How To: Get Rid of Gnats
There’s a reason these little buggers are referred to as pests. Try a few of our easy solutions to banish them from every room of your house—and fast.
Although they can’t really harm you, gnats are certainly annoying. The mere presence of these pesky insects in your house can leave you feeling twitchy and wondering what brought them inside in the first place. Rotting fruit is a common culprit, but it isn’t the only one. Dirty dishes, trash bags with spoiled food, and even damp potting soil can cause gnats to congregate and drive you crazy.
The good news: There are a handful of clever tactics for how to get rid of gnats in your house that require nothing more than ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen cabinets, pantry, and fridge. What follows is a room-by-room breakdown of gnat-removal strategies that will help you fix the problem before it gets worse.
First, a brief summary of how to get rid of gnats:
- Lure and kill gnats with a mixture of apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, and dish soap. (Alternatively, achieve the same result simply by combining red wine and dish soap.)
- Pour diluted bleach down the sink or tub drain, if you find gnats hovering near plumbing fixtures.
- Mash rotten bananas into a bowl, stretch plastic wrap over the top, and poke holes in the plastic.
- Kill individual gnats by employing a spray bottle filled with water, vinegar, and dish soap.
Continue reading for details on the above-mentioned methods.
Removing Gnats from the Kitchen
Have a few gnats hanging around your fruit basket? Here’s a tried-and-true way to get rid of them. To pull it off, you’ll need apple cider vinegar, sugar, dish soap, water, and a container. Simply mix approximately two tablespoons of vinegar with one liter of water. Add a tablespoon of sugar and a few drops of dish soap, stir it all together, and set the container near the fruit. The insects will be attracted to the scent, then when they make contact with the solution they’ll get stuck in the soap and drown.
Removing Gnats from the Dining Room
The next time you’re sipping a glass of red wine at the dinner table and notice the occasional gnat hovering around, get ready to set out an extra glass. Gnats are attracted to the sugary, fermented beverage, so use it to lure them to their death. Simply pour a small amount of wine into a glass, and add a dash of liquid soap—just be sure you don’t get confused and drink out of the wrong glass! The gnats will fly right in, get stuck, and collect in the alcohol.
Removing Gnats from the Bathroom
Gnats that swarm around the sink or above tub drains are particularly aggravating. Unfortunately, in these instances, apple cider vinegar or wine isn’t always enough to handle the problem. If some hover near the surface of the drain, try this trick to get rid of the gnats: Dilute some bleach with water, and then pour it down the drain. One-half cup of bleach to one gallon of water should be enough. (Be sure to wear protective gloves and a mask so you don’t inhale the fumes.) Repeat as needed until you don’t see any gnats.
Removing Gnats from the Pantry
Sure, rotten fruit attracts gnats, but it’s also something you can use to beat them at their own game. The next time you have a rotten or overripe banana, mash it into a container, such as a mason jar. Next, put plastic wrap over the top of the jar before puncturing the plastic with a scattering of holes. Gnats will wiggle through the openings to get to the fruit, but the transparent cover will prevent them from flying back out.
Removing Gnats from the Living Room
If you notice just a gnat or two circling the room, this method is for you: Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of one cup of water, one tablespoon of vinegar, and a few drops of dish soap. The next time you see a gnat flying around, zap it in the air with a spritz. And don’t worry—this solution won’t harm your indoor plants.