gnat deterrent plants

Top Gnat Deterrent Plants to Keep in Your Home and Yard

Gnats are tiny winged pests that like to hang around your home, and nobody wants them in their home, garden, or any other place around them. Seeing gnats in greenhouse, fungus gnat larvae, adult fungus gnats can be cringy for any homeowner.

These unwanted bugs and their gnat larvae can be harmful to both you and your garden vegetation, not to mention adult gnats’ bites could require treatment. Their bites could be particularly itchy, and these bites could result in small red bumps. So, you must be asking, how do you control fungus gnats? What carnivorous plants eat gnats, and where do gnats lay eggs?

There are plenty of ways you can get rid of gnats in your greenhouse. This includes keeping the soil surface clean and adding fresh potting soil or moist soil to your plants. In this article, we will be giving you some valuable tips on how to get rid of these pesky insects in your backyard.

What are Fungal Gnats?

Fungal gnats are small, dark-colored flies that are often found in damp areas, such as compost piles and houseplants.

While they are not harmful to people, their larvae can damage plant roots, causing wilting and stunted growth. Of course, these gnats can also carry and spread diseases.

Fungal gnats are often confused with mosquitoes, but they can be distinguished by their long, skinny legs and their love of damp places.

fungus gnats

If you suspect you have a problem with fungus gnats, take action to get rid of them before they cause serious damage to your plants.

Some simple steps you can take include removing moist areas where they breed, using traps to catch the adults, and treating your plants with an insecticide.

With a little effort, you can keep these pesky pests under control.

Are Fungal Gnats Dangerous?

Are fungal gnats dangerous? That’s a question that plagues many a gardener. After all, these little pests can wreak havoc on your plants, and they’re notoriously difficult to get rid of. But before you start panicking, it’s important to understand that not all fungal gnats are created equal.

While some species can cause significant damage to your plants, others are merely nuisances. In fact, the vast majority of funguses are actually beneficial to the environment. So what’s the deal with these pesky critters? Let’s take a closer look.

how to get rid of fungus gnats

The larvae feed on organic matter in the soil, which can damage roots and stunt plant growth. In addition, fungus gnats can spread diseases from one plant to another.

If you see small flies hovering around your plants or notice that your plants are wilting or stunted, you may have a pest problem

Prevent Gnats with Apple Cider Vinegar

One of the most natural methods of treating a gnat infestation is creating an apple cider vinegar DIY gnat trap that could attract gnats, kill them, and prevent a gnat problem.

Apple cider vinegar can repel gnats and other pests and is an effective pest control remedy.

One of the most effective ways to get rid of gnats and other insects is to create an apple cider-liquid dish soap trap.

homemade mosquito repellent

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make your own apple cider vinegar trap:

1. Pour apple cider vinegar into a bowl. Add a few drops of liquid dish soap and stir until the soap is fully dissolved.

2. The mixture should be about ½ cup vinegar to 1 tablespoon soap. You can adjust the ratio depending on how strong you want the trap to be.

3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band. Make sure the wrap is tight so that gnats can’t get in.

4. Poke small holes in the plastic wrap. The size of the holes will determine how many gnats can get in at once. If you want to catch a lot of gnats, make larger holes. If you only want to catch a few, make smaller holes.

5. Place the bowl in an area where gnats are known to congregate, such as near fruit or plants. Check the trap regularly and empty it when it’s full.

This method is especially effective when used in combination with other control measures, such as removing breeding gnat sources and sealing cracks and crevices where gnats or flies may be hiding.

tea tree essential oils

Using Essential Oils to Repel Gnats

What smell do gnats hate? Essential oils are a great way to repel gnats naturally. Not only do they smell good, but they also create an invisible barrier that these tiny insects cannot penetrate.

There are a few different ways that you can use essential oils to repel gnats and keep them away from your skin. You can either apply the oils directly to your skin or diffuse them into the air around you. Red creeping thyme mosquito repellent also keeps gnats away.

The following essential oils are known to be effective at repelling gnats:

  • Lemon eucalyptus oil
  • Cedarwood oil
  • Clove oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Peppermint oil (an active ingredient in most gnat repellent sprays)

To avoid gnats, apply the oils directly to your skin. Mix the essential oil with a carrier oil like jojoba oil or coconut oil. Apply the diluted mixture to your skin, being careful to avoid your eyes and mucous membranes.

You can also diffuse essential oils in the air to keep gnats away. Simply add the essential oil to an essential oil diffuser. The diffuser will disperse the essential oils into the air, creating an invisible barrier that gnats will not be able to penetrate.

Essential oils are a safe and effective way to keep gnats away so that you can enjoy the outdoors all summer long!

gnats bite humans

Repel Gnats with Natural Gnat Repellent

Interestingly, certain gnat repellent plants are one of the best natural remedies against insects like fungus gnats and fruit flies at home. Therefore, if you’d like to go the natural route of repelling bugs, this article is for you.

The best way to get rid of gnats is by preventing their establishment in your garden or home. Even the best of pesticides are not as effective as prevention, and one very effective way of avoiding gnats is by using certain houseplants.

