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Health & FitnessHealthy Living

8 Ways You Can Get Rid of Gnats and Fruit Flies

I just bought a house spray and already used it thrice in a week to get rid of gnats and fruit flies,but failed. I can see them coming from backyard from the garden and kitchen, plus it was always seen at the window side. I started researching a little about “how to get rid of gnats” and found some awesome notes which has been shared below.

What are Gnats and How to Identify them?

If you ever happen to see small and long-legged insects like black dots in your kitchen households or gardens, chances are they are gnats. Though they are extremely small in size, these small fruit flies gnats can create huge problems if left dwelling.
These tiny flying insects which people call Gnats can one of these:

  • Fungus Gnats : These are small in size, black in color, feed on decaying organic material in soil and do not harm plant roots. These can be found near window and is also called “Sciarid Fly”.
  • Fruit Flies : These are small in size. light brown in color, feed on overripe fruit / vegetables and usually found in kitchen.
  • Buffalo Gnats
  • Phorid Flies

There are some more species of Gnats which have different sizes but not more than 33mm. These species generally reproduce by laying their eggs on land or water. Some species feed on crop pests and other gnats such as Hessian fly, are crop pests themselves.
Gnats and Fruitflies looks same more or less. Gnats are fully black in color while Fruitflies have brown head. However, Fruitflies are a bit larger in size. It would be odd to say, but you need to have microscope to differentiate between them.

Do Gnats Bite?

Depending on the species Gnats may bite or may not. Black Fly or the black gnats (female species), feed on blood. These Gnats carry parasites and spread diseases.

What are sources and where do gnats come from?

House Plant Gnats, which is general and common to be seen by many people comes from poor soil. If the quality of Soil is very poor chances are maximum that gnats will appear. Another species called drain gnats can be seen coming from Bathroom or Kitchen. One of the worst thing with fruit flies and Gnats are that they reproduce fast. So, it is best to get rid of them as soon as possible.

What attracts gnats?

Flies are generally attracted by either dump, light or something in yellow color. Here are a list of whatever attracts gnats:

  • Poor Soil
  • Soda Can
  • Old Potato or Onion in kitchen
  • Commode tank
  • Vinegar
  • Dirty Dishes
  • Moist in trash
  • Soapy water
  • Sugar and sweet smelling food

Effective products you can buy to get rid of gnats

You can purchase any of the mentioned product to get rid of gnats and fruit flies immediately. You will be glad to know that these products are not highly priced and is designed to kill or prevent gnat infestations.

        1. The Gnat Stix
          House gnats is common to appear where there is garden soil. You can place these Gnat Sticks in your fresh pots and see the magic. Best part of this is it keeps you away from buying any toxic pesticide.
        2. TERRO Fruit Fly Trap
          Incase you don’t want to try below mentioned home remedies for killing gnats you can go for Terro Fruit Fly Trap. This is ready to be sold apple shaped container with plastic on top with holes, where you pour the food-based liquid. Gnats will enter and get trapped.
        3. Fly Web Fly Trap
          This device works by flashing a special type of light towards which fruit flies are attracted. When these gnats enters into the devices it get trapped to an adhesive glueboard. This does not require any sort of chemicals to work.

Home remedies for killing gnats & fruit flies

If you know the source from where these flies are regenerating or reproducing you will be relieved. It is better to always apply removal methods near the source. For example, if you are dealing with bathroom flies, it would be better to apply method in bathroom drain holes and watery soaps.
You need to keep in mind that these methods may not work or it can work better than anyone. However, these methods are worth trying before you call upon those flies professionals.

Gnat Trap

Gnat traps helps you much and is most convenient way of getting rid of gnats. You dont need to rely on pesticides to get rid of gnats infacts gnats trap will help you much. We would recommend you to buy Gnat Stix for this purpose. It is highly designed to trap them after they emerge from the soil.

Homemade trap using vinegar

People call it most effective method and is very easy plus cheap for housewives to implement. Facts says Gnats are attracted to the odor of vinegar. This is what you can do with it:

          1. Place a small dish (Mason Jar works well) at the counter with some apple cider vinegar.
          2. Cover it with plastic wrap and make some small pores so that flies can get in.
          3. Flies can get inside jar but will fail to get out. Dispose it and you will get rid of it.
home remedies vinegar to get rid of gnats
One of the best method to get rid of gnats. Commonly popular between housewives.

