Here is how to get rid of gnats at home
Gnats are characteristically minute and long-legged insects. They are habitually weak fliers. These tiny flying insects that a lot of people call “gnats” might be fruit flies or fungus gnats.
Gnats are nuisance pests but they do not cause major harm to homes and humans. Nonetheless, gnats might threaten human wellbeing if they transport pathogens from their unhygienic development habitat. Gnats reproduce and create a contaminated environment if left unattended for long.
Gnats are attracted to humidity and organic material. Some gnats’ species hide in the soil of houseplants, whereas others seek out decaying food remains in compost or damaged and over-ripe fruits. Any dampness in the home or dirty sites could lure them indoors and once inside, gnats are able to continue with development and reproduction.
Females gnat also known as the black fly, feed on blood. These gnats are known to carry parasites and spread diseases to people and livestock. Some gnat species are excellent plant pollinators and feed on other pests such as aphids.
The main sign of gnat’s infestation is the sighting of an adult gnat as they fly about in the air.
Adult gnat varies in size but generally not longer than 33 mm. Some stages of metamorphosis of the gnat-like the larval and adult stages of the gnat are considered both advantageous and harmful to humans and the environment.
Depending on the species, gnat lay their eggs on land or water. Larvae are capable of movement by means of rocks and water plants.
The most effective control for fungus gnats is by identifying the plants that have wet soil and let them dry completely before the next wetting. This drying will help in killing the larval stages in the soil. One can also remove the adult gnat by use of a vacuum cleaner from windows and from around the plants.
The breeding sites for these small flies are diverse, but for the most part, contain habitats that stay humid and comprise of decomposing waste components. Control of gnats usually centers on the removal of their egg-laying and feeding habitats.
The gnat’s first developing stage is the egg, and succeeding developmental stages are the larvae, pupae, and lastly the adult. Gnat eggs are minute and often cannot be seen without the help of a good hand lens or dissecting microscope.
Fungus gnat females lay eggs in humid soil or moist organic remains of plant origin. Some examples of habitation where females lay eggs include
- piles of leaves
- Garden and grass debris
- compost piles and mulch
It takes approximately three days before the larval stage hatches from the eggs.
The majority of gnats and flies are attracted to certain fragrances. Most people use a wide range of personal hygiene products that are highly scented e.g. soaps, perfumes, lotions, or hair sprays. Most of these products are scented with the flower or fruit smell that lures these pests to you. The scent of washing detergent or perfumes on one’s clothing will also attract these pests. Many species of gnats and flies may also be lured by body heat. Some of these pests are in search of moisture. Not only are they attracted to sweat, but also the mucous around one’s eyes and nose can be considered a source of moisture.
How to get rid of gnats at home
- Remove their food source. Fruit flies won’t stick around if they don’t have something to feed on. By washing, storing, and sealing leftovers, fruit flies won’t find their food source anymore.”
- Lay a trap. From time to time it’s best to take instantaneous action. Make a trap with apple cider vinegar and plastic wrap. Make your own fruit fly trap by pouring a little apple cider vinegar in a glass, cover the opening with a plastic wrapper strapped with a rubber band. Poke little small holes for the fruit flies to enter.
- Set up a trap gnat with a paper cone, vinegar, and overripe fruit. Roll a piece of paper into a funnel (cone) and stick it into the jar, place the narrow opening face down. The smell of the overripe fruit will entice the fruit flies into the mixture of vinegar, but the paper cone will make it hard for them to escape. Subsequently, you can drown the flies by leaving open a bowl of vinegar and dish soap. Soap reduces the surface tension of the vinegar, consequently, the flies will sink and drown.
- Fruit flies similarly like the smell of wine or beer. Open a bottle with a little leftover liquid (beer or wine) the thin neck of the bottle will keep the flies trapped.
If you have tried all the above and still find yourself in dire need of a more serious bug killer. Insect repellent is the last resort, however, use carefully if you’ve got small children around