How to Get Rid of Gnats and Fruit Flies

Gnats and fruit flies aren’t just annoying—they can make you feel like your home isn’t clean, and transfer germs onto your food. Use these non-toxic and all-natural household hacks to get rid of them. 

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read

The Best Fruit Fly and Gnat Trap

Have a fruit fly problem in your kitchen? Our favorite way to get rid of them overnight is with this DIY trap. Add a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid to a bowl of apple cider vinegar and leave it where you see flies. The smell of the vinegar attracts the flies, while the dish soap breaks the surface tension of the vinegar and causes the little nuisances to drown. You can also trap fruit flies and gnats by placing a banana peel or other piece of fruit in a bowl then covering the top with plastic wrap and punching one or two a small holes in it. The bugs will be able find their way into the bowl guided by scent, but won’t be able to find their way out.

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Non-Toxic Gnat and Fruit Fly Spray

Fruit flies are a pain because they usually hover around fruit baskets and other areas you don’t want to spray poisonous bug spray. Instead, spray a little rubbing alcohol on them. (You can dilute it by half and add it to a spray bottle). The bugs will fall to the floor and you can easily scoop them up and throw them away.

Fix Your Plant's Gnat Problem

If you suspect that one of your plants is being eaten by gnats, here’s how to find out for sure. Slice off one-third of an uncooked potato and place it face down (peel side up) on top of the soil. Leave it for a week to 10 days, and if the potato is still clean, you’ve got no gnats to worry about. If gnats are present, however, there will be larvae on the underside of the potato slice. To rescue your plant, kill the gnats with vodka. (Yes, vodka.) Mix one part vodka to three parts water, pour it into a spray bottle, and spray away. Do this for a week, and the pests will be long gone.

Keep Fruit Flies Away

If you have fruit flies in your kitchen on a regular basis, the easiest way to get rid of them forever is to limit their access to their favorite foods. Let your fresh fruit ripen in closed paper bags. Then, after they ripen, store them in the refrigerator.

How to Repel Gnats

If tiny little gnats are annoying you while you’re outside, you don’t need to apply nasty bug repellent. Just rub some baby oil on yourself to keep them away from you. They don’t like the texture and won’t land on your skin.

For more all-natural and DIY ways to get rid of bugs, check out our Bug and Pest Natural Remedies board on Pinterest. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook for our Tip of the Day!

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About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.