Top 7 Ways to Repel Gnats: Take Back Your Yard

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Insects commonly referred to as gnats can be a nuisance in your yard. However, gnats can be difficult to control, the top 7 ways to repel gnats: take back your yard. Gnats tend to swarm around your head and can be quite irritating. These small, non-biting insects lay their eggs in decaying organic matter.

They are relatively harmless creatures, but their swarming is annoying to gardeners. First, it is important to identify where the gnats are coming from and eliminate their breeding grounds.

Additionally, it would help if you took action fast when you see gnats in your home; otherwise, they will continue breeding and become increasingly difficult to eradicate.

What does Gnat look like?

Dark-winged fungus gnat, Sciaridae isolated on white background, these insects are often found inside homes

Gnats are small flying insects or pesticides that can cause a nuisance in the yard and garden. Gnats are mistaken for mosquitoes, but they are much smaller.

Gnats feeding on the roots of plants are a problem for gardeners. There are many ways to repel gnats, and it is important to identify them correctly to use the most effective methods.

Gnats and mosquitoes are both small, white or clear flying insects. However, gnats are only 1/4th of an inch long, while mosquitoes are double the size at 1/4th of an inch long. In addition, gnat larvae have black or brown bodies with six long legs and wings.

Furthermore, biting gnats will slice through flesh rather than pierce through flesh as mosquitoes do. Finally, they linger around even more than flies and mosquitoes do.

Adult gnats are typically not a problem, but their young can be quite bothersome. If you have a heavy infestation of gnats, they can do significant damage to your turfgrass and plants. It is important to treat the problem as soon as you see it because the gnats will breed rapidly and get into your house if left untreated.

4 Different Types of Gnats Outside

There are four different types of gnats that you may encounter in your backyard. These tiny, flying creatures include drain flies, fruit flies, phorids, and eye gnats. Each type of gnat has its own unique habits and can be difficult to get rid of.

Fruit Flies

Tropical Fruit Fly Drosophila Diptera Parasite Insect Pest on Ripe Fruit Vegetable Macro

The fruit fly is attracted to rotting fruits and vegetables. It prefers decomposing organic matter in the soil because it causes plant roots and leaves to decay.

Drain Gnat and Phorid

houseplants, bottle, proven

Drain flies and phorid flies are two types of gnats that share similarities. They both have a humpbacked appearance, and they both breed in moist environments like drains, septic tanks, and compost piles.

However, there are some key body distinctions between the two types of gnats. Drain flies lay their eggs on slimy surfaces while Phorid fly larvae eat the flesh of dead animals.

Eye Gnats

control, simple

Eye gnats or fungus gnats, for example, are often found around overwatered houseplants. They lay their eggs in the moist soil, and the larvae feed on plant roots, which can cause yellow leaves to drop or the whole plant to wilt and die.

The eye gnat is drawn to moist organic materials and liquids like soft drinks, wine, and vinegar. Fungus gnat is also a pathogen that causes damping-off, weakening, or killing seeds before they sprout and seedlings just after sprouting.

Top 7 Ways to Repel Gnats Take Back Your Yard (Gnat Repellent Traps)

spray, grass, home

Gnats are pesky little creatures that can quickly reproduce and overrun an area. There are many ways to repel them, but the most effective way is to use more than one method. It will help ensure that they do not become resistant to any method.

Gnat Insects Trap

There are many ways to get rid of gnats, but the most effective seems to be using traps. Gnats are naturally drawn to the color yellow. So by placing something yellow in your yard or garden.

You can lure them in and then dispose of them. You can also use small cards or cut larger ones into small squares.

Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a natural, organic powder used to kill gnats. It is made up of tiny pieces of fossilized algae and works as an abrasive to cut through the exoskeleton of the gnat. When the soil is wet, DE will not work as effectively. 

It is effective in repelling gnats and other pests, and there are several ways to use it:

  • Water your plants from the bottom by adding DE to the water you use to rinse them. It will help the powder reach the roots of the plants.
  • Mix it with water and use it in your garden, sprinkling it around your home and spraying it on plants.
  • Put a layer of sand on the potting soil before applying DE.

Flypaper Ribbons

Flypaper ribbons or sticky ribbons are a type of gnat trap. They are made of a sticky material that will catch all sorts of things, including your curtains, hair, and furniture.

Gnat traps are not for the outdoors- they can also use in an indoor setting. However, these sticky ribbons can trap beneficial creatures like butterflies and bees.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a popular solution for getting rid of gnats. Spray around the yard or in areas where you see gnats. It will help dissolve the film on the water’s surface that the gnats need to live on and eventually kill them.

To start, apple cider vinegar with water will attract and kill gnats. In addition, liquid soap with water mix will keep them from escaping once they fall in. Finally, cover your food and drink to prevent them from landing on it in the first place.

