How To Get Rid Of Gnats In House?
What causes a lot of gnats in the house?
Inside the home, gnats can be attracted to unsealed produce, fresh flowers, houseplants, food spillage and open or overflowing garbage cans. Gnats may also live in sink drains where food residue can collect. Dirty kitchen sink drains can provide food, water, shelter and breeding sites to many fly species.
How do I get rid of small gnats in my house?
How to Get Rid of Gnats in Your Home and Garden Gnats — small, flying insects that sometimes invade your home and garden — are more than just annoying. They can damage plants and even cause health problems. Not all gnats are bad. Some help pollinate plants and eat garden pests. There are four tiny, flying species commonly referred to as gnats:
Drain flies, These tiny pests are often found in or around drains, sewers, septic tanks and areas where sewage has leaked. Fruit flies, These gnats are attracted to rotting or fresh fruits and vegetables, moist organic materials and liquids like soft drinks, wine and vinegar. Phorid flies, Like drain flies, phorids hang around garbage, drains and rotting fruits and vegetables. Fungus gnats, These are often found around overwatered houseplants when organic matter in the soil starts to decay. Their larvae feed on plant roots, causing leaves to turn yellow and drop or entire plants to wilt and die. Fungus gnats can also spread a pathogen that causes damping-off, a condition that kills seeds before they sprout and weakens or kills seedlings just after sprouting.
Julie Martens Forney Control tiny fungus gnats that swarm around potted plants with a sticky yellow trap. Gnats won’t damage your house, but they can cause other problems. While all gnats bite, not all species have mouth parts that can penetrate the skin.
- Those that do bite through your skin can transmit pathogens and diseases and cause itching, redness, irritation and swelling.
- You may need to see a doctor if these symptoms occur.
- These tiny insects often swarm around the damp soil in potted plants or fruit that is bruised or over ripe.
- Most also like sweet and fruity smells and moist, decomposing organic matter.
Some species are drawn to sweat, body heat and even the moisture in our eyes. Julie Martens Forney Use a product with Bti, Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, to kill fungus gnat larvae. Gnats often breed in or hang around sinks, toilets, drains, garbage disposals and indoor and outdoor trash cans.
Sometimes we accidentally bring them indoors on flowers, houseplants and fresh fruits. Gnats reproduce quickly and in large numbers, so you may need to use more than one method to eliminate them. Try natural controls before you reach for pesticides or insecticides Use a small saucer to mix a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a few drops of dishwashing soap and a little sugar.
Put the saucer near the gnats. Use more than one saucer, if needed. The gnats will be drawn to the sweet solution, fall in and get trapped. Replace the solution often, until they’re gone. Hang sticky flypaper ribbons to catch gnats, but be careful where you put them.
- They’ll grab onto almost anything, including your curtains, hair and furniture.
- Don’t use them outdoors, where they’ll trap beneficial creatures.
- Slowly pour 1/2 cup bleach, diluted with a gallon of water, down your drain.
- Follow by rinsing the drain with plenty of hot water.
- You can also use a drain cleaning product labeled for this kind of pest control; follow the directions on the label.
Put an overripe apple or banana in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. Punch a few holes in the wrap. Gnats that get into the bowl will be trapped so you can dispose of them. Leave an almost-empty red wine bottle near your kitchen drain. Gnats that crawl inside to reach the alcohol won’t be able to escape.
Use an insecticidal spray made for indoor use. If gnats keep coming back, or you have a serious infestation, call a professional pest control company for help. Gnats are drawn to the color yellow and can be trapped on special yellow cards covered with a sticky adhesive. For best results, use small cards or cut larger ones into small squares.
Lay them on the soil in your potted plants or attach them to twigs or skewers stuck into the pots. Once the traps are full, discard them in an outside trash can. DE, as it’s known, is an organic, abrasive powder you can buy to sprinkle over the dry soil in your plants.
- It will trap the gnats until they die from dehydration.
- Don’t apply it when the soil is wet or it won’t work.
- To make sure the DE stays dry, put some sand on top of your potting soil and then apply it.
- Water your plants from the bottom while using it.
- Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is a bacterium that occurs naturally in the soil.
Bt var. israelensis (Bti) kills the larvae of fungus gnats. Follow the directions on your product to make a Bti drench and saturate the soil in your potted plants. It will coat the plant roots without harming them and kill fungus gnat larvae that try to feed on them.
Let your plants dry out slightly between waterings so any gnat eggs or larvae in the soil will die. If your pots don’t already have drainage holes, make some. If the gnats keep coming back, repot your plants in clean containers with fresh potting soil. Keep gnats from getting in your home in the first place in by sealing up cracks, holes and crevices in your doors, walls, windows and foundation.
