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Get Rid of those Gnats!

Really... What in the world could possibly be the purpose of these annoying, flying insects? 
I know that I don't need to point out the obvious, but these buzzing little buggers are possibly the *most* annoying thing you can have in your home.

gnatsWhat Are They?

First, let's give a definition and purpose for these little beasts. Gnats are small flies of the suborder Nematocera, which include midges, craneflies and mosquitos.  And whether you like them or not, gnats actually do serve a purpose in nature - they are an important food source for birds, bats and larger insects.

Now, that changed your mind about gnats, right?  Alright,  you haven't. Can't say that I really blame you there.

Let's talk about control and elimination of gnats then... 

Gnat Prevention

 

1. Get rid of their food supply. 

Gnats feast primarily on our food scraps so clean up after meals and food preparation.

2. Cover your trash cans.

Think of it - this is where we put our trash, which is basically a feeding trough for gnats, rodents, and other unwanted pests.

3. Throw away old fruit!

Gnats LOVE old fruit. This is where they feed and breed (yuck!). Don't want to toss it? Try putting it to use in your compost heap!

4. Clean up the stagnant water.

This includes dirty dishes, cups etc.  Pour the water out, and put the dishes away!

5. Keep the house plants in check.

Gnats can live and breed in the soil of your potted plants if the soil is kept too moist.  Don't over-water your potted plants. 

>> Handy Tip : Use a bent fork to gently rake the soil to disrupt the harborage for the gnats.<<

 

Getting Rid of Them

 Well, prevention is all well and good. But chances are if you're reading this article, that you've already got some buzzing around the house. So let's get to the goods... getting rid of the buggers.

Clean the drains. 

Keep drains clean by using hot (HOT) soapy water weekly to flush out any scraps, stagnant water, or icky residue that would be good eatin' or good breedin' ground (... for a gnat, anyway). 

Let the food chain lend a hand.

Believe it or not, you can purchase a Venus Fly Trap from most common lawn and garden chains. They're a great, natural way to help keep down the buzzing annoyances in the home. Purchase a couple of them to keep in the kitchen and anywhere else that you see flying pests.

Consider a gnat trap. 

You can easily make a handy-dandy gnat trap!...

  • Using an old fruit jar, fill 1/4 full with equal parts beef broth and vinegar (you can also use wine).
  • Add a drop of dish soap.
  • Perforate the lid. This allows the gnat to enter through the perforated lid (attracted by the tasty cocktail), and get "stuck" in the muck. 
  • When the jar gets full, empty and repeat. 

And, Voila!... Your own handy-dandy gnat trap!

>> Why the dish soap, you ask?  it breaks the water tension and the gnat will sink into the juice!

 


So, to wrap things up, let's run through a quick list now:

#1 Get rid of their food supply
#2 Cover trash cans
#3 Don't over-water house plants (watch for too much dampness)
#4 Flush sinks and drains with HOT soapy water
#5 Don't leave standing water in sinks (do your dishes)
#6 Make some gnat traps

And don't forget our helpful plant-friends!

There you go! You are educated on gnat control. And if your infestation is so great you have "gnat tornados" rolling through the house, call the friendly pest professionals at Tri-Hill to bring the control products! :)

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