How to Get Rid of Gnats

Few insects are quite as pesky as gnats. Fortunately, dealing with them is relatively easy. If gnats have been buzzing around your sinks and drains, scrub away grimy deposits in the pipes where they lay their eggs. Traps can cut down the number of adult flies and help you monitor the infestation’s severity. Cutting off gnats’ food supply is crucial, so store food in sealed containers, wipe up spills, and keep your trash bins covered and clean. With a little diligence, you can turn your home into a fly-free zone.

EditHousehold Fixes
If you have gnats that you want to deal with right now, you may already have everything you need at home:

If you have a wire brush or an enzymatic drain cleaner, you can stop gnats from breeding in your drains.
If you have apple cider vinegar and a mason jar, you can make a gnat trap.
If you have red wine and liquid soap, you can make a wine trap.
If you have gentle hand or dish soap, you can make a spray for your plants.EditSteps
EditDealing with Gnats in Sinks and Drains
Scrub inside the drain pipe to remove organic matter. Grime that builds up inside drain pipes is the perfect breeding ground for gnats. Use a wire brush or pipe cleaner to scrape away stubborn deposits of organic matter.[1]
After scrubbing the drain, bring a pot of water to a near boil, then pour it down the drain to clear the debris you’ve scraped.

Bleach, ammonia, vinegar, and other cleaning products won’t cut through deposits in your drain pipes.

Clear your drains with an enzymatic, foaming cleaner. If you can’t access your drain pipes with a wire brush, there are foaming products designed to eat away organic matter. Look for a product with “enzymatic” in its name or description at a hardware store. Pour it down the drain according to the label’s instructions, then let it sit overnight.[2]
After letting the cleaner sit, pour near-boiling water down the drain.

Foaming products work better than liquid cleaners.

If you’re concerned about putting chemicals down your drain, there are eco-friendly, non-toxic enzymatic drain cleaners available.[3]

Clean your drain with hot water nightly to prevent slimy buildup. Pouring hot water down your drain every night is the best way to keep your pipes clear. Aside from enzymatic drain cleaners, you should avoid pouring chemicals down your drains.[4]
Bleach, ammonia, vinegar, and other household products can erode pipes, especially older cast iron pipes.

Additionally, cleaning products can react with other chemicals in your pipes. A harmful reaction could produce dangerous fumes or pressure strong enough to burst a pipe.

Don’t pour insecticide down the drain, as harsh pesticides can have negative environmental impacts.[5]

EditMaking Gnat Traps
Trap gnats in a jar filled with vinegar. Find a used can or jar, and fill it about halfway with apple cider vinegar. Mix in a drop of dish soap to break the surface tension, which will help prevent trapped gnats from escaping. Leave the jar in an area you’ve seen gnats buzzing about, such as your kitchen or dining room.[6]
After you fill your can or jar, you could seal the lid and poke small holes in it with a nail or screw. That way, any gnats that don’t drown in the vinegar can’t escape.

You could also cut a plastic bottle in half, and add vinegar to the bottom half. Place the top, or the part with the narrow nozzle, upside down into the base. It should look like a funnel when you’re done. Gnats will follow the vinegar scent to find their way into the trap, but they’ll have a hard time getting out through bottle’s narrow top.

If you don’t have apple cider vinegar on hand, any type of vinegar will do. Other effective baits include beer or mashed banana.

Try making a wine and soap trap. Fill a small cup about halfway with red wine, then mix in a drop of a dish soap. Leave the cup out on your table or countertop to attract pesky gnats.[7]
The next time you have friends over for drinks, pour an extra cup of wine with dish soap to keep gnats away from your guests’ glasses. Just make sure you clearly mark the cup that has dish soap to avoid confusion.

Use traps in combination with other management methods. Traps can help you monitor an infestation and decrease the number of adult gnats in your home. However, on their own, traps aren’t an effective way to manage an infestation.[8]
In order to eliminate gnats completely, you’ll need to combat all stages of their life cycle. Traps only kill adult gnats; they do nothing to fight eggs or larvae.

