Gnats are a common household problem. These tiny, fly-like pests spring up out of nowhere and take over. While they may cluster in one area, many will roam all through the house. Gnats typically feed on fungus and like to lay their eggs in damp places. This is why they are most often found around spoiled vegetation, garbage cans and sink drains. Given their size, gnats may seem insignificant; however, as rapid breeders, they can quickly become a huge annoyance. For those who don’t want to drain their wallet calling in a professional, here are some affordable home remedies for gnats.
Try our home remedies for gnats and rid your house of the nasty pests!
1. Vinegar Trap
The vinegar trap is possibly the most often relied on out of all the home remedies for gnats. In this process, either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar can be used alongside liquid dish soap to attract gnats into a container. Once they land on the soapy mixture, the surface tension will break and they will drown. For the best results, set up numerous containers throughout the house. Be cautious with pets and small children as the dish soap could be toxic.
- Combine 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, a few drops of dish soap and 1 liter of water in a container.
- Stir mixture well.
- Place the container in areas where gnats are frequently seen.
- Dispose of the container when finished.
2. Cooking Oils
Gnats may appear around sink drains, especially in the kitchen. The darkness and dampness a drain provides is an ideal atmosphere for gnats to lay eggs. One of the easier home remedies for gnats involves using cooking oil and ammonia in order to trap and kill them and their larvae. The oil coats the side of drain pipes and the gnats inside while the ammonia kills them.
- Pour a quarter cup of olive or vegetable oil down the sink drain.
- Seal off the drain opening with tape.
- Let it sit for 24 hours.
- Remove the tape in the morning, and pour a small amount of ammonia down the drain.
- Let ammonia sit for a couple hours.
- Rinse the drain thoroughly with water before use.
3. Citronella Oil
Much like mosquitos, gnats can be repelled using citronella oil. Mixing the oil with water and liquid dish soap forms a spray that can be used in garbage cans, in gardens, around the sink or anywhere else that gnats are festering. This mixture is safe to use around pets and houseplants and leaves a delightful citrus smell everywhere it is sprayed.
- Mix two cups of water with 2 teaspoons of citronella oil in a bowl.
- Add three to six drops of dish soap.
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- Use the spray around the house paying special attention near garbage cans.
Gnats hate the smell of vanilla which makes it a great ingredient for a homemade repellent spray. Both vanilla extract and vanilla essential oil will work and both are cheap products that can be purchased at the local grocery store. When using the extract, be sure to choose the pure extract, not an imitation vanilla.
- Combine two cups of water, two teaspoons of vanilla and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle.
- Screw on the top of the bottle and shake lightly to mix solution.
- Spray the mixture in areas infested with gnats.
- Repeat regularly as needed.
5. Disposable Gnat Trap
Disposable traps are an affordable no-fuss method to remove gnats. Traps normally prove effective in targeting most types of gnats. Most contain an attractant that is activated with water. Gnats enter the trap and don’t come back out. Others work the same as fly tape, where a strip of sticky adhesive is hung in an area. Gnats become stuck to the tape and perish. Traps can be found at most grocery, dollar or home improvement stores.
- Choose a high-traffic area where gnats are seen.
- Open trap so that adhesive strip hangs vertically.
- Hang it from the ceiling.
- Once gnats have accumulated, discard and replace if needed.
- For water-induced traps, follow instructions on the packaging.
- Typically, add water to trap then place in areas where gnats are accumulating.
- Discard product when full.
Many of the home remedies for gnats use foods and smells that these pests are naturally drawn to. Bananas are a great source of attractant for gnats as these fruits lose their ripeness quickly and are often a source material for infestations. Using bananas is also cost efficient. For just a couple dollars, a bunch will provide a week’s worth of bait.
- Place a banana peel or a number of banana slices on the bottom of a jar.
- Cover the jar securely with plastic wrap.
- Poke a few small holes in the plastic.
- Place the jar in areas where gnats are congregating.
- Once gnats are trapped inside, dispose of the jar.
7. Dryer Sheets
A box of fabric softener sheets can do more than just leave laundry static-free and smelling fresh. Dryer sheets are one of the unique home remedies for gnats. Studies performed have shown that dryer sheets can be used to repel gnats. This may be due to the compound linalool, a natural gnat repellent found in dryer sheets. Many of these fabric softeners also contain beta-citronellol, the same compound found in citronella oil.
- Layer dryer sheets in gardens and on the soil of potted plants.
- Stuff a few dryer sheets in pockets of pants and shirts to keep pests at bay while gardening.
8. Red Wine
A bottle of red wine can prove to be an enticing aroma to gnats and can be used to attract and trap. By placing some in a container and adding a few drops of dish soap, they will be easy to gather and dispose of. You don’t have to open your top-quality stock, a cheap bottle or even a leftover portion from the night before will prove to be an effective product.
- Fill a small container two-thirds full of wine.
- Add a few drops of dish soap and mix.
- Wrap the top of the container with plastic wrap.
- Poke holes around the surface of the plastic.
- Place container in areas of high gnat sightings.
- Leave overnight for best results, and dispose of it in the morning.
9. Rubbing Alcohol
A diluted solution of water and rubbing alcohol serves as a useful way to repel and kill gnats. The solution can be sprayed throughout the house. This mixture quickly kills gnats when they come into contact with it. It is safe enough to spray directly onto the leaves of house plants.
- Dilute a solution of one cup alcohol with one-quarter of water in a large bowl.
- Stir the mixture until thoroughly blended.
- Add the solution to a plastic spray bottle.
- Spray solution in areas where gnats have congregated.
- Repeat daily near garbage cans and drains.
- Repeat every three days on plants.
10. Lavender Oil
Unlike vanilla, gnats love lavender. Its enticing scent draws in the pesky fliers and you can use sponges to trap them, where they become tangled in the material and die. The oil and the plant itself are great home remedies for gnats. Lavender oil can be found online or at stores that sell essential oils, it also successfully used as a home remedy for bed bugs. They are a pleasant and aromatic way to rid a home of these nuisances. Be sure to keep sponges away from pets and children.
- Soak a sponge until thoroughly saturated with lavender oil.
- Place sponge near areas where you have gnats.
- Throw it away when it becomes full of trapped gnats.
You should only use the bleach method when dealing with gnats coming from a sink drain. This method works well for most gnat problems; however, will not be useful when dealing with gnats that are breeding deep inside the drainage system. It is important to wear eye protection and a breathing mask when pouring. Under no circumstance mix bleach with ammonia. This combination creates a toxic fume that can prove deadly. If the cooking oil and ammonia method has been utilized, the bleach method should not be attempted.
- Dilute bleach with water in a bucket.
- Slowly pour the solution into the sink drain.
- Let sit for two hours before using the sink.
- Repeat while needed.
12. Rotten Fruit
As with many of the home remedies for gnats, the rotten fruit method follows the principle of attracting, trapping and disposing of. For those without rotten fruit on hand, cut up a few pieces of fresh fruit and let sit in containers until they start to turn. Use multiple containers all over the house in order to catch any roamers who may breed elsewhere.
- Place pieces of overripe or already rotten fruit in a small container.
- Wrap plastic tightly around the container.
- Poke numerous small holes in the plastic.
- Set around the house to attract gnats.
- Dispose of the container when filled.
A lack of cleanliness is the fundamental cause of gnat infestations. This can be something as simple as fruits and vegetables that have gone bad, dirty dishes left to sit or garbage that not removed in a timely fashion. Gnats are prolific breeders so it is important to eliminate them quickly. Share below which home remedies for gnats have worked for you!