How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies & Gnats

Got a gnat problem at home? You're not alone. These tiny pests can make a big fuss, turning our homes upside down. If you're seeking ways to get rid of gnats naturally, you've found the right spot. From simple kitchen ingredients to nifty devices, we've got loads of safe, eco-friendly solutions lined up for you. This guide is chock-full of handy tips and DIY traps to help you win the war against gnats. So, let's dive right in, and turn your home back into the peaceful place it should be. 

How to Get Rid of Gnats Naturally

There are numerous effective ways to bid farewell to fruit flies and gnats. Firstly, maintaining cleanliness is paramount – wipe counters, clean spills promptly, and don't leave ripe fruits out in the open.

Use natural traps, like apple cider vinegar mixed with dish soap, or an enticing stale wine trap. You could also try sticky honey traps or overripe banana gnat traps. Essential oil sprays made from citronella, eucalyptus, or lemongrass can also act as excellent deterrents.

For stubborn gnats, consider the diluted bleach trap or installing an electric insect killer. Finally, commercially available glue traps or insecticidal soap can also be effective. With these steps, you'll say goodbye to gnats and fruit flies for good!

I can't stand those pesky gnats that sneak into my house at least once each summer. Because we don't use any chemicals in the kitchen, I needed to find a natural way to get rid of them. After searching online, I found a few easy recipes that utilized things I already had on hand. My personal favorite is the vinegar & dish soap trap, along with cleaning out my drains with baking soda & lemon juice.

A shallow glass bowl of apple cider vinegar with dead gnats at the bottom.

Apple Cider Vinegar & Liquid Dish Soap Trap

Start by gathering up everything you need:

Mason jar or bowl
Cling wrap
A few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
Very soapy water
Scissors and/or meat thermometer

Start by filling the jar or bowl up about halfway with vinegar. Add enough soapy water to create a layer of bubbles on top. Cover the top of the jar/bowl with cling wrap. If using a jar, screw on a lid to help hold it in place. Very carefully cut small holes in the cling wrap.

You want it large enough to let the gnats in but not enough to let them back out. The soapy water will help trap them in the bubbles, too. I trimmed the edge of the saran wrap with a pair of scissors and used a meat thermometer to poke the holes.

You will need to dump it out and start over every few days, depending on how many gnats you have.  I normally use apple cider vinegar, but white vinegar works too!

3 candles floating in a bowl of water.

Candle & Water Trap

Want a really easy way to get rid of gnats and fruit flies? Try the candle and water trick. All you need is a candle and a shallow dish of water. Place the candle in the dish and dim the lights in your room.

The gnats and fruit flies will be drawn to the candle's light. Some will get burned in the flame, while others will fall into the water and get stuck. It's a simple yet effective fruit fly trap! Plus, it has a certain cool factor, with the candlelight making the whole thing feel almost like a magic trick. 

Stale Wine Trap

Wine, like vinegar, has a strong aroma that these tiny pests find hard to resist. When it's stale, the smell is even stronger, making it the perfect bait for our trap.

Here's how it works: first, take a container – a cup or a jar will do. Fill it up with some stale wine. You don't need a lot – a few inches will do the trick. Then, to make the trap even more effective, add a few drops of liquid dish soap. The soap decreases the surface tension of the wine, so when the gnats or fruit flies land on it, they sink and drown.

Then, cover your container with plastic wrap, securing it with a rubber band. Make small holes in the wrap for the gnats to enter. They'll be drawn by the scent of the wine, fly in through the holes, and get trapped inside.

Set it on the kitchen counter, near your fruit bowl, and wait for them to visit the trap. Just remember to dispose of the gnats and refresh the trap regularly for it to stay effective. 

Overripe Banana Gnat Trap

Overripe bananas and old banana peels, usually destined for the compost bin, are actually superbly effective in trapping gnats.

