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June 22, 2018

How to get rid of gnats in your home

Gnats and fruit flies are gross, you want to get rid of them, and we're here to help – you're welcome

Home Cleaning
Flies Pixabay/for PhillyVoice

Flies, gnats, fruit flies and the like belong outside, not inside.

Few things are quite as annoying as finding a swarm of gnats in your home – except for maybe the cleaning you have to do after you’ve successfully killed all of them. Gnats aren’t just “gnats,” according to Orkin, the pest control pros, they can be fruit flies, phorid flies, or fungus gnats. 

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They can come up your drains. They infest your home just from the time you left the door open for .05 seconds. Also, you know all those really nice house plants you have in your home that give you better quality air? Yeah, well, they also may be harboring larvae for the second generation of your gnat infestation. It’s important to remember these bugs aren’t dangerous, but once you have them, you may find yourself wondering how to get rid of them. 

Here are a few tips to help you shoo away some of those pesky pests.

Use caution bringing things into the home

Rinsing fruits and vegetables after you get home from the store can ensure any larvae that may have been on the fruit or veggie will be cleaned off. Always store vegetables and fruit in a tight container or bin in the fridge. Have a similar cautious attitude with plants. Inspect plants before bringing them into the house and make sure not to use any old soil.

Your green thumb may be nurturing your greatest pest 

Over-watering your plants will lead to damp soil and this damp soil will, in turn, attract fungus gnats to your plant. Start by watering your plant two times a day instead of all at once, and monitor it to make sure the soil isn’t overly saturated. If it is, simply cut back on the amount of watering you’re doing. Soil Drench is another option for houseplants. It saturates the soil, coating the roots but feeding a toxic snack for the fungus gnat larvae.

So, there are flies and gnats in your drain? 

According to Organic Lesson, use about half a cup of either ammonia or bleach and dilute it with water, pour it down the drain, and wait a few hours before you use the faucet. The smell wards off breeding gnats. Word of warning: Do not use both. Only use one. Pouring them together (or around the same time) creates a toxic vapor called chloramines and it can be lethal.

Other DIY tips 

Use apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap to trap the bugs. Slice or mash rotten banana into a bowl, stretch plastic wrap over the top and poke holes in it. Create your own gnat repellent with water, vinegar and dish soap.

Always remember: Keep it clean, so fresh and so clean, clean


Having dirty dishes lying around, old or overfilled trash, and rotten food in the garbage all attracts gnats to your home which then leads them to breed, which then leads to your mental breakdown once you start wondering if this is your life now. Any food lying around? Put it in the proper place. Don’t leave pizza out for five days and then wonder why you can’t get rid of gnats. You know what you did.