How to Get Rid of Gnats Fast Using Home Remedies

Nothing is more annoying than having little black flies float around your face for no particular reason. Here are the reasons why you have gnats in the house and a list of home remedies that have been proven to get rid of gnats quickly.

Find the source

Most gnat infestations will disappear on their own if you are able to find and remove the main cause. Here are a few reasons why gnats could be appearing in your house.

Soil is too damp

House plants are common sources of gnats, specifically fungus gnats. The larvae will thrive in damp soil. The gnats may start to appear if you overwater the house plants. The chances of this happening are much higher if you are using low-quality soil or potting mix.

Food waste and scraps

It might be fruit flies you are dealing with and not gnats. Tiny black flies can start to appear in the kitchen if you have food scraps left out in the open and not stored in tightly-sealed containers. For this reason, it’s also important to take out the garbage regularly. You don’t want enough time to elapse for the food wastes to decompose and attract gnats.

Dirty and damp drainage

Gnats can also appear due to clogged and dirty drains. In this instance, you are most likely dealing with drain flies. As we mentioned before, gnats love moisture and damp conditions. The kitchen and bathroom drains are the perfect place for gnats to hide and breed in crazy numbers.

Home remedies for getting rid of gnats

The following remedies should make a difference and get rid of many gnats overnight. Gnats having a short life cycle is a good and bad thing. It’s bad that they can reproduce so quickly but it’s also good in the sense that whatever steps you take will have an immediate impact in reducing the swarms of gnats in the house.

Make your house spotlessly clean

You will be winning at least half of the battle against gnats by keeping your house clear of dirt, debris, and food waste. Start with the kitchen. Vacuum the floor like your life depends on it. Store or throw away any food leftovers that could be prime targets of gnats.

Clean and maintain the drains

It doesn’t take long for dirt to accumulate in the kitchen and bathroom drains. We would recommend treating your drains using a product like the Green Gobbler, a drain treatment specifically designed to kill gnats and drain flies. It may also help from time to time to pour boiling water down the drain. This may help loosen any gunk that starts to build-up in the pipes.

Replace the plant soil

You may need to replace the plant soil if you are dealing with a large number of fungus gnats. Don’t go cheap on plant soil. Cheaper soils are more likely to come infested with pests and contaminants. You should also check your watering habits and make sure you aren’t adding too much water to the soil. You should never see small puddles of water on the soil surface. That’s an open invitation for gnats.

Set up gnat vinegar traps

Vinegar traps are cheap and effective for gnat control purposes. You just need a disposable cup, some vinegar (apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, red wine vinegar etc.), dish soap, and clingy plastic wrap or saran wrap. First, pour some vinegar into the disposable cup. Mix it with one or two drops of dish soap. The dish soap prevents the gnat from escaping its liquid doom once it makes contact with the vinegar solution. Next, place a plastic wrap over the top of the disposable cup and poke a few tiny holes along the surface. The holes should be big enough for the gnats to enter.

The vinegar trap works super well for getting rid of gnats as the small flies are attracted to the fermented smell. You can also use other liquids that go through the fermentation process, such as wine, if you don’t have vinegar at home. There are also some ready-made vinegar traps made from brands like Terro if you prefer to not get your hands dirty.

Set up yellow sticky traps

Flies like gnats are attracted to the color of yellow. Another hands-free approach to getting rid of adult gnats is by setting up some yellow sticky traps around the house. These traps will also give you a better idea of where the gnats are coming from. The more gnats that are caught, the closer you are to the source of the infestation.

Mosquito dunks and beneficial nematodes

Mosquito dunks don’t just kill mosquitoes. They are also effective for getting rid of gnats that appear from house plants. Those that are dealing with larger-scale gnat problems, such as infestations in the yard, may want to also consider using beneficial nematodes, which are a natural form of pest control.

Frequently asked questions

Are gnats harmful to humans?

No, gnats usually aren’t harmful to humans. There are, however, rare cases when a gnat bite could lead to an allergic reaction. It’s in your best interest to get rid of gnats before they become a bigger problem in your house.

Why do gnats fly into your face?

Gnats love moisture. Some gnats may fly into your face when you are sweaty. Gnats are also attracted to carbon dioxide. Your breath could be another reason for why they may continue to fly into your face.

Discussions

  • James:

    I tried the apple cider vinegar trap. It got some but not all of the gnats. I ended finding the source (the drain) and placed a stopper to prevent more flies from coming out of the pipes.

  • Joanna:

    I am house sitting for a friend. He is a relatively clean eprson but gnats have dominated the space for the past few days. We have already taken a bunch of precautionary measures like pouring bleach down the bathroom pipes and putting out a few apple cider vinegar traps. There does seem to be a decrease in the number of flies we spot now but they are still around here and there. We take out the garbage regularly and have no idea where the gnats are coming from.

  • Wine is your best friend:

    I live in Southern California where we get tons of gnats during the summer. I searched tiredlessly to find a solution and ended up finding a winner. The apple cider vinegar trap works but what worked even better for me was using wine, specifically some leftover white zinfandel wine. With the same method as the vinegar trap, the wine trap was able to capture three times as many gnats!!