Additionally, cinnamon powder also repels gnats from entering your home. That said, what does cinnamon do to gnats? well, cinnamon for gnats is a powerful way to keep them off your plants and inside your home. If you have some laying around, make sure to put some on your plants.

Top Gnat-Deterrent Plants to Fight Gnat Infestation and Repels Bugs:

1. Citronella Plants (That Repel Gnats)

Citronella Plant - Mosquito Plant - Pelargonium Citrosum - Live Outdoor Plants - Overall Height 12' to 16' - 1 Gallon - Tropical Plants of Florida (Plant Only)
131 Reviews
Citronella Plant - Mosquito Plant - Pelargonium Citrosum - Live Outdoor Plants - Overall Height 12" to 16" - 1 Gallon - Tropical Plants of Florida (Plant Only)
  • The Citronella Plant is an easy care, tropical foliage plant!
  • Overall Size: 12" to 16" tall including the 6" planter
  • Environment: The mosquito plant does best with at least 6 hours of sunlight. Water 2 to 3 times per week until established.

Citronella is a perennial grass that can reach as far as six feet high. You can plant it in a large pot or a planter.

The Citronella plant does well in warm climates and cannot survive the winter. For this reason, you’ll need to plant it in a planter with a caster to enable you to easily carry it in when the frost starts.

You can purchase Citronella balm seeds packaged in a paper seed envelope to put in a seedbed and get your citronella plant. The seeds come with germination and growing instructions displayed on each package to ensure you’re successful in growing them.

Alternatively, you can purchase seedlings and transfer them to your home.

Citronella repels all kinds of pests, like gnats, Japanese beetles, and even mosquitoes. Its strong smell is what makes these bugs quickly exit your home or garden. You’ll be surprised to learn that several mosquito repellents are manufactured using this plant.

The naturally strong scent of this plant which is more potent than any of its by-products will go a long way in keeping gnats away from your yard.


  • Natural and has been around for a long time.
  • Safe and non-toxic.
  • Easy to grow.


2. Mexican Marigolds (Calendula Officinalis)

Outsidepride 1000 Seeds Annual Tagetes Patula French Marigold Garden Flower Seed Mix for Planting
  • This marigold seed mix is a surefire way to add an easy to grow dwarf marigold to your flower garden, container, or raised bed. Removed fading petals...
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  • Low growing Marigolds are quick to bloom and quick to attract pollinators during the entire flowering season; however, they do not attract deer!

The Mexican Marigold plant is one of the best gnat deterrent plants. This pungent plant goes further than repel gnats and many other bugs, such as mosquitoes and flies. It can kill bugs easily.

It’s a perennial plant that’s rich in pyrethrum. Hence, it’s a compound very vital in the production of numerous chemical pesticides.

What’s great about the Marigold plant is you can plant it as an ornamental plant or as a border to keep gnats off you or your plants.

Marigolds do exceptionally well in rich, fertile soils. They also respond very well to sunlight. In most cases, the plant will reseed itself. Nevertheless, you can pick the seeds and transfer these plants to another location to establish a new plant.


  • Inexpensive to grow.
  • Require little care once planted.
  • It can grow all season if you deadhead them regularly.


  • May instigate certain allergic reactions.

3. Horsemint or Bee Balm

Horsemint is a hardy plant able to withstand extreme weather conditions. For example, it can withstand sandy and arid soil, and it can survive salinity. It’s no wonder you’re likely to see the plant in coastal areas or by the beach.

However, despite its hardiness, like the citronella plant, horsemint doesn’t love freezing weather. Therefore, an ideal place to plant it is in the crater so that you can take it in when winter starts.

Although it doesn’t kill flies or gnats, the horsemint, once planted, releases a strong scent known to repel gnats and mosquitoes. It will serve you well in keeping gnats away from your home area.


  • Moderately drought-tolerant.
  • Does well in a wide range of soil types.
  • Comes with health benefits, such as making herbal tea.


  • It does poorly during cold weather.

4. Ageratum

Floss Flower Seeds,ageratum houstonianum,Cloud Nine White-PEL,Early Variety.(400 Seeds)
  • Brand:Ageratum, Country/Region Of Manufacture:United States
  • Model:Ageratum Mexicanum, Patternname: 400 Seeds
  • Mpn:Flossflower

Ageratum, also known as the floss flower, is a perennial plant that can grow to 18 feet. The plant produces blue flowers that come in shades of white, pink, and violet.

The strong scent of the ageratum plant repels gnats and also exterminates them. It’s also a source of coumarin, a substance used in the manufacture of chemical pesticides.

However, caution is required because when ageratum leaves come in contact with your skin, they may cause some irritation. Therefore, if you intend to crush some of its leaves, which may be necessary to make the scent stronger, avoid touching the leaves with your bare hands.

The ageratum plant doesn’t need exposure to sunlight, so these plants can blossom and do just fine with partial exposure to the sun.


  • Easy to grow as it can do well indoors with minimal exposure to sunlight.
  • Used in the manufacture of chemical pesticides.


