June 8, 2016

Gnats typically are small and long-legged insects. They often are weak fliers. Gnat is the common name for many small, winged insects in the fly grouping. Contrary to popular belief, these tiny flying insects are not “babies,” they are adults. The tiny flying insects that many people call “gnats” could really be fruit flies or fungus gnats. Depending on species, gnats can be biting or non biting and will feed on plants, other insects or blood.

For some species, males assemble in large mating swarms known as ghosts. These swarms occur most commonly at dusk in large fields and above streets. Depending on the species, gnat eggs are laid on land or water. Larvae may be immobile or capable of movement by way of rocks and water plants. Adults range in size but usually are no larger than 33 mm. The larval and adult stages of the gnat are considered both beneficial and detrimental. Some species are excellent plant pollinators and feed on crop pests such as aphids and scales. Other gnats, such as the Hessian fly, are crop pests themselves.

Females of some species, such as the black gnat or black fly, feed on blood. These gnats have been known to carry parasites and spread diseases to humans and livestock. Due to the spread of river blindness and other health concerns, numerous programs have been established throughout the world to control gnat populations. The main sign of gnats are the sightings of the adults as they fly about in the air.

Some Other Ways to Get Rid of Gnats

1.      Changing the Environment

  • Let infested soil dry out. Allow the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil to dry out completely before watering a gnat-ridden plant again.
  • Re-pot your plants. If letting the soil dry out does not get rid of the gnats, you may need to completely remove the plant from its current pot and into a fresh, clean pot with new soil.
  • Take out the trash. Throw away rotting fruit and other decayed organic material. Remove the trash from your garbage and set it outside on the curb.
  • Move fruit to the refrigerator. Fresh fruit should be stored in sealed containers or in the refrigerator.
  • Seal off your home. Make sure that there are no holes in your window screens and that your windows and doors seal tightly.


2.      Vinegar

  • Fill a jar with cider vinegar. The jar should be filled at least halfway with vinegar.
  • Cover the jar with plastic wrap. Make sure that the plastic wrap is securely fixed onto the top of the jar.
  • Poke holes in the plastic. Use a fork or toothpick to create several small holes in the plastic wrap.
  • Position these traps around the house. Place one of these jars in every area where gnats swarm.


3.      Sticky Trap

  • Cover a yellow index card with honey. Smear the front of a yellow index card with a thin layer of honey.
  • Attach a chopstick to the card. Tape a stick to the back of the card so that at least half of the stick extends below the bottom edge of the card.
  • Place the card in the soil of an infested plant. Fix the stick into the soil so that the honey-coated side of the card faces out.


4.      Soap Spray

  • Create a soap solution. Mix 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon-scented liquid dish soap with 1 gallon (4 liters) of water in a spray bottle.
  • Soak the plant with this solution. Spray soil, leaves, and stems of infested plants with the soapy water.
  • Rinse the leaves. After an hour or so passes, mist the leaves and stem of the plant with clean water to rinse the soap off.


5.      Alcohol Spray

  • Prepare an alcohol solution. Mix a little rubbing alcohol or drinking alcohol with water inside a large spray bottle.
  • Test the solution on your plants. Spray one leaf with the solution and let it sit for several days. If it does not burn the leaf, it should be safe for the plant.
  • Spray infested plants with the solution. Gently mist the leaves, flowers, stems, and soil of gnat-ridden plants with the alcohol solution.


6.      Vegetable Oil

  • Pour a little vegetable oil into your drain.[2] If you have flies coming from your garbage disposal or another drain, pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) of vegetable oil into the drain.
  • Tape the drain closed. Place several strips of clear tape over the drain, sticky-side down, sealing it off completely.
  • Remove the tape the following day. Peel off each strip of tape the next day. Gnats should be stuck on the bottom
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