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How to Get Rid of Gnats in Your House. So Simple!

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 old bananas, 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.

Jars with plastic wrap to get rid of gnats

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 how to get rid of gnats in the house

  • 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 – Bird baths, flowers pots, and kids outdoor toys are just a few of the culprits
  • Make sure your drain/garbage disposal is clean
  • Get a lid for your garbage can if you don’t have one.

So how do you get rid of gnats? Here’s an easy, non-toxic way to get rid of gnats in the kitchen for good. No more slapping your hands violently at seemingly nothing thanks to this homemade gnat trap.

gnat traps

Make a Homemade Gnat Trap

For each homemade gnat trap you will need:
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 you homemade gnat trap will catch more gnats per trap.

Plastic wrap
Rubberband (optional)
2T vinegar*
1t sugar
4 drops dish detergent

  1. Mix vinegar, sugar, and dish wash together in a wide-mouthed container.
  2. Add water about 3/4ths of the way to the top of the container.
  3. Cover rim tightly with plastic wrap (I also used a rubber band around the rim just to be sure).
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut a few slits in the plastic wrap.
  5. 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. Slits with a knife work best for us. Remember to be patient! Remove countertop fruit and kitchen scraps so the gnats can be attracted to the jar. 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.”

mason jar gnat traps

Alternately, you can use the same vinegar/sugar recipe and trap gnats with a folded paper funnel. I prefer the initial method above, but this way works too. 

DIY gnat trap

Now you know how to get rid of gnats in the house! Once you start catching a few and they stop breeding, you’ll be surprised how quickly your gnat problem disappears thanks to your homemade gnat trap.

*Note that the amounts don’t have to be an exact science. I used two different sized jars and just eyeballed the ingredient amounts.

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 products available too.

If you’ve been invaded by household pests, check out my post on how to get rid of fleas on cats the natural way and this homemade fly trap too!

Flea remedies for cats and dogs don't have to be toxic! How to Get Rid of Fleas on Cats the Natural Way

If you hate household pests as much as I do, check out my homemade fly trap and DIY natural ant killer.


Friday 19th of November 2021

Most of your tips only help for fruit-flies and not gnats. Gnats are usually not in the kitchen if there’s not a lot of plants there.


Thursday 18th of November 2021

I just tried Rice Vinegar, sugar, dish liquid and Water in 3 Mason Jars. Most of the gnats were gone in one day (so many). Put a 2nd batch out today. But I saw a drastic difference from day one. Thank you


Monday 29th of November 2021

I'm glad this method worked well and quickly for you!

Lisa Lewis

Saturday 9th of October 2021

This really works! I used sugar, dish detergent and water and the jar had about 10 gnats in 3 days. Thank you!


Sunday 10th of October 2021

Excellent! Gnats are everywhere this year. You'd think cooler weather would decrease their numbers but not so far!


Friday 27th of August 2021

Please tell me you mean white vinegar..? I just ran out of apple cider vinegar and gnats are driving me CRAZY


Wednesday 1st of September 2021

I've never tried it with white vinegar but it won't hurt to use it and see what happens. Let me know how it goes!