How to Keep Gnats Away Once and for All Now

by | Cleaning, Living

“OMGosh, help!  How to keep gnats away?”

If I haven’t Google this question a million times. After much research, I finally know.

Not only am I going to share with you how to keep gnats away, but how to really get rid of the annoying little suckers now. They keep coming back because you haven’t done what’s needed to REALLY get them gone in the first place. Also, I will share an absolutely horrifying experience I recently had at a restaurant. You will not believe it!

Go through the following four steps. You will free yourself from these little pests once and for all and keep them away. It’s extremely important to follow the steps. So read the details carefully and completely.

Here are the four steps I took to get rid of gnats.

  1. Deep clean your house.
  2. Clean drains throughout your house.
  3. Invest in the Katchy Indoor Insect Trap.
  4. Set a few traps.
  5. How to keep gnats away

Where Did They Come From

Before we get into how to get rid of gnats and the step-by-step process I used, we have to understand how these little pests came to be.

Obviously, gnats find some way to enter our home. It’s not always a result of cracks and holes in walls and windows. It’s not always even leaving the door open. Sometimes we bring them in via our fresh fruits and plants. Yikes! 

Once they are in, that is all she wrote. Although their life cycle is short (we are talking days), they breed quickly. They can lay up to 2,000 eggs and within 2 days they hatch, grow to adulthood, and are ready to mate.

Now you understand why it’s important to take care of them quickly. They work fast! You have to work faster.  

If you don’t you will be fighting them all summer. Maybe even into the winter, but I can’t recall ever dealing with them doing the winter seasons. 

The 4 Step Process I Used to Get Rid of Gnats

I figured out quickly that getting rid of a gnat infestation required several different approaches simultaneously. Doing one without the others can cause you to lose many battles in the war of winning back your home. 

how to get rid of gnats

Trust me! After weeks of fighting, I finally won the war. In order to rid your home of these little pests for good, do the following:

  1. Deep clean your house. Other than the obvious, gnats are attracted to sticky spills and rotting food. You will want to scrub your floors, being sure to get under your refrigerator and your stove. I was appalled at the food crumbs I found on the sides of my stove and refrigerator. 

Don’t stop there. Clean inside your drawers and cabinets. If you have a little one, don’t forget that highchair. Food always finds its way under the padding.   

  1. Clean drains throughout your house. You may think that the infestation is only in the kitchen, but they can lay their eggs anywhere. So, I poured a cup of diluted bleach down the kitchen sink, including the garbage disposal. 

I turned the disposal on and poured slowly. I also poured the bleach solution into all the bathroom sinks and bathtubs. Finally, I poured boiling water after an hour or two of using the bleach for good measure.

Now, I didn’t use this technique, but I came across it in my search. Instead of using boiling water, you can tape a clear plastic bag over the drains overnight. The gnats will try to leave the drain but will be stopped by the plastic bag. You will find them in the morning alive and kicking. 

  1. Invest in the Katchy Indoor Insect Trap. I purchased the Katchy from Amazon here. It worked ah-mazi-ng! I can’t sing its praises enough. The trap uses sticky boards that have to be replaced every so often. You can also get them from Amazon here.  
  1. Set a few traps. Chances are you know about this one because it’s very popular. Mix apple cider vinegar and a couple of drops of dish soap into a container. The gnats will be attracted to the vinegar. Once they venture into the solution, the dish soap makes it harder for the fruit flies to get out. 

I skipped the homemade container and purchased these cute little apples, Fruit Fly Trap . They are really inexpensive and look a lot better on your counters than some jar or plastic container. You can see how they work in the video as well.

I do want to caution you on using chemical sprays. They work, although I think you still will have to do the deep house cleaning including the drains. 

However, please remember that insect spray or fog has poisonous chemicals. If you have children and pets, I would just stay away from them. If you must, carefully read the labels and follow the directions.

How to Keep Gnats Away

At the beginning of this blog, I promised that I would not only share how to get rid of gnats, but how to prevent the annoying little suckers from coming back. In keeping that promise, here are several tips to prevent fruit flies from coming back:

  • Keep your kitchen clean. Listen! No judgment from this tired mama of 3 (all of whom are in different age groups) who has been known to leave dishes overnight. 

Make it a habit to wipe down the counters after every meal and wash dishes. If you can’t get to the dishes right away, make sure to at least rinse the food off before leaving them in the sink.

