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Getting Rid of Gnats

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Furious girl with a fly swatter.

Seeing spots zipping past your eyes? It could be the dreaded gnat. These tiny insects multiply rapidly and can become very annoying. This is a guide about getting rid of gnats.


Solutions: Getting Rid of Gnats

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Make A Gnat Trap

I also have a gnat problem again this year. The only thing that worked for me was to take a 9 oz. or larger glass, make a funnel out of paper (computer or notebook) with a tiny opening at bottom. Make the top (opening for gnat entrance) large enough to fit in the glass and use tape to hold it in place. I found they will find a way out if the bottom funnel hole is too large and or if the top part isn't taped securely around the glass. Funnel made from notebook paper.

Pour enough apple cider vinegar in glass (before adding funnel), to get it as close as possible to bottom of funnel. The smell of vinegar attracts them to the funnel and in they go and can't get out. You'll see them walking around inside the glass trying every way possible to get out. They'll get tired and drown in the apple cider vinegar. Place these where you see them the most, in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, etc. They like moist areas. Remember to redo every couple days. I tried plastic cups, but for some reason, they go to the glass better. Good luck!

By adbdnc from NH

Paper funnel down inside of drinking glass. Trapped gnats visible in the glass.

Tip: Use Bleach Water to Control Gnats

Recently our house has been overrun with gnats. I followed all your suggestions, nothing worked. I finally called an exterminator, he couldn't come but he told us to pour scalding water down every drain in our house and follow it up with bleach.

They said we may have to do it several times before we can see it is effective. We used 2 gallons of scalding hot water for each drain and followed up with a quart of bleach for each drain. I wanted to pass this along cause it is really a problem this year.

Source: This information came from an exterminator.

Tip: White Vinegar for Gnats

Everyone knows how annoying gnats can be. Once they are there, it's very hard to get rid of. They nest in damp places, such as sink drains. If you want to get rid of them pour a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar into a small bowl. Put it in the general area of where they are swarming.

You can tell a difference within a day. They will be gone completely within a couple of days. If they are in more than one area, put a small bowl in each area. This really works!

Source: My daughter, Miranda

By Rhonda from TN

Tip: Create a Gnat Trap

To create a gnat trap, take an empty 2 liter bottle, cut off the top 1/3, pour in some sweet pickle juice or vinegar/sugar combo, then invert the top and fit it into the bottom containing the mixture. It should attract the gnats which will then be unable to find their way back out!

By virginnyb65 from Charles City, IA

Give a "thumbs up" to the solution that worked the best! Do you have a better solution? Click here to share it!


Here are questions related to Getting Rid of Gnats.

Question: Getting Rid of Gnats in the House

We have gnats which are taking over. What is the safest way to get rid of them? They are in our bedroom, as well as the rest of our home, but mainly concentrated in the kitchen and our master bedroom.

By Heather from Smyrna, TN


Most Recent Answer

By Gwen G. [1]06/07/2013

I just moved into an apartment. I've found a lot of dirty little overlooked areas, like caked on food on the trim of dishwasher, stove, floor corners. The gnats were coming from the pipe that is a bit larger than the drain hose from the washer stuck inside of it.

Solution...rubberbands (for now), take the hose out of drain pipe, slip the rubberbands onto the pipe &/or drain, I used several. Stick the hose back into the pipe, and reattach the little security band that keeps it in there. Wrap a piece of scrap fabric, or old towel all around and overlapping where hose and pipe meet.

Slip those rubberbands over each one, some on the pipe and some on the hose. Prevent them from flying out of the drain. It really stinks. I have run several loads of bleach rags down already, from all the gunk I cleaned up. I will have maintenance come and deal with the odor.
Best of luck with this problem!

Question: Gnats Biting Dogs

Dog in yard.We go the lake a lot and gnats drive him crazy. If anyone know of what too use on my dog, please let me know.

Pat from IN


Most Recent Answer

By Clynn Altemus [21]03/09/2010

I live in an area where there are gnats and no-seeums, both of which go after my dogs. I rub them down from head to toe with white vinegar. It even keeps the fleas and ticks away, and I don't have to worry about them getting sick.