EditPreventing Gnat Infestations
Remove food sources that attract gnats. Tidy your kitchen and dining room regularly, wipe up spills immediately, and promptly wash used pots, dishes, and utensils. Store fruit, especially ripened fruit, in the refrigerator.[9]
Always keep food in airtight containers stored in a closed cabinet or refrigerator.

Keep your eye out for sneaky spills, such as a little fruit juice by the fridge or a forgotten onion in the back of the pantry. Unnoticed messes could breed thousands of gnats.

Cover your garbage and recycling bins. Keep all of your bins covered, including those outside. Check their exteriors for spills and food residue regularly, and wipe away any messes with a mild bleach solution.[10]
Avoid keeping full bags of trash in the house overnight.

It’s wise to rinse out empty bottles and cans before throwing them in your recycling bin.

Check doors and windows for holes, gaps, and cracks. Repair any tears in window screens, and add weatherstripping to gaps around doors and window frames. Avoid leaving doors and unscreened windows open. Look for holes and vents on your home’s exterior, and seal them with caulk or fine mesh screens.[11]
Some gnats are small enough to fit through mesh screens, so you might want to keep your windows closed, even if they’re screened.

Try to eliminate damp spots in your home. Gnats thrive in moist places, so look out for damp corners in the kitchen, bathroom, and other areas of the house. Wipe damp spots down with a mild bleach solution or household cleaner, then dry them with a clean cloth. Store wet towels and clothes in a lidded hamper, and wash dirty mop heads thoroughly before hanging them to dry.[12]
Check the areas beneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, and repair any leaks you find.

Keep your blinds and curtains open to let sunlight into your home. Daylight can help prevent dampness.

You could also use a humidity monitor and dehumidifier to keep humidity levels in your home below 50%.

EditKeeping Gnats out of Your Plants
Allow the soil to dry out before you water your houseplants. Soil that’s constantly damp attracts pests, including gnats, and promotes mold growth. While you shouldn’t let your plants wilt or turn yellow, try to hold off watering until the soil is completely dry.[13]
To test the soil, stick your finger about into the surface. If dirt sticks to your finger, it’s probably best to hold off watering, unless your plants look sad.

It’s also best to use containers with drainage holes in the bottom. If your pots sit on saucers that collect excess water, be sure to drain them after you water your plants.

Add beneficial nematodes to your soil. Nematodes are tiny worms that eat the larvae gnats, fleas, and other pests. You can purchase them at a garden center; look for a product labeled for gnat control that contains the nematode species Steinernema feltiae.[14]
Typically, you mix beneficial nematodes with water, then add the mixture to your soil. Check your product’s label for specific instructions.

Beneficial nematodes are safe for people, plants, and pets, so try not to get grossed out or worry about harmful health effects.

Make a homemade gnat spray with gentle liquid soap and water. Mix a teaspoon or less of gentle hand or dish soap with a of lukewarm water. Add the mixture to a spray bottle, then spritz your plants’ leaves. After 2 or 3 hours, rinse the leaves thoroughly with water.[15]
While they’re more expensive, you can also purchase insecticidal plant soaps at a garden center.

Using a homemade soap spray increases the risk of leaf damage. It’s wise to test the spray on a small area before spraying an entire plant. As a rule of thumb, if a soap dries out or irritates your skin, it’s probably too harsh for your plants.

Repot your plants if other methods don’t work. If you haven’t had success keeping flies out of your plants, it’s time to transplant them. Water the plant, remove it from the old pot, then gently shake away as much soil as possible from the root system.[16]
Fill a new pot nearly to the top with fresh potting soil. Dig a hole in the center large enough to accommodate the roots, bury them, then cover them with soil.

If your gnat problem persists after transplanting, you might need to resort to chemical treatment. Head to your local garden center for a plant-safe liquid insecticide labeled for flying insects.

From fungus gnats to fruit flies, there are countless species of pesky, tiny flies. In general, management strategies will work for any species.

If your problem persists despite your best efforts, it might be time to call a professional exterminator.

