Gnats are very much in need of a public relations department. Actually, a gnat could be one of several different small flying insects that are related in those biology classifications. The most common are called fruit flies (Learn how to get rid of fruit flies) and some types are called fungus gnats or vinegar flies. Regardless, they are always pests. They are completely harmless in every way except that they are one of the most annoying insects on the planet. They tend to buzz around our heads, clumsily bouncing off of our faces and occasionally get into our ears. The gnat has an average life span of around four months. It would be a very rare and unusual thing to see just one gnat flying around. This is because they spend most of those four months laying eggs. Each gnat can lay between two hundred and three hundred eggs during its life.
Most gnats love the smell of rotten food. It’s their main choice as a place to eat and to lay eggs. This is why you see them so often around your trash cans and sink drains. Most likely they are busy laying eggs there. They also seem to like over-watered plants. Since they really do not serve any practical purpose, are pests, and you’re reading this guide; you most likely want to get rid of them. The best way to get rid of gnats is to not let them come around in the first place. If you cover you trash cans, wash out you sink, and don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, you shouldn’t have to worry about them. Also make sure not to over water your plants. If somehow, despite all your preventive measures, you still have gnats inside your home, there are several ways to go about getting rid of them.
- Nuke Them. This is a good choice if you just have a few that wander in from outdoors. Just about any flying insect spray will kill them and very quickly. If the situation becomes an infestation, a fogger might be a better way to get the job done. If you use a spray and have pets make sure that you check the labels, and follow all directions for safe use. A less caustic approach would be to use insecticidal soap sprays.
- Track Them and Kill Them. If you’ve got a swarm, you need to eliminate the source. It seems gnats are attracted to vinegar. Fill a jar almost to the top with vinegar, poke several small holes in the lid and then set it out. The gnats will come to the jar, wiggle down into the hole, and will not be able to climb back out. Set several of these traps around your home and monitor them to determine where the highest concentration is and use that information to find the source. Understand that the gnats that pester you in your home require moist or wet organic material in which to breed – it could be anything from a grimy drain to the drip pan under your refrigerator. Check your door and window seals also – they could be breeding right outside and wandering in.
There are other home remedies that have met with success, but most of them use vinegar, and work pretty much like the vinegar trap above. Mixing a half cup of vinegar and a tablespoon of Dawn dish detergent attracts the gnats. They will feed on the mixture and die. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda works also. Be careful with this one. Vinegar and baking soda react and foam up, so make your mixture slowly. A cup of ammonia poured down the kitchen sink can also encourage the little pests to go elsewhere.
Gnats are harmless pests, and like many such household pests, the best way to get rid of them is to prevent them from coming around in the first place. It takes just a bit of protective sanitation to take away their breeding grounds. Also, most commercial flying bug sprays will wipe them out with little or no trouble. For more information regarding this article, read how to exterminate gnats.
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