How to Get Rid of Gnats in House?

Of all the pests that invade homes, gnats are probably the most annoying. After ants, they are the next most common infestation that occurs in the home, flying around your home in groups or alone.

Their presence can upset you and make you feel itchy that you wonder how they got in, in the first place. How to get rid of the gnats in your house? It’s pretty simple. Read through this article for tips and follow the simple steps mentioned here.

But first, are these insects gnats? There are other insects similar to fungus gnats like the drain flies and fruit flies. So what are gnats?

What are gnats?

how to get rid of gnats

Gnats are tiny slender flies with long legs and antennas. These insects are known to bite and annoy humans. There are different species of gnats, they can be biting and non-biting. Gnats are in the diptera suborder Nematocera.

Their color can range from yellow, tarnish grey, or black. They’re about 2.5 millimeters in length which is less than 1/4 inch. They have distinctive antennas and weak fliers. Gnats are mostly harmless to humans but they’ll destroy your plants and seedlings.

There are other species, however, that feed on the blood of humans, pets, and livestock. Species like the black gnat can spread a variety of infectious diseases, like river blindness.

What attracts gnats? 

When insects infest your home, they are attracted to something. Most insects are attracted to food, shelter, and water. What are gnats attracted to? Gnats, like other insects, need food to survive. They infest your home in search of food.

Often in their highest numbers during summer, gnats are attracted to homes with much moisture, especially in the soil. Besides this, gnats are attracted to sweet scents from fruits, house plants, garbage, and moist areas like your kitchen and bathroom.

How do gnats invade your home – how infestation occurs

Infesting your home is a pretty easy feat for these insects. Just have what they’re looking for, leave your doors open, and in no time, they’ll be all over the place.

Usually, gnats invade your home through several means. Through holes and cracks, open windows, open doors, and walls. Sometimes they come in through already infested plants.

When they have successfully infested, they will cluster around rotten fruits, moist vegetables, trash cans that are often wet, and decomposing moist matter.  Other places where they’re likely to be seen include kitchen sinks.

Gnats are often attracted to bright light at night. If your lights are shiny bright, you will most definitely have an infestation.


Difference between gnats and fruit flies 

Usually, fruit flies are mistaken for gnats. Since they’re tiny pests and are very often attracted to fruits and veggies like fruit flies, it is not out of place that most of you misidentify them. What’s more, they both constitute a nuisance and will pretty much frustrate you.

Fruit flies and gnats look a lot alike. They even both measure up to one-eighth of an inch long, making it difficult to distinctively tell the difference. Regardless, they are not the same. While gnats look mostly dark and grey, fruit flies range between tan and black.

Interestingly they also differ in shape. The shape of fruit flies is essentially a rounded silhouette. Pretty much like the house fly. Gnats on the other hand possess dangling legs and long bodies that make them look a lot like mosquitos.

Another thing that differentiates these insects is their eyes. For fruit flies, they possess large red eyes that are recognizable while gnats have very tiny eyes that they almost can’t see with.

Ways to get rid of gnats

Getting rid of gnats is sometimes impossible to achieve. They are high-density invading species that will not find infestation as a chore, as long as you have what they need. But there are several ways to get rid of gnats. Some of which will be discussed here. We hope this helps.

  • Try the apple cider vinegar trap

Apple cider vinegar trap does get rid of these insects. Put a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a bowl then add a few drops of dish soap to it. After this, put a tablespoon of sugar and stir until it blends into a proper mix.

You can set your bowl trap in the areas gnats have infested or are predominant. Places like your bathroom and kitchen. The sugar and apple cider vinegar present in this trap will lure gnats while the dish soap will trap them.

  • Make a fruit trap

Since gnats are attracted to fruits, a fruit trap would go a long way to get rid of them. First, put rotten fruit into a perforated plastic jar. The rotten fruit will lure the gnats in. Once the gnats enter the jar, they will get stuck.

  • Use a diluted bleach solution

If you notice gnats are in your kitchen, preferably clustered around your sinks, or drains. Dilute a portion of bleach with water and spray around. It would kill these bugs. Make sure your nose and mouth are properly covered when doing this, to protect your lungs.

  • Try using a candle trap

One thing that attracts gnats is light. These insects are drawn to bright light. So try using this trap. First of all, put a candlestick in a bowl of water. Make sure the candlesticks are properly placed so they don’t fall or go off. After this, turn off your lights and put on your candle.

Gnats will get attracted to the light but the candle will burn them up. The ones that don’t get burned will fall into the bowl of water and get drowned.

  • Make a wine trap

This method is also efficient. To do this, use an expired wine that’s nearly turned into vinegar, pour in a jar, add a few drops of dish soap, and mix. Just like the apple cider vinegar mix, the wine will lure gnats in and the dish soap will trap them.

  • Chemical spray

In case there is a heavy infestation and these other tricks do not seem to give you the desired result, you can purchase a chemical spray. Preferable a kitchen bug killer spray like Hot Shot. Spray around infested areas to get rid of these pests.

  • Try a bug zapper

A bug zapper is quite efficient. It is used to kill larger bugs like mosquitos but it also works on gnats. What you can do is plug this noiseless machine and turn it on. This bug zapper will catch the majority of the gnats in your house including flies and you don’t need to worry about doing a thing.

  • Flypaper

Using flypaper is probably the best do-it-yourself solution you can try. It is reliable and efficient as well. When the flypaper does to gnats is that it catches these flying gnats including other bugs into its sticky surface. You can try the window bug paper or the ribbon flypaper. They are all efficient.

  • Use rotten plantain to lure them

This may sound tricky, but it works. Just take a few pieces of ripened plantain. Make sure they are a little overly ripened. Then bore tiny holes in them. When gnats cluster around, they’ll miss their way into the holes and get stuck.

  • Potato chunks

If you want to get rid of gnats infesting the plants around your house or in your little garden, then you can place potato chunks in soil and around an earthen pot. The raw potato chunks will lure gnats away from your plants into the pot and trap them.

  • Home-made gnat repellent

Another method you can try is this homemade gnat repellent. You will need baking soda, water, vinegar, and dish soap. When you make your mix, pour a tablespoon of vinegar and baking soda each into the bowl, add a few drops of dish soap and a cup of water. Mix properly and spray around the infested area. This mixture repels gnats.

How to Prevent gnat infestation

It is a tad difficult to prevent a gnat infestation since these insects can get into your house through the tiniest of holes or just when you open your door. But there are things you can do to prevent a large infestation.

Since we have established that gnats are attracted to moist places, soil, fruit, and garbage, you can prevent them by doing the following;

Make sure your soil isn’t overly wet, ensure to take out your garbage regularly and pack them properly.

Keep your house clean and dry. Ensure to dispose of rotten fruits.

You can also prevent them by sealing cracks and torn window nets.


Is your house a mess because of these annoying insects? Try out any of these solutions mentioned in this post to get rid of gnats in your home. If you are experiencing a prolonged infestation, reach out to a pest control team and have them handle the situation. Expert pest control teams know how to handle such infestations.

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