Here's a simple, cheap, and safe method to get rid of these pesky insects. Take a clear plastic container, and inside it, place a piece of overripe banana or an old banana peel. Gnats can't resist the sweet aroma of ripe bananas, especially when they're overripe or starting to brown.

Next, make three or four small holes in the lid of the container with a toothpick. Ensure you push the toothpick all the way through and wiggle it around to make a hole large enough for the gnats.

Once your trap is set, the scent of the overripe banana or old peel will draw the gnats in through the small holes. However, the tiny entrance points make it challenging for them to exit.

This trap works quickly, especially if you keep the holes small. Remember to regularly clear out the trapped gnats and replace the banana or peel for continuous effectiveness. Who would have thought that old bananas could become a secret weapon in your anti-gnat arsenal!

Sticky Honey Trap

A sweet way to deal with gnats is by using honey. Honey is not just yummy for us, but gnats love it too. To make a honey trap, get some yellow cards. Why yellow? Gnats just love this color. Coat these cards with a bit of honey. Place these cards around your house. The best spots are near your plants and fruit bowl.

Gnats, attracted by the yellow color and the sweet smell of honey, will land on the cards and get stuck in the honey. Easy and safe, this is a great way to trap gnats. Just remember to change the cards regularly to keep this trap working well.

Essential Oil Anti-Gnat Spray

Essential oils have many uses, and one of them is helping you deal with gnats. You can create your own anti-gnat spray with just a few things: water, witch hazel, and an essential oil like peppermint, citronella, lavender, or lemon.

Once you mix these ingredients in a spray bottle, you have a powerful tool against gnats. When you spray this mixture around your house, the strong smell of the essential oils will discourage gnats from sticking around. Lavender and lemon both have pleasant scents, which make your home smell good while also keeping it gnat-free.

Lavender Oil Soaked Repelling Balls

Another great way to use essential oils against gnats is with lavender oil and cotton balls. Simply soak some cotton balls in lavender oil and place them around your house. The lavender smell is not only enjoyable for you, but it also helps keep gnats away. With this simple trick, your house can smell like a field of lavender flowers and be free of gnats!

The Diluted Bleach Trap

For those gnats that seem unusually stubborn, the diluted bleach trap is the ace up your sleeve. Pour a bit of diluted bleach down the drains where gnats often breed. The potent smell of bleach disturbs their olfactory senses, forcing them to find a new home. However, ensure to use this method sparingly, considering the harshness of bleach & the environmental impact it has.

Sticky glue trap with gnats stuck on it inside an indoor plant pot.

Buy a Glue Trap

Commercially available glue traps are another viable option. These traps contain a sticky substance that ensnares any unsuspecting gnat that happens to land on it. Simple, effective, and requiring minimal effort, they are a great fallback option.

Install an Electric Insect Killer

An electric insect killer can be a great high-tech tool in your fight against gnats. These machines lure in gnats with a bright light, then zap them with electricity. But be aware, they don't only attract gnats, but other bugs as well. Plus, they can sometimes give off a burnt smell. So, while they can be an effective tool in your gnat-fighting arsenal, it's important to be aware of these potential drawbacks as well.

Remember, though, that gnat control is not just about the right traps or sprays. It's also about creating an environment where gnats can't thrive. Make sure not to overwater your houseplants, as gnats love the dampness. Discard any overripe fruits that could attract them and make sure to regularly take out the trash to remove potential food sources. Prevention is just as important as treatment.

We've explored many effective strategies, from using everyday items like apple cider vinegar and overripe bananas to more specialized tools like glue traps and electric insect killers. All of these methods are safe, natural, and environmentally friendly.

Keep in mind that patience is key in your battle against gnats. You may not see results immediately but don't give up. Keep trying different methods, and soon enough, you'll have a gnat-free home.

Now, equipped with all this knowledge, you're ready to take on the gnats. Don't forget to share what you've learned with others. Your experiences can help someone else in their own battle against these pesky invaders. So get started on your gnat-free journey and look forward to enjoying a peaceful, gnat-free home once again.

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