The best way to get rid of gnats is to make sure they never show up in the first place. If you cover up your trash cans, wash out the sink, and don’t leave dirty dishes there overnight, you most likely won’t have a gnat problem in the first place. Why do these simple measures work so well? The answer is simple, too: gnats are attracted by the aroma of rotten food. Any place they can find rotten food, the gnat will eat and lay eggs. This is why you’ll spot gnats hovering around so often near open trash cans or by clogged sink drains. Gnats also love to cluster by over-watered house plants. If despite all your best preventive measures, you find that you still have gnats congregating inside your home, there are many effective ways to go about getting rid of any gnat infestations.
How can you track gnats down and kill them? If house has a noticeable swarm, you will need to eliminate them at the source. For some reason, vinegar is irresistible to gnats. You can use this to your advantage. First, take a medium size jar and fill it nearly to the top with vinegar. Seal the jar with a lid, poking about half a dozen small holes in the top of the lid, and then set the jar out. The gnats will fly to the jar, shimmy down the holes, and then be unable to climb back out of the top. Make sure to set several of these vinegar traps in many different spots around your home. Over the course of a day or two, monitor the vinegar traps to figure out where the highest concentration of gnats are, then use what you find out to find the likeliest source of your gnat problem.
It’s important to realize that the pesky gnats that bother you inside your home require the presence of moist or damp organic matter in order to breed. This could mean the source could be anything, from a leaky drain, the drip pan under your sink, to a damp area behind your refrigerator. You’ll want to check your window and door seals as well; they could be prime breeding breeding spots for the gnats, and left unchecked, will mean they just breed right outside and then wandering into your home.
There are several other homemade remedies that can combat gnats. Luckily, most of the remedies use vinegar, working on a principle similar to the vinegar trap outlined above. Another way to attract gnats into a trap is to mix about a half of a cup of vinegar, along with a tablespoon of dish washing detergent. The detergent and vinegar attracts the gnats, who then will feed upon the liquid mixture and die.
If you don’t like the smell of pure vinegar, using a mixture of a half cup apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of baking soda works wonders as well. But be VERY careful with this mixture, however. Baking soda and vinegar will react and start to foam up if you mix them together too fast, so assemble your mixture slowly. While you’re in the kitchen, a single cup of ammonia poured directly down the drain of your kitchen sink can also shoo any remaining gnats holed up in there to vacate the premises.
In conclusion, gnats are harmless pests, and like many similar household nuisances, the best way to rid your house of them is to use preventive measures to make sure they are never around in the first place. Some proactive sanitation works wonders. If that’s too late, a little vinegar can make a safe and non-toxic gnat trap. Also, should it come to it, most flying bug sprays available commercially will wipe out gnats with little trouble.
Neil Wardlow has been writing professionally since 1989. Neil discovered he enjoyed writing when he suffered an injury during his 15-year building construction career. Neil now writes full-time, whenever he’s not occupied with entertaining family and friends, growing things, or making repairs in and around his beautiful ranch house.