Many people are plagued with gnats every year but don’t know how to get rid of them. Gnats are tiny, flying insects that bite. They are related to mosquitoes and flies. The most known type of gnat is the fruit fly. Other varieties include the vinegar fly and the fungus gnat. Gnats can eventually become more than just minor annoyances. There are several approaches to use when it comes to eliminating these flying nuisances.
Eliminating Small Amounts of Gnats
Sometimes gnats will appear randomly in a home. If eggs haven’t been laid, this may be an easy problem to fix.
– To wipe out the pests quickly, use a spray that is designed to kill flying insects.
– If the home is infested, a fogger might be necessary. A fogger will produce a heavy mist of insecticide throughout the entire house. Since foggers and insect sprays are chemically based, it’s important to read the safety instructions before use. Pets and small children should be removed from the home during use. Some insecticides can not be used in areas where pets live.
– If a less toxic approach is desired, insecticidal soaps work well. These soaps have low toxicity, but they need direct contact with the pests in order to be effective.
If the home is fully overrun with gnats, it’s best to find the source of infestation. Gnats are drawn toward vinegar. A jar filled with this acid will attract the insects.
– Pour some vinegar into a container, filling it an inch from the top.
– Put several very small holes into the lid, and set the jar wherever the most gnats appear. The gnats enter the jar and can’t get out.
Placing a few of the jars around the house will help verify each infestation source. Keep track of how quickly the jars fill and how many gnats appear. This will help determine which areas have the largest concentration of gnats. Once the source is found, future methods of prevention can be established.
Preventing Future Infestations
The typical life span of a gnat is about four months. Most of this time is spent laying hundreds of eggs. Once the eggs are laid, the invasions begin. Gnats need damp areas to breed. Plants that have been watered too much, a sink drain, or a refrigerator drip pan are all ideal breeding grounds. Let plant soil dry between watering, and regularly replace any standing water. Pour some ammonia down the kitchen sink to discourage the gnats from searching for food. Even poorly sealed doors and windows will hold enough water for egg laying.
Gnats love fruit and rotten food. Maintaining good sanitary practices will control any attacks. Keep trash bins and sink drains clean. Rinse dishes before putting them in the sink, and don’t leave old food laying around.
Since gnats can lay their eggs discreetly, clean all fruit and vegetables immediately after purchasing. Store produce in the refrigerator, and use a well sealed container. Keep newly bought plants isolated from older ones. Do this for at least two weeks. If there are already eggs on the store bought plants, this will prevent the old ones from being damaged when the eggs are hatched.
These tiny annoyances don’t have to cause frustration. Once measures are taken to prevent breeding, eliminate the remaining gnats and enjoy a pest free home.