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Solutions for Flying Gnats

Category Gnats
Finding the source of the gnats, be they fungus gnats or fruit flies, is the first step to eliminating them in your home or apartment. This is a page about solutions for flying gnats.


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November 10, 2010

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


November 12, 20101 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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November 12, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

June 22, 2010

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


Solution for Flying Gnats

As silly as this may sound, it has worked several times in the past for me. HAIR SPRAY! Spray it directly on the gnats and it keeps them from being able to move their wings. They instantly fall to the ground! Good luck! (07/13/2004)


By Brenda

Solution for Flying Gnats

My Daddy used to take a clean canning jar & a piece of notebook paper to form a "gnat catcher." He'd turn the paper so that paper sort of looks like a funnel, bigger at the top than at the bottom, and tuck the small end in the canning jar. Once you have the paper that way, you've got the hard part finished. Eat a piece of fresh fruit, that has a seed inside, like a fresh peach, put the peach seed or whatever seed in the bottom of the jar, lift the paper out and replace it and just leave it. The gnats will find their way to the peach seed, but won't be able to find their way out. Once you have a bunch of gnats, dispose of how you desire. (08/10/2004)

By badwater

Solution for Flying Gnats

A friend of mine sent me an email a few months ago regarding getting rid of mosquitoes and flying gnats. I tried this and it definitely works!


Place a little lemon fresh, Joy dish detergent in a white dish (bowl or plate) with a little water and mosquitoes and gnats are drawn to the scent and they just keel over dead once they come in contact with it. (10/27/2004)

By Gwen Donaway

Solution for Flying Gnats

I got an infestation of gnats and just sprayed them with Windex. They suffocate. It's a vinegar style Windex. You can try Windex or Vinegar in a spray. (05/11/2007)

By Tetris

Solution for Flying Gnats

Well, if the detergent with water will work then even beer on a plate should too. It isn't the detergent that kills the gnats, they drowned. By adding detergent to water it breaks the surface tension of the water that would normally allow the insect to stand on the water, so, they sink immediately and drown. Beer on a plate works the same way. I have used this method for fleas as well. Happy hunting! (06/11/2007)


By David

Solution for Flying Gnats

Hi. It sounds as though these gnats are not from outside, but from inside. They are called "fungus" gnats, and they are from your indoor plants. You will never get rid of them all until you treat your plants, and the dirt. You may even have to re-pot all plants in new dirt, then keep that dirt treated so none will develop. If you never treat where they are coming from (plants), then you will never get rid of them, and they just multiply. (07/12/2007)

By emily

Solution for Flying Gnats

Try using the vacuum cleaner hose to suck them right out of the air. (08/13/2007)

By James Dubroy.

Solution for Flying Gnats

Vinegar and bubbles in an open bowl works very well. (08/21/2007)

By june

Solution for Flying Gnats

Apple Cider Vinegar in a saucer placed near your plants. We have gotten rid of tons of them with this. (08/23/2007)

By Rand

Solution for Flying Gnats

I called my pest guy and he said put dish-washing liquid in your drains before you go to bed at night. Also, though not frugal, Lysol Antibacterial Kitchen Cleaner kills them almost instantly when you spray them. Those gnats can drive you crazy! (09/07/2007)

By mom2Q

Solution for Flying Gnats

For this particular problem I put garlic in all the potted plants and the gnats went crazy and haven't bothered me since. But if they come back this summer, I'm just gonna use the vinegar trick. (03/09/2008)

By gnat master killer

Solution for Flying Gnats

Take a jar or disposal glass, put 1/3 cup of Apple Vinegar, a teaspoon of sugar, and mix. Take a sheet of paper and make a funnel. Stick small end of your funnel down in the glass, tape off around the lip of the glass. Stand back and watch the little buggers come a running for dinner. Once they get in, they get confused and die. This really works. (07/01/2008)

By MIke in Tennessee

Solution for Flying Gnats

Simple. Prepare a pot of coffee. Put some of the coffee in a bowl in each room where you have seen them. The next morning they will all be dead. There is something about the coffee that attracts them and they drown. (07/10/2008)

