How to Get Rid of Indoor Gnats

Indoor gnats can be a real menace to deal with. Not only do several species of gnat bite, but they can also make the house feel unsanitary—especially the kitchen! Gnats are defined as very small two-winged flies from several families of flies, such as crane flies, hairflies, several varieties of midgets, black flies, and mosquitoes, along with many other species. Some of these species are vicious biters while others merely swarm and annoy. Either way, an infestation of indoor gnats should be treated as quickly as possible to prevent the spread of gnat larvae. We are going to talk about a few things that could be causing the gnats to invade your home and ways that you can get rid of them.

What attracts gnats?

Gnats are attracted to a number of things. Gnats love fungus which can crop up anywhere that stays moist. This means that there could be one or several things luring the gnats into your home. Ripening fruit that is especially soft and fragrant, such as peaches, bananas, and tomatoes, can have the same effect on gnats that a picnic basket has on Yogi Bear. Unfortunately, we tend to leave these fruits to ripen in accessible places, such as countertops, which is practically an invitation for gnats. Bread, especially the fragrant whole wheat kind, can also attract gnats if it is not placed into a bread container.

If you have a lot of indoor plants that you keep well-watered, then they could also be attracting the gnats. Fungus can grow in the water drainage plate of the pot as well as in wooden containers. Dying or rotting plants can also attract gnats, as can plants potted with cheap potting soil that contains a lot of twigs.

Removing the temptation

The first place to start is to remove whatever items are causing the gnats to remain in your home. Even people who never leave dirty dishes out, frequently throw out old fruit and vegetables, and keep trash in outdoor containers can suffer from gnat infestations of the worst kind. The key is to find out what exactly is causing them to hang around. As convenient as it is to ripen fruit at home, it really is one of the major temptations for gnats. Consider purchasing your fruit ripe and eat it within 24 hours of bringing it home. Quickly dispose of any fruit that becomes over-ripe or if you’re saving it for a dish (such as bananas for banana nut bread), consider placing them in a cupboard, refrigerator, or other place that is inaccessible to gnats.

If fruits and vegetables aren’t the problem, then the next consideration should be the house plants. Search through the soil of any indoor plants and keep your eyes peeled for the gnat larvae. They are very tiny and can be quite difficult to see unless you really search for them. If you do locate a plant that is infested with gnat larvae, the best solution would be to simply trash the plant and get a new one. If you are particularly attached to the plant, try repotting it in good quality potting soil and don’t let it become overly moist. Also, dump out the excess water that drains into the water tray at the bottom of the pot. If this is done 10 minutes after every watering, the chances of fungus growth and gnat attraction greatly decreases.

Getting rid of the existing indoor gnats

Once the temptation is gone, you still may have a house full of gnats to deal with. If their numbers aren’t too great, you may simply choose to purchase a few flyswatters and distribute them to family members. Let everyone take a room and get to work on swatting. If there seems to be too many gnats around to effectively terminate using fly swatters, then you may have to break down and use the household fly spray. You may want to move small children away from the area while you spray.

It can take a few days to get rid of the existing gnats. During this time, you may even find more sources of gnat larvae that need to be disposed of. Once all temptations have been removed and you have killed the existing gnats, it is simply a matter of prevention to ensure that you don’t end up with future infestations!



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