How to Get Rid of Gnats and Prevent Them From Returning

Have you been noticing a gnat problem around your house? That could be bad because without proper treatment, they’ll keep laying eggs and reproducing. Soon your whole house can be over run by the little annoying bugs! Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to get rid of gnats.

There are a few tricks to getting rid of gnats. First, you must find whats attracting them. It could be a food source, an alluring smell or even dampness. Whatever it is, it must be taken care of immediately to prevent them from growing in numbers.

how to get rid of gnats

Once the gnat problem is eliminated, you’ll need to know how to prevent them from ever coming back. We have a few suggestions for that as well. From cleaning the house to replacing your windows, we’ll make sure your gnat problem doesn’t return.

What’s a Gnat?

First, let’s identify what a gnat is. They’re very small bugs that are attracted to sweet smells and dampness. They lay their eggs in moist soil or decaying fruit which the larva eats before hatching. Gnats can lay 100’s of eggs so your infestation problem will get worse unless it’s handled quickly.

If You Have Gnats, Look Out for These Bugs As Well

According to Orkin, if you have a gnat problem, it also means you could have one of these types of flies in your home:

  • Fruit fly – light brown and often found in the kitchen. They’re mostly attracted to fruits and vegetables that have spoiled. Adult fruit flies can live for weeks and lay multiple batches of eggs so it’s important to take control of the situation immediately
  • Phorid fly – black flies that run in a zig-zag pattern when on a surface. They’re often found near drains and are only active at night. They get into the home through sewer lines and septic tanks so needless to say, they’re disgusting bugs

Here’s how to get rid of gnats in your home once and for all:

How to Get Rid of Gnats

It’s time to learn how to get rid of gnats. There are many routes you can take and each situation is different. Sometimes a trap will work and other times you’ll need to use chemical sprays.

Either way, we’ll show you several ways on how to get rid of gnats below. You’re sure to find a solution that works for your specific problem.

Set a Trap

Traps are one of the most common ways to get rid of gnats. You can buy one or make them yourself using certain scents to lure them in. We have some of the most effective gnat traps below.

Store Bought Gnat Trap

There are many gnat traps available to buy in stores. They usually consist of a sweet scented sticky strip that catches the gnats and doesn’t allow them to fly away. Just place a few around the problem areas and wait for the gnats to trap themselves.

Vinegar Trap

If you don’t want to buy a gnat trap from the store, you can make one yourself with items from around the house. Start by getting a jar and filling it with apple cider vinegar, sugar, dish soap and water. Mix it well and place the solution near the problem areas.

The gnats will be attracted to the smell of apple cider and sugar but will die on contact because of the soap. Since gnats look for damp or sweet smelling places to breed, this solution should stop them from laying anymore eggs as well.

Red Wine Trick

The red wine trick is somewhat similar to the vinegar trap. Get a container and fill it with red wine. Then cover the container with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in it. The gnats will end up trapping themselves in the container and drowning in the red wine.

Pour Bleach Into the Sink

You already know that gnats and phorid flies are found near damp drains. You’ll be able to eliminate any flies found in this area by pouring bleach down the drain. Just pour it in and let it work its magic. Be sure to let the bleach sit for a few hours and dilute itself before running the water.

Bleach can be just as harmful to humans as it is to bugs so be very careful when using this technique. Don’t pour bleach in a room with the door closed and keep all children and pets away. That being said, this is a surefire way to get rid of gnats near your drains.

Use Spray: Fogging

When you ask a professional exterminator how to get rid of gnats, they tend to gravitate towards using chemical sprays. What’s good for a professional exterminator is good for us. Products such as Raid and Zep are specifically made to kill gnats, flies and mosquitoes. This process is called fogging.

If you don’t want to use chemical products, you can make your own organic spray. You can make it out of lemon scented dish soap, vinegar and water. It may not be as fast acting as Raid, but it’s much safer in homes with pets and children.

Remove Plants That Attract Gnats

Gnats, especially fungus gnats, are attracted to damp soil and that’s where they lay their eggs. If you’re overwatering your plants, these bugs will find their way there and start laying eggs. They can lay up to 800 eggs in one breeding cycle so this can become a major problem very quickly.

person overwatering their plants

If you’re starting to notice a lot of gnats around your plants, you can do one of two things. First is to put the plant outside and far away from your home. Then clean where the plant was so gnats are no longer attracted to the area.

The other option is to put your plant into a new pot of soil. The old soil was extremely damp and what the gnats were attracted to. If the soil is removed from the home, so too will the gnats.

Dispose of Spoiled Food

Fruit flies and gnats are also extremely attracted to rotten food – especially fruits and vegetables. In fact, it’s where fruit flies lay their eggs so the larva has something to eat once it hatches.  You’ll want to eliminate their food and breeding source immediately. Make sure any rotten food is disposed of and not just thrown in a garbage can. Get it far away from your home.

Call an Exterminator

If the problem really gets out of hand, you’ll need to call a professional. They know how to get rid of gnats and will make sure your problem is dealt with quickly. This is only for extreme cases where nothing else is working for you.

How to Prevent Gnats From Returning

Just because you know how to get rid of gnats doesn’t mean your work is done. Even if you eliminate the gnats, you have to prevent them from coming back in the future. We have a few suggestions that’ll help you stop gnats and flies from returning to your home.

