How to get rid of gnats in the house? [11-Step Guide]

Nothing is worse than a gnat infestation in the home and all over your food! These simple 11 strategies to kill gnats should take care of it.
how to get rid of gnats in house

What You Need To Know About Killing Gnats In The House

I have seen so many gnat infestations it would make your head spin! These creepy crawlies seem to breed like crazy and they are very hard to eradicate.

These small flying insects include fungus gnats, fruit flies, and drain flies. Drain flies have moth-like wings, fruit flies are round-shaped, and fungus gnats are dark with long bodies.

The most common method to get rid of gnats are simple house traps composed of vinegar, water, and dish soap. It is also important to put away all food and keep your trash can sealed.

How Do Gnat Infestations Take Root?

Gnats come into the home through small cracks and holes on the exterior of the home. Gnats can also enter through window screens if you leave them open.

It is essential maintenance for homeowners to use interior and exterior caulking to seal these holes and tiny cracks. Keep reading to learn our 11 steps to get rid of gnats in the house once and for all!

Supplies You'll Need To Get Rid Of Gnats In The Home

  • Dish Soap: Dish soap is one of the most commonly used ingredients when setting gnat traps. The dish soap breaks up the surface tension of water so that the gnats drown rather than walk on top of the solution.
  • Vinegar, Fruit Juice, Wine: Vinegar is the most common attractant that is in gnat traps, but gnats are also attracted to fruit juice, rotting fruit, wine, and other sweet liquids.
  • Bleach & Sink Stoppers: Sometimes gnats are infested in the sink drains and you will need to pour a bleach solution (or baking soda) down the drain. Sink stoppers can also be used to suffocate the gnats.

How To Get Rid Of Gnats In House? [11-Step Guide]

  1. Create A DIY Gnat Trap With Simple Household Ingredients
  2. Buy An Apple-Shaped Fruit Fly Trap Online Or At A Hardware Store
  3. Don't Overwater Household Plants And Quarantine New Plants
  4. Use A Spray Bottle On Gnats Directly With A Weak Cleaning Solution
  5. Pour Bleach Down The Sink Drains And Use Sink Stoppers
  6. Make A Candle Trap To Kill Gnats
  7. Use Caulking To Seal The Interior And Exterior
  8. Don't Leave Out Food And Seal The Trash Can
  9. Use A Vacuum Hose To Catch Flying Gnats
  10. Purchase An Automatic Gnat Trap Such As Katchy
  11. Hire A Professional Pest Control Company To Treat The Gnat Infestation

Step 1 - Create A DIY Gnat Trap With Simple Household Ingredients

Create a DIY gnat trap with vinegar, fruit juice, and dish soap.

Probably the best ingredient is vinegar like apple cider vinegar, but fruit juice (or rotted mashed-up fruit) can also work like a charm. Gnats will be drawn to the acetic acid in the vinegar and fruit.

And the dish soap will break the surface tension of the solution (known as a surfactant) so that the gnats will drown rather than walk on it.

Simply mix a small bowl or cup with equal parts vinegar (or fruit juice) and dish soap. Also add a bit of sugar to the cup which further attracts gnats—and then mix it all up.

Some homeowners swear by leaving these containers open and without a lid. Other people have great success by covering it with a piece of plastic along with a few holes.

Step 2 - Buy An Apple-Shaped Fruit Fly Trap Online Or At A Hardware Store

Purchase an apple-shaped fruit fly trap at your local hardware store or online.

These gnat traps are in the shape of an apple and colored bright red which are naturally attractive to gnats. All you have to do is full up the apples with vinegar or the solution included with the trap.

With these apple-shaped gnat traps, you can be assured that they are already perfectly designed to capture gnats.

And to reuse the apple gnat traps, all you have to do is empty it out but sometimes you may have to cut or drill a small hole in the side to empty it. You will need to put tape back over the hole once you re-fill it.

Manufacturers prefer homeowners to keep buying new ones, but I don't find that necessary.

Step 3 - Don't Overwater Household Plants And Quarantine New Plants

Gnats, especially fungus gnats, can be attracted to the water in house plants and even the rotting roots.

So it is important to avoid overwatering the plants for only what is needed and to avoid root rot. You can also place some gnat traps near your plants if you feel like there is a gnat infestation.

And do you plan on buying more house plants?

