My apartment is infested with gnats. About a week ago my roommate mentioned to me that there were some bugs in our apartment, but we didn't do anything about it. A few days ago we had a party and then we noticed that the gnat population had dramatically increased. There are a few in the kitchen/living room, but most are in the bathroom and our bedroom. We cleaned the whole house, but still can't get rid of them. We tried the vinegar and vacuum method. Any other ideas, besides bug spray?
By Annelise from San Francisco, CA
Well, hair spray will drop them right out of the sky, but if you're infested as bad as you say then that is no help. Maybe if you can find something with an odor that offends them and makes them leave. What that would be I have no idea. Sorry.
If so, you'll want to make sure your kitchen and bathroom drains are good and clean. Lots of hot water, bleach OR lemon juice (not both), etc. Vinegar will also work in drains to cut the gunk off of the sides. Fruit flies can live off of barely anything, so clean your drains well. Also, eliminate any places where there might be any garbage or wet spots for a while as that's where their larvae hatch without you finding them. Take your garbage outside daily til the problem is fixed. Put baking soda at the bottom of your trash bins. Trap the fruit flies by using an old wine bottle with alittle wine in the bottom, and/or ketchup or mayonnaise (which they love) and use the paper funnel method someone else suggested. Before you move the bottle, have a Ziploc bag ready and very quickly put it over the top of the bottle and hold it there til you take the bottle outside to the trash. It'll take a little while to get rid of them, but this should help. They come in with groceries and are hard to get rid of.
Are these gnats or fruit flies? If fruit flies, you have to find where they are living. Usually this is in garbage or compost. Another place they like is in empty juice boxes and pop cans and wine bottles, like you would have after a party, or in your recycle bin. Fruit flies have a life cycle of only a few days, and so the ones that are bothering you now will be dead in a day or two. However, more will hatch if you don't find out where they are incubating.
I have never had them in my drains, but you can get them in your house plants as well. I found that they were worse around Christmas time when we here in Canada got mandarin oranges or clementines. They are not harmful, just a nuisance. Eliminate their breeding ground, and you have solved the problem.
If there are any vents that lead outside the house, check them. These could be coming in through the vents. We had a horrid fly problem (like Amityville Horror) and found that they were coming up through the floor heater vent from the basement of our building. We put a cover over the vent (it was summer so we weren't using the heater) and no more flies.
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 comments that were provided then.
In NC it is very hot and muggy. We have problems with gnats getting inside the house and driving us crazy. Any ideas on how to control them inside without harsh sprays?
In NC it is very hot and muggy. We have problems with gnats getting inside the house and driving us crazy. We've taken care of obvious causes, but we are still plagued by them. Any ideas on how to control them inside without harsh sprays?
Jill from NC