Wash Dirty Dishes Immediately

Knowing that gnats are attracted to rotten food and some enter your home from the drain, it goes without saying that you should keep the area clean and always do your dishes. If you let them pile up, it’ll attract phorid flies and gnats. As soon as you’re done eating, wash your dirty dishes immediately.

Replace Old, Worn Out Windows and Doors

Old windows and doors, especially ones made from wood, can be a nesting ground for gnats. This is because wood doors warp and rot when exposed to moisture. Once that happens, the windows and doors hold the moisture and your home is susceptible to mold which attracts gnats.

window with a lot of mold

If you’re experiencing warping and rotting problems, it’s time to replace your windows and doors. For windows, we suggest getting a vinyl window. They’re made to handle the Midwest weather, which includes an abundance of moisture. You’ll never have to worry about warping and rotting again. Plus, they’re the most energy efficient option available.

When getting a replacement door, steel and fiberglass are the way to go. Not only are they energy efficient and durable but, much like vinyl windows, they won’t warp or rot. They’re resistant to moisture build up so your door won’t develop mold, eliminating the chance for a gnat problem.

If you’re looking for the best vinyl windows and steel or fiberglass doors in the Midwest, you’ve come to the right place. Feldco has served over 500,000 happy customers over the last 45+ years. We’d love to help you with your window or door project. Get a free quote now!

Screen Windows and Storm Doors

Another preventative measure is to get screens installed with your windows. Mesh screens help prevent gnats from easily getting into your home and could trap them so they don’t lay eggs nearby.

Storm doors are perfect to install on the outside of your entry door. Much like window screens, they can trap gnats and prevent them from getting into your home. Plus, some allow you to remove the screen and replace it with glass during the cold winter months for extra protection from the weather.

If there are any tears or rips in your screens, have them replaced or repaired immediately. Not only does it look bad, but it opens up your home to gnat, flies and other bugs. This isn’t something that you should wait on – fix your torn or ripped screens as soon as possible.

Prevent Mold From Growing on Your Siding

Your siding can also harbor mold and attract gnats to your home. You’ll need to maintain and clean it a couple of times per year to prevent any harmful substances from growing such as mold and algae.

Vinyl siding is also a much better home exterior than wood. Wood siding warps and rots when exposed to moisture and will develop mold much easier. It also requires much less effort to maintain vinyl siding and will require less work to stop mold from growing.

man cleaning his vinyl siding

If you want to replace your wood siding with vinyl siding, get a free quote now from Feldco. Our product specialists will make sure you get the right style and color for your home and the installation team will guarantee that it’s installed quickly and properly.

Get Rid of Damp Areas in Your Home

Dampness collecting around your home will attract gnats and fruit flies, especially in the kitchen. Check underneath your sink, in the corners and beneath large appliances like the fridge and dishwasher. If it feels damp, clean it immediately and find the source of the problem.

Don’t Overwater Plants

Overwatering your plants isn’t a good idea if you’re trying to prevent a gnat infestation. One of our steps on how to get rid of gnats was to remove overwatered plants from your home. This is because it’s where fungus gnats lay their eggs.

If you don’t over water your plants to begin with, the soil won’t become overly saturated and gnats won’t be attracted. They won’t have a place to lay their eggs so it’ll eliminate a breeding ground for them.

Change Your Garbage Bag Regularly

Like most bugs, gnats will gravitate towards your full garbage can. There are lots of sweet smells and ripe foods that makes your garbage seem like heaven for them. Whenever your garbage is getting full or you throw away food, remove the bag and dispose of it outside of your home.

Also, make sure your garbage can is covered at all times. Get a one with a lid so you can trap those smells inside of the can and prevent gnats from smelling them.

Clean Your Gutters

Cleaning your gutters is an excellent way to stop a gnat problem before it begins. Dirt, soil, leaves and other debris get caught in your gutters and can create blockages. When it rains, everything in your gutters gets moist and becomes the perfect nest for gnats and flies.

removing blockage from your gutters

At least twice per year, make sure you remove anything that might be stuck in your gutters. You can also check out our article on how to clean your gutters to help get you started.

Keep A Stopper in Your Drain

As you know, phorid flies and fungus gnats usually get into your home from drains. You can stop this from happening by plugging up your drains. They’ll be stuck in there and won’t be able to gain access to your home.

Don’t Pour Oils Down the Drain

After cooking, don’t pour your used oil down a drain. Not only can it damage your pipes and cause plumbing problems, but it can also attract gnats to your home. There are several ways to properly dispose of oil which you can read about here.

Know How to Get Rid of Gnats and Prevent Them From Returning Before It’s Too Late

It’s important to know how to get rid of gnats and prevent them from reentering your home. A gnat infestation is just as bad as any other bug invading your home. With the right steps, this problem can be properly avoided and you won’t have to worry about bugs overrunning your home.

Windows, doors and siding play a major role in preventing gnats from getting into your home. Feldco wants to help you in your quest to keep your home gnat free. Get a free quote now and we’ll help you find the perfect vinyl windows, vinyl siding, steel or fiberglass doors and storm doors for your home.

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