Having a swarm of gnats hovering over your head can be the worst feeling you can possibly have. Even before you know how to get rid of gnats, you should learn what they are. Most people think that any insect they encounter is a gnat. That is not the case.
When you search online, you may come across a heap of misleading information on this subject. Most of the writers have not done their research properly and do not have experience with these insects. Thus, their recommendations might not be helpful.
Are you overburdened with questions like “where do gnats come from?” If you are, then you have come to the right place for a comprehensive look into these insects.
Apart from being a consultant for the agencies doing pest control, I also do surveys on insect control. I have narrowed my work down to agriculture and urban pest control. With the author’s 25-year experience in this area, you are guaranteed to have the best information on gnats: what causes them, how to prevent them, and the elimination methods.
What Are Gnats and How Do They Come about?
The word “gnat” is a term that is generally used to refer to the annoying insects of the Diptera family. Although they can be likened to the mosquitoes, they are a bit smaller. The insects that can be compared to them in terms of size are the tiny flies.
Gnats, just like other small insects, have sensitive receptor organs. As such, the smell of food attracts them. Those who make the commercial fly traps take advantage of this fact. They use these foods to lure and trap the flies.
There are different categories of gnats. Some include:
As the name suggests, they are mainly found in drains, septic tanks, and in other areas contaminated with sewage, such as soil.
If you have fruits and vegetables, both fresh and rotting, empty cans, and other forms of organic materials that are in a damp, you should already be thinking of how to eradicate gnats in house. Such environments provide a breeding area for gnats.
- Phorid Flies
These flies are attracted to your space by accumulated garbage, contaminated soil, fruits, and vegetables that are rotting. Therefore, you should be cautious about the way you handle such materials.
The center of their attention is usually moist soil that has an organic matter in the decaying process. That is why you are likely to find these gnats in your home if you overwater the potted plants.
Gnats go through a life cycle from the egg stage to adulthood. They mostly mate in the evenings. This happens when they are in swarms on the streets. Different species lay eggs in different areas. Some do this in the water, while others prefer the land. At the larvae stage, the gnats are unable to move. The adult gnats are of various sizes. However, no species grows beyond 33mm.
What Can Attract the Gnats to Your House and Other Areas?
As mentioned before, gnats love places with moisture and areas where they can find various organic materials. That is why it is common to find gnats in the bathroom. Moreover, you are more likely to encounter them during the summer as compared to winter.
Their reasons for coming to the house is to search for food as well as locate places where they can comfortably procreate. You are more likely to find them in places with decaying organic materials and other areas that have moisture, such as the wet potting soil, house sinks, as well as the drains.
What causes gnats? Here are the specific reasons why you are more likely to find them in your house:
Frequent Excess Moisture in the House
Moist grounds act like breeding places for the gnats. The specific locations where you are likely to find them include spots with spilled food, wet potting soil, overwatered plants, places around leaky pipes and condensed windows.
Sweet Fruits and Vegetables Are Left Over
When you leave sweet-smelling fruits on your kitchen table or other surfaces, they are likely to attract fruit flies. The same happens to the fallen leaves in the garden.
Other Decaying Organic Materials Around
Fungus gnats are known to love rotting agricultural matter. This could be flowers and other plants. This happens because they feed on compost, mold, and other related materials. That is why they love the garden environment where they can always get exactly what they want!
Perspirations and Human’s Sweat
Moisture that secretes from humans is another cause of gnat infestation. It could be the mucus originating from the nose, the tears coming from the eyes, and other substances from the human body. Gnats also love scents of perfumes.
Just like other flies, these insects find it hard to fly into the darkness. Therefore, you often see them in places with light. That is why you see gnats swarming around light bulbs at night.
Do Gnats Bite? Here Is an Expert Response to the Question
Gnats are subdivided into two broad categories, namely the biting and non-biting gnats. Most people give the biting gnats a special name: biting midgets. Although the bites are not usually that painful, the way you feel the bite always depends on your individual body factors.
In some cases, the bite can be truly painful, causing the skin in the area surrounded by the bite to itch for many days. Sometimes, you may also feel a burning sensation.
There are also cases when bitten people stay feverish for many hours. A small percentage of people have also reported difficulty in breathing after a bite from these insects.
It is recommended to disinfect the area bitten by the gnat immediately. That can be done by cleaning using water and soap. There are also disinfectants made from vinegar that are effective.
In case you experience any form of pain, you should use effective anti-itch products. Pain relievers are also useful for such pains. Otherwise, ensure you do not come into contact with more bacteria after the bite.
There is one mystery about gnats that most people do not understand; why these insects are attracted to the eyes. Any time you are close to a swarm of gnats, they will always attempt to move towards your eyes. The reason is that these insects are attracted to moisture that is exuded from the human body, as I have already mentioned before.
Related Post: Best Electric Fly Swatters That Work.
Even though they may not bite you, it is easy for them to transfer some diseases to you. They do not like humans alone. Animals are also their victims.
The biting bugs are known to be common during the season of mosquitoes. That is the time when spring is about to end, and summer is about to begin. It is known that they can be active up to the very end of summer.
Are there methods to shield yourself from the gnats’ bites? When you find gnats everywhere outside, and you seem to be their target, you should find methods to protect your body. The first method is to stop exposing your skin to them. You can start by wearing long pants and shirts that cover almost all parts of your body.