  • Once your fruit ripens, put them in the refrigerator. Remember, gnats love overripen fruits. They flock to them like white on rice. You can also use the apple fruit fly traps with the vinegar solution mentioned above. That is what I do. But I am still very mindful to eat or move into the refrigerator when my fruit ripens. 
  • Take your trash out every day. Unfurntrately, we threw away lots of food- the life of a mom with littles. Gnats are often lured by this food so if you haven’t, make it a habit to take it out daily. It’s also a good idea to use a covered trash can.
  • Check your pantry for spoiled food. I keep potatoes and onions in my pantry. Every now and then, they spoil before I can use them. Be sure you are removing any rotting veggies. 
  • Clean produce after purchasing. Believe it or not, as I mentioned earlier, we can bring the gnats into our home. When you buy your produce, gnat eggs or larvae could be on them. To safeguard, wash them off before you put them up. 
  • Don’t overwater plants. This is a note to self.  LOL! This is how I think this whole thing got started for me. I purchased a basil plant, overwatered it, took it outside, and brought it back into the house. I noticed them from then on out. By the way, my plant died. LOL! But not before becoming a breeding ground for these annoying fruit flies, which I also wrote about how to keep gnats out of your plants over here.
  • Turn off all the lights in the kitchen at night. The adult fruit flies are attracted to the light. That is what helps make the Katchy (mentioned above) such a good product. They are attracted to the light and once they get close enough that is all she wrote for the gnats. So, if you decide to purchase it, put it in a dark room and it will draw gnats to it. Just place it where you see most of the gnats.
  • Bleach your drains every so often. Just a preventive measure, do this as regular maintenance. It will keep your drains free of food and smelling fresh.
  • Keep your recycling bin clean. If you recycle make sure the containers are free of food scraps. Be sure to wipe down the bin too. I would recommend using a bleach solution to clean with. 
  • Keep your dish cloth/cleaning rags clean. Fruit flies can lay eggs on these items. Although I am reducing my dependence on chemicals in my home, bleach is still a staple. From as young as I can remember, my mother used bleach for just about everything. She poured a top of bleach into her dishwater. I often do the same.  
how to get rid of gnats

Fruit flies love hanging around these.

Why You Should Care About Fruit Flies

After a recent horrifying incident with a fruit fly, I decided to research the health risks associated with consuming food that fruit flies had contaminated.

I learned gnats can carry bacteria from surface to surface. That includes your food. Yikes, again!

These bacteria can include salmonella, E. coli, and listeria (read more on this). If you didn’t know, these germs can cause you to get food poising. If you ever had food poisoning you know it’s no fun. In some cases, it can land you in the hospital, and in other cases, it can be fatal. 

Learning those facts was enough for me. Because hate is such a strong word, my dislike of gnats runs deep…real deep. 

My Experience with Gnats at Panera Breads

The day that I wrote this article, I purchased one of my favorite dishes from Panera Breads. The Mediterannen Bowl is ah-ma-zing! It’s so so good. 

Anyway, it was after church. I had taken the kids to another place to eat. Because I didn’t want what they were having, I waited to go to Panera. It was a long wait too. 

I was so hungry! To make matters worst, I purchased the bowl and waited 20 minutes to get to my next destination to eat it. My mouth was watering. I couldn’t wait to eat it. 

I was so super disappointed when I took my food out of the bag. Before I could even open the lid, what did I see? A gnat!! I saw a little gnat still alive flying around my Mediterranean bowl.

how to keep gnats away

I think I throw up in my mouth right then and there. Then repeated about a million times within a few seconds. 

I am not even going to lie though. Once I thought about how hungry I was, I thought about still eating it. Don’t judge me. I was hungry! 

Luckily for me, common sense, which is not always so common for some, prevailed. I decided to Google if gnats carried germs. After I did my search about the health risk of gnats, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to eat the food. 

Now, I am sure I, like many of you, have consumed my fair share of contaminated gnats’ food. LOL! But it’s just a difference when you actually know…when you actually see the contamination right in front of you. I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Sounds unbelievable right? I have receipts. True story! I would not make something like this up.

In the age of cell phone video, that was the first thing I did…record it. Don’t believe me? Watch here! Of course, I then called the store from where I had made the purchase. 

There is never a dull moment in my life. 

How to Get Rid of Gnats Wrap Up

I hope this article has outlined actionable ways you can rid your home of gnats and fruit flies that are easy for you. I hear they- gnats and fruit flies- are not the same, but close enough. Hopefully, you also had a laugh or two on me. 

It is always my goal to help serve others through my knowledge and/or lived experience- even the unpleasant ones. 

Remember, the important thing is to really do all the steps at the same time. That is what made the difference for me. As a recap, those steps are:

Once you have completed these steps, make sure you do the preventive measures as well. Consistency is the key to all of this. 

Happy gnat-free living!

Do you have any questions or tips on how to get rid of gnats and fruit flies? What about stories involving the annoying little creatures? Let me know in the comments below!  In addition, while you are here, consider checking out my other content here.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission. Know that I only recommend products and services I’ve personally used and stand behind. When you use one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me, which helps me run this blog and keep all of my in-depth content free of charge for readers (like you).

2 Comments

  1. Cindy Salter

    Great article and so informative! Thank goodness we’re gnat free and kid free at the moment!🤣

    Reply
    • Cindy Lumpkin

      Being kid-free can for sure help you stay gnat free. 🙂

      Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Share This