Gnats: Effective Ways of Repelling These Tiny Insects

Many gardeners treat gnats as constant pests in the garden. Black flies are long-legged insects attracted by organic materials and moisture. There are many species of black flies. Some like the soil of houseplants. Others want to be in the garbage disposals or over-ripe fruits. Wetness indoors can attract them. Once inside your home, gnats will take advantage of the conditions for reproduction and development.

Gnats can be a problem
Gnats can be a problem

What Gnats Do

Gnats are annoying, but they do not cause damage to the structures of homes. Yet, gats threaten the health of humans because they transmit pathogens. You should eliminate possible developmental and breeding sites. Black flies create an unclean environment and multiply as much as they can.

The female black gnat feeds on blood. These gnats carry parasites. They also transmit diseases to livestock and humans. One such ailment is river blindness. Because of this, controlling gnat populations is a priority.

Removing Gnats

You can use natural home remedies and commercial products to repel black flies. Here are some repellents to help control the gnat population in your home.

Bites can be irritating and detrimental
Bites can be irritating and detrimental

Potato chunks

Placing potato chunks in the soil around the terracotta pots can attract gnat larvae. This will trap the larva away from the roots of plants. Leave these potato chunks for a few days and then remove them. Replace them with fresh chunks after.

Sticky traps

These are ready-made traps. You can get them from garden centers and retail nurseries. Cutting these traps into smaller squares and sticking them on pots and wooden skewers can attract the gnats. The gnats will then get stuck.


This is a natural fungus toxic to gnat larvae. You can apply this over potted plants to control the black fly population. This is not toxic to humans at all. You can get it in nurseries.

Woman washing dishes in an insect-free sink
Woman washing dishes in an insect-free sink

Homemade repellent

Combine baking soda, vinegar, water, and dish soap in a spray bottle. This mixture must contain a few drops of dish soap, a tablespoon of baking soda, and vinegar in every cup of water. Spray this mixture on gnats to repel them. You can also spray them on areas that gnats frequent.

Gnat traps

Mix a few drops of dish soap, a tablespoon of sugar, and a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Place this in your indoor garden, kitchen, and bathroom. The vinegar and sugar attract the gnats. The dish soap traps them.

Rotting fruits in a jar covered with plastic wrap can trap black flies as well. Don’t forget to put holes through the plastic. Once the gnats are inside, they will not be able to come out anymore. A candle trap can also work. Gnats are attracted to the flame. They get burned and then fall into the water.

Woman spraying insecticide in the garden
Woman spraying insecticide in the garden

Pest control services

You can always hire professionals to remove black flies from your home. This happens when the other remedies fail. A local pest control company can create a treatment plan for your home.

Gnats are bothersome. They become more problematic when they bite and transmit diseases. It is important to control their population in your home. Natural remedies and commercial products are available. So are professional pest control services.