By Ria

Solution for Flying Gnats

Get a small saucer and pool a small amount of Merlot in it. Get the vacuum cleaner out and hook up the hose with the crevice attachment. About every 30 minutes or so go look at the saucer. There will probably be 20 or so gnats around. Turn on the vacuum and slowly move the crevice attachment closer to them. They will just sit there hoping you don't see them and poof! They will be sucked into the vacuum. Do this until you see no more. Repeat once a week until the season is over. Remember to move slowly or they will fly away. Hope this helps. (07/16/2008)

By Tom

Solution for Flying Gnats

Hallelujah! Last night I made paste from corn starch and garlic. Smeared all over my self, including face and hair. I had a bite free, good night's sleep. First in 11 days. Went to store this morning, got 1lb of Powdered garlic. Powder, like powdered sugar and cake duster, or condiment plastic bottle with long tip and small hole. I have gone around and dusted everything, everywhere. Including the dog, who loves it. Two hours now and it seems quieter. Many things I touch feel bug free. Good Luck. (08/13/2008)

By Ralph

Solution for Flying Gnats

I've also heard that rubbing yourself with a fabric softener towel will keep gnats away. (09/10/2008)

By LInda

Solution for Flying Gnats

Spray your screens with Avon's skin so soft (original scent). Gnats will not cross that barrier. (10/08/2008)

By donna

Solution for Flying Gnats

Apple Vinegar works:

Take a glass jar, fill it 1/2 way full of straight apple cider vinegar. Cover it with plastic wrap, making sure it's taut over the top of the jar. I usually put a rubber band around the jar just to be sure. Poke a few small holes in the plastic, so the "aroma" can get out, and put 4-5 larger holes - I usually use tacks and then a stick pen. The scent will attract the Gnats and the bigger holes allow them to go in it, but they can't come out. You'll be amazed at how many you'll find floating in the vinegar after a few days. (11/23/2008)

By Cranny0414

Solution for Flying Gnats

Like so many of you, I am in the process of trying to find a solution to our flying gnat problem. I recently found out that cedar placed in houseplants works well. So I purchased small marble sized cedar pieces and placed one in each of my houseplants. Also, I have tried the following bug potion and it does work - if you spray the entire plant. I cut up a small onion and add to that 4 tablespoons of garlic, 1/4 cup of Joy dish soap - add this mixture to 1 quart of hot water and let cook overnight. Strain into a spray bottle and spray entire plant every couple of days.

I still have some gnats, but not as many - I intend to continue to treat my plants, and I am also going to try some of the suggestions referenced here. Thank you for your ideas. (12/14/2008)

By Shirley

Solution for Flying Gnats

You can also use a 2 liter bottle. Cut top off, just above the label. Take cap off, add aluminum foil. For the top, secure it with either tape or a rubber band. Now put banana peels or something sour into the bottle, invert top, with a small hole in foil (for gnats to go through). Tape all around the bottle with duct tape and you have a gnat trap. Watch the little buggers fill it up, they cannot get out. (01/25/2009)

Solution for Flying Gnats

I think I may have a solution for you. This is only theory. Gnats are attracted to carbon dioxide and rotten food, preferably bread. Do this. Lightly soak a bread loaf with water and place it at a damp place, till it completely rots. Make a paper funnel, and get some dry ice (dry ice is all carbon dioxide). Place a little piece of rotten bread and dry ice in a jar, and put the funnel on the mouth of jar. Tape it up to secure. The hole in fully should be so small that only one gnat can enter at a time. They will fly in like hell. CO2 and rotten bread can't be beaten by anything, when it comes to gnats.

This is all theory BTW, I am looking to try it tomorrow. Will be posting my results in a day or two.

Arslan (02/01/2010)

By Arslan

Solution for Flying Gnats

Update: Here's the deal. With the 'recipe,' mentioned in my previous post, I obtained dry ice from Walmart and some rotten bread. In one night, I was able to collect close to 100 gnats. Actually the moment I placed the recipe in the jar, within 10 seconds, gnats started flying around it. It works. ;) (02/02/2010)

By Arslan

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November 10, 2010

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

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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