What are gnats?
The term “gnats” tends to be an umbrella term for winged insects. Frequently, when someone refers to an insect as a gnat, it is either a fruit fly or a fungus gnat. Overall, gnats are tiny long-legged insects that are weak fliers. Understandably, a lot of species fit into this category, so things can get a bit confusing.
No matter the type of gnat, they all have one thing in common—the beginning of their lives. Gnats are grown in eggs, typically in unripe fruits or potting soil. Once the eggs have hatched, they’ll either eat their way through the fruit or eat decayed materials in the soil. Eventually, these larvae will grow into full adult gnats and begin their lives with their colonies. Over time, they will travel from place to place, dwelling and reproducing in decaying organic materials. Astonishingly, they only have a 7-10 day lifespan, so the cycle mentioned above happens in a week.
How did I end up with gnats?
At this point, you may be asking yourself how you even ended up with gnats. Most likely, you did pretty much everything right. However, gnats are one of the easiest bugs to have in your home because they eat almost anything. No matter how cautious you are, you’ll probably have a gnat problem at least once in your life. Below are some things that attract gnats to your home and tips for avoiding them altogether!
Fresh fruit is one of the most magnetic things to a gnat. So, even leaving an overripe banana on your counter for one day could attract a swarm of gnats. The easiest way to remedy this issue is by refrigerating as much of your produce as possible. If certain produce such as bananas or apples cannot be refrigerated, then we recommend keeping an eye on them. As soon as you see any sign of rotting, you should throw the produce away in an external trash can.
Houseplants can really liven up your home. They can also bring a swarm of gnats into your home, so you must be careful with how you take care of them. The moisture in the soil is what particularly attracts gnats to a houseplant. So, if you choose to have houseplants in your home, you need to be careful when watering. Overwatering can not only kill your plant, but it can attract pesky insects, too. We recommend that you only water your plants once the soil is mostly dry from the prior time of watering.
Gnats have something in common with raccoons—they thrive on decayed, gross things that we’d never even imagine eating. So, your trash can is their steakhouse. They will be attracted to your trash can no matter what, but, if it’s overflowing with old food, they’ll swarm. The easiest remedy to this problem is to stay on top of your trash and make sure to take it out as soon as it fills up.
Again, you shouldn’t beat yourself up about having a gnat problem. No matter what you do, they will persevere. So, the next best step is knowing how to get rid of them.
What is the best way to get rid of gnats?
Gnats can be hard to get rid of, mainly because of their predilection to eating pretty much anything. However, there are many different things you can use, both natural and unnatural, that should rid you of gnats.
One of the best ways to get rid of gnats is by using their own weaknesses against them. The first thing you could do is mix apple cider vinegar, dish soap, water, and sugar in a shallow bowl or plate. The sugar in the mixture will attract the gnats, while the soap keeps them stuck, and the vinegar kills them. Another option is to make a homemade trap out of a deep vase, old wine, and dish soap. This trap acts similarly to the aforementioned trap. The dish soap will keep the gnat stuck in the vase, while the acidity of the wine kills the gnats. The last natural option is to pour boiling hot water down your drains. You might not know this, but gnats can be attracted to the food particles in your drain. So, the boiling hot water will kill any swarms of gnats in your sink, as well as any future prospect of invasion.
There are some unnatural remedies that could alleviate your problem, as well. You can use fly paper, which is a tacky sheet of paper that keeps them trapped once they land on it. Once most of the gnats have been trapped, you can simply throw the piece of paper in your external trash can and call it a day. The second option is to simply put out a dish of bleach, which will eventually kill all of the gnats. This is only recommended in extreme situations, as bleach can be dangerous. Finally, you could always purchase an array of bug sprays and see if they could be helpful in alleviating the problem.
How can I prevent gnats from swarming my home?
As we mentioned above, the easiest way to prevent gnats from invading your property is to stay on top of your food waste. By simply keeping your produce refrigerated and taking out your trash, you can minimize the chance of a gnat infestation. If none of the above measures has helped you, schedule an appointment with 855Bugs today! We want to help you live comfortably in your own home.