If you were to take a poll and ask people to come up with one word to describe gnats, I’d bet that at least 80% of these people would say “annoying”, “bothersome” or “frustrating”, and they’d all be right. They buzz around in your backyard, on your porch, right in front of your door, or in your house.
You don’t have to worry about contracting a disease or being bitten in your sleep by gnats, but you may very well end up eating a couple of these dirty insects if you are trying to have a barbeque or similar outdoor event. Even if you don’t eat any of them by mistake, having a cloud of gnats circling around you is never the best way to spend an afternoon.
How Gnats Might Be Getting Inside Your House
Gnats usually stay within a couple of feet of where they are born, so if you’ve got gnats constantly in your house then there could be a clogged garbage disposal or a leaky pipe underneath the house somewhere. If left unnoticed, the slightest bit of moisture under your house or in your walls can produce an endless march of the little black flys into your house. If your house has had any water damage in the past, there could be mold right under your flooring or in your walls that’s causing it.
If you only see the gnats in your bathroom, it could be that water from your shower or sink is somehow making it into a crack in the walls or caucing and collecting there, then the gnats simply fly out of the hole that the water fell into and spend their short lifespans in your bathroom. Indoor house plants are also sometimes at the root of the gnat problem.
Outdoor Sources of Black Fly Gnats
Take a quick look outside. Dirt, plants and moisture everywhere can make just about any area the ideal area for gnats to swarm. A slight overwatering on a specific patch of grass will likely breed gnats. Any leaves or gunk that has built up in your gutters, or rainwater that has collected at the bottom of your trash cans or in an old tire out back might also be producing gnats.
There are sprays available that you spray directly at gnats. There are things you can use to spray in the air and keep chase gnats out of a certain area, but I’ve found these sprays to only last a couple of minutes and the stuff inside them usually isn’t very healthy for anyone to be breathing.
This might be sounding like there is no escape, but I promise you that you don’t have to begin pouring concrete right away or packing up to move to the Mojave Desert if you want to be rid of the gnats – there are some options out there.
I am particularly fond of using nothing but pure garlic extract to get rid of gnats. I use garlic on my indoor house plants, and I also spray it on the ground right below the clouds of gnats that show up right around sundown.
Getting Rid of the Gnats Outdoors – (Scroll Down for Indoor Gnats)
- Check for anything leaking. Hoses, outdoor faucets, sprinkler system, plumbing, etc. Remember to check under your house and porch for moisture because they might be flying out to your yard from there.
- Make sure that nothing is holding stagnant water, mold, or moisture. Check the bottom of trash cans and dumpsters, overwatered patches of grass, old tires, buckets, piles of damp leaves, and the like.
- Check that your rain gutters and downspout are working properly, and make sure that wherever your downspout is leading has not become a patch of mud after a rainy day. Also check surrounding street gutters if applicable.
- Spray the ground underneath any areas of grass or dirt wherever you see clouds of gnats with the recommended garlic or your preferred natural repellent. Spray liberally, but you probably don’t have to spray everywhere, just right under the places where you see the gnats as they like to lay their eggs on the ground right below them.
Getting Gnats Out of Your House and Keeping Them Out
If you are pretty certain that the gnats in your house are coming from a house plant, there is a really quick fix to this problem. Simply add one ounce of a garlic extract to every quart of water that you give the plant.
If it might be coming from somewhere else, clean your garbage disposal or have a professional do it. I won’t get into the hows and how oftens of this because I’m no plumber, but just be aware of the fact that the things you put down there are damp and might not always make it all the way through, and those little black flies have no problem going in there after it to use as a place to lay their eggs.
Check the entire house for any leaking faucets, cracks in the walls or flooring near sinks and showers, and any possible water damage that might exist under the floor. With basic linoleum tiles, you can usually tell if there is mold underneath by trying to push down. If one place feels softer than another, you probably want to rip the floor up and replace the boards underneath.
Some Closing Statements
If you do all of the above and remain mindful of excessive moisture or mold buildup, you can pretty much rest assured that your property won’t have a single gnat in sight.
If your gnats were mainly an outdoor issue, you might have to work on getting your grass watering down to a sweet science. As long as you’re using only natural products, don’t be afraid to apply them to your lawn again at any point in the future if you start to see the little black gnats coming back. It’s completely natural, and it won’t damage your lawn or do any harm to anything at all really.