The Maids Car

Welcome to the New = Built to Make Your Life Easier

Get a quote Call The Maids
close menu

Cleaning Categories

Ready To Schedule?

Blog Title Shape

How to Get Rid Of
Gnats in a House

February 23, 2024

Gnats. Even the name sounds somewhat annoying, doesn’t it? These tiny flying insects get into our homes and bug us (pun intended) in the kitchen, bathroom, and any other rooms they find inviting. The good news is, unlike pesky houseflies, gnats, and fruit flies don’t usually bite. The bad news is while they don’t carry and transmit diseases like mosquitos, they can spread disease-causing bacteria. Before discussing how to get rid of gnats in your house, let’s first ensure we understand why they’re there.

So, what makes your home an inviting destination for gnats, drain flies, and fruit flies? Gnats are attracted to the same things as ants, bugs, and other pests—food, water, and somewhere to breed. If you see what looks like tiny flies or mosquitos, you likely have one of these three invaders:

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are dark brown with long legs and wings in a Y-shaped pattern. They look a lot like baby mosquitos. Even though they have wings, fungus gnats are weak fliers and tend to hop around more than fly. These pests are often attracted to houseplants and decaying organic matter like rotting produce.

Fruit Flies

While fruit flies aren’t technically gnats, they are similar in size and just as annoying. Fruit flies can have red or black eyes, are primarily tan, and have a black or gray abdomen. As their name implies, these pests are attracted to fresh or decaying fruit, other organic matter, and moisture.

Drain Flies

Drain flies can be yellow, brown, or black. They have moth-like wings, long antennae, and black eyes. Drain flies are attracted to moisture, and the slimy buildup in drains is the perfect place to lay their eggs. They hold their veiny wings over their bodies like a little roof while they’re resting.

Gnats, fruit flies, and drain flies are prolific breeders, so it’s essential to know how to get rid of gnats in your houseand understand what attracts them. Before we introduce you to the home remedies for gnats, you’ll want to know how the pests got inside in the first place and where they come from.  

Where Do Gnats Come From?

Gnats, drain flies, and fruit flies can enter your home through cracks, holes, and other openings around doors, foundations, and windows. Gnats are most active when the weather warms up, and we can bring them into our home along with produce from our garden, in dirty trash cans, and from other sources.

Request An Estimate

Fungus gnats come from damp, dark areas like compost piles, rotting wood, and animal feces, while fruit flies seem to come from out of the blue! Fruit flies have a long-range sense of smell. Unfortunately, they are very efficient at locating the source of fruity aromas, so they easily and quickly move in and set up house.

How to Get Rid of Gnats in the Kitchen

Hanging bananas, bowls of produce, and even condiments can attract fruit flies and gnats, and that dirty drain and garbage disposal is like an invitation for drain flies to move in and start a family. You know what attracts these pests and where they come from. Here’s how to kill gnats in a house—and keep them from bothering your household members with natural solutions.

The best way to eliminate pests like drain and fruit flies is by using one of our favorite home remedies for gnats and other pests. You only need homemade cleaning ingredients that you can easily find around your home and a two-quart bowl.  


  1. Two tablespoons of vinegar, one tablespoon of sugar, some dish soap, and one quart of water. 
  2. Put the bowl near the fruit or sink. 

Fruit flies, gnats, and drain flies will gravitate to the scent and drown when they get stuck in the soap film. But don’t forget about the gnat and fly larvae. Remember, your uninvited guests aren’t only here for a meal. They’re also laying eggs in your pipe sludge and rotting fruit. Drain flies hang out in slow or partially clogged drains because these areas provide plenty of nutrients for their eggs and larvae. 

This is why it’s so important to keep your kitchen clean and your drains dry. Unclog those drains and get rid of the slimy buildup. Skip the harsh drain cleaner and use a pipe snake, boiling water, and other remedies. Follow up with an enzyme drain cleaner and rinse away your pesky problem.

