This is What to Do About a Fruit Fly and Gnat Problem Inside Your Home
There are certain things you can do to not have any gnats or fruit flies inside your home. Check out our helpful tips here to fix your gnat problem.
Gnat problem? Is there any worse feeling than taking a bite of a delicious apple and finding a fruit fly on your tongue? If you’ve never experienced this, you don’t want to. It’s likely you’re looking for a way to get rid of the little buggers.
If you have a fruit fly or gnat problem, here are a few things you can do to get rid of them.
What Attracts Gnats & Fruit Flys?
Fruit flys and gnats are different bugs, but they’re attracted to the same things. They’re attracted to sweet smells and moisture. This is where the name “fruit fly” comes from.
Although, they’re not just attracted to fruits.
Gnats and fruit flys also tend to like drains, empty bottles and cans, and trash bags. They may even be attracted to certain fruity scents on your perfume, deodorant, or skin products. If you notice gnats flying around you, it’s probably something you’re wearing.
Gnats and fruit flys look for moist places they can lay their eggs. Namely, decaying fruit, as the young larva can eat it. They lay hundreds of eggs at a time, meaning it’s important to put a stop to the problem before it gets out of hand.
Remove Pest Attractants
The first step is to remove anything that fruit flys and gnats are attracted to. Throw out any rotting fruit, and take care of any unnecessary moisture. Make sure to change your garbage and compost bags regularly!
Keep your fruit in the fridge. This will make them ripen slower, and keep the flies away. Fruit can go from ripe to rotten really fast, so it’s always a good idea to keep it refrigerated.
Most importantly, wash your dishes and get a lid on your garbage cans. Gnats and fruit flys love these areas.
Gnats and fruit flys are even attracted to wet soil in house plants! If you find them frequenting your plants, try repotting your plant in some fresh soil. The soil could be wet underneath the top-most layer, leading to an infestation.
Keep your home clean, keep your garbage covered, and don’t overwater your plants. If you follow all these rules, you should notice a huge reduction in fruit flys and gnats.
Fly-paper is a tried and true method of dealing with gnats and fruit flys. It’s that sticky, often yellow paper meant to catch bugs.
Find areas where the bugs tend to hang out and put up some fly-paper. You can get “ribbon” paper that hangs from the ceiling, or even window paper that goes over a whole window. It may not be the most attractive solution, but it’s definitely an effective one.
Set up Fruit Fly Traps
Companies like Beapco make traps specifically meant for fruit flys and gnats. These traps are non-toxic, affordable, and won’t stick out like fly-paper. Plus, they’ll catch a lot of fruit flys and maybe even eliminate your gnat problem.
These pod-like traps contain a sweet-smelling liquid that fruit flys love. They’ll fly right into it and then get stuck inside. The traps even last up to 30 days, meaning you won’t need a ton of these things to solve your problem.
You can also make your own fruit fly traps! All you’ll need is:
A mason jar
Apple cider vinegar
Fill just the bottom of the mason jar with apple cider vinegar, then add a drop of dish soap. This will make a sticky solution that flys won’t be able to escape from.
Next, cover the mason jar with plastic wrap and poke some little holes in the top. They’ll fly right inside and get stuck in the solution! Set up a few of these in problem areas and see what happens.
You can also add a little sugar if the flies don’t seem interested enough!
There are many ways to make gnat traps. You can substitute the vinegar for banana slices, or even red wine. Fruit flys and gnats are real wine connoisseurs!
This is a quick, cheap, and easy way to stop your fruit fly issue before it becomes an infestation. It’s perfect if you want to stick with a natural solution!
The Bleach Trick
If you’ve noticed gnats around your sink, pour some bleach down there. While bleach does not eliminate the organic matter causing your gnat problem or fruit fly problem, it can kill the existing pests.
Put on some safety gloves and a mask, and pour a generous helping of bleach down the drain. Let it sit for a few hours, then run the water to wash it all out. This will kill any bugs that happen to be hanging out inside your drain.
Water Your Plants With a Hydrogen Peroxide Mix
As mentioned before, gnats are attracted to any moist source, including wet soil. If you want them to regret ever touching your plants, try this little trick.
Make a mixture of four parts water and one part hydrogen peroxide. This will kill any larvae that may have been laid in your plants. The solution will bubble up to the top of your soil if it worked.
This will not kill your plants, so don’t worry. It’ll just take care of those disgusting baby gnats and fruit flys.
Kill the Gnat Problem With a Bug Zapper
Like the fly-paper, this is a satisfying way to get rid of your pest problem. It also allows you to see just how many flys you’ve got, and how effective the solution is.
Gnats and fruit flys, like many pests, are attracted to light. The bug zapper will pull them in with its enticing light then zap the pests out of existence. A good zapper has a reservoir at the bottom that will catch most dead bugs.
You can get little zappers, big zappers, and even stylish ones that won’t stand out too much to guests. These use electricity, of course, so they’re not the greenest solution. But they are undeniably effective.
The Candle Trick
Ready for an old school trick that’ll also set some ambiance?
Get a candle and candlestick and set them up in a pan of water. Light your candle, turn off the lights, sit back and watch. The gnats will fly right into the candle and drop into the water.
It’s like a bug zapper minus the zap and plus a whole lot of burning. This may not be a realistic long-term solution, but for small issues it can work wonders. Plus, it’s a pretty great little experiment.
Take Care of Outside Gnats, Too
Gnat problems and fruit fly problems are most commonly indoor issues. But sources outside can also attract the little pests! It’s important to take care of the outside, too, if you want to get rid of the problem once and for all.
One solution is to deploy the homemade or store-bought traps mentioned above outside. As long as you set these somewhere they won’t fall over or spill, there’s no issue. You can even make larger versions of these traps using buckets instead of jars!
Try using sodium bulbs in outdoor light fixtures, as these attract gnats and fruit flys much less than other types. Set up a good drainage system for your garden, and top off any overly-moist soil with dry soil. If they can’t get to the wet soil, they can’t lay their eggs.
If you have birdbaths, change the water and keep them clean. You can also apply liquid insecticide near the entrances of your home to deter bugs from coming in.
Keeping gnats and fruit flys away from the outside of your home is a lot like keeping them out of the inside. It’s all about controlling moisture, keeping things clean, and setting up traps.
What Gnat Problem?
Follow the simple instructions laid out above and you’ll be well on your way to living pest-free. A fruit fly or gnat problem can be frustrating, but there are a lot of ways to take care of them. One of these solutions is sure to work for you!
Get those traps ready, get that house clean, and start living fruit fly free today. You’ll be happy you took care of the issue sooner rather than later.
Call an Exterminator
If your fruit fly or gnat problem is out of control, it’s time to hire an exterminator. Exterminators will scope out the problem, set up traps, and may use pest-killing gasses and poisons if necessary. If nothing you’re doing seems to be working, it’s time to hand the reigns over to the pros.
Find a trusted exterminator in your area. Always ask them how they plan on taking care of the issue, and what you need to do to help. Often you’ll need to leave your house for a few hours, cover any loose food, and make sure pets are isolated from the poison.
Fruit fly and gnat problems are often manageable without an exterminator, but this isn’t always the case. There’s no shame in getting the help you need for your issue. It beats living with pests!
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