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How to Get Rid of Gnats: 3 Family-Safe Steps

Cedarcide blog post image, How to Get Rid of Gnats: 3 Family-Safe Steps

Gnat is a general term for a variety of small two-winged flies, including fruit flies, fungus gnats, drain flies, midges and more. They’re those annoying insects that swarm in large clouds outdoors and linger around trash cans, fruit bowls, kitchens and bathrooms indoors. Some even bite and spread potentially harmful germs.

Gnats aren’t just irritating and gross, they can make it nearly impossible to enjoy your lawn and embarrassing to have guests over to your home. 

A single gnat sneaking through your window screen or a few eggs brought in on a piece of fruit can lead to a gnat problem you’ll struggle with all spring, summer and fall. Each female can lay up to 1,000 eggs in its 10-day lifespan. So unless you want a few thousand new roommates, you’ll want to take action immediately. 

Here’s how to kill, repel, and prevent gnats both inside and outside your home.


How to Get Rid of Gnats: 3 Family-Safe Steps, Kill & Repel Outdoors

An ever-present swarm of gnats in your yard will make lawn work and outdoor entertaining like BBQs and playdates miserable activities. Don’t worry, we’re not going to let that happen to you. Here’s how to reclaim your lawn and get the gnat-free yard you and your family deserve. 

First, let’s prep your yard. It’s simple: the more cluttered, overgrown and moist your lawn, the more gnats you’re going to experience. So before we spray your lawn for bugs, including gnats, you’ll want to clean it up by trimming shrubbery and removing bug-attracting elements like piles of leaves, wood or brush, and items that collect rainwater or produce moisture, such as unused equipment, gear and appliances as well as leaky hoses and plumbing. 

Next, spray your entire lawn—including shrubs and bases of trees—with family-safe, pet-friendly PCO Choice. Apply twice the first month, two weeks apart, and then just once a month after that. 

Kill & Repel Outdoor Bugs, Shop Lawn + Garden Kit

For best results, start spraying as soon as the weather first warms (March or April) and keep applying until freezing conditions return (November or December). If you live in a warmer region like The South, monthly treatments should be done all year long. 

For additional bug protection, broadcast Insect-Repelling Cedar Granules throughout your yard and garden. 

Because PCO Choice and Cedar Granules are both family-safe and pet-friendly, no downtime is needed. You, your family and pets can enjoy your lawn immediately after application. 


How to Get Rid of Gnats: 3 Family-Safe Steps, Kill & Repel Indoors

The easiest and most efficient way to kill indoor gnats is to trap them. Using their attraction to rotting sugars against them, pour some vinegar or wine into a small cup along with a few drops of dish soap. The liquid will draw them in and the soap will make it impossible to escape. 

The above trap will work for most types of gnats. However, if the trap doesn’t get rid of your gnat problem, the following steps will take care of the rest. 

To kill drain flies, spray your sink and down into your drain with a 1-to-3 mixture of water to standard 5% vinegar. A kettle-worth of boiling water will also do the trick. Then, deep clean your drain and sink, and follow that up by lightly spraying your drain with Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray (no more than 2–3 trigger sprays). This will kill any remaining gnats and keep away those that were gone when you cleaned the drain. 

To kill and prevent fungus gnats on and around indoor plants, lightly mist your houseplants and their soil with Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray once each week.

For any other gnats or flying bugs you see, a quick, direct spray with All-Purpose Bug Spray is all it takes. 

Kill & Repel Outdoor Bugs, Shop Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray

To repel gnats, spray common trouble spots like sinks, trash cans, countertops, bathrooms, kitchens and known entry points like window sills, doorways, and dog doors with All-Purpose Bug Spray weekly until your gnats are gone.  

In general, avoid spraying food prep and storage areas. While All-Purpose Bug Spray is family-safe and non-toxic, no one wants their food tasting like cedarwood oil, no matter how amazing it smells.


The following tips will help you avoid future gnat problems. 

  • Inspect groceries for signs of bugs before bringing them home and consider storing all produce in the fridge. 
  • Avoid leaving dirty dishes and food in the sink, and clean up food and drink spills right away.
  • Thoroughly rinse recyclables before tossing them in the bin.
  • Periodically clean trash and recycling bins, and take them out frequently. 
  • Clean and dry items like mops, rags, sponges, and scrubbers after each use. 
  • Keep your lawn clean and tidy: moisture, dense greenery, and organic matter like dying plants, fruits, veggies, and pet poop attract gnats.
  • Stay up on laundry and keep your laundry room clean and dry. 
  • Fix or repair door and window seals & screens immediately. 
  • Replace traditional outdoor light bulbs with those that don’t attract bugs, like sodium bulbs. 
  • If you garden, harvest your fruits and veggies often and quickly remove overripe items. 
  • Quickly repair leaky plumbing both inside and outside your home.
  • Keep all outdoor trash cans and compost bins at least 15 feet away from your home. 
  • Protect yourself from biting gnats by applying Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray before outdoor activities. 

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