Keep new plants outside or in a shed for a few days while you monitor their health and for any signs of insects.

Step 4 - Use A Spray Bottle On Gnats Directly With A Weak Cleaning Solution

Use a spray bottle to directly spray and kill gnats and also use it on plants.

Homeowners can simply fill up a spray bottle with water and a bit of dish soap. The dish soap will coat the gnats and they will eventually die. Anywhere you see gnats, spray this weak solution.

You can also coat your house plants with this dish soap solution if there is a gnat infestation.  Just make sure to thoroughly clean off the solution from your plants after a few hours.

Step 5 - Pour Bleach Down The Sink Drains And Use Sink Stoppers

Pour baking soda and water, or bleach and water down the sink drains to kill gnats.

If you feel like gnats are coming out of your drains, you can pour some diluted bleach down the drain.

Homeowners can also use baking soda and water. First pour down the baking soda, and then pour down water so it will foam up. Once it is foamed up, wash it down with water to kill the gnats.

Another option is to plug the sink drains with stoppers in order to suffocate the gnats. Only remove the sink stoppers when you have to use the sinks.

Step 6 - Make A Candle Trap To Kill Gnats

Make a candle trap that will attract and kill gnats.

Everyone knows that flying insects are attracted to light and flame. In the evening, when the lights are off or low, light a small candle like a tea light that is floating or placed into water. The gnats will be attracted to the light and drown in the water.

Don't forget to add a few drops of dish soap to the water to break the surface tension.

Step 7 - Use Caulking To Seal The Interior And Exterior

Homeowners should make sure the interior and exterior are sealed with caulking to prevent gnat intrusion.

Even if you kill the gnats living inside your home, if they keep getting in, you will have a constantly recurring problem.

If you see gnats congregating in an area of the home, carefully inspect the windows and doors for any tiny cracks. The easiest way to see cracks along windows and doors is to use interior caulking. It is also important to walk along the exterior and check for holes and cracks.

Areas along the wall wire wires, pipes, or vents go into the wall are common sources of gnat infiltration. Also, carefully inspect the windows and doors on the outside for holes and cracks.

Make sure to use exterior caulking to seal the outdoor areas.

Step 8 - Don't Leave Out Food And Seal The Trash Can

Homeowners shouldn't leave out food or leave the trash can open during a gnat infestation.

At least until the gnats are gone, all fruit and food should be covered or kept in the fridge. Replacing an open air trash can with a sealed trash can is also recommended.

Step 9 - Use A Vacuum Hose To Catch Flying Gnats

Use a vacuum to suck in the gnats that are flying around your home.

Homeowners can remove the carpet head attachment so there is just a long vacuum tube.

When you see a gnat flying, simply turn on the vacuum and suck it in. This method is easier to do with a cordless vacuum that has a long attachment.

Step 10 - Purchase An Automatic Gnat Trap Such As Katchy

Buy an automatic gnat trap such as the Katchy.

This automatic gnat trap first attracts gnats and small insects to ultraviolet light. And when the gnats get close, the fan sucks them in, and then they get stuck on a sticky board.

Step 11 - Hire A Professional Pest Control Company To Treat The Gnat Infestation

Hire a pest control company to kill the gnat larvae and to kill the adult gnats.

Sometimes a gnat infestation is too much for the average homeowner to fix, and you will need to call in a pro. A pest control company should be experienced with gnat infestations and have a plan to kill the adult gnats as well as the larvae.

The cost of treating a gnat infestation will likely range in the $300 to $600 range.

What is the fastest way to get rid of gnats in your house?

The fastest way to get rid of gnats is to use apple-shaped fruit fly traps. These traps are professionally designed, bright red, and are sure to work. Homemade traps are sometimes hit or miss. It is also important to seal windows and doors with caulking so that gnats don't keep getting in.

What causes gnats to be in your house?

Gnats enter the home through tiny cracks and holes on the exterior of the home such as at windows and doors. Any pipe penetration like wiring, plumbing, or vents can also allow in gnats and should be caulked and sealed. Once inside, the gnats can breed extremely quickly and can be difficult to eradicate.

What kills gnats instantly?

Homeowners can kill gnats immediately by mixing a spray bottle with water, a bit of dish soap, and some isopropyl alcohol. Any time you see a gnat, spray them with this solution and they will quickly die. 

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