How to Get Rid of Gnats at Home

How to Get Rid of Gnats

Do you have a variety of gnats invading your home? Are you desperate to get rid of that gnat invasion right now? Gnats are some of the most annoying insects that might come into your home. They leave you desperately wondering how to get rid of gnats.

Don’t worry! We are here to help you get rid of that nasty gnat infestation. Soon, the circling insects above your head will be a glorious, distant memory.

Get rid of gnats with these simple-yet-effective homemade traps!

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What You’ll Need

To fully get rid of gnats, you’ll need some of the things listed below. Some of these items are also for preventive purposes; just keep reading on to know exactly when and how to use each item

  • Apple cide​​​​​​​r vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Dish soap
  • Containers such as a mason jar, food storage container or bottle
  • Red wine
  • Overripe banana
  • Spray bottle
  • White vinegar
  • Plastic wrap
  • Lemon-scented dish soap
  • Yellow index card
  • Honey
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Bleach
  • Foaming drain cleaner
  • New pot
  • New potting soil

Before Proceeding: Are you sure they’re gnats?

First, you have to know the difference between a gnat and a fruit fly. They aren’t the same thing, but they are easily mistaken because of their size. Let’s take a look at the differences:

  • Fruit flies, as you might gather from their name, love ripening fruits! These annoying pests want to lay their eggs on rotting produce. They typically have a brown head with bright red eyes. Fruit flies are anywhere from 2 to 4 millimeters long.
  • Gnats are very similar but typically smaller than fruit flies. A gnat is 1 to 2 millimeters long. There are several types of gnats, but most of them are all black. Their wings are large when compared to their body size.

    Unlike fruit flies, gnats are most common in warm places and around water rather than produce. One thing to know is that gnats can bite, but fruit flies cannot! If you are curious, take a look at a gnat identification chart to help you understand what type is invading your house. 

Effective Ways to Get Rid of Gnats

Luckily, there are many ways to get rid of gnats in your home. Some methods are more effective than others. The method you select is likely going to be based on where the gnats are in your home and what attracts gnats to your home. Let’s get started!  

Need a Quick Solution? Try a Store Bought Method

cans of commercial gnat spray

If you are desperate to figure out how to get rid of gnats right now, a gnat spray or a gnat trap could be the best choice for you. There are several different brands available on the market.

Options include things like traps you set out on your counter or sprays. You can also buy an electronic pest device that will attract gnats and zap them.

Getting Rid Gnats with Homemade Traps

There are several effective homemade methods to get rid of gnats, but you but have first to determine what causes gnats in your home. Do you have open trash or ripening fruit on your counter? Is the sink the main attraction?Take a look at where the infestation is taking place when you want to figure out how to get rid of gnats indoors. Then, try one of these methods near the source:

Vinegar Trap

a trap for gnats

The usual go-to method for most people is going to be to make a vinegar trap. It has worked successfully for me! You need apple cider vinegar (white vinegar doesn’t work as well), sugar, dish soap, water and a container.

Mix two tablespoons of vinegar with one tablespoon of sugar. Add a few drops of soap and at least two cups of water. The sugar and apple cider vinegar will attract the gnats, but the soap stops the gnats from escaping the trap.

Red Wine Trap

a glass of red wine

No apple cider vinegar? No problem! Chances are you have some red wine. If you don’t, you should ask yourself why! A red wine trap works similar to the vinegar trap. The scent of the red wine attracts the gnats, but they ultimately drown.

All you need to do is put some red wine in a container. It can be cheap! Don’t use your fancy, expensive wine on gnats. Then, mix a few drops of dish soap. Next, wrap the top of the container with plastic wrap and put a few small holes into the wrap, allowing the gnats a way to enter. Put the trap near where the gnats frequent!

Mashed Banana Trap

a rotten banana

Just because gnats aren’t fruit flies doesn’t mean that they don’t love the smell of rotten fruit. If you happen to have a rotten or overripe banana, put it in a container and mash it. A Tupperware container or mason jar works perfectly.

Then, put plastic wrap over the top and puncture a few holes into the plastic. The gnats will enter the holes, drawn in by the scent, but they won’t be able to fly back out of the small holes.

Homemade Gnat Spray

a spray bottle spraying gnat spray

You can also make a homemade gnat spray instead of buying one. It's super simple! All you need is a spray bottle, water, dish soap, and vinegar. 

