It happens to all of us. Sometimes, we don’t feel like wiping up that sugary spill right away. That’s okay. Everybody has those days. But when you leave that spill for a few hours, or may even a day, you’re going to have to deal with the gnats that will come to feast on the sugary. Don’t worry, though! In this article, we will tell you how to get rid of gnats.
Before you start the extermination process, you need first to identify that they are indeed gnats. Many itty bitty flies look similar to gnats. If you’re using chemical sprays to get rid of gnats, when they aren’t gnats, it won’t work.
What are gnats?
Gnats are small, black, or gray flies with slender legs and long antennas. They’re not harmful to humans, but they can harm plants and seedlings. They are attracted to moist and humid environments.
The presence of gnats in the house indicates unhygienic conditions. In colder countries, they only show up during rainy seasons and are an annoyance. In very humid countries, gnats are responsible for spreading diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and elephantiasis.
How to get rid of gnats
There are many ways to prevent gnats from making a home in your house. However, if they find a way in, you can use one of these methods to eliminate them.
Use a fly paper
In areas where there is unusually high gnat traffic, you can put up a piece of flypaper. This sticky paper catches all flying insects and is an instant but temporary solution. It will help in reducing the number of gnats at the time, but it does not eliminate them completely.
If you want a little more extensive coverage, then you can use window fly covers. Light attracts gnats, so putting up sticky sheets on your windows can help capture them at night. That is the time when light pouring in from outside attracts them.
By regularly switching the paper, you can significantly reduce the number of gnats that make their way into your house.
A bug zapper is also known as an electronic insect control system or electrical-discharge insect-control system. The system makes use of light to attract gnats and other insects, and it kills them with an electric shock.
There are more efficient systems in the market as a result of advancements in these electronic insect killer systems. Previous versions had exposed electrical rods that could be dangerous for use in homes where kids are always running around. The latest versions are more compact, user-friendly, safe, and noiseless. They come with a concealed electric shock system, making them safe for use around children and pets.
The old school versions are still trendy for outdoor use. They are useful if you’re looking to control bug traffic in your yard. These electronic systems require regular cleaning of the corpse collection tray, though.
Apple cider vinegar
This is a great way to control your gnat problem. Mix a tablespoon of sugar, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and 6 to10 drops of liquid dish soap in a cup of warm water. Gnats are attracted to the sugary mixture, which will lure them in. Once they go in for a dip, the dish soap will trap them in. Prepare this mixture and leave it in the room in a small bowl. You will soon see the results.
If you don’t want to leave a sweet mixture uncovered in your living room, then, when preparing the mixture, leave out the sugar. Mix water dish soap and vinegar in the spray bottle. Wherever you see a gnat flying around, directly spray this mix on them. The solution is entirely free of toxic chemicals, so it won’t harm your indoor plants or you.
Gnats that swarm around the sinks and drains in the bathroom are particularly aggravating. Because these insects breed in humid areas, the bathroom is a particularly favorite location of theirs. To rid the bathroom of these insects, dilute bleach with water and pour it down the drain.
One cup to half a cup of bleach per gallon of water is a good enough ratio. Make sure to use gloves and a mask when dealing with this mixture as bleach fumes can be harmful if you inhale them.
Again, gnats are attracted to sugary fermented beverages. The next time you see a swarm of gnats in your house, pour a little bit of wine in a glass and add dishwashing soap to it. The scent lures them in, and the soap traps them in. Eventually, they drown and die.
Gnats love rotting fruit. The sugar fermentation process that happens when fruits rot will attract gnats. Put the rotting fruit in a container and cover it with a plastic wrap. Poke a few holes in the wrap and place it in the open.
The insects crawl their way into the container drawn to the sugar but are unable to find their way out. Once the container becomes filled with your prey, you can dispose of it.
Candle fly trap
Stick a candle in a bowl or tray filled with water. Light up the candle and close all other lights. Close the curtains to block incoming light from outside.
