5 Gnat Traps That Really Work – Practice Based List

No one likes gnats. They’re tiny pests that swarm in the hot months, especially if you live somewhere humid. Gnats can come in small clusters sometimes, but mostly they are a massive swarm. If you have a gnat problem and are looking into homemade gnat traps, we recommend these homemade gnat fly traps that really work!

Gnat Traps That Really Work on Fruit Flies, Fungus Gnats, and Other Flying Insects

flying gnats

Gnats are attracted to all kinds of things within a house – rotten fruit, houseplants other pets, body heat, and anything that might have contaminated or old food (like dishes and drain pipes). These 5 best gnat traps actually work to get rid of gnat infestations inside or outside your house, and you can make them with what you already have at home.

Remember, it’s vital to find the source of the gnats – if all you’re doing is killing adult gnats, they’ll keep coming. These electric gnat traps work well for the small children of gnats you can see, but once you find the gnat nest, you’ll need to eradicate it. Otherwise, gnats will be in your house and yard for the foreseeable future.

Gnat Trap #1: A Sticky Cocktail

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The key to the two best gnat traps for killing gnats is to attract them with something sweet and then trap them with another ingredient. For this gnat trap, it’s a small cocktail of apple cider vinegar, water, and dish soap. You can also use sugar in regular vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar or replace the vinegar for best gnat, with everyday red wine.

To make this to trap gnats, mix equal parts water and vinegar in a shallow dish or bowl, with a few drops of dish soap mixed in. Leave it on the counter for a few hours, and when the bottom is full of dead gnats, rinse it out and replace the concoction. If you want indoor use this to trap even more gnats, you can use an empty soda or water bottle to make it harder for them to escape.

Gnat Trap #2: Rotten Fruit

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Gnats love rotten fruit – why not use it to draw them in to get rid of black flies and trap them? If you don’t mind your kitchen smelling like old fruit while dealing with your gnat issue, this solution is very effective and easy. Bananas work best for this, but any rotting fruit will do the trick.

Mash your bananas or other fruit in a shallow bowl, and stretch plastic wrap across the top. Poke several small holes in the top of the wrap to catch gnats, and wait for the gnat trap to work! The gnats will fly in the holes to get at the fruit and get trapped in the plastic wrap.

Gnat Trap #3: Drainage Issues

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Many gnat nests are in the bends of drains, where food and dirt build up. They lay several hundred eggs a week, typically bite so if you’ve been killing the adults and still finding more, it might be helpful to check your drain and make sure you’re getting all the other pests out.

To test if the gnats are coming from the drain, place a piece of duct tape over the drain overnight. Leave a small gap on the edge so the pests will come towards sticky surface in the sliver of light. If there are more gnats still stuck on the tape in the morning then you’ve found the nest.

Once you’ve decided that the drain is the culprit, clean it out well by pouring a bleach and water solution down the drain. Diluted bleach won’t hurt your pipes but will clean out the nest and any old food or gunk that was attracting the flies in the drain flies the first place. You can use this solution regularly to prevent any further nests from your sink drains from forming.

Gnat Trap #4: Plant-Based Gnats

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Gnats are also attracted to houseplants, especially when the soil is damp. They can congregate around wet plants and cause a swarm in humid conditions. If you want to get rid of the gnats but don’t want to kill your plants, use this trick.

Fill a spray bottle with water and a little bit of lemon or lime scented dish soap. Spray your plant well with this mixture – it will protect the plants and kill the gnats. If your plant is the source of the gnats, hold off watering until the top few inches of soil are dry.

Gnat Trap #5: Come Towards the Light

This homemade gnat fly trap also works on gnats’ attraction to light. They will fly toward a light source in a dark place, so why not use that to your advantage. For this trick, you’ll need a candle and a dish or tray of warm water, mixed with a tiny amount of dish soap. Always be careful with candles and never leave them unattended.

In the evening, put your water and dish soap tray in the center of the room infested with gnats. Light the candle and place it in the tray, turning off all the other lights in the room. The gnats will fly toward the light and burn in the flame or drown in the candle’s reflection.

Bonus: Commercial Gnat Traps

Trappify Sticky Gnat Traps for House Indoor - Yellow Fruit Fly Traps for Indoors/Outdoor Plant - Insect Catcher White Flies, Mosquitos, Fungus Gnat Trap, Flying Insects - Disposable Glue Trapper (25)
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Trappify Sticky Gnat Traps for House Indoor - Yellow Fruit Fly Traps for Indoors/Outdoor Plant - Insect Catcher White Flies, Mosquitos, Fungus Gnat Trap, Flying Insects - Disposable Glue Trapper (25)
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If you’d rather buy a commercial gnat trap and not spend the time or energy required to put together these sticky traps yourself, don’t worry! There are several best gnat trap options for you. You can buy fluorescent light-based sticky traps for the outside or sticky traps for inside the house.