EditRelated wikiHows
Get Rid of Stink Bugs

Get Rid of Earwigs

Make a Bug Vacuum

Get Rid of Bed Bugs

Kill Gnats Using a Ziplock Freezer Bag

EditSources and Citations
EditQuick Summary
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Today in History for 2nd January 2019

Historical Events

1831 – Liberator, abolitionist newspaper, begins publishing in Boston
1956 – 42nd Rose Bowl: #2 Michigan State beats #4 UCLA, 17-14
1960 – Roger Sessions’ 4th Symphony, premieres
1969 – “Soviet Sport” calls Emile Zatopek a public enemy
1983 – Ken Anderson of Cincinnati completes record 20 consecutive passes
1994 – “Shakespeare after My Father” closes at Helen Hayes NYC after 266 performances

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Famous Birthdays

1909 – Rene Etiemble, French literature historian (Parlez-vous Franglais)
1912 – Andre Ameller, composer
1940 – S. R. S. Varadhan, Indian-American mathematician
1964 – Christopher John Gray, priest
1967 – Harlon Barnett, NFL safety (Minnesota Vikings)
1971 – Taye Diggs, American actor

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Famous Deaths

1951 – Sir William Campion, Governor of Western Australia (b. 1870)
1981 – David Lynch, singer (Platters-My Prayer), dies at 51
1996 – Thornton Page, astrophysicist, dies at 82
2007 – Sergio Jiménez, Mexican actor (b. 1937)
2007 – Richard Newton, Australian-born technology pioneer and professor (b. 1951)
2012 – Gordon Hirabayashi, civil rights activist and WWII internment opponent dies after Alzheimer’s disease at 93

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How to Play Jeopardy with Alexa

This wikiHow teaches you how to play Jeopardy! on an Alexa-enabled device such as the Echo or Echo Dot. If you hope to make it on the show yourself one day, putting yourself on-the-spot to answer questions within the short time limit isn’t a bad way to practice! Simply enable the Alexa skill and you can answer regularly updated Jeopardy! questions each weekday. There are also versions for Teen and Sports Jeopardy which are fun if you want more specialized topics.

Say, “Alexa, open Jeopardy!” This starts the Jeopardy skill on your Echo device.
Say, “Alexa, open Teen Jeopardy!” or “Alexa, open Sports Jeopardy!” to access these versions of the game.

Do your best to answer the questions. After a brief intro, the skill will go right into asking you questions after telling you the category. Be sure to answer in the form of a question or your answer won’t be accepted!
Here’s an example question, “The category is: Medical Words and Phrases. This word that starts with ‘C’ is a fancy word for a bruise.” You will now have about 10 seconds to answer. In this case the correct answer is, “What is ‘contusion’?” There’s no need to say “Alexa” before saying your answer.

Say “I don’t know,” if you don’t know the answer. If you don’t say anything, the game will simply close without telling you the right answer.

You can say, “Repeat the question” to hear the question again.

Get your results. After you’ve answered all 6 questions, the skill will tell you how well you did compared to every other player who answered this set. Compare your results with family and friends to see who did the best!

Play a previous day’s questions. If you haven’t been playing the Jeopardy! skill every day, you’ll have questions available from other days waiting for you to answer. Just wait until you’ve after you’ve heard your results and if there are more questions available it will ask if you’d like to answer them. Just say, “Yes” and the game will start up again. New questions are released every weekday.
Members of Amazon Prime will get an additional 6 questions each day with Double Jeopardy! These additional 6 questions will be asked automatically after you have answered the first 6 for the day. If you’re not a Prime member you can pay $2 a month for the extra questions.

For the Teen and Sports Jeopardy, there are 12 new free clues released every Friday. You can also buy monthly packs of 50 clues, $0.99 for Prime members and $1.99 if you don’t have a membership.

Resume a game you had to interrupt. If you had to close the skill before you were finished, don’t worry, you can easily come back to where you were. Simply open the skill again and you will be prompted to either restart the day’s questions or resume where you left off. Just say, “Restart,” or “Resume.”
For example, if you wanted to continue to a previously unfinished game, you would say, “Alexa, play Jeopardy.” Then when prompted, say “Resume.”

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