the morning
- Using sodium light bulbs to reduce attraction at night
Consistently keeping your home, yard, and garden clean and dry will lessen the chances of a gnat infestation.
Step Two: Creating a Trap
After you’ve eliminated everything that will attract pests, it’s time to kill off any infestations inside your home. Similarly to fleas, it may take a while for you to eliminate all gnats that have already found themselves inside your home if they haven’t already hatched yet. But you should be able to get rid of all current and future gnat infestations if you follow these tips.
Here are some DIY 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.
Step Three: Prevent Future Infestations
The final step in making sure gnats never infest your home is to prevent them from coming back in. Consistently keep your home clean, and be especially wary in the summer months. In addition to keeping your home clean, here are some other ways you can repel insects.
Use essential oils to repel against pests
Cedarwood, neem oil, and citronella are particularly helpful in both repelling and even killing pests. Cedarwood is a moisture-absorbing essential oil, and is best for fungal insects and pests like gnats. These essential oils can also be used to eliminate other pests as well and they smell great! 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. Some essential oils can be harmful for your pet, so be sure to read our page on pest chemicals to make sure your pet is safe!
Block possible entry ways
You can block possible entry ways by using detachable mesh door screens, and filling any cracks in your home’s structure. You can also use sticky fly traps in your entry ways to stop gnats from finding their way inside.
Use chemically-formulated products around entryways
There are lots of retail products that will help trap gnats upon entry. Try spreading a thin layer of any pest-killing chemicals like diatomaceous earth or boric acid with a paint brush. This will also help kill pests if they enter your home. These chemicals can be harmful to pets and other wildlife always read and follow the label of any product you’re using.
Call your local gnat exterminator
At Pest Brigade, we’ve partnered with thousands of local pest experts that can help you keep gnats out of your home. So let us help you find the best solution for keeping gnats out of your home. If you have any questions about gnats in your home, call us at (833) 431-0401 and we can help!
Share with us your gnat solutions in the comments below!