Gnats grow to 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length. They are gray and black with long slender legs and antennae. Gnats are drawn to fungus and mosit areas; sinks, overiped fruit, softening potatoes, over-watered indoor plants and compost systems. Although they pose no risk to humans, they are a nuisance that nobody wants around, especially in your home. They can however cause direct damage to your plants. Female gnats can lay as may as 300 larvae on the surface of moist soil at one time. These larvae can destroy plants by eating away at the roots and adult gnats can spread plant diseases and fungal root infections from infected plants to healthy plants. They key to controlling gnats is finding their breeding sites and the drying them out sufficently to stop growth of the molds/fungus in which gnats are attracted too. Some prevention tips include: 1) Never leave overiped fruit or vegetables laying around. 2) Do not over water plants. The top inch of soil in potted plants should be turned over several times a day to dry it out and always drain after watering to prevent added mositure. 3) Move compost systems outside. The decaying matter provides a feast for gnats. - If the gnats still seem to be winning the war, there area few simple solutions in addition to the tips above that will help: 1) Mix a solution of 1 cup vinegar & 3 tbsp of dish soap into a small cup. This will attract the gnats and the soap will kill them. 2) Place a piece of rotting fruit ina cup with a solution of water & dish soap. This will attract the gnats and kill them. 3) Pouring ammonia down the drain will dissuade gnats from gathering around the sink. Let it sit for a while so the smell does not immediately dissipate. - It may be necessary to chemically treat gnats, especially for adults & large populations. Over-the-counter chemicals can be purchased or you may want to contact a professional Pest Control provider to eliminate these pests for you.
Published November 12th, 2012 5:49 PM
Angela C on Jan 25, 2013Ooooo I just had that problem a couple of months ago. I was using a lot of fruit, making smoothies and stuff. It took me a minute to get rid of those suckers. What finally worked was ... I unintentionally left empty bottle of dish detergent (orange scented) on the counter. Left the spout open. Then after a week, I didn't see any gnats. I had poured ammonia down the drain, had left some vinegar out in a glass adn that had gotten SOME of them but it was still a few stragglers. But now, there were none. Happened to look at the dish bottle, they were all in there ... dead. Apparently the squeezed through the small opening to get down in the dish bottle but couldn't get out. And I think the orange scent must have attracted them.