Gnat Problems in Homes
The word gnat refers to any small, winged insect. Common gnats in homes are fruit flies and fungus gnats. These pests breed frequently, so it can be hard for homeowners to get rid of a gnat infestation.
How Does a Gnat Infestation in the House Start?
Fruit flies can enter homes through open doors and screens, or as eggs and larvae on produce. Once inside, they eat and develop in over-ripened fruits and vegetables. Other likely places for fruit flies to develop are:
- Poorly cleaned drains
- Moist places containing decomposing organic matter
Attracted to damp soil, fungus gnats usually get into homes by flying inside or from infested houseplants brought inside the house.
Fungus gnats infest soil and feed upon decaying or damaged plant roots as well as fungi found in the soil. While not dangerous to humans, a fungus gnat infestation can be a nuisance indoors, as clouds of these tiny pests swarm and settle repeatedly.
Prevention of fruit flies involves three basic steps to make sure they don’t become problems inside the home:
- Employ exclusion methods such as effective screening to keep them outside.
- Discard or store fruit and produce in a manner that makes it unlikely that flies will infest foods. Keep products in the fridge and inside sealed containers.
- Keep all food containers, sink drains, and trashcans clean so that flies don’t have sources of food and development sites.
When it comes to fungus gnats, avoid overwatering plants so that plant roots stay healthy and soil fungal growth is minimal.
Another important recommendation is to periodically inspect any open bags of leftover potting soil to ensure it is gnat-free.
How to Get Rid of a Gnat Infestation
There are several popular home remedies and traps that may reduce gnat infestations in homes:
- Yellow sticky traps - These glue-coated, adhesive paper traps attract gnats with their bright color and then trap them as they land.
- Fruit traps - Some homeowners use a jar of rotting fruit covered with perforated plastic wrap to lure and then trap gnats.
- Vinegar or red wine traps - Similar to a fruit trap, this option uses the gnats' attraction to these pungent liquids to trap them inside a jar.
While these methods may thin the pests' numbers, they are not a permanent solution. Traps only catch adult gnats, which limits their effectiveness since a new generation will soon emerge to begin the infestation again.
The best option to remove a gnat infestation in the house is to contact Orkin. These trained pest specialists can create a plan for safe and effective control.