Those who intend to be outside for a long time should apply the appropriate amount of gnat repellents. There is one called DEET. Those who stay in enclosed environments, such as houses, should switch on fans. Where possible, avoid the scented perfumes that can attract gnats.
How to Get Rid of Gnats Infestation Effectively
As soon as you forget to wipe sugary spills from the table, overwater the houseplants, or leave the household garbage unattended for extended periods, be prepared to deal with the gnats after a few days. The problem is that things can get worse as time goes by. For instance, you can have a full-blown infestation in a few days.
However, there is no cause for alarm. I’m here to provide the gnat control methodologies that work. The first step towards eliminating the insects is to ascertain that you are dealing with gnats. This is especially essential if you are planning to use chemical-based killers.
What works for one insect may not be useful for getting rid of another one. In any case, there are many annoying insects, and all of them require unique removal tactics.
Why does my house have gnats, and how can I control them?
Read the methods below:
Use Rotten Fruits to Lure the Gnats
The first method you need to know as you learn how to exterminate gnats in the kitchen is that you can use the things that attract these insects to trap them. How do you do this? Take a bowl and put pieces of overripe fruit like bananas inside. Cover the top of this bowl with a wrap made of plastic and ensure it is firmly in place.
Then you can create small holes on the wrap by using a sharp object like a toothpick. The smell of the fruits attracts gnats. They get into the bowls through the holes created on the cover. The gnats cannot get out of the bowl. You should leave them to die.
Although the method works, it may not be super effective in dealing with these insects. You can only kill a few of them. That means many of the gnats remain within your space.
Wine Can Also Act as a Trap for the Gnats
Another thing you should know as you work on getting rid of gnats inside is how to use wine for that purpose. However, no need to say that you should not use up your expensive wine to kill gnats. The expired wine will do. First, get a vessel where you can put the wine.
On top of that, add soapy drops. The smell of wine attracts gnats and gets them trapped within the vessel. This is another method that may not be that effective when you experience a severe infestation.
A Candle Trap Can Also Work for You
Although the method may sound old-school, it helps to eliminate the insects. It is priceless for those who are struggling with the idea of how to kill gnats in the yard. First, put your candle on the candlestick. After that, place it in a bowl with water.
Ensure it is dark and the only light in the room is the one from the candle. The reason for this is that gnats get attracted to light. The effectiveness of the method, however, depends on your alertness. You should always ensure the flame is in the right form. After you are done, you can put off the flame. The method may not work for all of the gnats.
Use a Paper Trapper for the Gnats
This is another trustworthy method for those who need to know how to kill gnats. The flypaper is made of sticky exteriors where the gnats get trapped as they fly by. You should hang the ribbon in a location with many gnats to obtain maximum results. Adhesive sheets can also be put on windows.
The Bug Zapper Option for Trapping Gnats
Apart from gnats, the method also works for the larger bugs. The biggest advantage is that you have many brands on the market. They offer the best way to get rid of gnats, as some are safe to use indoors. In simple terms, they do not affect pets or children negatively. Besides, they are odorless and do not produce any noise.
They are beneficial as they have been proven to kill most of the gnats and other insects within your home. Apart from the initial amount you spend to purchase the product, the work of this product does not require any effort from you.
Make sure to check out my review of the best gnat killers on the market.
Use Chemical Sprays for Gnat Termination
When the infestation has gotten to a bad level, and you are wondering how to get rid of gnats in plants, you should consider using sprays. Although insecticides will surely work, still you should be cautious about the way you apply them and ensure you do not use them if you have children or pets. Moreover, you have to follow the directives from the manufacturer.
Application of Apple Cider Vinegar Solution
Making this solution requires several ingredients. They include apple cider vinegar, sugar, and liquid dish soap. The sugary mixture is meant to attract the gnats. Upon arrival, they are trapped by the sticky soap. Place a bowl of the mixture close to the location where you regularly notice gnats. Then you can wait for the solution to do its work.
Can You Prevent the Infestation of Gnats?
Before you begin dealing with gnats outside, you should learn how to prevent the infestation in the first place. That means you need to deal with the sources of the gnats. Are there effective methods of preventing gnats? Here are a few strategies to consider:
- Dry the moist places within your home
Moist areas have an accumulation of organic materials. The places include the areas with potted plants and other hidden places that remain in a state of moisture for long. Remove such conditions so that the gnats do not have places to lay their eggs.
- Repair all the leaky pipes
Leaking pipes enable accumulation of sewage, which forms an ideal breeding grounds and attraction for the gnats. That means they only need a few days for a full-blown infestation. Ensure your space does not have leaky pipes.
- Proper maintenance of sewer
If you are still wondering how to eradicate gnats in drains, you should know that maintaining a good sewer system can save you from the infestation of gnats.
- Do Proper Clean-up
As seen, accumulated fruits make an ideal environment for the growth of gnats. Therefore, you should get rid of all spills that can lead to the emergence of the gnats.
- Reduce the moisture in the soil
If you have a habit of overwatering the pot plants, you should avoid that since it creates a condition ideal for gnats.
Now Choose What Works for You
Gnats can cause many problems. You should be careful to ensure that you do not have a severe infestation within your space. Once you notice them within your home, use the right methods to get rid of insects as fast as you can. Do you know how to keep gnats away from plants? Is there a method that you have tried to keep them away? Was it effective? Share your views by leaving a comment down below.