I remember the first time I dealt with gnats hovering around my kitchen. I remember thinking, “Why are so many gnats in my house?” What has caused this gnat infestation in my house?
After conducting my independent research and talking with professional pest control and extermination services, I have written this article so that you can learn from my mistakes rather than run in circles, frustrated with having to swat away these tiny little bugs.
What Are Gnats?
Gnats are tiny flies that often come into a house in the summertime. They’re small and seldom bite people and animals, but they can carry diseases from unhygienic environments.
Typically, these dark-brown insects with wings live in moist areas. They have a long, slender body and large eyes without antennae.
Gnats typically stay close to the ground near plants or wet surfaces like sewers, basements, and other damp places where they can find food sources such as decaying organic matter on the surface of the soil or plant parts.
Even though they don’t bite, they can irritate when swarming around you because their tiny bodies release many chemicals that contribute to allergies.
These pesky little pests are small, winged bugs with a wingspan of 1/4 inches and are most often found indoors around windows, walls, or ceilings.
The first sign of gnats is usually many flies with the same characteristics as gnats, but they look different because they have wings; these flies might be attracted to lights outside at night. Typically, insects such as fruit flies, fungus gnats, and phorid flies are referred to as gnats.
Where Do Gnats Breed?
Fungus Gnats are the most popular type of gnats. They tend to live in places like basements, crawl spaces, garbage cans, and dumpsters.
These insects are attracted to moist, organic material such as plant leaves and soil. They also feed on dampness, so they often breed in areas associated with development sites like construction or landscaping projects.
Most gnats breed in the kitchen, specifically near food. This can be due to fruit flies breeding and developing in specific areas like fruits or vegetables.
Gnats will also develop from a female gnat laying eggs on moist surfaces such as wet garbage bags inside trash cans or over rotting foods that are not being dealt with properly.
Gnats also breed around damp basements because they come out during rainy seasons and find shelter within these environments while remaining to dry themselves by burrowing into the ground.
How Do Gnat Infestations Start?
Gnat infestation typically starts due to excessive dampness and the availability of organic matter that is starting to rot. Once your home meets these two main requirements, gnats will begin to enter your house through an open window, drainage openings, and similar crevices in your home.
Types of Common Household Gnats
There are typically three main types of household gnats that you will notice when you start wondering about why your home suddenly has so many gnats.
Fungus gnats are small, black insects that you can find in various places around your home. These gnats are most often found in and around your home gardens. It’s important to clean up dead leaves or flowers, so they do not spread into your potting liner and cause mold growth as well as other problems for your plants.
The fruit fly is the most common type of household gnats and fungus gnats. The fruit fly is best described by red eyes and small body size and usually appears around ripe or rotten fruits and vegetables in your kitchen.
You will find phorid flies most commonly around your drainage systems and garbage cans or any area that is extremely filthy and damp.
What causes gnats to grow their populations?
The most common cause of gnats is that they enter your home from outside. Gnats can also emerge from eggs laid in produce and grow eggs in potting soil.
My experience tells me that you will mostly find gnats in your home after entering through an open window. But gnats can also be found in the kitchen from fruit their larvae have eaten before growing into adults.
Many people don’t know this and leave their rotting fruits on countertops for too long before throwing them away. If you have fruit flies or other types of pests like mosquitos or ants, it is possible that your house might also attract these insects along with gnats!
Gnats are common, especially in warmer months. They usually come from a nearby gnat infestation or if you have a garbage bin with an overabundance of food scraps near your home. Therefore, while you should take steps to prevent these bugs from entering your home, you do not need to stress much about them!
Why Are So Many Gnats in Your House?
You keep finding gnat infestations in your house because you have something in there that these bugs are attracted to.
Gnats are attracted to organic material that has decayed and environments that are still warm, such as rotten fruit and a house. They enter the home searching for a place to procreate or lay their eggs.
Gnats can reproduce rapidly if they have enough resources available; however, they tend not to be as prolific if deprived of sustenance. Because they need warmth to live, they may fly into your home when it’s hot outside because gnats can’t survive cold temperatures for long periods.
3 Easy Tips to Get Rid of Gnats
Gnats are annoying, but they’re only pesky little insects that have been invading your home. Here are a few ways you can get rid of them.
Using apple cider vinegar to trap gnats
A potent way to capture gnats and then eliminate them is to create a trap using apple cider vinegar, sugar, and liquid dish soap. Gnats are attracted to apple cider vinegar and sugar solutions. Once they take the bait, the dish soap will simply drown them.
Trapping gnats with fruit traps
Since gnats are attracted to organic items such as fresh fruits, another great way to trap gnats before expelling them from your home is to set out fruit in a bowl and then lay a plastic cover that has holes large enough to let gnats in. Once they get it, they’ll be trapped!
Kill gnats with bleach.
Bleach is one of the most powerful disinfectants that you can use to tackle your gnat situation. Simply dilute the bleach in water and pour the solution down the drains in your home. This should be strong enough to kill phorid flies and other gnats that have infested your bathrooms and drainage areas.
How to Prevent Gnat Infestations in Your House?
Now that I have answered your questions and doubts about why you have so many gnats in your house, here is a bonus section that discusses how you can prevent gnats from infesting your home!
Get rid of organic waste properly –
If you want to prevent gnat infestations, the first thing that you need to do is get rid of food and drink in your trash. This will make it harder for these insects to find a place of residence so that they will move on from your house.
Additionally, using flypaper can also help eliminate this problem because flies are attracted by it and won’t enter the traps without getting caught.
Clear the trash from your home and drainage sinks-
The easiest way to get rid of gnats is by taking out your trash every night. If you live in a home with multiple windows, you must close the curtains or shades as soon as possible after returning home from work so gnats can’t come inside.
Reduce the frequency of watering plants to reduce moisture –
Watering plants less frequently and not leaving water standing on your plants or outside of them for long periods are great ways to ensure that there isn’t too much moisture inside your home.
Keep organic food like fruit in your refrigerator –
Fruit is an attraction for gnats. Therefore, if you want to prevent these pesky little insects from infecting your home, simply keep your fruit in the fridge rather than leaving it exposed to the air.
Can gnats bite you?
Yes, gnats can bite you. Their bites could cause small bumps on your skin that itch. However, even though they can bite gnats don’t generally make it a habit to attack human beings. That being said, gnat bites could also cause allergic reactions.
Are gnats and fruit flies the same thing?
No, all gnats and fruit flies are not the same thing. They certainly look quite similar, but these insects have proper distinctions. While fruit flies belong to the biological family of Drosophiida, there are many families of gnats.
Why are there suddenly so many gnats outside and in my house?
The most common answer would be that you have garbage and rotting organic matter in and around your house. This could be in your garden or your garbage area. This is because gnats are extremely drawn to such unhygienic environments.
Can dryer sheets kill gnats?
While dryer sheets may not kill gnats, they repel these insects due to the presence of a compound found in lavender and basil. Both these items are natural gnat repellants.