Common gnat, Culex pipien, in front of white background

There are few pests as annoying as gnats. Gnats can quickly fill up a home, and seem to fly around carelessly, getting into food and bouncing off of everyone. The good news is that gnats are harmless, although they cause a bit of stress, and it’s fairly easy to get rid of a gnat problem.

Gnat swarms are comprised of one or more species of small flying bugs that gestate in wet, warm areas. Unlike many other types of pest infestations, a gnat problem is usually easily remedied once the source has been discovered. What’s more, the source of the infestation is often fairly easy to find, as gnats tend to gather around rotted food, fruit, and garbage. Once you properly dispose of the trash that attracted the gnats, you’ll get rid of the majority of them.

To start getting rid of your gnat problem, take all trash out of your house and do a little light bleaching around your trash cans to get rid of smells and any gnat eggs that might have been left behind. Be sure to check everywhere for potential food sources. Look around your refrigerator and stove for food that might have fallen down. Check the areas immediately around the outside of your house, too, as gnats could be coming in through windows. You might decide to invest in a commercial bug spray for around the windows and doors of your home; you won’t need a very powerful spray, though, as gnats will die easily. You can also use the spray (or just a bit of bleach) around the inside of your house. Be careful to read the directions and warnings on the bottle, especially if you have small pets in the house.

Once you’ve eliminated the gnats’ food source, you won’t have any new gnats coming in to the house. However, you’ll still have some on the inside, and gnats can live for up to four months, so you’ll want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. One common home remedy is vinegar, which draws gnats in. Put some vinegar in a little covered dish, jar, or bottle with several holes in the top. Gnats will be able to get in, but they won’t be able to get out. Place a few vinegar dishes around your home, and you’ll quickly clean up the remaining gnats.

Be a bit patient, as it may take some time for all of the gnats in your home to disappear. Keep checking for potential food sources and eliminating them. Make sure your home’s as clean as possible for several weeks to avoid a new infestation. In particular, keep dishes around your sink clean, and make sure that you use fruit and vegetables before they go bad. As you’ve probably noticed, there’s nothing that gnats like more than a good overripe banana or apple.

It’s not hard to get rid of gnats–you’ll just need to be persistent. If you live with roommates or family members, make sure they help you to starve the gnats until they disappear. Once they’re gone, keep your home (and especially your kitchen) clean, and you won’t have to deal with a gnat problem ever again.

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