How to Get Rid of Gnats

Do you want to get rid of gnats and fruit flies and you don’t know how? This article will provide you with some effective solutions.

Gnats and fruit flies can be a huge problem for households. The bugs are so incredibly small that they may seem like an insignificant problem at first until they start breeding. As soon as gnats and fruit flies increase in numbers, they become an even bigger problem and it can cause irritation and concern.

Where to begin…

First, it’s important to identify which types of gnats and flies you have. Because gnats are so small they generally just look like small black flies, and it can be hard to distinguish between them, however, if you pay close attention their behaviour, you may be able to identify them.

The most common type of gnat is the house plant gnat, and it is most often found around potted plants. This is usually even worse if the quality of the soil is poor. This type of gnat usually lives between seven to eight days.

Another type of gnat is known as the drain fly. This fly, as its name suggests, will most often be found in the bathroom or kitchen around the sink.

Fruit flies look deceivingly similar to gnats, but you can usually spot them as they are slightly larger and have a tinge of brown on their heads. This may be difficult to spot but if you can catch one you should be able to tell.

How to get rid of gnats

If the problem is super serious, you may want to pay for a quick fix and buy an industry brand.

Here are the top three brands to use when you want to get rid of gnats and fruit flies:



  1. The Gnat Stix – this is great for household gnats and fungus gnats on household plants. All you have to do is put the stick in the plant and it will repel the bugs, and it is non-toxic.
  2. TERRO Fruit Fly Trap – this simple trap is great for people who can’t be bothered to make their own (see below for homemade solutions).
  3. Fly Web Fly Trap – this indoor device uses a unique light that attracts the bugs into the enclosure. Once the bugs have entered the trap they become stuck to an adhesive.

Make your own remedy

Before you choose to make your own remedy to get rid of gnats, you must know where the flies are coming from. As discussed above, it could be around the drain, in a plant or through the window. Sometimes, it can be trial and error with these remedies until you find a permanent solution that truly works for you.

1. A Vinegar Trap

Buy some apple cider vinegar, then mix two tablespoons of vinegar with one tablespoon of sugar, some drops of dish soap and one liter of water. Mix all of these ingredients in a large container and put it where you see most of the gnats and flies (where you think they are coming from). The mixture attracts the bugs but then drowns them when they get too close.

2. Pour Bleach in the Sink

This method works best on drain flies. If you have noticed the flies around the sink in your bathroom or kitchen then try pouring bleach down the sink with some water. Be sure to wear a protective eye and face mask when you use bleach. Unfortunately, this option isn’t a permanent solution to the problem but may help for a while.

3. Red Wine

Mix some red wine in a dish with some soap and you have created your very own gnat trap. Place a plastic covering over the top of the dish and pierce some holes through the top. Place this in the area where the most flies are. The gnats and flies will be attracted to the wine and head into the trap.

4. Fogging

If you have a large gnat swarm, then insect fogging would be your best option. The Hot Shot Insect Fogger and the Burgess Insect Fogger are both popular brands that do the job well.

5. Rotten Fruit

Much like the vinegar and wine traps, add some fruit that is rotten or overripe into a container. Wrap the container with plastic covering and punch some holes in the top. The flies will usually fall for the trap every time.

In the future

After you have alleviated your current problem for now, then it’s time to implement a more permanent fix so you will get rid of gnats and fruit flies forever. You can take action by making sure you never leave dirty dishes around the sink, you take out the trash as soon as it is close to full and it is well covered at all times, make sure your surfaces are dry and invest in good quality top soil for your house plants.

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By Charlotte H.