After getting rid of gnats in your kitchen, make sure to implement preventive maintenance to keep those tiny pests from returning:

  • Don’t leave food, dirty plates, or used glasses on your table, counter, or in the sink. 
  • Don’t store fruit on your counter or other exposed areas.
  • Keep things dry and clean your kitchen, sink, and drain frequently.
  • Wipe down your kitchen counters and dining table after every meal.
  • Repair any leaky pipes or faucets and seal any openings underneath the sink.
  • Cover your indoor trash cans and take the trash out daily.
  • Remove overripe or rotten fruit or vegetables and seal them in a trash bag for disposal. 
  • Remind your household members to eat any fruits before it begins to go bad. You can store what you don’t eat right away in the fridge or freezer.
  • Clean up any spills from wine, beer, condiments, and other attractants that contain sugar immediately. 
  • Try to keep outdoor water features such as fountains as far from your home as possible.

Learning the best way to get rid of gnats doesn’t take long, and the process is fairly easy. But maintenance and prevention will be an ongoing endeavor if you’re serious about getting rid of gnats for good. Keep your kitchen clean, your pipes flowing, and your produce off-limits to fruit flies, gnats, and other pesky invaders.

Getting Rid of Gnats in Plants

Fungus gnats aren’t picky, so if you’ve taken away all that deliciously decaying fruit, they’ll be fine setting up shop on one of your houseplants. Fungus gnats love the decaying leaves, moldy soil, and moisture in many plant containers. It’s often the perfect breeding ground, and because the gnats are so tiny, you may not notice them until you have a swarm on your hands.

Killing gnats in houseplants can be tricky as you probably don’t want to harm your plant in the process. Good news! You can use the same concoction you would use for fruit flies and drain flies, or you can try one of these home remedies for gnats in plants:

Wine and Soap Trap

Fill a small dish with a bit of red wine and dish soap. The fungus gnats will be attracted to the aroma of fermentation, land on the soapy film, and drown.

Fruit Trap

Fill a cup about half full of decaying fruit (bananas, pears, etc.), cover the top tightly with plastic wrap, and punch small holes in the plastic. Fungus flies, fruit flies, and gnats can’t resist the intense aroma and find their way in through the small holes. Unfortunately, these pests can’t find their way out and eventually die.

To keep the fungus gnats from returning, replace the moldy potting soil, remove dead leaves, pick up any twigs, and don’t overwater your plants. Because fungus gnats are attracted to moisture and decaying matter, let your plant dry out thoroughly before watering it again. (Some plants prefer to have their soil completely dry before you need to water them again. Choose your houseplants wisely, especially if you already have an infestation! Low-maintenance plants that don’t require much watering are a good choice for your home.) When you remove the moisture, the eggs and larvae can’t survive, and you remove the nutrients that attract adult fungus gnats.

Another option is to use gravel or sand for the top inch or two in your planters. Because fungus gnats feed and breed in the top inch of the soil, the layer of gravel or sand replaces the moisture and nutrients the gnats need.

Now that you know how to get rid of gnats in your house, you can remove them and reduce your exposure to bacteria they can spread. But why stop there? Because The Maids® is the only residential service to clean for health specifically, we are committed to providing handy housekeeping guides to help keep your home clean and healthy.

Maintaining a Gnat-Free Environment

We can’t set your gnat traps or clean up spills right when they happen. But we can keep your kitchen and the rest of your home sparkling clean as often as you like. Partner with The Maids to create a healthier environment that shuts the door on gnats and other pests and prevents them from coming back. 

Choose one of our popular house cleaning services, and a clean team will deliver a clean you can see, smell, and feel. Discover affordable, healthy cleaning for your home when you get your free personalized cleaning quote today.

The Maids Car

Sign Up For More Tips and Tricks!

We respect your privacy. We never rent or sell your information.

Request an Estimate

Let's Get Started