How to get rid of gnats?

Gnats might be small insects, but they can cause big problems. Once they find their way into your home or yard, they can be terribly frustrating to kill and prevent. If you have gnats, the first thing you need to do is find out how they got there.

Why do I have gnats?

The bottom line is, gnats love moisture. In their natural habitat, this means they are most often found near moist soil. If you have a garden in the yard or houseplants inside it is important to make sure that you don't have any standing water or oversaturated soil. It's also important to remember that gnats and their eggs can catch a free ride on things that were near wet soil at one point or another. If you are growing tomatoes or other vegetables in your garden, gnats can enter your house through these harvested vegetables.

Another common place for gnats to live and breed is the drain pipes in your kitchen, shower, or bath. If you do not keep your drain pipes clean, grime can build up inside and create the kind of moist environment that is a haven for gnats and their eggs.

How to prevent gnats?

Following a few simple tips can not only eliminate the gnats in your home but can prevent gnats from ever getting back in again. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Nothing in your house should stay wet for more than 24 hours

As a rule of thumb, nothing in your home should stay wet for more than 24 hours. This means there should never be standing water in your sink. Your bath/shower should dry quickly after use, and you should never leave moist clothing or towels in piles where they will be slow to dry.

Preventing long-term moisture is especially important when it comes to potted plants or other places where you have dirt and soil in your home. This means that you should regularly check potted plants, doormats and the muddy boots in your shoe closet for moisture and soil. A handy tool to make sure you don't have dangerous levels of moisture is a hydrometer. The Dr. Meter Hygrometer Moisture Sensor is perfect for checking moisture levels around the house and it is under $10.

Avoid dirty drain pipes

Most homeowners don't check the cleanliness of the drain pipes in their kitchen and bathroom very often. But if you find yourself with a gnat problem, this should be one of the first things you look at.

Remember our rule "Nothing should stay wet for more than 24 hours". This applies to drain pipes too. If you have hair, dirt, and grime collecting in your drain area, it can hold on to water and slow down the drain's ability to dry out between uses. Most people don't address a dirty drain pipe until the grime has formed into a clog and the drain stops functioning, but before the water stops draining these smaller clogs are the perfect breeding ground for gnats. Clean out your drains regularly and flush them with warm soapy water or a diluted bleach mixture. These Vastar Drain Snakes are incredibly effective, and you can get a three pack for less than $6.

Build a trap at home

If you don't mind the smell of vinegar, you can easily make an effective trap to capture gnats. Start with an empty mason jar that you are not using for anything else. Fill this jar with vinegar and add a few drops of liquid soap to it. Close the jar and make small holes in it with nails or screws. Place the jar in an area where you have seen gnats, and after some time you would start to see the dead gnats pile up in the liquid. Gnats are attracted to the odor of vinegar, so they enter the jar looking for a tasty snack. However, they aren't able to find their way back out through the tiny holes. This trick works reasonably well if you don't mind the smell of vinegar, but if you need a less smelly solution, consider some of these well tested and reviewed recommendations.

How to get rid of gnats?

To get rid of gnats quickly and efficiently, make sure that you opt for a product that works well and has a good reputation. Here is a list of our favorite ones.

Gnat Stix

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Small but effective
  • Targets gnats where they breed
  • Starts catching gnats immediately

Cons

  • Uses color to attract gnats and not bait
  • Glue pad can sometimes fall over
  • Smaller glue pads than some traps

How to use?

These sticky yellow traps are called gnat-stix because they are easily stuck into the ground around houseplants and in the garden. They couldn't be easier to use. Just open one of the individually wrapped sticks and press it firmly into the soil surrounding the affected plant. You will immediately begin to notice gnats being attracted to the bright yellow glue pads and become trapped on the easy to clean up Gnat-Stix.

Why this product?

As we discussed earlier, gnats love moist soil, and these glue traps are perfect for setting up near indoor and outdoor plants. A lot of people will look to kill the gnats where they fly, but it is far more effective to kill them where they breed. This is why placing a Gnat-Stix glue trap in the soil around a plant can eradicate your gnat problem faster than almost any other method of control.

Hot Shot No-Pest Strip

Pros

  • Kills gnats before you see them
  • Long-lasting (up to 4 months)
  • Protects a large area
  • Kills all gnats in its radius

Cons

  • Not ideal for kitchens
  • Can be less effective in months 3 & 4
  • Multiple strips needed for very large areas

How to use?

This hanging insect repellent is designed to be placed in an area where gnats are present. Once the No-Pest Strip is opened it begins releasing a non-toxic, odorless vapor that kills gnats as soon as they fly into the area where the vapor is present.

Why this product?

It is incredibly easy to use. Just open it and hang in the affected area. Plus it lasts longer than any of the other repellents listed.

Vivreal Bug Zapper

Pros

  • Easy to install (just plug it in)
  • Starts working immediately
  • Safe to use around the house
  • One time investment

Cons

  • Consumes some electricity
  • Occasional cleaning of tray required

How to use?

This is an electronic device that kills gnats and pests of all kinds and protects your home from possible germs and diseases. This device works by attracting gnats and insects to a very powerful UV Lamp. Then, as soon as the insects touch the bulb the device "zaps" the insect dead.

The Vivreal Bug Zapper is conveniently designed to plug into any outlet and the bug zapper's tray collects all the dead or "zapped" gnats. The device's tray can be easily removed and cleaned. This helps keep the floor free of dead insects and contains the mess to an easy to.

As this is an electrically charged device, however, the protective cover prevents adults and children from accidentally touching the electric grid.

Why this product?

While there are a number of fly repellent sprays available, they aren't as eco-friendly as an electric bug zapper. This device does not emit any gas or chemicals, so it saves your lungs and respiratory system while also efficiently getting rid of gnats. Plus, it doesn't have an unpleasant odor. It is typically an indoor device but can also be used outdoors if the environment is dry. This device also has a longer lifespan than most other products. It is a long-term investment and won't become ineffective just a few months after use.

Douhe Indoor Insect Trap

Pros

  • Safe for the environment
  • Easy use
  • Portable
  • Non-toxic

Cons

  • Some gnats may come out after switching off if not fully trapped
  • The quiet high pitched buzz can be irritating
  • The glue board is not as strongly adhesive as some standalone glue boards

How to use?

The Douhe insect trap is a powerful option for catching and killing gnats. It works by lighting up a strong UV lamp that attracts the fruit flies towards it. The fan on top sucks the gnats in, and the glue board traps them. This is a powerful solution that emits no harmful or toxic chemicals or gases. It can be used both indoors and outdoors. It comes with a portable charging adapter.

Why this product?

This insect trapper is a safe device to use around children. It leaves no toxic chemicals; the glue board is also completely non-toxic. No high power consumption is involved. The product covers around 320 square feet which makes it perfect for targeting problem areas.