On House Gnats
Many people enjoy having animals around the house. Gnats, however, are not usually on the list when it comes to potential pets. While they don’t do any great harm to humans, common house gnats do tend to cause us a fair amount of annoyance. If you have gnats creating a nuisance in your place, there are some things you can do to get rid of them and keep them from making a comeback.
About The Gnat
Gnats are tiny, mosquito-like creatures with brown or black bodies and clear wings. In flight, they appear as little dark specks flitting about. Some gnats are bloodsuckers and others merely bite.
You often won’t feel it when a gnat has bitten you, but the area will later itch and might hurt a bit. Make sure to wash the area thoroughly when you find that a gnat has nibbled on you. To be cautious, rub some antiseptic or antibiotic ointment on the bite. You can put ice on the affected skin to minimize the effects.
Luckily, house gnats are not of the bloodsucking variety and usually stick to assaulting your produce and house plants and leave you and your family alone.
House gnats are sometimes called fruit flies even though they technically are not. They are attracted to organic materials like plants and food, and will congregate around these things. They will lay eggs in the soil of your houseplants and will happily dine on overripe fruit, causing it to rot even faster. It can be rather off-putting to see tiny black bugs swirling around your fruit bowl.
Have you ever seen a cloud of buzzing gnats hovering about eye-level around dusk? This is called a “ghost,” and is a collection of males of the species hoping to attract mates.
Getting rid of gnats is fairly easy. Not only do you have the size advantage, there are plenty of things you can do to rid yourself of pesky house gnats and prevent them from coming back.
- Remove the top layer of soil in any infested houseplants – go down at least an inch. If the gnats have really taken over, it might be better to replace all of the soil just to be safe.
- Find a fruit and vegetable insecticide. Chemical, as well as natural, versions are available and both work well. Of course, it is advisable to use natural methods when pets or children are in the house. Spray windowsills, doors, and any other place gnats might enter your home.
- Try this home gnat removal method: pour apple cider vinegar into a small dish and cover with plastic wrap. Make a small opening at the top. Gnats will be drawn to the cider and will find their way inside but will not be able to make it back out. This is a slow, but 100% natural, way to beat gnats and is ideal for mild to moderate infestations. It also works with red wine and fruit juice.
- To prevent future gnat outbreaks, spray plants regularly with a water & dish soap solution. You can also mix a bit of dish soap in when you water your plants every so often. This will deter gnats and is not harmful to your plants. Make sure, though, that you don’t use dishwashing machine soap, which contains chemicals that could be toxic to plants. Use this trick for fruit as well.
- Avoid leaving standing water around the house. Gnats sometimes reproduce in and around water so don’t give them the opportunity.
- Try using pure citrus oil as a deterrent.
- Throw out old fruits and vegetables.