Household pests come in all shapes and sizes. One of the more frustrating of these pests is the gnat. Gnats typically do not show up as just one but instead will arrive in your home in dozens. The life of a gnat isn't long, so if only a few find their way into your home, they should die off quickly. However, if they have time to breed this can turn into a much more serious problem. There is a number of ways you can go about removing these pests from your home. While it is always possible to contact a pest control service provider doing so will cost you. Instead, there are other options available that you can do at home to get rid of gnats. So, if you're wondering how to get rid of gnats, there are a handful of options you can take advantage of inside your home, often with products you likely already own (or if you don't, only cost a few dollars).
What Are Gnats?
A gnat is a flying insect that typically moves in larger clouds or swarms. These insects do not bite, so it is more of an annoyance to you than a physical problem. However, there are a number of different gnat types that will seek moisture, and because they do this, they will often fly toward the eye or mouth.
Gnats are part of the fly family. However, unlike the larger flies, gnats move in larger groups and will not bite you. If you live in the Southeastern United States where some kinds of gnats in Georgia, the Carolinas and Florida will bite. These types of gnats have a connection with sand flies. The gnats will also feed on plants, so if you have any kind of vegetation stored outside the fridge, the gnats will swarm around this area.
As the gnats move in swarms (some refer to this as a ghost due to the way the swarm shifts and how in some lighting it is visible and looks like a faint ghost) the insects will become a quick nuisance and annoyance to you and your property. Due to this if you have discovered gnats around your property or inside your home, it is important to do what you can to take care of these insects and learn how to get rid of gnats.
What Causes Them?
There are a number of issues that cause gnats to show up in your home. Most of these issues you can take care of on your own. First, gnats will show up if there is contaminated soil around your property.
This is especially the case if you have any kind of sewage leak on the property. If you have a compost pile outside, you need to make sure it is properly controlled and not left out in the open. If left in the open the compost pile will draw gnats (especially if in the sun).
Gnats search for natural, organic products that are decaying and breaking down. They will also likely be looking for moisture as well. If you find gnats inside of your home, it likely is because you have a dirty sink (or your garbage disposal is not clean) and there are food particles inside of the sink.
If you have old trash that has not been taken out or if you have dying potted plants, these will all draw in gnats to your home. If you over water your houseplants this can attract gnats as well. As fruits and vegetables outside the fridge begin to break down gnats may show up.
This is why you might see gnats sit on older bananas, apples or anything else you have outside the fridge. When gnats show up, it is usually a sign the plants you have outside the fridge have reached, or are past its prime.
The best way to avoid gnats showing up on your property is to take care of these issues. As long as you clean your home, clean your sink, remove the trash on time and consume your food before it goes bad (or pitch it into the compost should it go bad before you can do anything with it) you likely will not run into a problem with the gnats. However, if such an issue shows up, it is important for you to know how to get rid of gnats.
Tips on How to Get Rid of Gnats
There is a number of ways you can get rid of gnats. It may come down to how bad the situation is and where the gnats are coming from.
The first way to remove gnats from your home is to pour bleach down any sinks that might be drawing them. There is a chance the sinks are dirty and are drawing in the flies. When this is the case, you need to clean them out.
Sometimes just a small amount of bleach is all you need to do this. Of course, if you have a dirty garbage disposal, the bleach will not do everything as the dirt, and deteriorating food particles have likely corroded and collected around the blades.
When this is the case, you can drop ice cubes into the garbage disposal and run it. The ice will help break up the food particles and clean it as well. Once this has been done, you can then add in the bleach.
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Baking Soda/Water Solution
For thicker issues inside of your garbage disposal, take baking soda and mix it with water removed from the stove top. Add in enough water and baking soda to make a thick paste. Now, pour the baking soda mixture down into the garbage disposal and add in vinegar.
This will foam up and deep clean the interior of the disposal. You should now bring a kettle of water to boil and pour this down the drain. Doing so will clear out any remaining baking soda or vinegar left in the disposal. It should also kill off any of the gnats that are inside.
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Apple Cide Vinegar and Dish Soap
Sometimes the gnats do not show up from what is in the garbage disposal or the sink.
In these instances, you need to find other ways to remove the gnats. If you have already removed any old food and have cleaned out the trash, but the flies are still showing up, there is a few other options you should implement.
First, you want to mix apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soap and leave a container out. This can be a cup or something larger. However, leave it open to the air. The sweetness of the apple cider will draw the gnats to the mixture.
The sap and vinegar will help kill off the gnats. This is quick and easy to do. However, it may also draw in more gnats, so you don't want to leave it lingering in the kitchen (or wherever the gnats are bothering you) for long.
Use the Wine Trap
You can also make a trap using leftover red wine and place it in an open jar. If you have old red wine you don't want to use (or accidentally left out overnight) you can place this on the sink counter and let it draw the ghats. The sweet liquid of the red wine will draw the ghats in.
Over the top of the jar, you'll want to place a piece of plastic wrap and place slices within the plastic wrap. This will allow the gnats to enter the wine and take in their share.
Just like with humans, the wine will intoxicate the gnats, making it difficult to exit out of the red wine container. With the plastic wrap, they will not be able to get out and will eventually drown in the wine.
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Use Bleach in the Bathroom
If there is a problem with gnats in your bathroom, you can use the bleach trick and pour a small amount down the drain. You can also use a small amount of ammonia to pour down the drain if you would rather avoid using bleach.
However, it is critical for you never to mix bleach with ammonia, so do one or the other.
Use a Flogging Product
If the problem is terrible, you can use a fogging product that you pick up from the grocery store. This is rather potent, so you need to make sure you and all pets are out of the house (or at least the closed off room) when you fire it off.
This is a device that you place on the floor and pull the activator on it. This will they release a fog that will kill off the insects. You should only use this in more extreme situations.
How to Get Rid of Gnats - The Conclusion
Hopefully, you never have to experience a gnat issue. However, if they infest your home, you need to know how to get rid of gnats. This post shares some of the products you can use to eliminate gnats without incurring extensive costs. By understanding how to get rid of gnats, you'll be able to remove the infestation from your home for good.