  • MeganK:

    People. You are doing it all wrong. You are trying to only get rid of the adult flies. To truly get rid of gnats, you need to also get rid of their eggs and larvae. If, for exmaple, all the tiny flies are coming from your plants then you are dealing with fungus gnats. You need to use methods like mosquito bits to get rid of the larvae in the soil. Vinegar traps alone won’t help you.

  • Mjordan:

    How on F do I get rid of these stupid gnats? They are flying around my face and I’ve tried a lot of the methods suggested here.

  • Losing My Mind:

    I tried everything I could think of and the gnats won’t go away. I am pretty sure I am not dealing with fruit flies. I first cleaned up the gutters thinking they were breeding there. Nope. I then dumped a lot of food-grade diatomaceous earth over the garden bed thinking I might be dealing with fungus gnats. Nope again. I now tried using the hanging liquid fly traps. The gnats don’t seem to take a interest in them. What do I do now?

  • Sue:

    I make sure I have something down at the door entryway front door and back..and then I use the solution with apple cider vinegar and so on…AND THEN I TOP IT OFF WITH RAID OF BLACK FLAG FOGGER

  • Rosie:

    Every night put bleach down the drain and clog the drain

  • Robin:

    Tiny, swarm around face, hair & sting

  • Ksowder:

    We have thay exact trash can and we find gnats in it constantly. We bought it to hopefully keep them out. Does not keep them out at all. Just thought I’d put that out there for anyone wanting to purchase it for that purpose. You’re better off with an old school metal trash can you can close tightly.

  • Rem:

    They are mostly in my backyard trees, fence, plants all over. I purchased sticky green insect traps and works well. But they multiply so fast, so I added ways to control by making my own spray solution. Clorox, dishwashing liquid, water in a spray bottles. I look for the place they stick together and spray at them and instantly dies. I made sure backyard is free from any debris and fallen leaves. I use in addition, apple cider vinegar in a closed jar or bottle as trap, they all work.. the problem is the neighbours don’t do what I do. So I eliminate on my side, but the neighbour’s problems won’t and would come to my place and start all over my problem.. it’s a never ending infestations, headache to homeowners.

  • Rodriguez Aracely:

    I’ve tried the sticky yellow traps and nothing. They are all over my house I’m going crazy! I’m even thinking about getting rid of all of my plants and it makes me sad.

  • Martin Wilson:

    I don’t get a lot of gnats, only a handful or so in the kitchen. I keep the trash clean and emptied regularly and it’s a can with a lid. I can’t find where they’re coming from. Not the sinks, not the one houseplant my wife keeps near the sink and there’s no place in particular that they congregate. I battle them on the cabinet doors, the counter here and there, the freshly painted walls and ceiling. We never had a problem with them before we had the kitchen completely remodeled it seems so everything is fresh, clean and new. All the plumbing under the sink is new as well as the cabinets, countertops, flooring and paint within the last year or so. I wish I could see them swarming from somewhere or something. Got rid of all the fruit and potatoes, nothing ever seems to change.

  • Michelle H:

    The apple cider vinegar & dish soap trap works beautifully from many times experience, you MUST have everyone’s cooperation to NOT give them another source of food such as fruit (keep in the fridge until problem is gone), or other food or unrinsed cans, etc. or if dirty dishes are in the sink, keep them soaked with soapy water. They love anything with moisture but they can’t be able to get it anywhere else. God Bless!

  • Kathy:

    FOUND SOMETHING THAT DOES WORK!!!: SF Beneficial Nematodes. I was going nuts for years with the dirt gnats never going away, no matter how many traps I set or mosquito bits I used, there were always more. Then I tried these nematodes, that eat the gnats in the dirt. I had to reapply after about a week to get the newest ‘hatchlings’, but then the gnats were ALL GONE! Now when I get a new plant or another bad bag of soil, I just use more of these and the gnats are 100% gone in a jiff. They come cooled/dormant and to use I put about 1/2 tsp in an 52 oz/1.6 qt clean (old OJ) bottle and filled with tepid water. Wait about a minute or so, to give the nematodes time to revive, and then pour all over the top of the soil in the pots. Do this over already watered soil. Super quick to do and it only looks like you’re using powder, nothing icky with bugs, like I was afraid of. 😉

  • Hallie:

    Fly strips work great… Just hang it the strips in the heavy areas and randomly put out the apple cider, dish soap concoction… and that will take the population out and help keep it down… Of course change fly strips as they will fill…

  • Sue conley:

    Great information thanks

  • Helen:

    My niece told me to use Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with Bleach and spray drains frequently- like every time I go near my kitchen sink. I have a guinea pig so I’m very careful about putting out/spraying pesticides; and anything else! I just clean her habitat – once weekly and saw knats all in the wall behind it. Can someone tell me if my husband leaving the dog’s food out nightly is drawing the knats? I need written proof to show him one of the underlying problems and thanks!

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