We have a running joke among my friends about fruit flies. One of my friend’s husbands travels a great deal with his job.
When he traveled to Georgia for the first time, one of the locals said, “Have you discovered our Georgia gnats?”
He was a little confused until he encountered them. He swears Georgia gnats will get in your face and surround you like no gnats he’d ever or has since come across.
Now, when we get together and run across gnats, he’ll say “It must be those Georgia gnats following me home!”
If you’ve ever battled fruit flies or gnats in your home, you know what a pest they can be. Here are a few solutions to help give fruit flies the boot in your home for good, and they’re all DIY.
A Little Info to Get You Started
You’ve probably heard people use the term gnat and fruit fly interchangeably. Though they both are small flying insects, and they both are annoying guests in your home, they aren’t the same.
The main difference is they come from different families. The females in both types of insects can lay hundreds of eggs per day as well.
Whether you have fruit flies or gnats, you have an annoying problem. These solutions should help you to rid your home of them both.
1. Lemongrass Oil
If you use essential oils around your home, you’ll be glad to know there’s one more use for them you can add to your list.
Place a few drops of lemongrass oil into a spray bottle. Add a few ounces of hot water over the lemongrass oil.
From there, spray around your windows and doors where the gnats may be coming into your home. You can also spray some around your sink since many times they’ll use your drain traps as breeding grounds.
Finally, if you see any gnats flying around your kitchen, spray them directly with the essential oils solution. This is a great way to kill the pests infesting your home.
2. Ditch What Draws Them
The best defense is a good offense. Does this sound familiar? It’s a favorite saying many people use when describing how to get rid of a problem.
In this particular instance, ridding your home of things which draw gnats and fruit flies could be the answer to not dealing with this problem at all.
You should be sure your trash can is emptied regularly and place a lid on top of the can if at all possible.
Also, be sure you get rid of any damp areas in your home. For instance, you could have wet sponges sitting near your sink. This will draw the pests.
When you use your mop, be sure to clean it and wring it out thoroughly. Place it outside while it dries and only bring it in for storage once it's fully dry.
If you have house plants, be sure they’re planted in quality soil. Poor quality soil is another item which will draw gnats to your home.
Finally, don’t leave dirty dishes in your sink. Not only will this draw gnats and fruit flies, but it could attract roaches to your home as well. These are problems you don’t want, and keeping a clean sink can help head these issues off.
3. Fruit Bowl Trap
One of my friends is battling fruit flies to the tenth degree this year, and we’ve also been fighting the problem in our kitchen at church.
We used a fruit bowl trap to rid the problem there, and my friend took the idea home and had experienced great results too.
This idea of ridding your kitchen of fruit flies is simple. You place fruit in a bowl. Bananas and their peels are a good option. If you have some overripe peaches, they’d be a helpful component to this trap as well.
When you’ve placed the fruit in the bowl, pour honey, sugar, white wine, or apple cider vinegar over the fruit. You can use a combination of these elements as well.
You’ll cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke holes in the top with a fork. These holes will allow the gnats to get into the bowl, but the plastic wrap will stop them from being able to escape.
When the bowl is full, take it outside and pour warm water into the bowl. Put a few squirts of dish soap in the bowl as well.
Remember to take the bowl outside while doing this to keep from releasing any gnats in your home. When you see the gnats have died, discard what’s in the bowl and reset the trap to catch the next round.
Keep setting the trap until nothing is going into the bowl.
4. ACV with Mother
Do you have any apple cider vinegar sitting around which is unfiltered or labeled as having ‘mother’ in it?
Well, this could be a simple solution to ridding your home of both gnats and fruit flies. Place unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a jar. You’ll only need to fill the container about ¼ full.
Put plastic wrap over the top of the jar and poke holes in it with a fork. Again, this will allow the gnats to get into the jar but will keep them from escaping.
When you notice the jar is getting full, take it outside and pour hot water and dish soap into it. After the pests have drowned, reset the trap.
You can stop setting the trap when you notice no gnats or fruit flies are in your home anymore. You’ll know this because the trap will be empty.
As I mentioned above, gnats and fruit flies will use your kitchen drain as a great place to breed. I usually don’t have issues with gnats and fruit flies, and I assume it’s because I try extremely hard to keep a clean kitchen drain.
