There are lots of natural ways to get rid of gnats without vinegar. There are sticky gnat traps, indoor battery powered light attractors and sticky tapes are great ways to get rid of gnats without needing to use vinegar. A mix of wine and dish soap will also attract gnats naturally and get rid of them quickly.
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Top ways to get rid of gnats without vinegar
Here are some great ways to get rid of gnats inside and outside the home without vinegar.
Sticky gnat traps
Sticky fruit fly or gnat traps are an easy way to trap gnats that have come into your kitchen or dining room. They use a food source to attract the gnats and trap them inside. They are safe to use in food prep area and are really effective. Leave one in a corner of your kitchen to catch the annoying gnats.
Katchy indoor gnat traps
Katchy gnat traps work in 3 different ways to attract and get rid of gnats around your home. They have a light which attracts the gnats, the fan will suck them in and the sticky glue inside will hold them in there. This is not a bug zapper but a simple way to get rid of gnats indoors.
Unlike old-school bug zappers, this will actually look like a feature in your home. It comes in black or white.
Sticky gnat tapes
A simple trap for gnats outside your home or inside. These simple sticky strips can be placed anywhere that gnats would be attracted including near your fruit bowl or bin. Simply throw them away when they have gathered the gnats and replace them with a new one.
These are low cost and low tech but effective. Check them out on Amazon.
Sit a candle on a small ceramic plate, fill the plate with warm water, dish soap and sugar. The gnats will be attracted to the light of the candle and the smell of the sugar water. They will drop down and drown in the water.
There only needs to be a very small amount of water in the plate as the gnats are only small. Just place this in a safe place out of the reach of kids.
A simple liquid that attracts fruit flies
Pour this simple liquid in a dish or ramekin to attract fruit flies. This pre-made liquid makes it easy to quicky treat a gnat infestation in your spare time.
Red wine and dish soap
Red wine will attract gnats as it has a strong fermented smell. The older the wine is, the better it will work. Leave a small amount of red wine in the bottom of the bottle, only around ½ an inch and squirt in some dish soap.
Swirl it around gently and leave the bottle in a corner out of the way with the lid off. The gnats will smell the wine and fly in the bottle. The dish soap will help to drown and trap the gnat stopping it from escaping once it has flow in the bottle.
What are gnats?
Gnats are the name for small flies with wings from the order Diptera. They are not baby flies but are their own species. The little flying insects we call Gnats are usually fruit flies or fungus gnats.
Gnats look small, usually black with long legs and long wings.
What attracts gnats to your kitchen and yard?
Gnats are attracted to decaying organic matter in your kitchen our outdoors. Small amounts of fruit or vegetables left out on the bench or in a compost bucket in your kitchen can quickly attract the flying gnats.
Gnats can also be attracted to the rotting food in compost bins or worm farms if the lid is not on tightly. I always have a few gnats living in my worm farm as I don’t have a solid lid.
Are gnats dangerous?
Gnats are annoying but are will not cause any harm to your worm farm or compost. Gnats that come into the home they are really annoying and can transport bacteria and pathogens from the other areas that they visit.
Preventing gnats from coming into your home and landing in your kitchen is a good idea to prevent the spread of germs.
How to prevent gnats
Here are some easy ways to prevent gnats from coming into your home and yard.
1. Avoid keeping plant soil wet
Gnats will come into your home and can lay eggs in the damp soil of indoor plants. Allowing the plant soil to dry out between watering will kill off any gnat larvae and avoiding long term damp soil can prevent them laying eggs in the first place.
2. Do not leave fruit or vegetables on the bench
Leaving fruit or vegetables on the bench in warm weather can attract gnats. Over summer it might be best to keep fruit like apples, pears, pineapple and oranges in the fridge to avoid them attracting gnats.
While bananas can’t be kept in the fridge, eating them quickly before they turn brown will help to prevent gnats from visiting your fruit bowl.
3. Use a tight sealing trash can or take food waste outside
Gnats are attracted to rotting or smelly food so if you are placing food scraps in the bin make sure the lid seals tight. This is the same for indoor compost bins or tabletop containers to collect food waste. Make sure the lid shuts tightly so that the smells will not attract gnats.
4. Keep benches and dishes clean
Keeping benches and dishes free of food, even small bits leftover on plates can attract gnats. Rinse off plates or place them in your dishwasher after dinner and keep the benches clean. This will avoid smells which can quickly attract gnats.
5. Clean out your fruit bowl regularly
Fruit bowls can quickly attract gnats if fruit is left in their for too long. In my house, mandarins are sometimes slow to be eaten and the fermentation that can happen when the mandarin starts to rot, can attract fruit fly or gnats.
Remove any old fruit once it starts to look bruised, soft or dark in color. Take it outside to a well sealed compost bin or worm farm to be broken down ready for your garden.
How to keep gnats out of your worm farm
Worm farms can be protected from gnats by making sure they have a tight fitting lid. Without a lid, gnats will easily make their way into the bin. For Styrofoam worm farms make sure you use the Styrofoam lid with some small holes pierced in the top.
For pre-made cylindrical or box worm farms, always put the lid on after adding food scraps. Adding a layer of newspaper and your worm blanket will also help to deter gnats.
How to keep gnats out of your compost bin
The best way to keep gnats out of your compost bin is with a lid. Topping the compost pile up with 3 inches of sugar cane mulch or hay will help to prevent flies from reaching the food scraps. Mixing the food scraps into the compost bin straight away will also help to prevent flies and gnats.
How to get rid of gnats without vinegar | Summary
Gnats are annoying and it is best to keep them out of your kitchen. Try a natural way to get rid of gnats to avoid the use of insecticides. Sticky strips are an easy choice but you can also try a home made remedy for another easy solution. Old red wine might sound strange but it does attract gnats!
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.