Drench the Soil 

There are various ways to repel gnats, but one of the most effective is to use a Bt drench. It is a naturally occurring bacterium in the soil that kills fungus gnat larvae. In addition, you can take some preventative measures to stop the gnats from coming back.

For potted plants, allow the soil to dry out between waterings; this will discourage the adults from returning and laying more eggs. The treated leaves will not be harmed but killed fungus gnat larvae. 

If you see gnats around the drain holes of pots, put fabric over the hole and make sure that water can still flow out. Finally, remember to refrigerate fruits and vegetables so that the gnats will not be attracted to them.

Replace incandescent bulbs with LEDs

Replacing incandescent bulbs with LEDs is a great way to repel gnats from your yard. Incandescent bulbs emit a bright light that attracts bugs, while LED string lights create a warmer glow that does not attract as many bugs.

Additionally, LED bulbs are more energy-efficient and last longer than incandescent bulbs, making them a better choice for outdoor lighting.

Use citronella as a bug repellent.

Citronella candles are a popular and easy way to repel gnats. They produce a strong smell that bugs don’t like, and they come in various forms, such as incense, oil, or candles. While not as powerful as other bug repellents, they are more atmospheric and can last a long time.

You can buy a large pack of citronella tea light candles and place them around your yard for maximum repellent power.

Another option is to stock your outdoor space with plants naturally produce citronella oil, such as lemongrass or lemon balm. Finally, if you have a patio, you can plant the plants around it for an added barrier against gnats.

How to get rid of outdoor gnats naturally in the yard? (Plants that get rid of gnats)

How to get rid of outdoor gnats naturally in the yard? (Plants that get rid of gnats)

There are many different ways to get rid of outdoor gnats naturally, like: 

  • To get rid of outdoor gnats, remove any dead organic material. It could be anything from piles of leaves to old compost heaps. By removing the food source, you’ll be depriving the gnats of what they need to survive.
  • Nematodes are microscopic worms that feed on gnats and their larvae. You can buy nematodes to get rid of outdoor gnats naturally. However, you should avoid using scents in your yard that might attract the pests, such as fruity scents.
  • Bug zappers are a great way to remove gnats from your yard. The zapper will kill the flying insects, including gnats.
  • There are a few plants that you can use to repel gnats naturally. Basil, lavender, and mint are all effective in keeping gnats away. You can plant these herbs near your porch or patio to help keep the area gnat-free.
  • Lastly, use scents that will repel them. For example, you can use a sticky gnat trap. These traps use scents like vinegar or citrus to attract the gnats and then use a sticky substance to trap them.

How to prevent gnats problem in your home?

top 7 ways to repel gnats take back your yard

Gnats are pesky little creatures that can be difficult to get rid of. However, following these 11 tips will help you eradicate them and keep them from returning to your house. 

Tip 1: Clean up any standing water on your property. 

Tip 2: Remove any rotting vegetation or debris in the kitchen.

Tip 3: Make sure your gutters are clean and free of obstructions. 

Tip 4: Repair any cracks in your home’s foundation or exterior walls. 

Tip 5: Install screens over all windows and doors. 

Tip 6: Keep the lawn well-watered, using 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. 

Tip 7: Use an outdoor insecticide spray to kill any remaining gnats.

Tip 8: Change the water in birdbaths and other containers every day. 

Tip 9: Make sure to remove any fallen leaves, as they are a major food source for these insects. 

Tip 10: Keep garbage cans near your house covered at all times and empty them regularly.

Tip 11: Use some products like mulch sprays or sprayers for litter grounds, gazillion holes, skin, eyes, and clothing.

How to get rid of gnats in the yard?

Yellow Sticky Insect Trap - used in monitoring and trapping of plant pests.

There are a few ways to get rid of gnats in your yard. One is to use an outdoor BTI drench, such as Mosquito Dunk. Let a dunk sit overnight or for a long enough period so that it will release the BTI into the water.

Remove the dunk and pour it over the soil around your plants. Do this for several weeks, and kill any larvae in the soil.

Another is to water the area heavily with a watering can or bucket. It will help saturate any insect-killing bacteria that may be present. You can also remove the dip and save it for later use, pouring it over plants after several weeks have passed.

Use traps that attract the gnats with ultraviolet lights. Use pest control companies that add a pheromone to attract the gnats. However, this only traps the adults and starts the cycle over again. Additionally, some gnats like to swarm around outdoor lights.

You can try using a repellent or changing your lightbulbs to yellow or sodium vapor bulbs, repelling the gnats. You can also try using natural repellents such as citrus or eucalyptus oil.


Gnats can be a nuisance when they are present in high numbers. They are attracted to fungus, rotting organic matter, and moisture. If you have a problem with gnats, use the above methods to repel them.

Additionally, keeping your yard and garden neat and clean will help discourage them from invading your space.

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.