How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies and Gnats in House Fast?

Fruit flies and gnats are two of the most annoying pests that can infest your house. They are tiny, hard to catch, and can multiply quickly. They can also contaminate your food and plants with bacteria and pathogens. If you are tired of seeing these flying insects buzzing around your kitchen, bathroom, or living room, you need to take action fast. In this article, we will show you how to get rid of fruit flies and gnats in house fast using simple and effective methods. We will also explain the differences between these two pests, what causes them to invade your house, and how to prevent them from coming back.

Key Takeaways

  • Fruit flies and gnats are different insects that have different feeding and breeding habits. Fruit flies are attracted to rotting fruit and food, while gnats are attracted to moist soil and fungi.
  • To get rid of fruit flies and gnats, you need to eliminate their food sources, trap them using vinegar or fruit bait, and kill them using soap, alcohol, or insecticide.
  • To prevent fruit flies and gnats from infesting your house, you need to keep your kitchen and bathroom clean, store your fruit and food properly, and avoid overwatering your plants.

Fruit Flies vs. Gnats: What’s the Difference?

Before you start your battle against these flying pests, you need to know which one you are dealing with. Fruit flies and gnats are both small, brownish flies that measure about 1/8 inch long, but they have some distinct features and behaviors that can help you identify them.

Fruit Flies

  • Fruit flies have rounded bodies and large, red eyes. They look like miniature versions of the common house fly.
  • Fruit flies are attracted to rotting and fermenting fruit and food. They can also breed in drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, garbage bags, and damp mops and sponges.
  • Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at a time near the surface of their food sources. The eggs hatch in as little as 24 hours, and the adult flies can live for 40 to 50 days.

Gnats

  • Gnats have slender bodies and long, dangling legs. They look like tiny mosquitoes.
  • Gnats are attracted to moist soil and organic matter that contains fungi. They are often found near houseplants, compost bins, and outdoor gardens.
  • Gnats can lay up to 300 eggs at a time in the soil or on the plant roots. The eggs hatch in four to six days, and the adult flies can live for about seven to 10 days.

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies and Gnats?

Now that you know the difference between fruit flies and gnats, you can use the following methods to get rid of them fast. These methods are based on the principle of eliminating their food sources, trapping them using vinegar or fruit bait, and killing them using soap, alcohol, or insecticide.

Eliminate Their Food Sources

The first and most important step to get rid of fruit flies and gnats is to remove their food sources. This will stop them from breeding and multiplying, and will also reduce their attraction to your home. Here are some tips to eliminate their food sources:

  • For fruit flies: Throw away any rotting or overripe fruit and vegetables from your kitchen. Store your fresh produce in the refrigerator or in sealed containers. Clean your sink, drain, and garbage disposal regularly. Take out the trash frequently and use a trash can with a tight lid. Wash any dishes, utensils, and containers that have food residue on them. Wipe down your countertops, tables, and appliances with a disinfectant spray. Vacuum your floors and carpets to remove any crumbs or debris.
  • For gnats: Check your houseplants for signs of infestation. Look for tiny flies hovering around the soil or the leaves, or small black specks on the surface of the soil. If you find any, isolate the infected plants from the healthy ones. Repot the plants with fresh soil and remove any dead or decaying plant matter. Avoid overwatering your plants, as this can create a moist and fungal environment for the gnats. Water your plants only when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. You can also add a layer of sand or gravel on top of the soil to prevent the gnats from laying eggs. If you have a compost bin, make sure it is covered and aerated properly. Turn the compost regularly and add some dry leaves or paper to balance the moisture level.
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Trap Them Using Vinegar or Fruit Bait

The next step to get rid of fruit flies and gnats is to trap them using vinegar or fruit bait. These traps are easy to make and use, and they can catch a large number of flies in a short time. Here are some examples of traps you can make:

  • Apple cider vinegar trap: This is the most common and effective trap for fruit flies and gnats. To make this trap, you will need a small bowl, some apple cider vinegar, some plastic wrap, a rubber band, and a toothpick. Fill the bowl with about a cup of apple cider vinegar. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and secure it with the rubber band. Poke some small holes in the wrap with the toothpick. Place the trap near the infested area and wait for the flies to come. The vinegar will attract the flies with its smell, and the plastic wrap will prevent them from escaping. You can replace the vinegar and the wrap every few days until you see no more flies.
  • Dish soap trap: This trap is similar to the vinegar trap, but it uses dish soap instead of plastic wrap. To make this trap, you will need a small bowl, some apple cider vinegar, and some dish soap. Fill the bowl with about a cup of apple cider vinegar. Add a few drops of dish soap and stir gently. Place the trap near the infested area and wait for the flies to come. The vinegar will attract the flies with its smell, and the dish soap will reduce the surface tension of the liquid, causing the flies to sink and drown. You can replace the vinegar and the soap every few days until you see no more flies.
  • Fruit bait trap: This trap is another option for fruit flies, especially if you don’t have apple cider vinegar. To make this trap, you will need a glass jar, some rotting or fermenting fruit, some apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar, and a piece of paper. Cut the fruit into small pieces and place them in the jar. Add a splash of vinegar to the jar. Roll the paper into a cone shape and insert it into the jar, leaving a small opening at the bottom. Tape the paper to the jar to secure it. Place the trap near the infested area and wait for the flies to come. The fruit will attract the flies with its smell, and the paper cone will prevent them from escaping. You can replace the fruit and the vinegar every few days until you see no more flies.

