In a perfect world, gnats would simply not bother us. Unfortunately, that’s not really the case. Worst of all, they can be found lurking in just about every corner of our house.
Gnats can appear in your home for a variety of reasons. Most of the time, they are drawn in by rotting fruit or spoiled food that has been in your home for too long. Other times, gnats can appear as a result of damp potting soil or even moldy clothes. Regardless of where they come from, you’re probably here because you need to get rid of them. The good news is this: You don’t need any dangerous chemicals to do so! All you need is a little bit of white vinegar (and soap).
The White Vinegar Strategy
White vinegar attracts gnats, so it might seem counterintuitive to use it as a way to get rid of them. However, it’s our secret weapon. Let’s explain 2 simple methods that will get you started:
Grab a small bowl or a cup, add white vinegar and a few drops of soap. Now mix it all up. Here’s what will happen:
The smell of white vinegar attracts gnats towards your trap. They will enter the liquid (just wait for it). However, we don’t want them to be able to exit and fly off to another destination. That’s why we add a few soap drops. Soap changes (or actually weakens) the surface tension of your liquid. Once a gnat enters, it’s therefore almost impossible to leave the substance.
A much simpler way to get rid of gnats is to put vinegar in a jar (or bottle) and then cut tiny holes into the lid. Once gnats smell the vinegar, they’ll be attracted to your jar. They’ll immediately make their way to the inside. To their surprise, they won’t be able to get back out (unless they’re very smart). The only thing you need to do is clean the jar once in a while and (if necessary) repeat the process.
Becoming A Pro
If gnats have spread towards multiple areas or rooms within your house, make sure to prepare and position more of these traps.
You can also set these traps in bowls and mix dishwasher liquid with the white vinegar. Place a plastic wrap over the bowl and make sure it is tight. This trap works the same way as the one we mentioned previously. However, this method allows you to create smaller holes if that’s what you need.
White vinegar can also be poured into a spray bottle mixed with water and a few drops of dish soap. Whenever you see a gnat flying around in your home, simply spray it with the mixture and you’ll quickly see it drop down.
Identifying the Problem
Gnats tend to crowd around bathroom sinks and tub drains, which can make your life particularly difficult. Kitchen drains are yet another area in your home that gnats tend to be attracted to. This is due to the fact that kitchen drains contain food particles which attract these pests. Gnats are particularly attracted to drains because they are moist and dark, another thing gnats look for when making themselves at home.
If you’re not exactly sure which drain contributes to your gnat problem, here’s our simple trick: Before going to bed at night, be sure to place a piece of duct tape over the drain you’re suspicious about. This will temporarily avoid any gats from coming out. When everything seems peacefully quiet the next morning, you probably found your source. If not, try another location. Once you’re done with exploring, position your traps wherever needed.
Other Ways to Get Rid of Gnats
More Do-It-Yourself Ideas
If your gnat problem is pretty serious, the white vinegar strategy might not be sufficient. If that’s the case, simply dilute bleach into water and pour it down the drain. This will effectively kill all the gnats inside.
As mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons why gnats are attracted to kitchen drains is because of food remains. To make sure you keep gnats out of your home, scrub the inside of your drains using a long brush. To help loosen sticky food remains, make a solution out of baking soda and white vinegar. Let this mixture sit in your drain for a couple of hours before you begin the scrubbing process.
Using candles is another do-it-yourself method. All you need to do is place a tall candlestick into a pan filled with water. Be sure to turn off most of the surrounding lights. Gnats will eventually make their way to the flame and either burn on the spot or fall into the water. Just be careful and keep an eye on your candle.
Buy A Gnat Catcher
Electric bug zappers or silent gnat catchers can effectively help you out as well. Here’s our favorite gnat catcher for anyone who’s interested (this links to our review).
Alternatively, if you don’t feel like grabbing one of these machines, sticky fly papers can also be of help. They’re just not as effective. You hang them near your gnat problem and wait for them to explore the attracting paper. They’ll get stuck and that’s pretty much all there is to it.
How To Prevent A Gnat Infestation
Now that you know how to get rid of gnats, it’s probably best to avoid them in the first place. The first thing to do is get rid of any old fruits or vegetables, either in your fridge or on your kitchen counter. If you have any dirty dishes in your sink, wash them and put them away as fast as possible. Your trash could be another reason why gnats love your place. Be sure to regularly take out your trash so that gnats aren’t attracted to it. Make sure to always close your trash cans.
Gnats are also attracted to moist, so if you’ve been overwatering a plant, chances are you’ll find some gnats hovering over the wet soil. If this is the case, be sure to either set your plant outside in the sun to dry or cover the damp soil with extra dry soil.
After a shower, make sure to hang up all your wet towels. This will make them dry quicker. The same goes for wet clothes. If it’s easier, leave your towels out in the sun.
If you gnat problem is mild, the vinegar strategy will be of great help. Once your gnat problem gets serious, go grab yourself an electric gnat catcher.