How To Get Rid Of Gnats

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Get rid of biting, black gnats in your home by making gnat traps with ingredients in your pantry. Then keep them away for good.

Closeup of biting black gnat in home that someone needs to get rid of

Finding a cloud of flying, black gnats in your home is never fun — especially if those gnats bite. Sometimes, though, what we think are gnats are actually other types of insects that have invaded our space.

How to Get Rid of Gnats

The first step in eliminating gnats in your home is figuring out what’s attracting them to your place. Gnats seek out moisture and odors, so make sure you don’t have leaky plumbing and tackle any mildew issues in your home. Also, check that your window screens fit well and repair any torn ones. After you’ve taken steps to keep gnats out of your home, it’s time to trap the ones inside using the gnat trap methods below.

This homemade gnat trap is great to use if you have kids or pets since it’s all-natural and covered, so they can’t easily get into it. The holes let gnats into the trap where they’ll try to land on the liquid’s surface. The dish soap creates a tension that keeps them stuck in the liquid, so they’ll drown. To continue trapping gnats, dump the jar daily and refill it. Repeat until you go a few days without finding more gnats in the trap.

Get Rid of Gnats Near Houseplants

To get rid of gnats swarming near your plants, combine 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon baking soda (bicarbonate), and 3 drops of mild liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Mist the top of the dirt lightly with this mixture after each watering. The dish soap helps the mixture cling to the gnat while the baking soda dehydrates and eliminates gnats and their eggs.

To keep gnats and other pests from infesting your houseplants, keep them well-tended and avoid overwatering. Remove dead leaves immediately, provide adequate air circulation, and repot plants that have grown too big for their container.

Get Rid of Gnats Near Drains

Flying gnats that you find hovering near your sinks are most likely drain flies. This kind of insect lays its eggs in the biofilm and other residues in drains. They are especially attracted to odors. To get rid of them, combine equal parts household bleach and water in a pitcher and pour it down your drain to kill the eggs and bacteria. Then, keep your sink clean and free of dirty dishes, and run your garbage disposal several times a day.

Gnats Near Pet Beds and Litter Boxes

Gnats often swarm near cat litter boxes and pet bedding. Wash your cat’s litterbox at least once a month, and scoop its waste weekly. To eliminate gnats near your pet’s bed, launder bedding weekly in hot water, adding vinegar to the rinse cycle to destroy gnat eggs. Do not use fabric softener, though: it contains protein-based surfactants that attract pests. This homemade flea spray also works on gnat eggs.

Gnats Near Your Computer

Gnats and other flying insects often mistake the blue light of electronic screens for daylight. If gnats swarm near your computer and phone at night, try turning on a bright light on the opposite side of the room. If possible, place a bowl filled with the homemade gnat trap beneath the light so it shines directly on the liquid’s surface. The light will lure the gnats away from your screen and the trap will eliminate them.

More Ways to Trap Gnats

If you don’t have everything to make the homemade gnat trap recipe, you can still eliminate gnats using other items around your home.

1. Homemade Fly Paper

To quickly make a homemade flypaper sticky trap, wrap a piece of cardboard with double-sided tape. Poke a hole in one end, insert a piece of string, and hang the homemade flypaper where you need it. Replace as needed. If gnats are swarming near your houseplants, wrap the tape around a long stick and insert it into the plant’s soil to catch gnats.

2. Light on Water

Another simple way to get rid of gnats in your home uses a bowl half-filled with water and a few drops of liquid dish soap to create surface tension. Position the bowl under a bright light in a dark room — the light on your stove’s hood range works great for this. Alternatively, put a pillar candle in the center of the bowl. Then turn out all the other lights. The reflection of the lightbulb or candle’s flame will lure the gnats and any other flying bugs in your home, but the dish soap will trap and drown them.

3. Hairspray

An easy solution for a stray gnat, fly, or mosquito that’s bothering you is to spritz it with hairspray. The spray’s sticky mist will immobilize the gnat’s wings, so it falls to the ground and leaves you in peace. Sweep it up at your leisure, and enjoy a home with no biting gnats to bother you.

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