Gnats! Have they invaded your home? Need to know how to get rid of gnats in the house? Read on for this simple, effective, cheap, natural method of exterminating these pests: A homemade gnat trap! Best of all, you probably have all the materials you need already.
In seasons past it seemed gnats only showed up if we had rotten fruit, but I guess since we had such a warm winter the bugs (including gnats) are out in full force.
One thing in our home that attracts gnats is our compost bowl where I throw vegetable scraps before they go out to the compost pile or to the chickens.
In years past simply moving the bowl outside would get rid of gnats in the kitchen, but this year they are tenacious. It doesn’t help that we have a toddler who walks around the house snacking on bananas among other things and leaves nibbles goodness knows where!
Did you know a single gnat can live for four months in your home? Breeding that whole time no less! If you’re wondering how to get rid of gnats in the house, keep reading for tips and a homemade gnat trap “recipe.”
Tips for Getting Rid of Gnats
- Get rid of the fruit bowl – If you keep fruit out or use one of those cool banana hangers, stop! You can continue using both after you get rid of your gnat problem.
- Empty any standing water outside – Birdbaths, flowers pots, and kids’ outdoor toys are just a few of the culprits.
- Make sure your garbage disposal is clean so you don’t get drain flies.
- Get a lid for your garbage can if you don’t have one.
Make a Homemade Gnat Trap
So how do you get rid of fruit flies? Here’s an easy, non-toxic way to get rid of pesky gnats in the kitchen for good. No more slapping your hands violently at seemingly nothing thanks to this homemade gnat trap.
- Wide mouth Mason jar – It can be any of these sizes, just make sure the mouth is wide and you’ll have better results. If all you have is the smaller type of mouth, it will work too (see pics), it’s just that the wider mouth provides more surface area and your homemade gnat trap will catch more gnats per trap.
- Plastic wrap
- Rubberband (optional)
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 drops liquid dish soap
- about a cup of water
- Mix vinegar, sugar, and a few drops of dish soap together in a wide-mouthed container.
- Add warm water about 3/4ths of the way to the top of the container.
- Cover rim tightly with plastic wrap (I also used a rubber band around the rim just to be sure).
- Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in the plastic wrap.
- Leave the container in the kitchen or other problem areas.
That’s it! At first, I used a fork to poke holes in the plastic but noticed the gnats being attracted to the container and unable to get in. 3/4-1″ holes work best and are easy to make with a steak knife.
Remember to be patient! Remove fruit from the kitchen counter and any organic matter like kitchen scraps or dirty dishes so the gnats can be attracted to the homemade trap.
I set two out one evening and the following morning we had 4-6 gnats in each one. They seem to be avoiding the jars now (maybe they wizened up?) so I’ll empty and refill them tonight with fresh bait.
As an alternative method, you can use the same vinegar/sugar recipe and trap gnats with a folded paper cone. I prefer the dish soap traps mentioned above, but this is an effective method too.
Now you know how to get rid of gnats in the house! Once you start catching a few adult flies and they stop producing gnat larvae, you’ll be surprised how quickly your gnat infestation disappears thanks to your homemade gnat trap.
Scientifically, no. There are a few structural differences and fruit flies tend to flock to kitchen waste while fungus gnats are attracted to organic materials such as compost and potted plants.
However, English speakers in the US tend to use the terms interchangeably. Here in the South, we say gnat when we’re technically referring to a fruit fly.
Whatever you call these pesky insects, this homemade trap will rid your kitchen of the annoying pests.
Keep overripe fruit and organic matter away from countertops and your kitchen sink drain. Limit access to standing water outdoors. Place a layer of gravel over the moist soil of your house plants so you can nourish your indoor plants without attracting gnats.
Alternative Treatment Plan
If you don’t feel like making these homemade gnat traps or don’t have the supplies on hand, there are a variety of commercial fruit fly trap options like the ones pictured below.
If the above-mentioned methods aren’t working for your indoor gnat problem, it may be time to call a pest management professional.