How to Get Rid of Gnats, Once and For All

Because they’re gnat welcome in your home!

PHOTO BY BOBBI LIN

How To Prevent Gnats

It’s not too hard to get rid of gnats, but the tricky part is keeping them from coming back—all it takes is one overripe apple for them to make themselves at home again. In general, the cleaner you keep your home, the less likely you are to have gnats. This means storing food in sealed containers and getting rid of overripe produce. You’ll also want to invest in a tightly covered trash can, and clean out your sink, drains, and garbage disposal regularly.

For fungus gnats in particular, letting your plants dry out in between waterings can help to prevent the bugs from laying eggs. Some people also recommend sprinkling a layer of diatomaceous earth on top of soil to kill them.

If you’re really serious about making your home a no-gnat zone, you may also want to seal cracks and crevices around your doors and windows, repair any ripped window screens, and patch any cracks in your home’s foundations.

5 Ways To Get Rid Of Gnats

If you have a gnat infestation and don’t have the time or luxury of prevention, there are several ways you can eliminate these flying nuisances—many of which involve simple pantry ingredients. Of course, you’ll also want to figure out what attracted them in the first place and get rid of their source of food to stop them from reproducing.

1. The Classic Apple Cider Vinegar Trap

Apple cider vinegar’s sweet smell is appealing to gnats, so you can use it to make an easy trap—a literal thirst trap, if you will. Pour a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a bowl or jar, then stir in a few drops of dish soap. The bugs will be attracted to the sweet smell, and the sticky soap will prevent them from being able to fly away. Some people also like to mix in a little sugar, as well, to really amp up the sweetness.

2. Lure Them With Ripe Produce

If you’re dealing with fruit flies, you can use their favorite snack against them. Place a piece of overripe produce, like an apple slice or mashed banana, in a bowl and cover it with a plastic wrap. Poke a few small holes in the plastic, and once the flies crawl inside, they won’t be able to get back out.

3. Put Empty Wine Bottles To Good Use

The next time you finish a bottle of red wine, leave it on the counter with dregs in the bottom to help trap gnats. They’ll crawl inside because they’re attracted to the smell and won’t be able to get back out. Some people also like to mix in a few drops of dish soap, but I’ve found the alcohol works pretty well on its own.

4. Flush Drains With Bleach

If fruit or drain flies are hanging out in your pipes, you can use a diluted bleach solution to kill them and any eggs. Mix ½ cup bleach with a gallon of water, then carefully pour it down the drain. Flush with plenty of hot water, and repeat as necessary.

5. When In Doubt, Use Sticky Traps

When I have a particularly bad fungus gnat infestation around my plants, I turn to sticky traps to capture the dozens of bugs flying around. Gnats will get stuck to the yellow sticker—just be prepared to be grossed out by how many you catch.

by: CAMRYN RABIDEAU for Food52.com©

Source: How to Get Rid of Gnats – Best Ways to Prevent and Kill Gnats (food52.com)