Gnats may appear harmless to many people. However, that’s not the case for me. I live in a hot and humid region where swarms of gnats remain active all year round. They try to infest any house where they can easily find fruits and other organic waste to feed on. Like many of us, gnats also love bananas. They are more likely to swarm around this perennial fruit as compared to any other fruit. I encountered this problem and dealt with it by using a mix of measures.
So, how can one keep gnats away from bananas? We all know that professional extermination is not the soundest approach to get rid of gnats. The population of these flying critters rebounds very quickly, no matter how good is your extermination service. Therefore, a good way to keep them away from bananas and other plants is to use a set of home-based methods that you can easily pull off at any time and without spending a fortune.
Here, I am going to discuss all those DIY measures that can help you in keeping gnats away from bananas and all other fruits and edibles.
Ways to Keep Gnats Away from Bananas
You can use the combination of these methods to keep gnats away from bananas.
Put Apple Cider Vinegar to Use
You must have apple cider vinegar in your pantry for making various marinades. You can also use it to keep gnats away from your bananas. Put some vinegar in the jar along with a couple of drops of soap and put a plastic or rubber wrap on it. Then, poke some holes in the wrap. Now, place this jar near the banana basket.
Gnats are attracted to the smell of cider vinegar, so much so that they will target the source of that smell instead of banana or any other fruit. Therefore, they end up on that jar and sneak inside it through the poked holes. However, when they try to gobble the vinegar, they drown in the solution that has become too light due to the presence of soap.
You can also make a variation of the above gnat trap. Instead of using a plastic or rubber wrap, make a paper funnel and put it in the jar. Keep the tapered part inside the jar and the base of the funnel in the open. Gnats will follow the path of vinegar’s aroma through the funnel and make themselves drown in its solution.
Make a couple of these jars and put them on different locations on the kitchen counter. This apple cider method won’t just keep the gnats away from bananas and other fruits, but it will also help you reduce their population.
Keep Your Bananas in Cold Environment
By keeping bananas in a cold environment, I mean keeping them at a place that is colder than the rest of the house. If bananas are ripe, you have to put them in the pantry or refrigerator if you are not eating them right away. In case, bananas still have some greens tinge to them, they are not ready to be refrigerated. Move them from the kitchen counter to a place that has a lower temperature by a couple of degrees.
If you are using an air conditioner in the bedroom or lounge, put bananas somewhere there. It has been noticed that gnats tend to avoid places that have low-temperature conditions because the colder environment is not suitable for their breeding and reproduction cycles. Keep in mind that this method is only effective just for a couple of hours, especially if the overall climate of your region is warm and humid.
Use a Flying Insect Trap
Readymade flying insect traps are another effective way to keep gnats away from bananas and other of your fruit supplies. These traps are inexpensive, easy-to-setup, and you can easily order them online. Even if you don’t find traps, particularly for gnats, get the ones labeled for regular houseflies or fruit flies. These traps work in a pretty simple manner. They have a sticky attractant layered on all their sides.
The strong aroma of attractant lures the gnats that eventually sit on those sticky surfaces for never to fly again. The sticky attractant works like hook-and-loop fasteners for gnats. It strongly adheres to the legs of gnats. Set up these traps near the fruit baskets so that gnats target them instead of invading the bananas.
Use Herbs and Oils to Ward Them Off
As mentioned earlier, there is no single standard way to keep gnats away from bananas. You have to use multiple methods and tricks to keep those annoying critters at bay. Using herbs and oils to fend them off is among the many options we have discussed here. The smell of basil is considered a repellent for gnats. The same is the case with the aroma of vanilla.
So, you can use those natural repellents to keep gnats away from bananas. Place a live basil plant or its fresh leaves around bananas. You can also sprinkle the vanilla essence on the fruits to keep gnats away from them.
Be Diligent With Your Gardening Activity
Gnats love to reproduce and make colonies in organic waste. If you have a garden or vegetation space of a considerable size, make sure you are attending it regularly. Leaving rotten leaves, buds, damp soil, and compost in the open is just a plain invitation for gnats to infest your property.
And once gnats make their habitats in your outdoors, they will eventually spill over inside the house as well.
Maintain Hygienic Conditions In and Around the House
There is no alternative for hygiene when it comes to keeping gnats and other insects away. No matter what traps or repellents you use against gnats, you won’t be able to completely control their infestation without maintaining a hygienic environment in the house. Remove trash from your property every day. Always cover the organic and rotten trash in black trash bags.
Also, make sure that your kitchen doesn’t remain damp and reeking all the time. Don’t leave any cooked or uncooked food in the kitchen for the night. Move it to the pantry or enclose it in a container. With a clean house, especially the kitchen, you will automatically succeed in keeping gnats away from bananas.
Thoroughly Wash Your Bananas
Many people put bananas on the kitchen counter or pantry as they buy from the grocery store without washing them. They believe that since we eat bananas after peeling them off, there is no need to wash their skin. Unwashed bananas don’t just have pesticide residue on them. Many times, their skin is also hosting the eggs of gnats and other flies.
By washing bananas as you bring them home, you can get rid of the potential new insect population even before it is hatched.
As you can see, you have to take various measures to keep gnats away from bananas. Besides taking care of the general hygiene of the house, try to use the DIY traps and natural repellents that I have discussed here. Their combination has helped me in keeping these nasty flying critters away from my fruit supply, and they can definitely help you as well.
Why do we need to keep gnats away from bananas?
Besides the distaste, you feel while seeing gnats swarming around bananas, there is another reason to keep them at bay, i.e., your health. When gnats sit on bananas, they transfer a whole lot of germs to them through their dirty legs.
Moreover, many times they lay eggs on bananas. You may not see those micro contaminations on bananas, but they can give you diarrhea and other digestive problems.
How gnats make their way into the house?
If you have an open house structure, you will experience gnat infestations regularly, especially during the summer months. No one can do much about the way gnats enter a house through doors, windows, and other ventilation points.
Gnats also get into the house by hitchhiking on fruits, vegetables, and other organic material. You can stop this entry of gnats with a couple of precautions. Try to avoid buying overly ripe fruits and vegetables. Try to bring them home in closed shopping bags. Also, wash all the fruits and vegetable supplies as you bring them to the kitchen counter.
Can DIY methods really help in keeping gnats at bays?
Yes, many homeowners, including myself, have used a mix of DIY methods to get rid of gnats and keep them at bay. They prove to be more effective, cost-effective, and easy to pull off than hiring a professional extermination service. Also, gnat is one such insect species that keeps coming back irrespective of professional fumigations. So, it is better to stick with DIY measures to control them.