The Basics of Getting Rid of a Gnat Infestation

by Heather Jones
Rid of a Gnat Infestation

Gnats, also called no-see-ums, are small flying insects that have long bodies and thin wings. Some gnats are biters, while others aren’t. The common types of gnats you may find at home are fungus gnats, drain flies, and fruit flies. These pests don’t really cause any significant harm. But they tend to lay eggs, disturb people, and spread diseases. Gnats also breed frequently. This means that you may spot just a few stray gnats today, but this number can become a swarm within just a few days. 

Are you looking for ways on how to get rid of gnats? Read on to find out what steps you can take at home to solve this pest problem as quickly as possible. 

Set a Trap

One effective way to deal with gnat infestation at home is the use of traps. You can lure these pesky insects in by making a fruit trap. Place a rotting fruit in a jar and cover it with a perforated plastic wrap. The gnats will enter the container and get stuck in it.

Another way to catch gnats is with a candle trap. All you need to do is put a candle in a candlestick, then fill the holder with some water. Light the candle and turn off the lights. You will notice that the gnats will start flocking to the flame. They will either burn or fall into the water, then drown. 

There are also gnat traps available in stores. They often include sweet-scented sticky strips that catch the insects and keep them from flying away. You may place a few strips around problem areas in your house and wait for the pests to trap themselves. 

Use Essential Oils

Essential oils repel gnats (and even mosquitoes). These are potent substances that are distilled from herbs and plants. Essential oils are rich in strong aromatic compounds. While their scents may smell pleasing to many people, they’re repulsive to most insects, like gnats. If you have a gnat problem at home, just add some drops of essential oils, such as eucalyptus, peppermint, or rosemary, to a diffuser. This should keep those pesky creatures away. 

Discard Rotten Food

Gnats are extremely attracted to spoiled food, particularly fruits and vegetables. As a matter of fact, fruit flies lay their eggs there. This way, their larvae have something ready to eat as soon as they hatch. You can effectively eliminate gnats by disposing of this breeding source. See to it that you throw out any rotten food properly and far away from your property. 

It also helps to keep your garbage cans covered at all times and change the bags regularly. The last thing you’d ever want is for your garbage to look like heaven for these insects, with all those sweet smells from overripe fruits and vegetables.

Remove or Repot Plants That Attract Gnats

Fungus gnats are a type of gnats that live and nest in plants. Their larvae rely on plant roots as well as fungus found in soil for nourishment. If you overwater your plants, you risk the soil producing more fungi. In some cases, the damp soil even causes the plant roots to rot. Sources of organic decomposition are the perfect living conditions for fungus gnats to thrive. 

You can do one of two things once you start noticing gnats infesting around your plants. The first option is to move the plants outside. Then, you can clean where the plant was originally located. This way, the gnats will no longer be attracted to that area.

Alternatively, you may repot the plant. The old, damp soil was what caused the gnats to be lured in. Once the moist dirt leaves your house, so will those insects. 

The reason why gnats are such a nuisance and difficult to get rid of is because they tend to multiply fast as they look for food and sources of moisture. If your gnat problem gets out of hand despite your efforts, call a professional exterminator. They’re an expert in effectively and efficiently eliminating gnats and other pest infestations. 

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1 comment

Michele M. September 28, 2021 - 4:41 am

My daughter is a huge indoor plant enthusiast who has developed pesky gnats due to some community plant exchanges. Guess how she keeps it under control? Put clean SAND on the top of potted plant soil! Only thing it changes is now she must water verrrrrrrrrry slowly as to not disrupt the sand. She swears by it. Thought you should know in case you are as I and had never heard that before.

Thanks for the informative post.

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