Question: Gnats Coming Into the House Through Screens

What can I spray or rub on the screen to keeps these gnats from coming into my bedroom?! I don't want a trap that lures them in and then kills them, I want something that repels and keeps them off my screens and out of my room. Please help.

By Nicole S.

Most Recent Answer

By Cinder08/27/2014

I put rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and spray the windows. The spray will kill the knats almost instantly. Using something like this can be an attaction to children so its best to store it where they can't get it. It looks like water in the spray bottle. Also this doesn't get to the root of the knat problem. My mom poured bleach down her drains when knats got in the house.

Question: Gnat Traps

Do you have something to catch gnats? I need some ideas for making a trap.

By Marie M

Most Recent Answer

By kerly87 [19]04/05/2012

I made the mistake of using hedge apples to try to get rid of spiders, and instead I got a house full of gnats. :-( I put small bowls of vinegar out, with enough veg oil on top to thinly cover it. I was amazed at how many of those pesky gnats I caught in them. Literally hundreds of them.

Question: Getting Rid of Gnats

How do you get rid of gnats?

By Finis

Most Recent Answer

By Sandi/Poor But Proud [429]01/19/2011

Yep, she is right. But, to keep the water adhesion down, drop in a few drops of dish washing liquid.
Works every time!

Question: Gnats in the House

I have fungus gnats (that do bite) and or biting midges, and they are wreaking havoc with biting me and my dog. My carpet was brand new 2 years ago and shampooed frequently and almost dry when finished. The gnats or other insects are also leaving larvae and gooey brown stuff and sticky runny stuff on my things. Everywhere.

What do I do and how do I get rid of them in my house and stop them from biting us? They are all over the place. I am not a dirty person either. My dog gets a bath regularly and is on all preventions. Thanks.

By Barbara from Richmond, VA

Most Recent Answer

By Sweet Spring Farmer12/02/2011

Our gnat infestation came courtesy of the 7 cords of firewood we brought into our basement for this winter's heating. Even though the wood had been "drying" outside for almost five months, it had been a wet summer. We used a combination of apple cider vinegar and dish detergent placed throughout the basement and upstairs rooms, fly paper strips, and up close and personal squishing!

What seemed to work best was the fly strips hung in windows, with as many as six strips forming a curtain. (The gnats seem to favor light and would congregate during the day in sunlit windows; at night they'd flock to light bulbs.) Regarding Hot Shot Pest Strips (as with most chemicals): the instructions on the package are clear in their warnings about their danger to all living things and food; just because you can't smell it doesn't mean it's safe! Take the time to pursue pests with safe products.

Question: Gnats in the Basement

I am having problems with gnats in my basement. I don't know what they are attracted to. I don't have any live pants or food in the basement. They seem to be multiplying. How can I get rid of them?


Most Recent Answer

By Linda (Guest Post)07/13/2005

They are probably fungus gnats. They have to be breeding somewhere. If you can find the source (think damp/moist places) there is a product from Garden's Alive called No More Gnats, that I use on my houseplants when I start to see gnats.


Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Problem with Gnats


I have a problem every spring and summer with gnats in my kitchen. Any ideas? - Susan J.


RE: Problem with Gnats

I too deal with gnats and here is how I cut down on them. First, put away ALL food, including fruit in the fruit bowl. Put food scraps in bags before putting in trash can, and empty trash frequently. Make a gnat trap-a small bowl of vinegar with a few drops of dishwashing liquid works well-change frequently. You can also put a piece of banana in a jar, stretch plastic wrap over the mouth and secure with a rubber band, then poke holes in plastic wrap-they can get in but they can't get out. This get gross after a while. At night, pour some bleach down EACH drain in your house, and plug-that is where they breed. Good luck. :-)

Post by Connie(/font)

RE: Problem with Gnats

The best solution I have found for gnats in the kitchen is as follows: take a large glass or jar, put a little cider vinegar in the bottom and put saran wrap over the top, secure with rubber band. Make a very small hole in the top just big enough for a gnat to get through. They will come in to get the vinegar, but cannot find their way out. This works very well for me.

Post by Wanda(/font)

RE: Problem with Gnats

This is for the lady with gnats in her kitchen. Could they possibly be fruit flies?