  • Leaves can hurt your skin.

5. Rosemary (Salvia Rosmarinus)

Rosemary Plant - Live Plant in a 4 Inch Pot - Salvia Rosmarinus - Indoor Outdoor Edible Herbs for Kitchen Garden
1 Reviews
Rosemary Plant - Live Plant in a 4 Inch Pot - Salvia Rosmarinus - Indoor Outdoor Edible Herbs for Kitchen Garden
  • Grown, packaged and shipped exclusively by Wekiva Foliage. Rosemary is a perennial evergreen shrub with blue flowers. It is an aromatic and...
  • This herb can be grown outdoors as a perennial shrub in Zones 7 and warmer. In colder areas, it should be kept in a pot and brought indoors for the...
  • Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus) is a fragrant herb that grows as a perennial rounded evergreen shrub. It features slender, needle-like, gray-green leaves...

Rosemary herb is another gnat repellant to keep in your home. The plant does not only eradicate gnats but is an excellent natural means of eradicating bugs and mosquitoes – and even aphids and ants!

This gnat-repellent plant thrives in warm and dry areas. You can also plant it in a container or pot to allow you to bring it inside when winter sets in.

Interestingly, you can trim the herb into any shape you like to bring out the garden beauty you’ve always admired. But what’s more, Rosemary acts as a double boost, eliminating pests that can damage other plants in your garden.

Rosemary can also be used to spice up food.


  • It does well in warm, dry climates.
  • You can use it as a cooking ingredient.
  • Adds beauty to the garden.


  • It doesn’t do well under freezing conditions.

6. Catnip

Van Ness Fresh-Nip Catnip, 1-Ounce
  • Package Dimensions: 5 L x 7.88 H x 1.5 W (inches)
  • Package Weight : 0.05 pounds
  • Model number: CN1

Catnip is another natural repellent suitable for getting rid of gnats and keeping rabbits and deer away from your garden.

However, Catnip attracts cats, so if you have a cat, you’re better off with other gnat repellent plants. That’s because your cat’s love of this gnat-repelling plant will cause it to live in your garden and likely ruin it.

The catnip plant is a perennial herb, but it is not hard to grow as it can survive extreme weather. Also, it is quite effective against all types of insects and pests including aphids, ants, and weevils.

On windy days, the plant’s effectiveness gets hampered. The wind may direct the odor elsewhere, hence reducing the plant’s efficacy.

In such a situation, grind some of the herb’s leaves and sprinkle them around your garden. Either way, the strong scent of Catnip will eliminate gnats and any other micro pest that has invaded your home and yard.



  • Unsuitable in homes where there are cats.

7. Chives

Chives are not only an attractive addition to any garden, but they can also help to keep pests at bay. Japanese beetles and asparagus beetles are particularly susceptible to the pungent aroma of chives, and will avoid areas where the herb is growing.

Root maggots are another type of pest that can be deterred by chives. These small fly larvae feed on the roots of plants, causing them to wilt and die.

By planting chives around your garden, you can help to create a barrier that will keep these pests at bay.


8. Geranium

Geraniums are a type of plant that many people use as a decoration in their gardens. But did you know that these beautiful flowers can also help repel gnats? That’s right – the strong scent of geraniums is enough to keep these pesky little insects at bay.

And it’s not just gnats that they repel – bees, aphids, and even some types of rodents are also deterred by the scent of geranium. But don’t worry – this strong smell is only detectable by animals, so humans won’t have to put up with it themselves.

So if you’re looking for a natural way to keep gnats away, planting some geraniums might be the answer.

9. Basil

Basil is a versatile herb that can be used in cooking, as a decoration, or even as a natural pest repellent. It is quite toxic against mosquito larvae as well.

Its smell repels fleas , gnats, bees, fruit flies, and aphids, making it a great plant to have around the house if you’re looking to keep pests at bay. And since the scent of of this plant is also appealing to humans, you won’t have to worry about your home smelling like a garden.

A few sprigs of this plant placed near doors and windows can help deter pests from entering your home, and potted basil plants make great natural repellents for outdoor areas. If you’re looking for a safe and effective way to keep pests away, consider adding these plants to your home.

basil plant

10. Lemon Thyme

Lemon thyme is an effective repellent against gnats and other flying insects. The plant emits a citrusy smell that deters pests, while its close relationship to thyme makes it effective against ants, aphids, and other crawling insects.

While lemon thyme won’t kill insects, it’s a safe and effective way to keep them away from your home.

Take Away: Repel Fungus Gnats – And Even Fruit Flies!

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There you have it – plants that repel gnats. Now you know what plants need to be planted in your home or yard to deter gnats.

Now you don’t need to helplessly watch as gnats quickly multiply. And, unfortunately, once there’s a plethora of them, controlling them can be a daunting task.

With any of the plants mentioned above, gnats will no longer be a problem. They’re a safe and effective way of getting rid of these annoying pests. Some plants do not need a lot of sun exposure.

So fill up your indoor and outdoor space with plants that will help rid your home of gnats!

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