You’ve probably spotted bugs in your apartment before and wondered whether or not they were gnats. Successful eradication of gnats requires that you clearly distinguish them from other bugs before taking action.
In this article, we give you pro tips on how to successfully identify and eliminate gnats in your apartment:
What are Gnats?
Gnats are black, slender-bodied insects about a quarter of an inch long with thin wings. Their appearance mimics that of tiny flies or mosquitoes, only they can’t fly as well. Another type of gnat called the “fungus gnat” is black and is characterized by its extra long legs.
Normally, you’ll spot gnats flying in large numbers. They’re often addicted to soils and other wet areas. While gnats are not necessarily dangerous, they can be very hard to eliminate. Their dominance and ultra-fast reproduction rate makes them an irritative household nuisance quite quickly.
Where Do Gnats Come From?
Gnats usually come from outdoor environments like soil and dumping grounds. They enter homes through holes and cracks in doors, windows, walls, and structural foundations. In-house, gnats can emerge from eggs laid in produce (e.g., unripe fruit) and get nurtured in potting soil.
Why Do Gnats Invade Your Apartment?
Once in your residence, gnats target warm, moist surfaces characterized by stagnant water, soils, and organic matter. Moist soils provide gnats with a great habitat for laying eggs and nurturing hatchlings. You’ll also see their swarms hovering around uncovered fruits and vegetables. And of course, decomposing matter like sewage waste from faulty drainage pipes is also notorious for attracting gnats.
Ways of Preventing a Gnat Home Invasion
It’s way easier to prevent gnats from coming into your home than it is to eliminate them once they’re already in. For instance, you can regularly pour diluted bleach down your drain pipe to eliminate gnat shelters. You can also adjust your houseplant watering routine to avoid leaving too much damp dirt out in the open. Just use your hand or moisture gauger to assess whether or not the plant needs additional water. Consider the soil type you use, too, as high-quality soils like charcoal and perlite tend to break down matter much more slowly.
If you have a really bad infestation on your hands, you may want to contact a pest control company for a custom prevention plan.
Eliminating Gnats in Your Home
Several ways of eliminating gnats are highlighted below. They include:
Source elimination is one the most effective ways of getting rid of gnats.You can do this by cleaning up your kitchen area, replacing your potting soil, and sealing all your faulty drains.
You’ll know gnats have been hanging out by your houseplants if you spot an accumulation of fungus or mould inside the pots. In these cases, you’ll either want to replace the soil, the pot, or both. When you notice that a plant’s root is severely damaged, you’ll probably have to throw it out and replace the entire thing.
As far as organic waste is concerned, you’ll need to make sure all the fruit and vegetable scraps you create are disposed of outside. Produce that’s still in use should be sealed properly to avoid attracting any more gnats. For best results, store them in the refrigerator. You should also make sure all your trash cans are properly closed to prevent gnat-enticing smells from seeping out.
Eliminating Existing Gnats
Killing existing gnat larvae and adults is a sure-fire way to curb the further spread of their fungus within your apartment. Killing the larvae stops their cycle of procreation, while killing existing adults prevents further breeding. To successfully do this, you’ll need to identify their breeding grounds. Most gnats lay eggs on unripe fruits, as well as within houseplant pots and trash cans. Use a combination of yellow sticky traps and steel wool to get rid of these pests once and for all.
Using a 3-percent hydrogen peroxide solution to water your plants will also kill gnats on-site. Bubbling during the spraying indicates that the solution is working.
The “Apple Cider Vinegar Gnat Trap” is another home remedy for eliminating adult gnats without involving harmful chemicals. To prepare it, thoroughly mix apple cider vinegar with a small amount of soap in a jar. Cover the jar with a polythene wrap and poke holes in it. The vinegar smell attracts the gnats to the jar while the soap prevents them from escaping, thus drowning them in the solution. Repeat the procedure until you don’t see any more getting trapped.
Depending on the extent of the gnat infestation within your apartment, you might want to consider a combination of two or more of the methods shown above.