Post by Karin(/font)

RE: Problem with Gnats

Place a piece of banana peel into an old ketchup bottle (long necked small mouthed bottle) lay the bottle on it's side at night. In the morning the flies should be in the jar enjoying the banana peel. Without moving the jar place the cap on, locking the bugs inside. You can toss out the bottle trap or just wash it out outside and reuse again if needed.

Mrs. Kathy Cohen Northfield, VT

Post by(/font) (userlink:ver1008159)kcohenvt(/userlink)

RE: Problem with Gnats

I would like to thank Wanda, Karin, and Connie for your help with my gnat problem. I am a single guy who knows nothing about plants but to water them and my aunt brought me plants with gnats on them and they had infested my entire home. I searched all over the internet before I found your remedies and I they all worked!

Thanks ladies

Post by Steve Herron(/font)

RE: Problem with Gnats

The Cider Vinegar with saran wrap and rubber band with small hole does not work for all gnats. I have little black gnats, not fruit flies or fruit gnats. Any other ideas I can use. Black Gnats just fly around cup, won't even land on lid.
Please Help,

Going "Gnaty"

Post by Shawn(/font)

Archive: Getting Rid of Gnats

Place a few chunks of a ripe banana in a large jar that has a lid that will fit it. Lay it on its side and leave it be. I usually lay it on my sink overnight and in the morning very gently put the lid on, turn on the Hot Water, carefully remove the lid part way and let the water go in. It kills the gnats.

The water must be very hot to work as the cold water only stuns them. It works every time. It might take several times but shortly your gnat problem will be under control. Warning: You must not leave the banana and jar unrinsed as the Gnats will lay eggs! Don't ask me how I know!

By Candi from Wheeling, WV


RE: Getting Rid of Gnats

To the person with who says they have little black gnats that are not attracted to the fruit remedies... I think those flies are called Sewer Flies. Cleaning all of the drains in the house with some enzyme eating chemicals is what I have seen work. Not an expert on this but at least you have the name of the black type of flies which is Sewer Flies. You can google that name on the internet and even see a picture to verify you have the right species and get suggestions for their removal. (03/30/2006)

By luv2spa.

RE: Getting Rid of Gnats

A bowl of vinegar with a spoon of dishwashing soap,than gnats are attracted by the vinegar bet the touch of dish soap breaks the surface tension of the water so the gnat try to feed but end up drowning, it takes several days but it works! (03/30/2006)


RE: Getting Rid of Gnats

Apple cider vinegar with a paper funnel in a glass or jar wins by a LONG SHOT! They WANT that vinegar! The kids are having a blast checking the jars in different rooms! (My youngest son apparently hid banana peels in many rooms of the house and bulked up the gnat population!) (04/02/2006)

By JOmm

RE: Getting Rid of Gnats

i finally, after trying every remedy used rubbing alcohol from the store. I put a spray nozzle from windex on it of course cleaned it and they died on contact. I have a couple left tonight but need to head to bed. I must've had millions. This worked for me and I tried many, many, posts on the internet including some here. Good luck!!! (05/28/2006)

By vanessa

Archive: Getting Rid of Gnats

How do you get rid of gnats?

Sher from Columbus, OH

RE: Getting Rid of Gnats

A few years ago, I watched a gardening program with a guest who had written a book (can't remember his name) The host of the show asked him the best way to get rid of gnats in houseplants. The author told him #1 Do not over water! and #2 To put peeled and bruised Garlic Cloves in the soil.

I put 4-5 garlic cloves in one plant and change the cloves about once a month. It took me about 1 1/2 to 2 wks to totally get rid of the problem. Every now and than one will creep in but soon disappears! (09/26/2006)

By SweetCali40

RE: Getting Rid of Gnats

Hey... just to warn everybody... if you do the banana in the microwave trick... be careful because we learned that bananas are indeed flammable. The gnats definitely came into the microwave... but my Dad nuked them for 4 mintues and a few still flew out. We think they are now radiated super gnats.

So, we are doing the vinegar and dishwashing liquid thing too and that definitely is working.

Oh... and don't leave a banana peel in the trash can by your armchair... that causes gnat problem for sure (DAD!) (10/08/2006)

By Kelli Smith

Archive: Getting Rid of Gnats

I have tiny gnats that are flying all over my house. I have cleaned and scrubbed and tried to find anything that might be the source of them.