If you think having window screening is going to keep gnats from coming inside your home, you’re mistaken. Gnats are tiny insects that are too small to be held off by window screens. They are so small that they can easily fit through the openings in the window screens.
Although gnats do not pose any harm to humans, they can contaminate your drinks and foods with germs and bacteria when they land on it. Along with being utterly gross, this opens you up to loads of potential food-borne diseases.
They come out during summer months when the temperatures get warmer, and the humidity level increases. Before the spring season strikes, it is better to renew and reinforce your defenses so that you’re all set to stop these gnats from entering your home. The right precautions and techniques can help you keep this nuisance away from your home at all times.
If you’re looking for ways to keep gnats off window screens, you’ve come to the right place. We have compiled a thorough walkthrough of the problem and have included all the techniques that you need to employ to keep your house free of these tiny, annoying bugs.
How to Identify Gnats?
If you want to be sure that the pests you see in your home are gnats, look for their main characteristics. They are very small, flying insects that are about 1/4th of an inch. They can be tan, dark brown, or yellow in color. You can tell that the insects in question are gnats by their weak fliers and fairly long legs. Moreover, gnats usually move around in swarms at dusk. Once you’re certain that you’ve identified the right creatures, you can then move onto employing techniques that can keep them off window screens.
What Attracts Gnats?
Gnats are usually attracted to sweet scents and moisture. Vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and flowers serve as an excellent source of moisture and food for gnats; hence, gnats mostly hang around homes that have these trees and flowers around. In addition, over-watering your garden also provides an ideal, moist environment.
Moreover, an overly-moist flowerbed also promotes the growth of mold and fungus, which is a primary source on which some types of gnats feed. Keeping fruits, vegetables, honey, and vinegar uncovered inside your home is also a source of attraction for these flying insects.
Keeping Gnats off Window Screens
No matter how careful you are not to open doors or windows, gnats will find their way inside through your window screens – thanks to the small holes in the mesh that are just the right size for these insects to squeeze through. Keeping gnats off window screens won’t be easy, but the right techniques can surely help you keep these nuisance pests out and away!
We have listed down some tried and tested methods of keeping these small, annoying bugs off your window screens.
Get Rid of Mulch Piles Near Your Windows
One of the major reasons why gnats are drawn to your property in the first place is the accumulation of wet mulch near your windows. Anything that traps water near your windows will attract them, and it won’t be long before they make their way into your house through the window screens. The first thing that you need to do to stop these pests from getting into your home is to get rid of these wet piles of mulch. Turning the mulch piles so that they dry sooner will also help keep the gnats away!
Proper Disposal of Waste
One way to keep gnats away from your property is disposing of your waste properly. You should make sure that the trash or dumped food is not left out in the open. Using garbage bins with lids is a great way to go about this. Also, ensuring that there is no garbage bin outside your kitchen window is another effective precautionary measure that you can take to keep these gnats away from your window screens.
Always Wash Dirty Dishes
Leaving dirty dishes in sinks is a common practice in many households. What many people do not realize, however, is that it is one of the biggest attractions for gnats. They are drawn to rotting food. The smell of the dried food on the dishes will attract them, and they will make their way through your window screens into your home to treat themselves to their next meal. To keep gnats off window screens, make sure that you never leave any dirty dishes in your sink.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Placing a small cup full of apple cider vinegar by your window will also keep this annoying swarm of pests from entering your home through the window screens. The smell of apple cider vinegar is sweet enough to attract them but incredibly acidic at the same time. The acidity will kill them within seconds after they land in the vinegar.
Another highly effective technique to keep gnats off window screens is the use of a red wine trap. Simply fill a container with red wine and cover it with plastic wrap. Poke some holes on it to allow the scent of red wine to escape the container. The gnats will be lured to the container and will end up getting trapped, and will eventually drown in the red wine.
Window Screen Repairs
Having holes, tears, or rips in your window screens provides the gnats with an unhindered, open route into your home. To control these flying insects and stop them from getting through the screens, ensure that there are no tears or rips. In case there are any, get the window screens repaired or replaced on priority!
Gnats are tempted by lights – just like moths. To keep gnats off window screens, turn off any lights near the windows, especially when your windows are open during the night. When there is no visible light source, these bugs will not be drawn toward your windows, and hence, won’t try to enter in through your window screens.
Bug Spray/ Insect Repellant
Spraying an insect repellant on your window screens once a day will also keep gnats away from the window screen quite effectively. If you reside in an area where the humidity is usually high and the chances of bugs getting into your house are higher, spraying an insect repellant twice a day – once in the morning and once at night – will keep gnats away from your window screens.
Citronella oil is one of the most effective insect deterrents that can be applied to window screens. You need to follow certain protocols when working with citronella oil. To keep it off your skin, wear rubber gloves. Pour a small amount of citronella on a paper towel and rub the towel all over the window screen.
As an additional measure, you can place citronella candles on the window ledges. Gnats despise the scent of citronella and will fly in the opposite direction if they get the smell of citronella. If working with citronella oil doesn’t sound feasible for you, you can place citronella plants on the window ledges. This will do the job equally well.
Numerous traps are available that can be used to keep gnats off window screens. You can simply keep these bug traps on your window ledges to make sure that any gnats that come near the windows do not get a chance to enter your home through the window screens. Sticky and sweet, scented gnat traps are easily available in the market for this very purpose.
Avoid Certain Plants
Gnats are lured to sweet-smelling plants, especially fruit and flowering plants. To keep these flying insects from entering your home through the window screens, avoiding planting any plants that may draw gnats to them near your windows.
What is the best way to keep gnats away from you?
Gnats are attracted to sweet and fruity scents. If you want to keep them away from you, avoid the use of sweet-smelling perfumes or deodorants.
How can you control bugs from entering your home through window screens?
You can keep bugs away from your window screens in a number of ways.
- Using tarps (store-brought, red wine, apple cider vinegar)
- Spraying insect repellant on window screens
- Using citronella oil/ candles/ plants
- Remove any wet mulch that may be accumulated near your windows
- Getting rid of anything where water may get accumulated as gnats are attracted to moisture
- Close the garbage bins with lids after disposing of the waste
- Keeping light sources near the windows turned off when the windows are open at night
How dangerous are gnat bites?
Gnat bites are not dangerous, as they are not known to carry any diseases that can be transmitted to humans through their bite.
What preventive measures can you take to keep these flying bugs away from your house?
Some of the most effective preventive measures that you can take include washing your dirty dishes immediately, repairing or replacing torn or damaged window screens, preventing the growth of mold, avoiding overwatering of your plants, getting rid of all damp areas, and keeping your garbage bins covered.