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 house plants. These types are known as Fungus Gnats. The other type is the one who feeds on fruits and is known as fruit flies. Both of these have a very short lifespan (around ten days) and generally grow in summer. These annoying small insects can be prevented through pesticides, but the presence of toxic chemical compounds may be harmful to you as well. Besides, pest control services may cost you huge bucks. Therefore, in this article, we have mentioned natural home remedies on getting rid of gnats.
Home Remedies for Gnats
1. Honey Trap
Bright colours and sugary smell attracts insects towards them. A homemade gnat trap helps prevent frequent occurrence of these creepy creatures. 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. Potting Plants in New Pot
As the soil ages, it tends to retain a lot of moisture in it. Hence, replanting the house plants in another pot of soil may save them from gnat attack. Remove the old soil as much as possible and make sure you do not harm the roots. Or else, take out the uppermost layer of soil, as the eggs are laid on this layer (1).
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
The aroma of apple cider vinegar attracts fruit flies towards it. You can simply put apple cider vinegar in a bowl at places where gnats instigate. Gnats get fascinated to vinegar and die in the liquid. You can also use a mason jar and fill it ¼th with vinegar. Place a funnel on top of it to let the gnats enter, but not exit (2). Alternatively, you can take several juice glasses, fill them one third with apple cider vingear 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. Smell of acv will attract flies and they will drown themselves in the vinegar (3).
4. Fruit Trap
Fruit flies are strongly 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 quite a wonderful source of attracting insects. 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 on them. Ammonia is harmful to living beings (5). As a result it will help kill gnats. Make sure you use the sink after a few hours and that too after proper cleaning.
Alcohol is equally harmful to insects as it is for human beings. Mix alcohol and water in 1:2 ratios. Fill it in a spray bottle, and squirt on the 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.
Cinnamon is known for controlling larvae and damping off. The powdered form of cinnamon is a natural fungicide (7). 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 out the results. Repeat this remedy every week till the problem continues.
8. Baking Soda
Uses of baking soda are large enough to make a person spellbound. Have you ever thought of using it as a gnat repellent? Yes, you can make it 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 it attracts the insects with its nice fragrance (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.
Garlic is an effective mosquito repellent (9). You can use it to make a garden spray to help the plants get rid of these creepy pests. 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 formula will surely work. Bacteria and other insects also feed on yeast. Take a bowl filled with a little yeast, a bit of sugar and water. Cover the bowl using a plastic sheet and make small hole in the sheet to let fruit flies enter. Keep this mixture at suspected places and you’ll see a large number of gnats catch up in it (10).
12. Fly Paper
Many of you are still unsure on how to get rid of gnats. For this, make this delicious fly paper to give gnats, a special treat (Note the sarcasm, please). 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 infected places (11).
13. Jam or Jelly Trap
Sweet substances, like jam and jelly can also be used to prevent 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 pull towards the jar and die after entering it.
14. Egg Bait solution
Crack 4 eggs in an empty 1 gallon plastic container and then fill the container with water. Now mix thoroughly. Take a 2 litre plastic bottle. Drill Three to four holes into its upper third, and paint its lower portion with the black colour. 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 traps. 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 trap. 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 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.