Don’t worry, if you don’t have apple cider vinegar. Regular white vinegar will work fine. However you may be required to add couple of dish soap drops (lemon scented) to the jar to make more attractive to the gnats. Banana Chops or some banana peel in the jar is an excellent alternative.

Possible reasons why homemade vinegar trap is not working for you:

          1. You are not using enough soap with vinegar. Remember that soap is responsible for sinking the gnats. Vinegar fails to capture gnats and fruit flies. If used alone, insect will touch surface of water and will leave.
          2. You are not using it in night. Gnats are more attracted towards light bulb and not sun light.
          3. You are using wine or beer instead of vinegar. Beer are not that attractive when compared to vinegar.
          4. You are using less stronger vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is very strong, go for it.

Rubbing alcohol spray

          1. Mix single cup of Rubbbing alcohol and 1 liter of water
          2. To check if solution is hard for your plants, test the solution on sheet of paper or some sample plant.
          3. Pour the solution of the spray bottle.
          4. Spray every 3 day for next 2 weeks to treat Fungus gnat infected plants.

Thin layer of cigarettes over the soil

Nicotine is a repulsive agent and works against flies by killing it. Keep in mind that this method must not be applied on Herbal or Eatable plants.

Use of pesticide spraying

Inhaling pesticide can be irritating and can cause serious damage to lungs. This very unsafe method which involves spraying of pesticides, while leaving doors and windows closed. However, if you wish to continue with this method make sure you cover all your gadgets, put eatables away and get all inhabitants out of the house for few hours. We extremely deny and don’t recommend it.

Red wine trick

This Red Wine trick is more or less similar to vinegar trap trick, which involves attracting of gnats and fruit flies to the scent of red wine. As soon as these gnats and fruit flies make contact they need to be drown. Of course, there is no need to buy expensive wines, cheap will work just fine. However, you may have to mix the wine with dish soap to make no room for gnats to fly.

          1. Pour some wine in small container.
          2. Wrap it up with plastic and make some holes in it.
          3. Place the container with plastic on top wherever they are present in bulk.

Pour bleach into sink

If you are dealing with drain gnat flies, this method will help at some extent. Since drain flies are generally deep down breeding inside drainage system, there is no 100% chance that this method will be success. You must not pour bleach directly in the sink. You need to dilute the bleach with water first and keep your mouth and eyes protected. You can use ammonia as its alternative to kill gnats. However, you must be very much clear not to mix ammonia and bleach together, since it created toxic fumes.

If Gnats are still in house: Try using vegetable oil in the sink. If gnat flies get in contact with oil they will not be able to fly.

Preventing Gnats & Fruit Flies in the Future

If you are done with the methods and it worked, you need to make sure gnats and fruit flies do not appear in future. It can be done by applying some preventive measures mentioned below:

Change pot soil

You need to change the pot soil if you know gnats appeared from here in past. It would better to invest in top quality soil which keeps away such flies.

Cover & Get Rid of Trash bags

Make sure trash bags are covered at least with Newspaper if you don’t have budget to buy solid trash can. Also make sure odor level is maintained.

Get Rid of Damp areas

Gnats, especially drain gnats get attracted to wherever there is damp in kitchen or bathrooms. So, you need to keep it clean and as dry as possible. Fix the source of any water leaking pipes as well.

Clean Up Dirty Dishes

Make sure there isn’t any dirty dishes in kitchen sink. Create a habit of cleaning dirty dishes straight after you finish your meal.

Proper food storage

Like other flies, gnats generally feed on open eatables and scraps. Best thing you can do is to keep cleaning your dining tables and keep vegetables or fruits in refrigerator.


  • Nielsen, G. R. 1997. Fungus Gnats. Department of Plant and Soil Science, University of Vermont Extension. Publication EL 50:

I hope the information shared might helped you reach to some conclusion about which method to try. Share this article and comment below which method worked for you.

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