Gnats are attracted to light. When gnats do not find any other light source, the lit candle lures them in. They either burn by flying into the flame, or they drown in water in the bowl under the light.
Professional exterminators make use of chemical sprays to target the gnat population in every nook and cranny in the house. The process of using chemical sprays is called fogging. Any spray containing chemicals like pyrethrins, resmethrin, tetramethrin, and d-trans allethrin will kill gnats upon contact. Multiple insect killer sprays are safe for at-home use.
Raid Flying Insect Killer
Raid is designed to target all flying insects. You don’t even need to aim the spray at the insect. Insects flying through the mist will also die. It provides residual control, so spraying it on your doors and windows will prevent any more insects from flying in for a long time.
The spray is safe for indoor and outdoor use. The 15oz can contains no CFC or chemicals. It carries a pleasant smell while effectively targeting gnats, flies, mosquitoes, and other insects, making it ideal for indoor use.
Zep Flying Insect Killer
The Zep Flying Insect Killer immediately kills gnats, flies, and mosquitoes. It is also a residual control spray and protects your home for up to 8 hours. The product contains Tetramethrin and Sumithrin as active ingredients. Both these ingredients provide sufficient coverage, making it safe for both indoor and outdoor use.
The company advises spraying the product in short bursts directly at the swarm of insects or bug-infested areas. Because of the presence of chemical tetramethrin, this spray can potentially harm plants. Avoid spraying it directly on greenery.
Wondercide Natural Indoor Pest Control Spray
Wondercide is both a preventive spray and a treatment for your home. The spray is all-natural, making it safe for indoor use on furniture and carpets. It kills fleas, gnats, insects, spiders, and as an added bonus, it doesn’t stain the furniture.
The spray contains no artificial colors scents or synthetic pesticides. It is pet-friendly and comes in four different scents:
Wondercide spray is pricier than other sprays. However, the spray with its natural formula provides benefits that other chemical sprays don’t. If you’re looking for an organic spray, then this is the one for you.
Identifying the Source
Identifying the source is an essential part of the elimination process. Once you’ve identified where the gnats are coming from, you can better target your treatment efforts. These insects usually make their way into your home either through fruits and vegetables or from outside the house through an open window or crack in the wall.
Gnats live off of plant-based materials. These insects lay hundreds of eggs onto plants and unripe fruits. The larvae use the fruits as their primary food source until the fruit begins to rot.
Open doors and windows may also allow them entry in the house. Outdoor vegetation acts as a breeding ground for these insects. If they have plenty of food sources outside, they probably won’t come inside. However, sugary smells wafting through open windows can invite them inside.
You can take multiple precautionary measures to ensure that your house does not provide the ideal living conditions for gnats.
1. No dirty dishes
Get into the habit of cleaning your dishes as soon as you are done eating. Dishes lying around in the sink can attract gnats from outside. They are attracted to scents and unhygienic conditions, as are other flies.
2. Waste disposal
All leftover food items should be disposed of properly. Leaving food lying around is like preparing a feast for a swarm of gnats. Either put your food away in covered containers or throw it away in the trash.
Make sure your trash is covered and sealed properly. Garbage cans are also breeding grounds for these disgusting insects. Seal all indoor trash cans appropriately, and regularly change the trash bags. Outdoor trash cans must be placed as far away from the house as possible. These should also be covered to avoid animals raiding the trash and littering it everywhere.
3. Look out for water leakages
Gnats love damp and moist areas. Stagnant water puddles, inside or outside the house, are bound to become breeding pools for gnats.
Wipe up any spills or messes immediately. Wipe dry the area around kitchen and bathroom sinks after using them. Check around drains in the bathrooms, and if you find any water puddles, dry them out immediately.
Fix any leaking pipes and taps both inside and outside the house.
4. Don’t overwater plants
Excessive water in plants is a problem for multiple reasons. It not only acts as a breeding ground for gnats but also for centipedes.
