Gnats are the pesky two-winged flying creatures resembling mosquitoes, which are small in size but can drive you nuts at times. Gnats can cause harm to kids, house plants, kitchen wares and home pets, as they feed on plants, other insects, and blood. They carry parasites and spread diseases in human and livestock. They lay their eggs and form large swarms near aquatic places and near houseplants. These types are known as Fungus Gnats. The other type feed on fruits and are known as fruit flies. Both of these have a very short lifespan (around ten days) and they are most annoying in summer. If you’ve ever wondered how to kill gnats or how to get rid of gnats in house, or perhaps just catch gnats then look no further. Our home remedies for gnats will solve your problems and keep these insects at bay.
1. Honey Trap
Bright colors and sugary smell attracts gnats.
If you want to know how to kill gnats, using bright colors and sugary smells is essential for any trap. To get rid of gnats in the house, you will have to maintain a permanent trap, keeping the sweet lure fresh.
Cut a few pieces of yellow plastic and apply honey on it to make the fungus gnats stick to it. Place them on or near the houseplants to catch these annoying flies.
Note: You can also use petroleum jelly for giving that sticky effect, but honey is more effective due to its sweetness.
2. Re-potting houseplants
If you are trying to get rid of gnats in the house, you need to think about your houseplants as these are the primary source of fungus gnats.
As soil ages, it tends to retain more moisture and food for fungus gnats. Hence, replanting houseplants in another pot of soil will keep the gnat population down.
Remove the old soil as often as possible and make sure you do not harm the roots. Or else, replace the uppermost layer of soil, as the gnat eggs are laid on this layer (1).
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
The aroma of apple cider vinegar attracts fruit flies and gnats.
Its a very simple home remedy to kill gnats but it works well. Simply put apple cider vinegar in a bowl at places where gnats congregate. Gnats are attracted to vinegar and will die in the liquid.
To make a trap, fill a mason jar a quarter of the way with vinegar. Place a funnel on top of jar, with the small end of the funnel placed just above the surface of the vinegar. The gnats will enter, but never exit (2).
Alternatively, you can take several juice glasses, fill them one third with apple cider vinegar and add some drops of dishwashing soap in it. Now cover the glass top with plastic wrap and fix it using a rubber band. Now, make several holes in the plastic wrap. The smell of ACV will attract flies through the wholes and they will drown themselves in the vinegar (3).
4. Fruit Trap
If you or not sure about killing gnats (there are some who are not), and you are wondering how to catch gnats humanely, then this is the home remedy for you. This gnat trap will catch a lot of gnats which you can release away from your home.
Fruit flies and gnats are attracted by banana. You can make fruit trap by placing a banana peel inside a plastic container. Make three or four holes in the container throughout using a standard round toothpick.
Now place this container in or near the fruit bowl. This trap is very useful as in 24hrs it can trap 99% of the flies (4). This is an easy, eco-friendly and inexpensive method to get rid of these insects.
5. Vegetable Oil and Ammonia
Vegetable oil or any other oil is another home remedy to kill gnats. Pour a small amount of cooking oil in the sink to assemble the bugs at one place. When they collect in the sink, pour a small dose of ammonia into the sink. The fumes will kill the insects quickly. (5). Make sure you remember to clean the sink afterward.
Alcohol is equally harmful to insects as it is for human beings. Mix alcohol and water in 1:2 ratios. Add the mixture to a spray bottle, and squirt on your house or garden plants every third day.
If the solution is not sufficient enough to cover all plants in the garden, you can put it in a container and place it in the garden to attract gnats (6).
Note: Before spouting solution on the entire plant, test it on a few leaves to make sure it does not harm plants.
It helps destroy the fungus on which larvae feed and thus controls the growth of fungus gnats. Sprinkle the cinnamon powder on the plantation area and watch the results. Repeat this remedy every week until the problem ends.
8. Baking Soda
There are so many uses of baking soda but one of the more unusual uses is as a gnat repellent. Yes, you can make a gnat repellent at home. Take four tsp baking soda, one tsp liquid dish wash and 1-gallon water. Mix it well and spray on afflicted flora or earth for the best results.
