How to Get Rid of Pesky Gnats Around the House

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Gnats, like many household pests, can sometimes seem to be another fact of life. Whether they're a result of moist houseplant soil or rotting food in your garbage can, they can be a nuisance. But just because gnats are around, doesn't mean they need they need to be around forever. Here's seven ways how to get rid of gnats around the house—it's time to find the solution that works for you.

01 of 07

Apple Cider Vinegar, Water, Sugar, and Dish Soap

A plastic bottle filled with soap

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First up: the classic apple cider vinegar, soap, and sugar combo. This tried-and-true solution is an easy way to get rid of gnats around the house, and it can be made with household supplies you probably already have.

To make it, combine 1 tablespoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with warm water in a bowl. Then, add a few drops of dish soap (any kind will do) and mix to combine well. Leave the bowl near your gnat problem and watch them dive in. The sweetness of the apple cider vinegar and sugar attracts the gnats, while the dish soap gets them stuck.

You can avoid getting rid of gnats entirely by preventing them in the first place. To do this, avoid keeping out overripe fruits or vegetables and keep your sink and kitchen counters clean.

02 of 07

Water, Vinegar, and Soap Spot Treatment

how to get rid of gnats around the house spot treatment

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Sometimes a more direct approach is helpful with gnats, especially when you only have a few. For a spot treatment that's effective and easy to put together, combine warm water with a few tablespoons of vinegar and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. Combine well, and spray any gnats you see, whether they're flying or on the counter.

03 of 07

Clear Drains With Bleach

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Gnats are attracted to fruits, vegetables and other organic material, especially if it's damp or rotting. So it's no surprise that many people find they have a gnat problem in their drains. If you see a few fruit flies lurking around your garbage disposal, here's an easy way to get rid of them: bleach.

To say see-you-never to gnats near your drains, combine a 1/2 cup of bleach with a gallon of warm water. Slowly pour it down the affected drain, and be prepared to repeat if needed.

04 of 07

Mash Up Banana

A fruit bowl with apples and bananas

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Lure gnats in with what they love most: overripe fruit!. To create this sneaky trap, mash an overripe banana (or another piece of just-past-its-prime fruit) and place it in a small bowl. Then, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke teeny-tiny holes in the plastic with a toothpick.

Like the apple cider vinegar trap, leave the bowl near your gnat problem. The gnats will go crazy for the decaying fruit, but the extra-small holes mean they won't be able to escape.

05 of 07

Use Red Wine and Soap

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Red wine gone sour? Put it to good use as a fruit fly trap! The dregs of your spoiled wine work remarkably similar to an apple cider vinegar trap. Add a few drops of dish soap to the bottom of your nearly-empty wine bottle for a simple-as-can-be gnat trap.

Place near your gnats, and get ready to watch them fall head-over-heels for spoiled wine.

06 of 07

Try a Candle

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If you haven't had much luck with DIY solutions, try something a bit different: use a candle. Here's how this trick works: place a tall tapered candle in a candlestick. Then, place that candlestick inside a shallow pan of water, and place the pan near your gnats. Light the candle and turn off all the other lights nearby so that the candle is the only source of light.

You'll need to stick around for this trick for fire safety, but if all goes to plan, the gnats should be attracted to the flame, fly into it and then fall into the water.

07 of 07

Effective Sticky Traps

A sticky trap in a houseplant

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If all else fails, it's time to head to the store. While there, pick up some flypaper and bring it home. Following the manufacturer's instructions, hang the flypaper near the source of your gnats, or put traps around your houseplants, and let them do their thing.

We know nobody wants to see a long strip of dead gnats, but you certainly can't deny that it's effective.