Getting Rid of Gnats in a Litter Box

Category Gnats
Gnats seem to thrive in our homes in a wide variety of situations. This is a page about getting rid of gnats in a litter box.


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August 30, 2004

Please help! Our kitten eats Iams food for kittens and it seems that there are little gnats coming out of his litter box. Does anyone know what causes this? - Ana


August 30, 20041 found this helpful

From what I've read, the gnats (possibly called fungus gnats) are probably laying eggs in the kitty litter.

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September 17, 20041 found this helpful

These are, more then likely, not gnats. I am willing to bet these are what most people would call fruit flies. I know what you are thinking...however, fruit flies are related to dung flies. So these could be the cousins, that have invaded kitty's box.


I would empty the box. Scrub it with bleach water and let it air dry in the sun. Move any box you have for the cat, to another part of the home. If you put a clean box back, the bugs will still come. If the bugs have nothing to eat, then they will die. You can also try spraying them with bug spray.

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By Chrissy (Guest Post)
November 17, 20040 found this helpful

I have from time to time seen a spider or 2 in the dirty box, I will clean it, replace it. Then recently I spotted an unidentifyable bug. Is this normal???

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By Jessi (Guest Post)
June 18, 20051 found this helpful

We had this same problem last year. My husband tells me that these insects also like urinals. I accidently found a solution to this problem when I decided to put a bowl of vinegar near the catbox for odor control.


The gnats must have liked the way the vinegar smelled because they all drowned themselves in it within a week or two.

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By Jay (Guest Post)
July 4, 20053 found this helpful

Had this problem and it got so bad today that I had to go to Home Depot and get fly paper coils. The pop open and then are hung on the walls or wherever and capture the flying adults. I also got some spray and fumigated the cats litter box area (which we keep under the stairwell downstairs, with it's own door fortunately). I cleaned the box with bleach and scrubbed it clean.

So far, seems like they are gone for now. Will see if it lasts. Thanks for the info everyone. Very helpful.

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August 19, 20052 found this helpful

gnats are really bad last year and this year. the best thing for it them is fly paper strips all over your house.


and especially above the litter box. they are cheap and they work....

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By Beverly (Guest Post)
September 7, 20050 found this helpful

Help! They are living in my refrigerator. What is causing this and what can I do about it?

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By Lisa (Guest Post)
September 18, 20050 found this helpful

I have found red pill bugs in my cats litter box. Do I need to take my cat to the vet?

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September 18, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Lisa,
If these are pill bugs, the color means they are dying so probably aren't any risk to your cat. Here's a link that shows some pictures and give some information:

You can see if this is the same type of pest you are dealing with.

Susan from ThriftyFun

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September 20, 20050 found this helpful

Great...I have this same problem now. From what I've seen, there are a combination of both gnats and what look to be fruitflies. After I couldn't find a food source in the kitchen that may have been giving life to these annoying pests, I looked in the cat litter box and noticed quite a few. I couldn't even drink anything without using a lid on the glass, for if I waited awhile one of the gnats would land in it and drown.


I also found a substantial amount of dead gnats in both the refrigerator and freezer. Guess I will try cleaning out the litter box, using the flypaper strips around it, and maybe the bowl of vinegar idea that someone else posted. My concern is that once one of my cats has another nature call, the gnats will infest the litter box all over again.

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By gillie (Guest Post)
August 13, 20070 found this helpful

man, it's like they appeared in a week and have totally taken over my house! i'm being dive bombed! they are in my trash and litter, so i'm constantly picking up trash, changing the litter box and taking out the trash. nothing is working. those little buggers are determined to ruin my life! i guess i'll try the fly paper thingys cause i got pets and i don't want to harm them.

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By Winter Dryden (Guest Post)
September 26, 20070 found this helpful

I have also had these, they are especially bad in the bathrooms, kitchen, & litter. I refer to them as "kamikaze gnats" because they will fly right into your mouth, nose, or even into hot food.


They are fruit flies. They like the litter, and they LOVE bananas. If your gnats have stripes on them, this is probably what they are. Here is a better link to decscribe them:

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By SoSweet (Guest Post)
September 27, 20070 found this helpful

I have been struggling with the same issues. I did initially clean out the box but my down fall was that I placed the clean box back in the same spot. Yes, it got reinfested. This litter box was in the bathroom, in a dark corner. It seems that these "gnats" tend to like dark areas a lot. Thanks for all the suggestions and info, even from 2004.

