Are you trying to get rid of gnats in your kitchen but these annoying tiny pests just keep coming back? Then you need to keep reading as we answer the question: are gnats attracted to water? And can gnats swim? Can you find gnat in your swimming pool?
In this article, we’re also sharing some unexpected spots that stay moist in your kitchen, and how to deal with gnat infestation.
- 1 Gnats: Are they Just Fungus Gnats?
- 2 Are Gnats Attracted to Water?
- 3 6 Places that Stay Moist and Attract Gnats in your Kitchen
- 4 How to Prevent Gnats from Coming Back to Your Kitchen
- 5 Wrap Up – Are Gnats Attracted to Water?
Gnats: Are they Just Fungus Gnats?
Even though many of the tiny, flying insects are actually small flies, they are frequently referred to as “gnats.” Black gnats, buffalo gnats, and fungus gnats all fit the bill in this situation.
Gnats belong to the Anisopodidae, Mycetophilidae, and Sciaridae families. They’re weaker fliers that exist in two main types: biting and non-biting.
Don’t worry though, the gnats that raid houses and yards are typically from the non-biting type.
The most common gnat species you can find in homes are:
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These are small with black bodies. They’re attracted to decaying organic matter, indoor plants, fruit trees, vegetable gardens, or fresh flowers, and potted plants.
These common flies are small and characterized by red eyes. They love fruit and vegetables, either ripe or rotten.
These look like fruit flies but with black eyes instead. They move in a zigzag pattern and are commonly found in your sink drain.
Drain fly larvae and fungus gnat larvae are insects that can be found in drain pipes. The larvae are white and have blackheads. They range in size from 1/8 to 1/4 inch long. Both drain fly larvae and fungus gnat larvae feed on organic matter in drain pipes, such as hair, grease, and sludge.
These flies are often found near decomposing organic matter. Phorid flies are also known as “coffin flies” due to their habit of infesting coffins and corpses.
These are small, airborne insects that feed on the blood of mammals. They’re drawn to carbon dioxide that humans emit. They’re found all over the world, and they’re especially common in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
Are Fungus Gnats the Same as Fruit Flies?
If you’ve ever had a fungus gnat infestation, you know how annoying they can be. But what exactly are fungus gnats, and how are they different from fruit flies and drain flies?
Fungus gnats are small, winged insects that are closely related to fruit flies. They get their name from the fact that they’re often found near mold, which they feed on.
Fungus gnats lay their eggs in damp soil, and the larvae thrives in wet conditions. This is why these tiny flies are often found in greenhouses or other moist environments.
While fungus gnats and fruit flies may look similar, there are some key differences between them. For one thing, these tiny flies are attracted to ripe fruits and vegetables, whereas fungus gnats are only interested in decaying matter.
So, if you’re dealing with a fungus gnat infestation, don’t expect the problem to solve itself – you’ll need to take action to get rid of them! And while you’re at it, you might want to check for drain flies as well.
These pests are often confused, but they’re actually quite different. Drain flies live in drains and sewers, and they love damp and dark places.
Are Gnats Attracted to Water?
The answer is simple – definitely yes. Moist spots provide excellent breeding grounds for gnats and are usually a source of food as well.
Gnats will gravitate towards water/moisture whether inside your home, outside the house, or even on top of your skin! Let’s explain more before you get totally grossed out:
As we mentioned above, gnats are attracted to moist spots for feeding and breeding purposes.
Such grounds include garbage cans, overwatered grass or plants, moist potting soil, puddles in the kitchen or outside the house, leaky pipes under the sink, as well as condensation around windows and vents.
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Fruits, vegetables, and decaying organic materials are also sources of food and moisture for gnats. These include produce left out in the open (especially sweet-smelling fruits), rotten fruits, rotten flowers and plants, decaying leaves, mold, compost, as well as moss.
Elements such as perspiration, mucus from your nose, tears from your eyes, body heat, and carbon dioxide are potential attractions to the common household gnat. These pests also like lotions, perfumes, hairsprays, and laundry detergent with a sweet scent.
So, if you’re dealing with a gnat problem, try to avoid skincare and hair products with fruit fragrances and sweet scents.
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- Dry down: sensual musk's creamy blond woods
As you can tell, gnats are attracted to water in various forms, but what about other types of substances?
Vinegar and honey are first on the list. In fact, many home traps suggest using glass jar traps with either white vinegar or honey inside as the bait. Other household items that’ll draw gnats and flies include scented candles, fragrant oil burners, red wine, and potpourri.
6 Places that Stay Moist and Attract Gnats in your Kitchen
As the moistest rooms in the house, your kitchen and bathroom are where gnats typically reside.
