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How To Get Rid Of Gnats

Fungus gnats are universally hated by plant lovers as they are nuisance in the home. Anyone thats had a gnat infestation will want to get rid of these small flying insects. A fungus gnat is attracted to moist environments, they can often be found around houseplants and in the soil of potted plants. There are a number of ways to prevent them and we'll go through how to get rid of gnats in this article.

What are fungus gnats?

Also known as dark-winged fungus gnats, they are a small, black fly that can be a nuisance in the home. They thrive in moist environments and can often be found around houseplants or in potted soil. While they don't bite or sting, these tiny flies can be a real annoyance with their constant buzzing around your head. 

How to get rid of gnats in house?

The best way to get rid of fungus gnats is to address the source of the moisture that they are attracted to, normally your houseplants. Make sure that your plants are getting enough water, but be sure not to overwater them. You can also use a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. If you have a problem with fungus gnats, it's best to address it sooner rather than later, before they become a bigger nuisance. Once they are there, we have the best options listed below to get rid of them.

How to prevent fungus gnats

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We found the best way to minimize gnats is to grow your houseplants in water or in other soil-less mediums. They lay eggs in soil, so removing that medium doesn't let them populate in the first place.

However making sure you don't have fruit bowls with ripe fruits goes a long way. The sweet smell of ripe fruits like an overripe banana attract them. You can also clean out your garbage disposals, a few tablespoons of a drain cleaner, diluted bleach solution or boiling water can go a long way and ensure you don't have to hire a professional pest control company.

What causes gnats in the house?

Fungus gnats can lay eggs in the soil of potted plants, and the eggs will hatch into larva that feed on the soil. The larva can then mature into adult fungus gnats. Fungus gnats can also be spread through your houseplant collection if you don't catch it early. They can also develop in rotten or overripe fruit. so keep an eye on those to avoid a gnat infestation.

Fungus gnats vs fruit flies

The two types of flies are similar in appearance but there are a few key differences. Fungus gnats are attracted to moist environments, while fruit flies are attracted to rotting fruit. Fungus gnats can lay eggs in the soil of your plants, while fruit flies cannot. Fruit flies will mature into adults more quickly than fungus gnats and are often found in ripe fruit found in your fruit bowl or garbage disposal. You definitely want to get rid of gnats, fruit flies and any other pests like spider mites on plants

Are fungus gnats bad for your plants?

They don't actually damage plants directly, however, the larva of fungus gnats can feed on the soil and can damage roots and stunt plant growth, particularly in seedlings and young plants so you'll definitely want to avoid a gnat infestation. Drain flies and do all you can to kill gnats early on, get them out of your potting soil before the gnats lay eggs.

What are the best ways to get rid of fungus gnats?

What makes fungus gnats hard to get rid of is how quickly they spread. Overall, getting rid of these flyings pests is pretty straightforward and we have a few solution below to drain the flies out of your house and get rid of gnats for good.

1. Sticky Traps

Sticky traps are one of the best ways to get rid of your fungus gnat problem. They are simple to use and can be placed near your plants or in the area where you are seeing most of the gnat infestation. The traps will attract the flies and they will get stuck to the sticky surface. Yellow sticky traps are the most popular, however there is a whole variety of options at your local hardware store that will trap gnats, such as fly paper, candle trap and sink drains solutions.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar and Dish Soap Trap

Apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap is a natural way to get rid of fungus gnats. The vinegar will attract gnats and they will fly towards it. Once they reach the vinegar, they will fall in and get stuck to the liquid dish soap traps. 


For an even better version, you can also make traps plastic wrap along with the apple cider vinegar and dish soap solution. Put the liquid solution in a glass and cover with plastic wrap. Poke a few small holes in the plastic, flies will fly in and get stuck in the sticky dish soap solution. You can add some rotten fruit or red wine to attract the gnats. This will help get rid of gnats quickly.

3. Mosquito dunks

This is a great way to get rid of larvae and get rid of gnats for good. They come as a dry pellet that you then dissolve into water. You can pour this solution on your damp potting soil or put in a spray bottle to use after you water plants. A few drops will prevent gnats and other flying pests in your indoor plants. This will get rid of the drain flies and larvae.

4. How to get rid of gnats? Prevent them in the first place. 

As gnats lay their eggs in soil, our top pick for prevention is transitioning some of your houseplants into soil-less medium, such as water or lecca, you won't have to deal with drain flies. We love growing houseplants in water as it removes any questions about watering schedules and other than finding the right light, all plants can be treated the same. It's also a beautiful way to display plants.

You can find more information about growing houseplants in water here: The Internets Best Guide To Growing Houseplants in Water.