You can do this by pouring boiling water down your drain every day. This will not only destroy the breeding ground for the gnats, but it will also clean the drain of any grease which might be hanging out in it.
However, if you already have gnats, a great solution is bleach. You don’t want to pour straight bleach down your drain though.
It’s a good idea to put the stopper in your sink and put a couple of splashes of bleach in it. From there, fill the sink about halfway full of warm water.
If your sink is white and has developed a dingy look to it, this should help the stains too. When you’ve let your sink soak for approximately 30 minutes, let the bleach water go down your drain.
You can run hot water down the drain for a few minutes after as well. This should clear out your drain system and destroy the gnats’ home as well.
If the problem persists, keep cleaning your drain for a few days in a row. You should do it periodically from this point forward to keep clean pipes and destroy the gnat and fruit fly population in your home.
As I described the process for bleach, you can do the same with ammonia. You shouldn’t pour undiluted ammonia down your sink.
Instead, put the stopper in your sink and add a few splashes of ammonia. From there, fill the sink about halfway with warm water.
Allow the mixture to sit in your sink for 20-30 minutes and remove the stopper. Be sure to run hot water down the sink for a few minutes to clear the drain.
7. The Milk Trick
This trick is a great one if you have plenty of milk on hand. I raise goats, and this is another great use for goats’ milk.
To begin, place a pint of milk in a saucepan. Add a ½ cup of sugar to the milk and ¼ cup of ground pepper as well.
Place the pan on the stove and bring it to a slight boil. As soon as you see signs of the mixture beginning to boil, turn it down to low and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
When the mixture has simmered, pour it into a small bowl. You shouldn’t have to place plastic wrap over it because the idea is for the gnats to be drawn to the mixture and drowned instantly.
If you’re concerned about them getting back out, add a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl and poke holes in it with a fork.
You can dump the mixture when the trap is full and reset it as needed.
8. Red Wine
If you drink red wine and the bottle is almost empty, don’t finish it off. Instead set the bottle out and place plastic wrap over the top.
Again, be sure you poke holes in the plastic wrap to allow the gnats and fruit flies a route into the bottle, but deter them from escaping.
You can also add a few drops of dish soap to the red wine as well. When the trap is full, take it outside to empty it. Remove the plastic wrap, add warm water, and add dish soap if you didn’t do this initially.
9. Fresh Fruit
Fresh fruit is a great way to draw gnats. This set-up is much like the bowl trap, but you only place ripe fruit in the bowl.
From there, place plastic wrap over the top of the bowl and poke holes in it. When the trap is full, take the trap outside to be dumped.
Be sure to rinse the bowl with warm water and dish soap to kill off any remaining fruit flies. Place more fruit in the bowl and reset the trap until you don’t see any further gnats or fruit flies in the trap.
10. The Funnel Trap
This trap is a simple solution for defeating the gnat and fruit fly population in your home. You’ll need a wine bottle or a bottle of similar build.
Place full flavored soda (no diet), juice, soy sauce, honey, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, wine, or rotten fruit in the bottom of the jar. This will draw the gnats and fruit flies to the bottle.
Roll a piece of paper into a cone shape. Place the thin side downward into the bottle and leave the broad side up.
This will allow the gnats a way into the bottle but deter them from being able to escape. When your bottle is full, be sure to take it outside and fill it with warm water and a few drops of dish soap.
When finished, empty the bottle and reset the trap. Continue to set the trap until you see no further signs of gnats or fruit flies being drawn to it.
11. ACV and Dish Soap
This last idea to rid your home of gnats and fruit flies is probably the oldest trick in the book but has worked in my experience.
You place apple cider vinegar in a shallow bowl and put a few drops of dish soap in the bowl as well. You can either leave the bowl open or place a piece of plastic wrap over it. Be sure to poke holes in the plastic wrap with a fork.
This will enable the gnats or fruit flies to enter but deter them from escaping. When your trap is full, be sure to take the bowl outdoors and empty it.
From there, reset the trap until you see no further signs of fruit flies or gnats in it.
Well, you’re now ready to take on the battle of gnats and fruit flies in your kitchen. These 11 tips should help you to win the war and take back your home.
Hopefully, these pointers will help you to avoid any future annoyance with these flying pests and allow you to enjoy the fresh foods you love again without gnats and fruit flies taking them over.