8 Tips to Get Rid of Gnats in the Kitchen

Gnats are annoying. They come from seemingly nowhere and clutter your kitchen, buzzing around your fruit and bread while they multiply exponentially. So, how to get rid of gnats in the kitchen? It’s easier than you think.

From bleach to dish soap, vinegar traps to insect fogging, there are oodles of handy ways to eradicate the scourge of gnats infecting your precious kitchen. But not only do you need to wipe the suckers out, you need to stop them from getting inside the kitchen in the first place. We’re going to teach you how to stop the gnats at their source.

Home Recipes for Getting Rid of Gnats

Traps are the number one killer of gnats. The best way to deal with these greedy buggers at home in your kitchen is to either create a trap yourself or buy one from the store. A store-bought gnat trap is going to be the same as a fruit fly trap. They are designed to get the job done.

Traps from the store are easy to use because you can just leave it open on the kitchen counter, near the bread or on the refrigerator, and the gnats will voluntarily march into your trap and that’s the end of them. However, many of us like to make our own traps, and you can do this any number of ways.

1. Vinegar Trap

how to get rid of gnats

Vinegar is an extremely popular trap, especially since you undoubtedly have a bottle of vinegar laying somewhere in your cupboards. All you need for this trap is the vinegar, a bit of dish soap, a splash of aqua, and a container. Oh, and don’t forget the sugar.

You want to take a half cup of water, drip some dish soap into it, add 2 tbs of vinegar and one of sugar. Mix the solution gently and then you have a homemade gnat prison. Leave the jar in a strategic, gnat-infested location and wait for them to swarm. They’ll go diving for the vinegar and sweet sugar and then get stuck in the dish soap.

Keep in mind that one vinegar trap is not going to solve all your gnat problems. It won’t solve any of your problems, actually. You want to place a bunch of these in the infected area until you get the plague of bugs under control. At least three or four to keep the gnats from buzzing about your face while you cook.

2. Stale Wine Trap

You probably have wine somewhere in the house, and probably an open bottle that can spare a few ounces for this important task. Wine works the same as the vinegar trap but without all the ingredients. All you need to do is leave a few shallow containers of wine around the kitchen and the gnats will go batty for the sweet fruity scent.

When the bats dive in for a drink of wine, they of course drown. This is extremely useful since you don’t have to go out and buy anything, and it is pretty effective. Beer works too, since the yeast ferments and the gnats love that. Still, something fruitier will attract the gnats in larger number. Add a tinch of dish soap for extra effect.

3. Banana Trap

The banana trap works behind the same principal as the wine trap. Since the bananas rot quickly, they excrete the yummy (to the gnats!) stink of fermentation. All you need is a rotten ol’ banana peel or a few slices of banana. Stick them in a jar, cover the jar with a film of cellophane wrap, poke some little fly-sized holes in the plastic, and the rest is history.

Gnats fly into the container and become trapped in a prison of rotting fruit. Even though this is the banana trap, any fruit will do. Berries, apples, peaches.

4. Candle Trap

how do you get rid of gnats

This one is a little complicated, but all you need is a single candle, preferably a fat one. You also must wait for the cover of darkness for this trap. Once night rolls around, light your candle and place it in the center of a water-filled tray. Put your candle moat in the infected area, ensure the lights are off, and leave it to work its gnat-killing magic.

What happens is that, as we all know, bugs love light. The gnats will flock to the candle. As they get close to the flame, their wings will burn, then they’ll fall into the water moat to drown. A little cruel, maybe, but it’s one sure fire way to deal with gnats.

Any gnats that don’t succumb to the trick of the fire will probably be attracted to the shimmering reflection of the water below, and once they dive into it… well, the rest you know. Add a few drops of dish soap to really drive the point home.

5. Gnat Spray

Spray is a proven gnat destroyer. You can pick up any bottle of spray at your local supermarket and spray down the areas in your kitchen that are infected. This is a great way to kill mass amounts of gnats in one sweeping motion. If you don’t feel like spending the money, you can make a gnat spray of your own.

It’s just as easy as the gnat traps. Mix water, roughly two cups, with a few dashes of essential oil – this means something like peppermint – and get to spraying. The oils will help take care of the pesky gnats. The only downside is that you are spraying oil around your kitchen. Use your discretion for this.


how to kill gnats

The number one way to get rid of gnats is to keep them out of your kitchen in the first place. No-brainer, right? But not always. It happens to the best of us. If you want to get rid of the gnats once and for all, stomp them out at their source.

6. Fruits and Veggies

Disgusting as it sounds, the number one breeding ground for gnats is fruit and veg. The gnat will lay its dirty little eggs inside of a banana, an apple, anything fruity, and the eggs will spawn hundreds and hundreds of little baby gnats. The process then repeats exponentially until your swarmed by insects.

Obviously, you want to keep any rotting fruit outside the house, preferably in a compost bin. You don’t want a single place inside your kitchen where these demons can multiply. Keep your good fruit in the cooler inside of your fridge wrapped in the packaging until you need it. Don’t leave any scraps lying around to attract the gnats.

7. The Sink

We’re all guilty of neglecting the dirty dishes. This may be okay in the winter, but come summer your sink of filthy, scud-covered dishes becomes a breeding ground for gnats. Food leftovers are great incubators for bugs, and they take advantage of it in a hurry.

You want to clean your dishes the moment they get dirty. If you don’t, at least rinse them off – but don’t just rinse! Get rid of the food scum. If you leave the scraps in the filter at the bottom of the sink, they will start to rot. You’re practically begging for an infestation at that point.

8. The Garbage Can

get rid of gnats

Finally, the garbage can. The nightmare of all homes is a big lighthouse beacon calling for gnats to breed and infest. Rotting fruit, half-eaten pizza, a bucket of old fried chicken. This is the stuff of dreams for gnats. Not only them but cockroaches and house ants. Never leave your garbage susceptible to these monsters.

Recycling is the number one solution to this problem. Keep your food waste outside in a bin (if possible). Keep your kitchen garbage strictly for trash and non-food waste. This will keep your kitchen sanitary and won’t attract bugs by the truckload. It helps to change the normal garbage bag consistently.

Another piece of advice is to keep your kitchen dry. Overall tidiness is going to get rid of your gnat problem. Doing this on a regular basis will prevent you from ever acquiring a gnat problem to begin with. Don’t leave puddles on the counter and keep the floors dry. Like mosquitos, gnats love moisture.


While gnats can be a huge pain in the neck, they are easy enough to take care of. If it’s too late and you already have a full-blown infection, run to the store and get some spray and some traps, clean your kitchen until it sparkles like a jewel and your gnats should go away. Don’t panic and lose your marbles and call the exterminator. It’s a situation you can take care of on your own.

Something you should remember is that gnats are not going to leave of their own accord. If your kitchen is a pigsty, they are going to stay and suckle on all the dirt and grime they can find while laying eggs and infesting your home. If you do have an infestation, cleaning now rather than later can be crucial.

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2 thoughts on “8 Tips to Get Rid of Gnats in the Kitchen”

  1. I have an odd problem no one seems to be able to solve. At mealtimes in the kitchen and in the morning in my bedroom at my computer having my coffee there is always one gnat. It is extremely annoying flying around trying to get to my coffee or food. I’ve tried the “trap” and it hasn’t worked. What can I do?


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