9. Lavender Oil
Lavender oil can be used to prevent gnats, as its fragrance, sweet-smelling to humans, is repellent to the gnat (8). Place a sponge soaked in lavender oil in a dish. Put it in your living area.
- Alternatively, place a lavender plant in your garden around the sitting area.
- Or else, put dried lavender near the windowsills.
Take 4 bits of garlic and soak them into one tsp of mineral oil for a whole day. Strain oil the next day and add one tsp of liquid dish wash to it. Transfer this mixture to a spray bottle and spritz it on your outdoor plants after shaking well.
If you are tired of thinking about how to get rid of gnats in the house, this remedy for gnats is one to try. Bacteria, gnats and other insects love yeast.
Take a bowl filled with a little yeast, a bit of sugar and water. Cover the bowl using a plastic sheet and make a small hole in the sheet to let the gnats enter. Place the bowl in high gnat traffic areas and soon, you will see gnats quickly get trapped. (10).
12. Fly Paper
As a technique for how to kill gnats, the old tricks are sometimes the best. They may be gnats but fly paper works on them just as well.
To make a homemade flypaper trap, take ¼ cup maple syrup and 1 tbsp each of brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Blend all ingredients properly. Now take the strips of brown paper and stretch the mixture over it. Let it absorb overnight. Hang these papers around the infested places (11).
13. Jam or Jelly Trap
Sweet substances, like jam and jelly, can also be used in traps to kill gnats. Take the jam jar when it is about to get empty and fill ¼ of it with water. Mix well and make holes in its lid sufficient to allow gnats to enter. Gnats will be drawn towards the jar and die after entering it.
14. Egg Bait solution
Crack 4 eggs into an empty 1-gallon plastic container and then fill the container with water. Now mix thoroughly.
Take a 2-liter plastic bottle. Drill three to four holes into its upper third, and paint its lower portion with a black color. Fill this bottle one fourth with the egg bait solution and hang it 2 to 3 feet from the ground. Bait should be wet enough to trap the flies (12).
Note: 2-week old egg bait is ineffective, so change it in or before 14 days. Also, during summer the water evaporates and bait gets harder, so change it whenever required.
15. Diatomaceous earth
To get rid of fungal gnats, you can either put diatomaceous earth in the soil to kill the maggots or you can cut the supply of water. One of the main sources of gnats is overwatering the houseplants as their larvae grow in the moist environment. The best way to get rid of gnats is to dry out the soil of plants completely before watering them again. The dry soil kills larvae and inhibits the growth of gnats. (13).
16. Red Wine
Mix some red wine and floral dish soap in a container. Cover this container with a plastic sheet and poke some holes in this sheet. Gnats cannot resist the smell and will drown in the solution (14).
17. Cornmeal Trap
To catch flies, you can make a cone-type insect trap. Make a moist bait using cornmeal and molasses as flies get attracted towards this mixture. The cone shape trap containing this mixture has a hole at the top which leads to a container. Flies leaving the bait enter this container through the hole and get trapped. Dead flies should be removed (15).
- Keep your house clean (16).
- Clean kitchen utensils immediately after use (17).
- Put curtains over windows and doors.
- Cover all foods properly with lid (18).
- Keep the garbage in a lidded dustbin.
- Keep removing the rubbish from the house (19).
- Keep fresh fruits in the refrigerator.
- Remove rotten fruits immediately (20).
- Use a vacuum cleaner to remove them.
- Electric fly exploder can also be fitted in the house.
- Cover the wet dishes with a dry towel.
- Shut all the windows rand doors.
- Keep a basil plant in the garden (21).
- Repair holes and cracks (if any).
- Consume fresh fruits and throw away rotten one.
- Do not leave leftover food on the kitchen slab.
- Do not let the stagnant water fill near the house or garden.
- Avoid over watering plants (22).
- Do not leave wet towels or wet things lying in the house anywhere.