Some fly traps work for gnats, but most traps don’t – I would avoid fly traps unless they also advertise to kill gnats. Ensure that any trap you get has a formula that includes the specific type of gnat you’re trying to kill. However, there are traps available specifically for gnats flying insects, and several traps which work inside and outside.

If you have a big outdoor gnat problem, you can get a light-based bug zapper. These electronic zappers are usually used in commercial settings (such as restaurants), so they’re more expensive. But for outdoor use on a campsite or backyard patio, a bug zapper will take care of all the winged pests you don’t want around!

Of course, you can always opt for natural essential oils to treat your gnat infestation.

sink gnats

Preventative Measures

Of course, the best way to catch gnats and get rid of gnats is not to have them in the first place! Keeping things clean and clear of what attracts gnats will prevent a summer swarm. If you have a regular cleaning schedule and make sure that there is no dirty or rotting food around indoor plants or outdoor plants either, you should avoid the problem.

Here are some preventative measures to avoid gnats and fruit flies: 

  • Repair sink leaks
  • Fix holes in window and door screens
  • Seal cracks in walls or ceiling
  • Keep dishes clean
  • Cover and seal food left outside of the refrigerator
  • Empty garbage disposals and trash cans regularly
  • Clean sinks and drains with diluted bleach solution regularly
  • Install sodium light bulbs in outdoor fixtures
Sunlite LU150/MED High Pressure Sodium Light Bulb, 150 Watts, ED17/MED, Medium Base (E26), ANSI Code S55, 15000 Lumen, 20000 Life Hours, Clear, 2100K
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If your house is generally clean and you make sure that your drains are clear and food is protected, you shouldn’t have to worry about attracting too many pests in the summer months. You can put these measures in place either indoors, before you have gnats or after you clean out a nest. Either way, they will prevent further gnat infestation and help your house to stay clear of pests.

fungus gnats


What Attract Gnats?

Gnats are attracted to standing water, decaying organic material, and other sources of moisture. They feed on sugary substances like fruit and flower nectar as well as decaying plant matter. Additionally, they are drawn to light and may be more prevalent at night when lights are on. Gnats also fly toward the smell of fermenting liquids, such as beer, wine and vinegar.

What are Fruit Flies?

Fruit flies are small flying insects that are typically tan or yellow in color. They are attracted to fermenting fruit and vegetables, as well as sugary liquids such as beer, wine, or sodas. These flies are also drawn to rotting food material like garbage and moist organic matter. Fruit flies lay their eggs near the sources of food they’re attracted to and these eggs hatch into larvae that feed on the food before pupating and emerging as adult flies.

What are Fungus Gnats?

Fungus gnats are tiny black or gray flying insects that are commonly found near window sills, garbage cans, and other moist areas. These gnats feed on decaying organic matter as well as fungus and mold. In addition to these food sources, they may also be attracted to standing water and other damp areas like indoor plant pots. Fungus gnats lay their eggs in the soil of potted indoor plants, and the larvae feed on roots, creating damage to the plant.

how to get rid of gnats in houseplants

Why Do Apple Cider Vinegar Sticky Traps Work?

Apple cider vinegar sticky traps are a popular way to control gnats, fruit flies, and fungus gnats. The sweet-smelling liquid attracts these insects, drawing them in close where they will become stuck to the trap’s adhesive surface. Apple cider vinegar is especially effective at trapping adult flies before they can lay eggs in your home or garden.

What Causes Gnat Infestation?

Gnats can become a problem when there is an abundance of sources for them to feed and reproduce on. This includes standing water, decaying organic material, and other sources of moisture. Additionally, they may be attracted to lights and sweet-smelling liquids like beer, wine, or vinegar. Improperly stored food items in the kitchen can also become a breeding ground for gnats. To prevent an infestation, it’s important to keep your home dry and clean, regularly dispose of garbage, and monitor any sources of moisture.

What is an Electric Trap?

An electric trap is an effective way to get rid of gnats, fruit flies, and fungus gnats. These traps use light and a powerful fan to lure the insects in and then suck them up into a vacuum. Electric traps can be set up indoors or outdoors to keep these pests away from your home. It’s important to note that electric traps need to be regularly emptied and cleaned as they can quickly become clogged with dead bugs.

Should You Get an Electrical Trap for Small Flying Insects?

Electric traps are an effective way to get rid of small flying insects like gnats, fruit flies, and fungus gnats. These traps use a combination of light and powerful fans to lure the pests in and then suck them up into a vacuum for easy disposal. Electric traps can be set up indoors or outdoors and need to be regularly emptied and cleaned to ensure they remain effective. However, if you’re looking for a more natural approach to pest control, there are other methods that may be better suited for your needs.

Gnat Traps That Really Work – Final Thoughts

Whether you opt for best gnat traps, the candle trap or vinegar, you can get rid of your gnats and other insects without spending extra money. With these traps, the gnats will not be a problem any longer. Find the source of the pests, get rid of gnats, clear out the adults, and take preventative measures for the future. You’ll never have to worry about a gnat infestation again!

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