Why do I have gnats in my house? Expert answers to help you keep...
Why do I have gnats in my house? Expert answers to help you keep them away

Why do I have gnats in my house? Expert answers to help you keep them away

Decor Ideas. Project Inspiration. Expert Advice. Delivered to your inbox. Thank you for signing up to Homes & Gardens. You will receive a verification email shortly. There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again. Gnats are an annoying presence in a home whichever of the types of small insect to which we give this name we’re talking about. They seem to appear out of nowhere, and they’re pests in whichever room you find them. Thankfully, you can , but you might wonder why you have gnats in the house in the first place? After all, if you know that, it should be easier to keep these tiny and very unwelcome flies away. To discourage the pesky insects we’ve put together an expert guide on why there are gnats in the house so you can take the measures that stop them making your home their home. When we’re talking ‘gnats’, we’re using the everyday name for some different small winged insects. The gnats that you’ll find inside your home are likely to actually be fruit flies, or fungus gnats, or drain flies (aka phorid flies). , , and are all possible, but why are they there? These are the answers. Moisture is one of the reasons why gnats hang out in homes. ‘Moisture brings gnats to the house because their eggs need it to survive,’ explains , associate certified entomologist and technical director, Mosquito Joe, a Neighborly Company. ‘Typically, overwatered houseplants, clogged drains, dirty garbage disposals, garbage bins, and recycling bins are perfect harborage once temperatures average 70 to 72ºF outside, it’s a perfect environment for egg-laying and developing these gnats. ‘The adult fungus gnat will swarm and meet up as the male inseminates the female and she can lay up to 200 eggs in a houseplant pot, or anywhere damp, decaying organic matter is found.’ Drain flies, meanwhile, might fly out of a kitchen or bathroom sink when disturbed since they are – you guessed it – attracted to the environment of the drain. Fruit and veggies are appealing to us – and to the fruit flies we don’t want in our homes, too. ‘Gnats are all about scent,’ says David Price. ‘They are attracted to the smells of ripening fruit and vegetables. They are also drawn to the decaying fruit and vegetables that may need to be appropriately covered in your garbage bin. ‘In some cases gnats can be imported from grocery stores and farmers markets; inspect your fruit and vegetables carefully before storage.’ We already mentioned houseplants, above, in relation to the moisture that brings gnats to a house. The specific type that can encourage are fungus gnats. These pests breed in damp soil. To deter them overwatering plants should be avoided – let the soil dry out before you water again – and always use pots that don’t provide good drainage. Get rid of old leaves or flowers that they’ll feed on as well. While they are irritating, do bear in mind, however, that the gnats won’t damage the plants themselves, although they can damage if you’re cultivating new ones. Yes, we all have garbage, but it’s how you deal with it that counts. Do it wrong and gnats can result. ‘Garbage cans that are not sealed properly attract gnats to your house; they are drawn to the decaying organic matter often found in your garbage can,’ explains David Price. ‘They are also drawn to garbage disposals and sink drains that need to be cleaned regularly due to the moisture and old food found in them.’ OK, this next category doesn’t involve something you can do as much to tackle in an effort to avoid attracting gnats to your home. The truth is that humans are a lure. ‘Gnats are attracted to sweet and fruity scents, so perfume, lotion, body wash, etc, could attract gnats to you and your house,’ says David Price. ‘Also, they are drawn to body heat, sweat, and water.’ Of course, wiping up spills immediately, employing effective and good housekeeping can definitely go a long way to combating gnat attraction. Where do gnats lay eggs? Gnats lay eggs in places like moist soil or fruit that’s decaying. This nourishes the larva. Fruit flies do so on both fruit and vegetables that are decomposing, but also lay them in drain lines, garbage cans and garbage disposals. It’s fungus gnats that use moist soil, and they can use other damp plant debris. As for drain flies, think drain pipes, but also garbage cans. Take the right measures and you can do plenty to prevent an infestation of gnats in your home. Although fungus gnats and drain flies aren’t thought to be harmful to human health, that doesn’t mean they don’t cause a nuisance plus who wants them buzzing around? Fruit flies, meanwhile, can transfer germs compromising kitchen hygiene. Know the attractions and you can avoid or lessen the problem.

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