How to Get Rid of Gnats Outside and Inside Your Home

Published on: May 22, 2021 (Last modified on: May 21, 2021)

Gnats are annoying little insects that can become a nuisance in your backyard and inside your home. Not only do some gnats bite, but their constant buzzing around your eyes and ears can interfere with time spent relaxing on your patio or deck. Gnats can also invade your home – there are many types of gnats that can become a bother in your house and may even cause problems for your houseplants. If you want to know how to get rid of gnats outside and inside your home, here is what you need to know.

Gnats are a category of flying insects, but it is not a technical term. They tend to be small flies that often move in swarms or clouds. They can be biting or non-biting and are attracted to a variety of elements. Insects that are considered gnats include phorid flies, fruit flies, drain flies and fungus gnats. Some are more common outside and may bite, like sand gnats or no see-ums, while others hover inside around garbage cans, decaying fruit or houseplants.

How to Get Rid of Gnats Outside with Gnat Repellent

Finding the right gnat repellent is how to get rid of gnats outside your home. If you have gnats that swarm around your outdoor lighting or bite your ankles when you are relaxing on your patio, you need a solution. Gnats can be detrimental to your outdoor plants and lawn due to the excessive amounts of larvae they produce. The larvae can destroy plants and turf, which is why homeowners want to know how to get rid of gnats outside.

There are a few ways to repel or kill gnats in your yard to protect your landscaping and reduce irritation from these insects. There are devices, chemicals and natural gnat repellents that can be successful at controlling the gnat population. Keep in mind that only killing adults is not enough to get rid of gnats. You also need to find ways to kill larvae on your grass and plants to stop the cycle. Here are some outdoor gnat repellent options.

Chemical insecticide can be used to kill gnat larvae. While adult gnats can be annoying, the larvae are what feeds on plant roots and stopping the cycle is your best option to control gnats in your yard and gardens. You want to target the areas where gnats are laying larvae – the larvae are less than a ¼ inch and either clear or white. Gnats tend to lay their eggs in moist areas and soil. Grass, gardens and landscaped areas with evidence of larvae should be sprayed with the insecticide according to the instructions.
Bug Traps and Lights
While bug traps and lights will not kill larvae, they can be used to remove adult gnats to prevent further eggs and larvae. Bug lights and traps can also keep your back patio or deck clear of gnats to make relaxing outside more comfortable.
Mosquito Dunks
A substance called bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, or BTI, can be effective at killing gnat larvae. These “dunks” are soaked in water and then the water is poured on affected soil and plants in gardens and lawns. BTI is a naturally occurring bacteria, not a pesticide, that interrupts the larvae development. It is safer to use if you have pets or children that are in areas where you will be treating for gnats.
Natural Gnat Repellent
There are a few natural gnat repellent options you can use for your outdoor areas. Citronella oil can be used on skin to repel biting gnats. Citronella plants or candles can also be used on your back patio to deter gnats from bothering you when you are relaxing outside in the evenings.

a gnat sitting on a green leaf

How to Get Rid of Gnats in Plants Indoors

Gnats can be a nuisance inside your home. Fruit flies and other gnats can swarm around your fruit bowls or garbage, and your houseplants can be destroyed by gnat larvae. Like controlling gnats outside, you need to kill the larvae to stop the infestation. You can spray insecticide on your houseplants but if you prefer a non-chemical option, use the BTI water to control larvae on your plants. Mosquito dunks are effective for stopping larvae development and can stop the gnat cycle while protecting your indoor plants.

If you want to know how to get rid of gnats outside and inside of your home, start with prevention. Gnats like to lay their eggs in moist areas and soil. Do not overwater your gardens, lawns and houseplants to reduce pooling water and stagnant water around your home.

Gnats can be annoying and harmful to your plant life in your gardens, lawn and inside your home. Controlling adult gnats and killing larvae, along with prevention methods, are the best way to rid your indoor and outdoor areas of gnats.

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