Waterlogging in potted plants also promotes fungus growth. The fungus is another food source for gnats and other insects. Makes sure you change the soil once you notice signs of growing algae. Use good quality soil as it helps dispel fungus growth.
Before you water your plants, touch the top layer of the soil. Do not water them if the earth does not feel dry to the touch.
5. Change your lights
Gnats are attracted to bright lights and colors. If your porch light is white or yellow, it can attract gnats. These insects will fly in every time you open your front door.
Change your lights to orange sodium lights. These lights cast off an orange glow, which attracts fewer pests.
6. Replace old worn out windows and doors
Wooden frames can turn into a gnat nest if left unattended. Old window and door frames tend to rot if not maintained properly. If you see signs of mold around your doors and windows, it means that the structure is moist and is rotting.
Replacing your window frames and restricting the moisture source can avoid gnat buildup in the house. It is also unhygienic to have mold growing in the walls. It becomes a nesting ground for spiders, centipedes, mosquitoes, and many other insects.
7. Fix your siding
Mold can also grow on the siding of your house. Wooden siding retains moisture, especially during rainy seasons. It can significantly increase humidity in your immediate surroundings.
Replacing your wooden siding with vinyl siding can help prevent that. It is cheaper than wood and is easier to maintain. Vinyl doesn’t retain moisture, so that helps avoid all sorts of pest growth.
8. Clean your gutters
Dirt, debris, soil, leaves, and other things often accumulate in the drain. When it rains, these things retain moisture, providing the ideal home for gnats and other insects. Regularly cleaning out your drain not only helps prevent blockage but also helps avoid pest growth in your home.
9. Maintain your drain
Drainage pipes are your primary water drainage source for both your bathrooms and your kitchen. They are barely ever dry, and thus, can significantly increase the gnat population in the house. A simple way of avoiding that is by keeping your drains covered. Covering them prevents humid wafts from escaping into the sink, keeping it clean. It also prevents any gnats present in the drain from coming out at night when there is no running water.
Do not pour oils down your drains. It causes multiple plumbing problems. When pieces of food and waste get stuck inside the drain, it also attracts various insects. Getting rid of oily pipes can be damaging to the pipeline, and you may need to pay for expensive repairs as well.
To properly get rid of cooking oil, pour it into an empty milk container and throw it in the trash. Then, once the pan cools down, wipe it with a tissue before you proceed to wash it. If your local department of public works offers a free oil recycling program, then recycling the oil you use is the best option.
10. Seal all windows and doors
Any cracks or opening in the walls of your home can become an entryway for many flying insects. Caulking your walls and windows can close off insect entry points. You can even reseal windows using a silicon gun. Since this is not very hard to do, you won’t need professional help.
Seek Professional Help
As a last resort, you can hire professional pest control services. Using strong chemical insecticides, they can terminate all your pest problems. The chemicals they use are harmful to humans and animals. After the spray, you should keep your pets and children away from the house. The recommended waiting time depends upon the potency of the chemicals used. In some cases, professionals recommend that the treated area be left uninhabited for at least 24 hours.
Are gnats dangerous? There are different types of gnats, and the level of harm that they can do to humans depends on the species. The Fungus gnat does not bite or sting humans. They lay their eggs, and their larvae can feed off plants. They do not pose a serious risk, though. The black gnat is known to spread a variety of diseases. Some of them, like river blindness, are very dangerous. They are even known to spread malaria and yellow fever.
How to keep gnats out of the house? During the summer months, keep your doors and windows open during the day for added ventilation. To stop gnats from entering the house, you should install a fly screen on all your doors and windows. Keeping the temperature inside the house low can also prevent the breeding of such insects. Even though they seem small, they are very annoying. Nobody likes little insects flying into your face and onto your food. As soon as you see a small flying insect, identify the source. Keep your house dry and use a home remedy to deal with the pests. If the problem persists, you can use a chemical spray. If the situation gets out of control, we suggest that you call a professional to get rid of gnats for you.