Put one cup water into your spray bottle, add one tablespoon vinegar and a few drops of your favorite dish soap.Next time you see the gnats circling your head, attack! This spray won't’ harm your indoor plants either! Another gnat spray is mixing two tablespoons of lemon-scented dish soap with one gallon of water.

Make A Sticky Trap

sticky trap strips with dead hnats

The last homemade trap you can try is a homemade sticky trap! All you need is a yellow index card and honey. Yellow is said to attract gnats, but you can try any color you have.

Yellow construction paper glued to an index card works as well! Then, spread honey or another sticky substance, such as petroleum jelly, onto the index card. Honey is ideal because of the sweet smell. Leave the card where the gnat infestation is taking place.

Pour Bleach Into Your Sink

If you are dealing with drain gnats, bleach is one of the best solutions! There is the chance that this won’t totally solve the problem either because the gnats could be breeding even deeper into your drainage system. It is important to take some caution when using this method!

WARNING!

Bleach and ammonia should NEVER mix! Doing so creates deadly fumes. You should also wear gloves and a mask while taking these steps!

Drain gnats are munching on bacteria and sewage inside of your drains – gross! Garbage disposals are common areas they frequent. If bleach doesn’t work, it is a good idea to purchase a bottle of foaming drain cleaner. They flush out the pipes. Try bleach first!

bleach being poured down the drain


All you need to do is dilute bleach with water. You can predilute in a large bucket or pour water down the drain as you run water. An ideal mixture is a one-half cup of bleach in one gallon of water. You shouldn’t pour undiluted bleach down your sink because it isn’t ideal for your drains. Drain gnats happen in bathroom and kitchen sinks.

Getting Rid of Outdoor Gnats

Wondering how to get rid of gnats outdoors? You likely have an environmental issue taking place. The soil in the area is likely infested, and you need to let the area dry out to get rid of the gnats; gnats lay eggs in overwatered and damp plants. 

How to Get Rid of Outdoor Gnats

Try the following steps to get rid of outdoor gnats once and for all:

  • 1
    Don’t water the area for several days. Your plants might act like they are withering, but it is necessary to kill off the gnats and to prevent breeding. The gnats left should die off on their own.
  • 2
    If allowing the plants to dry doesn’t kill off the gnats, you may have to consider repotting the plants. You need to remove as much of the soil as possible with your fingers gently.
  • 3
    Add fresh soil to the pot. Make sure to clean the old pot with hot water and soap to avoid another infestation if you use it again.
  • 4
    Remove any standing water on your property. You should check children’s toys, around trees, pet water dishes, old tires, and any other item that would be in your yard. Work on getting rid of marshy areas in your yard.
  • 5
    Cover or move your compost pile away from your home. Gnats love compost piles.
  • 6
    Place greenhouses away from your house as well. Gnats love the warmth and humidity found in them.

How to Prevent Gnats

For future reference, you want to know where gnats come from so you can easily prevent them. It is much easier to prevent gnats than it is to figure out how to get rid of gnats. After you get rid of your gnat infestation, you should take steps towards preventing them from coming again. It’ll save you a headache later.

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    Don’t leave dirty dishes around. Gnats are attracted to the food sitting on the dishes.
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    Cover your trash cans. This step is for inside and outside trash cans!
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    Never leave full trash bags laying around in your home. It is a breeding ground for gnats.
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    Keep your house dry. If a faucet is leaking, fix it. Standing water and damp areas attract gnats.
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    Change potting soil for indoor and outdoor plants. Pests, including gnats and ants, hide in old soil.
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    Move fruit and vegetables to the refrigerator. Produce on the counter will attract gnats and fruit flies.

Conclusion

Learning how to get rid of gnats can seem complicated! First, you have to make sure that you have gnats rather than fruit flies. If you determine that gnats are your issue, then figure out what is attracting the gnats. Then, you are on your way to getting rid of them!

One of the several methods above will get rid of your gnat problem. Then, after you get rid of the gnats, make sure you work on preventing them. It is much easier to prevent gnats than to get rid of them! No one likes to have gnats circling their head.

Do you have a favorite method for getting rid of gnats? If so, let us know in the comments. Remember to share the article if you found it helpful! 

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