Gnats, also called nats, knats or fruit flies are small and extremely annoying insects. If you are living around a water body such as a lake or a pond in warm weather, you are likely to see these insects fly about in your house. Some species bite people while others are just quite annoying. You may be wondering of the various means on how one can get rid of gnats, but its important to first know what’s attracting them to your home.
Sources of gnats
The sources of gnats are classified as either indoor or outdoor and they include:
- Outdoor sources: any home pet such as cats or dogs and houseplants
- Indoor sources: wet floors, rotten / overripe fruits, remnant foods, drain sinks.
Why you should get rid of them
- They constantly buzz round your face and ears and give the illusion that your house is dirty even when you standards of cleanliness are high
- The annoyance and stubborn peskiness they cause all over your house especially in your kitchen
- Most gnats are completely harmless. However, there are those that bite humans and cause pain to you and your kids
- Insects cause a lot of trouble and damage as well as the spread and transfer of infectious disease.
How to Eliminate gnats
Even if you are worried about using conventional means, you will find that it may be necessary to know how to get rid of gnats using such means. There are several ways to rid your home of gnats:
- Extermination by smoking the home with sulfur dioxide gas is one of the ways of how to get rid of gnats (take note that the process is risky and should be done professionally).
- Pesticides are another option for getting rid of gnats. They should be used according to the instructions on the container as they will have directions on safe use. Pesticides and insecticides can cause irritation and are also harmful to the health of human beings and animals. It is therefore advisable to close all doors and windows and leave the house for some time after you have used them. Ensure you have covered all your dishes and any food utensils you use in your house.
- You can alternatively make a homemade trap using vinegar. Placing a small dish with apple or cider vinegar should do the trick. Wrap the dish with a seal proof paper such as nylon. Create holes in the wrapping and place it in areas where gnats frequent. They will penetrate the dish and will not be able to come out. Repeat the process as many times as possible as this will ensure you get rid of the pesky insects. These methods should assist you to learn on how gnats are gotten rid of.
Other remedies for your gnat problem
There are other ways you can get rid of gnats and ensure that they dont come back.
- Put slightly rotten fruit in a container or a small glass with water. Add powdered bleach and mix. The ratio should be something like one or two tablespoon of dishwashing soap to every 250ml cup of water. The mixture will damage the respiratory system of gnats killing them in a short while.
- In your kitchen sink, pour a cup of ammonia. Let it sit for a couple of hours before you use the sink. Ammonia will get rid of fruit flies and any other insects in the area.
- Especially in the summer, pour petroleum oil in the discharge pipes of your sink.
- A small quantity of olive or vegetable oil should be poured in your sink. The oil will cause the insects to stick to the pipes and they will die due to lack of food. Such a move is recommended if you are planning to go away for a duration that is not less than 7 days.
Home remedies that help get rid of gnats
For the vinegar and soap mixture, get a bowl or container with a wide opening. Pour in some water, preferably 250ml of water. Add about 3 – 4 drops of dish washing liquid soap with it. Top up with about 50ml of apple or cider vinegar. Stir the mixture for a few minutes and place the container or bowl in an area infested with gnats.
The smell of vinegar will attract fruit flies and other flying irritating insects. The addition of soap is recommended as it will ensure the insects fail to float on the mixture. Natural water has surface tension that assists insects float on it. Adding soap reduces this tension making it virtually impossible for an insect to float. This is a simple and proven home remedy that will assist you catch as many gnats as possible. With the trap, you should notice a substantial decline of gnats’ presence in your home.
Although the above measures will rid your home of gnats, prevention is still the best measure. There must be something in your house that attracts gnats if you find them in your house. The most common sources of attraction are stagnant water, compost piles, over saturated house plants or fruits that have gone bad. Several preventive measures that will help you get rid of gnats indoors that can be employed include:
- Make sure you use vegetables and fruits before they go bad. You may have notice that these insects really like over ripe apples and bananas.
- Keep covering your garbage and trash cans. Keep dirt and waste in an airtight container.
- Keep checking for any existing sources of food for gnats and eliminating them. Properly store your food in the right places and make sure you don’t leave any leftover food in closets or on tables. The insects love left over bread, fruits and any sweet foods. For instance, fruits and bread should be kept in the refrigerator. If you do not have one, or if it is full, try keeping fruits in a tightly wrapped container.
- Put curtains and nets or wire on the doors and windows
- Clean cooking utensils and dirty dishes immediately after you use them
- Fill cracks and holes with gypsum and cement
- Condition the house regularly
- Cleaning the house thoroughly often is also one of the ways to get rid of gnats naturally.
In some cases, you will need to consult a professional exterminator. They will have the right resources to handle your particular situation. Make sure you do a few consultations before deciding to use a particular professional. For instance, you can ask your close family members and friends for a person or company they can recommend.
Alternatively, you can look for a solution online. Most exterminators have an online presence which you can use to get information on their services. Never use the first site you come across. Instead, you should look for reviews and ratings of the company or service before you make a final decision. Be sure to ask for a quote from at least several services before you make up your mind. The quotes will give you an idea of the cost you will incur to get rid of gnats in your home or house.