How to Get Rid of Gnats

To get rid of gnats, treatments should be focused in the kitchen and in the bathroom areas. Gnats do not bite humans. Make sure you know the differences between gnats and fruit flies, which people often mix up. Sanitation is crucial in any fly management program and there are a couple of things you can do to ensure there are no more gnats in the home.

Getting Rid of Gnats

The Fungus Gnat is attracted to light and best controlled by locating the source of the infestation. Breeding grounds may include the buildup of scum in drains, moist soil left in planted pots around the home, decaying organic matter, garbage bins (possibly recyclables), or even a lake or retention pond close by. Make sure all of the trash cans are properly sealed with all garbage taken out each day. If you keep a dumpster in your garage, consider leaving it outdoors and washing it on a weekly basis. If you have any houseplants or flowers indoors that you water, consider removing them from the afflicted area into the garage or outdoors.

If you are willing to spend the money, consider a product call Sevin – the active ingredient comes from tree sap and is labeled for use on plants. This allows you to remove potential breeding grounds in an infestation where most of your efforts should be focused on the plants. Use this guide to help you get rid of gnats in the house:

  • If you have houseplants, be sure to remove any water overflow at the base. Damp soil is a perfect breeding ground for fungus gnats.
  • If possible, treat the plant soil with Sevin, a plant-safe pesticide. An alternative would be to place a fan in front of the plant to dry out the soil and stop any gnats from landing in it.
  • Drains should be sanitized with an anti-bacterial drain cleaner. It's better to avoid using bleach if your home is on a septic tank.
  • Return to the sink after a few minutes and if possible, scrub with a brush. Remember to wash and clean all of the garbage bins in the afflicted areas.
  • Light traps can also be used to catch or attract gnats.
  • If you notice a bunch around the garbage can, consider leaving the lid off. When they have all aggregated, you can spray them all at once.

Follow the checklist above and most of your problems will be solved. The reality is, without locating the source of the problem, none of the above steps really work that well. Locating the source of the gnat infestation is fundamental so it's important to understand where gnats come from.

Where do Gnats Come From?

Fungus Gnats originate from damp moist areas. Placing tape or any adhesive across the drains at night will give you an idea of where the problem is the heaviest. Most of the gnats in the house will be around your windows as they are attracted to light. When searching for the source, here are some helpful pointers:

  • Do you have any leaks under the sink or around the fridge?
  • Are you aware of any mold problems your home may have?
  • Where are you seeing gnats in the house?
  • Any house plants or flowers inside the home?
  • Are there any improperly sealed doors or windows?
  • Is your home located next to a large body of water? Retention pond? Lake?

Any source of moisture, mold or fungus is a source for gnat infestations. To kill gnats, the remedy lies within sanitation measures, exclusion, and a sensitive approach to indoor plants.