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.
We’ve all got that one room in the house that’s just brimming with fruit flies. These pesky insects can be found anywhere there are rotting fruits or vegetables, which usually includes the kitchen. But if they make an appearance in your bathroom, laundry room, or basement—or pretty much any other room of your house for that matter—it means there’s also a gnat problem to deal with.
Gnats are easy to identify by sight: They’re tiny (about 1/8-inch long), fly erratically around food, and have distinctively long legs and antennae. If you notice them buzzing around your windows or potted plants, it could mean they’re after water, but mostly these bugs are drawn to what we consider to be bad smells—rotten food, dampness, and feces.
Ideas For Getting Rid of Gnats Inside Your House
While it’s difficult for a homeowner to prevent pesky gnats from showing up in your home, there are ways to help control the population. Here’s how to get rid of them once they make an appearance.
Clean it up
This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t clean thoroughly enough around their homes—and how long it can take for the trash to disappear from sight. Make sure old coffee grounds and fruit skins are thrown away immediately after use; garbage cans with tight-fitting lids will also help cut down on gnat populations as well as odors that attract them. If you have a compost pile, keep it separate from your living space.
Put down the junk food and pick up some low-calorie fare if you want to prevent gnats in your house—and lose weight at the same time! For some reason, gnats are attracted to fatty, salty foods like chips and fries, so steer clear of temptation altogether or choose healthier snacks instead. Eating plenty of fruits and veggies can help fill you up without adding inches to your waistline. And don’t forget exercise! A recent study found that people who take walks daily shed pounds faster than those who sit still all day long.
Keep it dry
If there’s one thing every home needs, it’s a good dehumidifier. This simple appliance will help you get rid of gnats in your house by drying out any excess moisture that could be attracting them in the first place. “Gnats are attracted to moisture, so find their breeding ground and address it,” says Dr. Chris Hentz, an entomologist at Orkin pest control company. “This may mean using a fan or opening windows to air out wet areas.”
Say sayonara with soap
It’s not easy finding natural ways to kill insects indoors—but don’t worry! We’ve got you covered on both fronts with this one solution: Fill a spray bottle with water and add one drop of liquid dish soap—the kind with degreaser properties is best. Then, simply spray the gnats and watch them drop to the ground as they suffocate to death. Make sure you spray them directly on the pests, but don’t worry about getting any soap buildup—it’s perfectly safe for you and your family to inhale or touch!
Check your plants
If gnats have taken up residence in your potted plants, it means there’s a bigger issue at hand: overwatering. Get rid of houseplant-dwelling gnats by taking a look at what might be causing their home base (i.e., soil) to become too moist; make sure dirty dishes are cleaned up around the sink and that no standing water remains in the tub. If you have a green thumb and want to avoid seeing any insects around your flowers or veggies, use an organic spray that contains Neem oil, which is a natural pesticide that will get rid of gnats while remaining non-toxic for pets and kids.
Get down with cider vinegar
If you’ve tried every tip on this list and still have a serious problem on your hands, don’t fret—there’s one more solution to try: Pour some apple cider vinegar into a bowl and add a few drops of dish soap; mix everything together until it forms suds, then place the concoction near where the gnats are hovering. The smell of the vinegar should overpower their senses and drive them away—and the dish soap will help them drown!
Use homemade traps
If gnats are bugging you on the countertop, fill a bowl with apple cider vinegar (again!) and add some dish soap to kill the suds; secure it up with plastic wrap on top of the bowl, then poke holes in it. Gnats will be able to fly into the trap, but they won’t be able to escape! What’s more is that this method will keep your food safe while eliminating annoying houseflies at once. Hooray for double duty!