Repair or replace window screens with tears or rips. Put food and beverages away after meals and clean up spills. Don’t leave pet food out and wash pet bowls daily. Check for leaks from indoor and outdoor plumbing and constantly damp soil around your downspouts or under your gutters.
Clean up damp places where gnats like to breed, such as compost piles and leaf piles, and keep birdbaths, fountains and other water features clean. Use trash cans with tightly fitting lids and remove indoor trash daily. Keep compost piles and outdoor trash containers at least 15 feet away from your house.
Keep fruits and vegetables refrigerated, not on the counter. (Some foods, like bananas, tomatoes and pears, shouldn’t be refrigerated so they can continue to ripen.) Wash fruits and vegetables before putting them away. Instead of saturating outdoor plants with a Bti drench, drop a mosquito dunk labeled as safe for use around pets and wildlife in a watering can or bucket.
Let it sit long enough for the dunk to release its insect-killing bacteria into the water. Pour the water over the soil of your outdoor plants. Do this for several weeks to be sure any gnat larvae in the soil are killed. Don’t use electric pest traps for gnats because they often kill beneficial insects, too.
Traps that attract gnats with ultraviolet lights may work, but they only trap the adults, so larvae are left to mature and reproduce. Some gnats swarm around outdoor lights. To discourage them, switch to yellow “bug lights” or low voltage bulbs, or keep lights near doors and windows turned off.
Why won t gnats go away?
Gnats are attracted to moisture, so you’re most likely to encounter them in the summer months—they often hang out in moist areas of your home like your kitchen drain or potted soil. That also means factors like food spills, unsealed garbage cans, or potted houseplants can all contribute to an infestation.
Does vinegar attract gnats?
Do gnats like the smell of white vinegar? – Gnats are naturally drawn to the smell of white or apple cider vinegar, making these solutions ideal for making traps around your home and garden. The sweet smell lures them in and downs them, coating their wings so that they are unable to fly away.
- The result? Far fewer gnats bothering you.
- Getting rid of gnats with vinegar is a game of patience, as is any other form of pest control.
- Using white vinegar is a great affordable way to trap and kill gnats without having to use more expensive sugary drinks like Coke or lemonade.
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What time are gnats most active?
Gnats (U.S. National Park Service) Hikers may encounter gnats in the pinyon-juniper forests of southeast Utah. NPS/Neal Herbert In the late spring and early summer, swarms of tiny biting gnats often greet visitors to Utah’s national parks. Also called “midges,” “no-see-ums,” “punkies,” and “moose flies,” these miniscule pests thrive in the scattered pinyon-juniper forests of southeast Utah.
- Regardless of their name, it is no secret that a large population of these creatures can make outdoor activity unbearable.
- Natural History Biting gnats are parasitic organisms similar to mosquitoes and are capable of very annoying bites.
- However, while mosquitoes pierce the skin and feed with mouthparts similar to a hypodermic needle, biting gnats have scissor-like mandibles that cut the skin to produce a small, bleeding wound.
In the process of biting, saliva penetrates the skin causing an allergic reaction. This reaction is minor in most people, though it can be severe in rare cases. Only females bite since they require a blood meal to produce eggs. (Males feed on plants.) Gnats are active mostly during the day, especially around mid-morning and dusk.
Biting usually peaks during a three-week period in late spring or early summer, and is usually more severe following droughts. Evidence of a bite may include itching, discomfort, and localized swelling. Anti-itch creams may alleviate discomfort. You can lessen your chances of being bitten by wearing long sleeves and pants.
Repellents containing citronella may also be effective. The life cycle of all biting gnats begins as an egg laid by the female shortly after mating. Males attempting to mate are especially harried as their sexual potency begins to decline eight hours after they pupate.
- A young male gnat takes about ten minutes to fertilize a willing female.
- However, as males reach 24 to 36 hours in age, copulation can take almost an hour.
- Females are intolerant of the advances of older males; they will resist mating with impotent males by flying away, kicking violently, and tipping their abdomens away.
Gnats deposit eggs in places that may become moist or flooded with spring rains. In canyon country, this includes mosses, soils, potholes, and the bark of Utah junipers and pinyon pines. Both eggs and larvae of some gnat species are tolerant of desiccation.
- They become inactive when their habitat dries and start their metabolic machinery again when rain moistens their home.
- Although larvae will pupate whenever they reach the appropriate stage if there is adequate water available, they may spend most of the summer, fall, and winter in their egg or larval stages.
Adults often emerge from the pupal case after late spring or early summer rains. Annoying as they are, biting gnats are an essential part of the web of life in canyon country. Many animals, including birds, fish, lizards, and other insects, depend on gnats as a food source.
Can you permanently get rid of gnats?
Your only option is to get these kitchen gnats under control and maintain protocols to prevent them from coming back. You can not spray your way out of a small fly infestation. The only way to get rid of these small gnats is to eliminate their breeding sites.