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By Gma in Texas (Guest Post)
October 9, 20073 found this helpful

SOLUTION: My problem started a short time after I started using a "crystals" type litter. After reading a post here that said they used Fresh Step Scoopable and never had a problem, I decided to give it a try. I emptied the litter box, washed it out, and refilled it with Fresh Step Scoopable. I left my dish with "apple cider vinegar with a dab of liquid dish soap" on the counter to catch the last of the renegade gnats, for a day, but it has been two days now, and no more gnats. Hurray!

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By Shari (Guest Post)
October 10, 20071 found this helpful

Does anyone know what the egg of a gnat looks like?

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By Carissa (Guest Post)
November 11, 20072 found this helpful

Would these bugs be biting the cat? I think we have them and I think they are biting our cat!

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Read More Answers

I have 3 cats and 2 large litter boxes for them and I am having a huge gnat or fruit fly problem. I keep the litters clean and get rid of everything the bugs would like, but they are still here. I want to get rid of the bugs, but not the cats. The bugs have been here since the last summer began and no doubt will be twice as bad when summer comes again. Please help! They are so annoying.

By Carolyn Brown

Read More Answers

October 4, 2016

I have two cats, both are females (one white and one black) and they have their own litter boxes. Both boxes are about two feet from each other. I clean each litter box once a week with bleach. I recently started doing this because fruit flies have been coming out of only one litter box, and it's the white cat's litter box. They both eat the same type of food. Why are they only coming out of hers and not the other's?

Read More Answers


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February 5, 2011

I have a gnat problem in my litter box. I just recently bought a Litter Maid. The waste bin is filled with gnats. I did not have this problem before I got the new box. I change the waste bin everyday trying to get control on the gnats, but they are taking over my house. What can I do to get rid of them without hurting my cats? Is there a spray or something I can use to get rid of them?

Rhonda from TN


Getting Rid Gnats In Litterbox

It's more likely fruit flies than gnats. They're tiny and there are two types. But gnats can happen, too. If they're slightly fat, but still tiny, definitely fruit flies (if they're at all longer than wide).

For fruit flies, the best thing i've ever found you can buy at a hardware store (Sears is the best place for them). It's a sticky trap that is short (about 8 inches tall) and wide (about 6 inches wide), yellow, with four "lobes" of sticky stuff. Hang that up, put a piece of cantaloupe, peach, jam, or something sweet on each little "shelf" between the sticky bits. (Google "EZ Trap). Put it up where your cats can't get to it and where you won't bonk your head on it.

Another alternative, is wine-bottle or milk-carton traps. You can try various things (cider vinegar, a bit of wine, mayonnaise, ketchup) inside a wine bottle or milk carton. You can even leave a little milk in there, they love that, the nasty things. Then put a paper funnel (like you get at a gas station for doing your oil) in the top. Flies get in, can't get out. Just toss when you're done.

We haven't had as much luck with that as the EZ-trap and we've tried a lot of different things, including other sticky traps. It's definitely the best.

Switch the bait out, see what draws them. They're eating and drinking the moisture and nutrients in the cat box and even the little bit in the wastebin. Fruitflies can literally live for a short time on just alcohol fumes, so it's hard to get rid of them. Also take all used litter and tempting (to them) trash outside in a sealed plastic bag immediately for a while. That helps. Good luck! (09/10/2007)

By Nathalie

Getting Rid Gnats In Litterbox

I have the same automatic cat box and never had any gnats, what kind of kitty litter do you use? How many cats use the box? I use Fresh Step kitty litter and I have 4 cats using my one box. I line the dumping tray with a plastic grocery bag and when I come home after working all day I just toss the bag outside in the trash. I replace the bag and add more litter. I also vacuum under and around cat box twice a week. I clean out the whole cat box once a month. I hope this helps you out. (09/12/2007)

By Maddy

Getting Rid Gnats In Litterbox has a multitude of hints and solutions for getting rid of everything from gnats, to flies, to yellow jackets. Check this out, I'll bet it will solve your problem. (09/13/2007)

By Lori

Getting Rid Gnats In Litterbox

I know me and my soap water, but it does work for a lot of things. I just had fruit flies for a little while, when I brought in my onions after I thought they was dry. I did end up with fruit flies because some of them was not dry and started to rot. I just spayed them with soap water and you see them drop to the floor. (09/13/2007)

By Joyce

Getting Rid Gnats In Litterbox

They may not be fruit flies, but a different type of fly called Phorid flies. They breed in places with dead or decaying organic matter (sinks, garbage disposals, trash cans, litter boxes, etc.). Use a foaming drain cleaner or bleach or a strong cleaning agent to get rid of them. (11/24/2008)

By Amy

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