If your kitchen is raided by gnats and you just can’t keep them out despite regular cleaning, then you’re probably missing a few spots. The following are 6 places that stay moist and attract gnats in your kitchen:
1. Under the Kitchen Sink Drains
Besides causing a whole lot of mess, a leaky kitchen sink can also be a magnet for annoying gnats because of the wet, dark environment down there.
If you hadn’t checked in a while, make sure that you have a look at the sink piping at least once a week. If you do find any leaking, see that it gets fixed right away.
After you fix the leaks, clean any mold out by washing the cabinet walls with warm soapy water. Follow up with a disinfectant and leave the cabinet doors open to let the cabinet dry completely.
2. Refrigerator Drip Pan
When was the last time you thought about the drip pan underneath your fridge? Don’t worry, most people rarely do it as well.
However, refrigerator drip pans can be a possible attraction site for gnats with all the moisture and food spills down there.
Remove the drip pan, clean it, spray it with a disinfectant solution, and then let it dry completely before you put it back in its place. Make sure you do this at least twice a year.
3. The Vegetable Drawer
The vegetable drawer in your fridge can turn into a playground for gnats due to the combination of aging produce and moisture from the refrigerator.
Every few weeks, be sure to take out the drawers and wipe them down with a mixture of a tablespoon baking soda and warm water to reduce the risk of mold growth and attracting fruit flies.
4. The Pantry
Not only are you wasting your money when you let food spoil in the pantry, but you’re also providing a perfect environment for gnats to eat and breed.
To minimize the risk of attracting gnats, get rid of any old or expired foods regularly, and wipe down the shelves with a food-safe cleaner such as warm soapy water.
5. The Dishwasher
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Cleaning the outer facing door of the dishwasher is an obvious task, but it’s not the spot that really counts. You want to clean the interior walls, the sliding racks, and the inner side of the door since they’re always moist and can develop mold over time.
Additionally, you should pay extra attention to the drain at the bottom of the dishwasher, especially because food that rinses off the plates and bowls usually clogs the drainage area.
6. The Microwave and stove
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As food-centric places, the microwave and the stove see a lot of, moisture, food spillage, and grease splatters – a combination that gnats love to visit. Keeping these moist areas clean and dry is an easy way to prevent the spread of gnats.
How to Prevent Gnats from Coming Back to Your Kitchen
It’s a common misconception that you need to buy expensive, specially-made items to make a gnat-catching solution. This is not the case. You can make one with ingredients you have in your pantry!
Of course, you can also buy fly paper traps and bug zappers to kill gnats quickly.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar and Dish Soap to Rid of Gnats
If you’re noticing more gnats than usual in your kitchen, there’s a DIY gnat trap that can help get rid of them.
Just mix a half cup warm water with two tablespoons apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon of sugar, and a few drops of dish soap in a small bowl.
The apple cider vinegar trap attracts gnats, and the dish soap makes it impossible for them to escape.
With this simple vinegar trap, you can kill fungus gnats and say goodbye to those pesky insects and gnat problem for good.
Use Overripe Fruit to Trap Gnats and Other Flying Insects
Although it may seem counterintuitive, the source of your problem might also be the key to solving it. You can make a gnat trap out of them and solve your gnat infestation once and for all.
Put spoiled fruit in a big bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, fasten it with a rubber band, and poke small holes in it.
The ripe fruit will attract gnats, but they’ll be trapped inside – unable to get out! Fairly soon, you’d find dead gnats inside.
Use a Candle Trap
Put a candle in a bowl or on a tray with the flame in the gnat-infested areas or breeding sites in your home. Fill it with water so that it just barely covers the bottom. Put some dish soap into the water.
Lighting the candle and turning out the room’s other lights is a nice way to unwind at night. Gnats will swarm towards the bulb and drop into the soapy water, where they will be unable to escape.
Here are a few other tips to keep gnats from coming back to the kitchen:
- Don’t leave food residue out in the open.
- Wash your dirty dishes and drinking glasses. Don’t let them pile up.
- Fix your leaking pipes and faucets.
- Cover your trash cans and take out the trash as often as necessary. A stinky trash can don’t just attracts gnats, but other pests as well.
- Rinse your drains with hot water.
- Do not water plants frequently. Water them only when necessary.
- Overripe fruit attracts gnats, so be sure to check any ripe fruit you have sitting out and dispose rotten fruit.
- Remove dead organic material on top of the soil. Throw away indoor plants if they’re the source of infestation.
But Wait, Are Fruit Flies Attracted to Water Too?
Fruit flies are attracted to water for a variety of reasons. They are attracted to the movement of water. The ripples and waves created by running water are a cue that there may be food nearby. As a result, fruit flies are often seen near lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. By flying towards water, a fruit fly is able to find the resources they need to survive and reproduce.
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Wrap Up – Are Gnats Attracted to Water?
There you have it, a detailed answer to the question: “are gnats attracted to water?”