With warm weather comes a bounty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Sometimes, the produce bounty can also bring an unwanted bounty of annoying gnats swarming around the produce and other food items. Once gnats arrive, they may reproduce seemingly forever unless we take the right steps to get rid of them.
Gnats are most often found around produce and other food items. That is why they are often found on those food items as well as around trash cans, in sink drains and in garbage disposals. Gnats also like moist places such as over-watered plants and refrigerator drain trays.
How to Prevent Household Gnats
1. Don`t leave uncovered produce or food items out and don`t leave dirty dishes in the sink.
2. Pour diluted bleach and a few drops of dishwashing soap down each of your drains, stopper them and leave overnight before flushing with water. Repeat weekly.
3. Make sure you don`t leave any trash out over night. Take out all garbage every night and make sure that indoor and outdoor garbage containers are covered and sealed.
4. Don’t leave wet towels or other wet items lying around or allow standing water in the sink or elsewhere. It is also a good idea to cover wet dishes drying in the drain board with a dry bath towel.
5. Avoid over-watering houseplants. Gnats known as fungus gnats can get in the wet soil of houseplants and then continue to multiply there.
6. Put a bit of bleach in the water pans beneath refrigerators and freezers and then regularly check and clean the pans. Bleach kills gnats.
7. Make sure that door and window seals are tight with no gaps.
If you do get gnats, don`t reach for dangerous pesticides. Instead, make your own safe and easy gnat trap and use common household items to attract, trap and kill the gnats.
How to Make a Gnat Trap
Here`s what you need:
*A plastic soda or round drinking water or juice bottle of two or more liters in size.
*A sharp knife
*Apple cider or other vinegar (apple cider works best, but you can use regular white if that`s all you have on hand).
*A few drops or so of dish soap (especially lemon scented)
*Enough water to fill the bottle a third to one-half full.
To make the trap, cut the top third of the bottle off and insert it upside down into the rest of the bottle to create a funnel that gnats will have difficulty escaping. If need be, you can use duct tape to tape the two parts together where they join.
Once you have made the gnat trap, pour the ingredients in and watch as the gnats become trapped: their population will dwindle and then will disappear over the course of just a couple of days or so. In the meanwhile, be sure to follow the gnat prevention instructions listed above.
In addition to vinegar and soap, you can also use granulated sugar to help attract the gnats. Another option is to forgo the liquid and use banana slices or peels – gnats simply love bananas.
If you get fungus gnats in the soil of your houseplants, you can eliminate them by adding a layer of sand. An even better option would be to sprinkle a layer of diatomaceous earth on top of the soil. Diatomaceous earth both repels and kills gnats.
If you want to use a gnat spray, use regular kitchen water in a spray bottle and add a few drops of dish soap. The spray will kill gnats and ants on contact.
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