How to Get Rid of Gnats: What Causes Them

Relaxing on your porch with a glass of lemonade, only to look a few holes down and spot several hundred gnats flying around? That’s why we’ve created this ultimate guide on how to get rid of gnats for good.

Frustrated by the constant buzzing in your ear when you go out to your recycling bin or use your trash can?

Have you spotted gnats in your kitchen, on your fruits and vegetables, and anywhere else on your home?

We understand how frustrating it is to throw out food to kill gnats, get rid of gnats yourself, or deal with the itching from a gnat bite. Or even just feel like your home is unsanitary because of the presence of a few gnats around.

We’ll cover health risks of gnats, why they’re attracted to your home, and how to sanitize after an invasion rid of gnats.

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Then, we’ll fill you in on a couple of gnats drops, on where you can get gnats and the best possible gnat traps for your space.

By the time you finish reading this post, most gnats you won’t stand a chance against you.

fungus gnats

What are Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are small black flies commonly found in moist, warm soil and organic material. These insects feed on the fungi that live in these damp environments, hence the name “fungus gnat”. They typically measure between 1/8-1/4 inch long and have thin antennae and legs. Adults are generally dark gray or black in color, while larvae are white and worm-like. They tend to fly around in swarms when disturbed, but typically don’t bite. Gnats can become an annoying nuisance if left unchecked as they can infest houseplants, indoor gardens and greenhouses.

Fungus Gnats vs Drain Flies vs Fruit Flies

Drain gnats, fungus gnats and, drain flies and fruit flies are all different types of flying insects that can be a nuisance in the home. While they may look similar at first glance, there are some key differences between them. Fungus gnats are small black flies, typically measuring between 1/8-1/4 inch long with thin antennae and legs.

They are typically found in moist soils and organic materials, feeding on fungi. Drain flies are much larger than fungus gnats with a body length of up to 1/2 inch long. These flies have hairy bodies and moth-like wings and they breed in decaying organic matter near drains or septic tanks.

Fruit flies are the smallest of the three, measuring just 1/8 inch long with red eyes and tan-colored bodies. They are attracted to fermenting fruits and vegetables, making them a common pest in kitchens and pantries. All three types of flies can be controlled with proper sanitation practices and chemical insecticides labeled for each type of fly.

fungus gnats

Health Risks of Gnats

Gnats may be small, but they can pose health risks — especially if you put off managing an infestation.

It’s important to understand that the term “gnat” doesn’t just apply to a singular species of bug.

Instead adult gnats, it’s more of an umbrella term for small flies or other insects with wings. Some types of gnats eat only other insects, fruits, or plants. But others gnats (like buffalo gnats attract fruit flies, other gnats, sand flies, or deer flies) bite humans and directly feed off of our blood.


Our blood provides female gnats with nutrients they need to lay eggs. They can lay up to 300 of them at one time, often making an infestation quite literally happen overnight.

While gnat bites usually don’t break the skin all the way, they’re often more painful than a mosquito bite.

This is because when they feed, they shoot out a chemical that makes it difficult for blood to clot quickly.

Hours after a gnat bite, you may deal with severe itching, swelling, and pain. Scratching a gnat problem can easily lead to scarring, the spread of bacteria, and even more severe health problems such as cellulitis.

Additionally fruit flies, gnats are also known carriers of conjunctivitis, more commonly referred to as pinkeye. If you live on a farm, gnats and fruit flies can infect your livestock with diseases like the Blue Tongue virus and tularemia.

In other words?

Gnats aren’t quite as harmless as many of us would like to believe. You need to know how to get rid of gnats to protect your health, not just stop the buzzing.


What Attracts Gnats to Your Home?

Now, let’s talk a few drops about what actually attracts gnats drain flies to your home in the first place.

Gnats can easily smell food, soil, and even perfume from far away. The food itself doesn’t even have to emit a strong odor in order to attract gnats. Just the sweet smell of having fruits and vegetables sitting out on your kitchen counter is enough to get a gnat’s attention.

Leftover food in your own garbage disposal can, garbage cans, and even your potted plants after are all popular spots for gnats. (This is especially true if you have a tendency to overwater your plants, or if you live in a particularly humid climate.)

They may even live in your bathroom because of the combination of moisture, mold/mildew, and the scents from shampoos and soaps. Sometimes, the strong scent of detergents and air-drying clothes in your laundry room can also attract gnats.

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If you recycle red wine, bottles, soda cans, and canned fruits and vegetables in your garage, you can certainly expect to see a swarm of gnats flying all the lights above your recycling bin.

As such, the “prevention is the best cure” tactic doesn’t work as well in learning how to get rid of gnats as it often does with other kinds of insects.

Instead, a few small holes, it’s best to focus on poke small holes, stopping a smaller infestation of gnats before it gets out of control.

How to Get Rid of Gnats for Good

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Now that you understand why it’s so important to understand how to get rid of gnats, let’s talk a couple drops about the most effective methods to get rid of gnats.

Sure, you can try DIY gnat traps, but often because they require you to use vinegar diluted bleach, or fruit juice, they quickly become counterproductive to gnat problem. The scent that these liquids give off can sometimes end up attracting even more gnats in the first place!

Using organic, chemical-free sticky traps is the most effective way to catch gnats. Wrap these traps with plastic on both sides to prevent harmful chemicals from entering your home and harming people or animals. Place the traps in areas where gnats usually fly around, such as windows and doors, for maximum efficiency.

Whenever a gnat comes into contact with the traps, they get stuck and are no longer a problem. This simple method makes it easy to rid your home of pesky gnats quickly and effectively.

It’s also a good idea to place the traps directly inside your potted plants, alongside the flowers or leaves. The sticky traps won’t harm the plants or impact their growth in any way, but they will stop gnats before they even have a chance to fly paper land on a leaf.

get rid of fungus gnats

Killing Gnats with Apple Cider Vinegar and Dish Soap Traps

Cleaning up After a Gnat Infestation

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If you want to prevent another gnat infestation and ensure that all the gnats lay eggs are gone from your home, you need to clean and disinfect your home after a serious gnat infestation invasion.

Your kitchen countertops and other areas where you prepare and store your food will need particular attention.

Scrub the interior and drawers of your fridge with soap and water to remove all food. Then, create a mix of one part diluted bleach solution, one part white vinegar, one part boiling water, and a pinch of baking soda for disinfection. Ensure everything is thoroughly cleaned by using this mixture. Lastly, let the surfaces air-dry.

Stop watering your plants as often as you were before, so that the soil you water plants can properly when plants dry out.

You can also easily sanitize and clean your potted plant soil. Using a hand trowel, mix up the first 2 inches of your soil to give air circulation a boost. Always check potted plants for any debris like twigs and leaves, and remove them ASAP.

Understand the Trappify Difference

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It is essential to eliminate gnats and this post has informed you on how to do that. You’ve learnt the conditions that attract gnats, as well as methods to disinfect your home after an infestation. Additionally, transitioning words have been used to help you understand more clearly. So, take action now! Eliminate those pesky critters.

To keep insects away from your living spaces and plants, the most important thing to do is take action. Start by understanding what environments attract gnats, then use transition words to help you comprehend better. Finally, disinfect your home after an infestation. Eliminate those bugs now! Take charge of the situation.

Choosing the best possible traps.

With over 10,000 happy customers and more than 600 four-star reviews on Amazon, we at Trappify feel confident that our non-toxic traps are the most effective on the market.

Make them a part of your pest control plan today.

In addition to giving our effective and affordable gnat traps a try, we also encourage you to sign up for Trappify’s newsletter.

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