Kill Them Using Soap, Alcohol, or Insecticide

The final step to get rid of fruit flies and gnats is to kill them using soap, alcohol, or insecticide. These methods are more direct and aggressive, and they can help you eliminate any remaining flies that escaped the traps. Here are some examples of methods you can use:

  • Soap spray: This method is simple and safe, and it can kill both fruit flies and gnats on contact. To make this spray, you will need a spray bottle, some water, and some dish soap. Fill the spray bottle with water and add a few drops of dish soap. Shake well to mix. Spray the solution directly on the flies or on the areas where they congregate. The soap will coat their wings and bodies, making them unable to fly or breathe. You can wipe off the dead flies with a paper towel or a vacuum cleaner.
  • Alcohol spray: This method is similar to the soap spray, but it uses alcohol instead of water. To make this spray, you will need a spray bottle, some rubbing alcohol, and some water. Fill the spray bottle with equal parts of alcohol and water. Shake well to mix. Spray the solution directly on the flies or on the areas where they congregate. The alcohol will dehydrate and kill the flies. You can wipe off the dead flies with a paper towel or a vacuum cleaner.
  • Insecticide spray: This method is the most effective and fast, but it is also the most toxic and hazardous. To use this method, you will need a commercial insecticide spray that is labeled for fruit flies or gnats. Follow the instructions on the label carefully and wear protective gloves, goggles, and mask. Spray the insecticide directly on the flies or on the areas where they congregate. The insecticide will kill the flies instantly. You can wipe off the dead flies with a paper towel or a vacuum cleaner. Make sure to ventilate the area well and keep children and pets away from the treated area.
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The best way to get rid of fruit flies and gnats in house fast is to combine the methods of eliminating their food sources, trapping them using vinegar or fruit bait, and killing them using soap, alcohol, or insecticide.

How to Prevent Fruit Flies and Gnats from Infesting Your House?

Once you have gotten rid of fruit flies and gnats from your house, you want to make sure they don’t come back. Here are some tips to prevent fruit flies and gnats from infesting your house:

  • Keep your kitchen and bathroom clean and dry. Wipe down your surfaces, appliances, and fixtures regularly. Clean your sink, drain, and garbage disposal frequently. Take out the trash often and use a trash can with a tight lid. Wash your dishes, utensils, and containers promptly. Vacuum your floors and carpets regularly to remove any crumbs or debris.
  • Store your fruit and food properly. Refrigerate or freeze your fresh produce as soon as possible. Use sealed containers or bags to store your dry food. Avoid leaving any food out in the open for too long. Discard any spoiled or expired food promptly.
  • Avoid overwatering your plants. Water your plants only when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Use well-draining pots and saucers to prevent waterlogging. Add a layer of sand or gravel on top of the soil to deter gnats from laying eggs. Prune your plants regularly and remove any dead or decaying plant matter.
  • Use natural repellents and deterrents. You can use some household items or plants to repel or deter fruit flies and gnats from your house. For example, you can place some basil, lavender, mint, or rosemary near your windows, doors, or plants to keep the flies away. You can also spray some lemon juice, vinegar, or essential oils around your house to mask the smell of food and fruit. You can also hang some sticky traps or flypaper near the infested areas to catch any stray flies.

Conclusion

Fruit flies and gnats are two of the most annoying pests that can infest your house. They can contaminate your food and plants, and cause health and hygiene problems. To get rid of them fast, you need to eliminate their food sources, trap them using vinegar or fruit bait, and kill them using soap, alcohol, or insecticide. To prevent them from coming back, you need to keep your house clean and dry, store your fruit and food properly, avoid overwatering your plants, and use natural repellents and deterrents. By following these steps, you can enjoy a fly-free and gnat-free house.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long does it take to get rid of fruit flies and gnats? The time it takes to get rid of fruit flies and gnats depends on the severity of the infestation and the methods you use. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to completely eliminate these pests from your house. The key is to be consistent and persistent with your methods, and to monitor the results regularly. You can use a magnifying glass or a flashlight to check for any eggs, larvae, or adult flies in the infested areas. You can also count the number of flies you catch or kill with your traps or sprays. If you see a significant decrease in the number of flies, you are on the right track. If you see no improvement or an increase in the number of flies, you may need to change or intensify your methods.
  2. What are the health risks of having fruit flies and gnats in your house? Fruit flies and gnats can pose some health risks to you and your family, especially if they are present in large numbers or for a long time. These flies can carry and transmit various bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites that can cause food poisoning, diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid, cholera, and other diseases. They can also contaminate your food and plants with their eggs, larvae, and feces, which can affect the quality and safety of your food and plants. Additionally, some people may be allergic or sensitive to the bites or the presence of these flies, and may experience itching, swelling, redness, or infection.
  3. How do I get rid of fruit flies and gnats in my car? If you have fruit flies and gnats in your car, you can use the same methods as you would in your house, but with some modifications. You should first remove any food, drink, or trash from your car, and clean your seats, floor, and dashboard with a vacuum cleaner and a disinfectant spray. You should also check your trunk, glove compartment, and vents for any signs of infestation. You can then use some vinegar or fruit bait traps to catch the flies, and place them in the areas where you see the most flies. You can also use some soap, alcohol, or insecticide sprays to kill the flies, but be careful not to damage your car’s interior or exterior. You should also air out your car well and avoid leaving it in the sun or in a humid place.
  4. How do I get rid of fruit flies and gnats in my plants? If you have fruit flies and gnats in your plants, you can use some natural and organic methods to get rid of them, without harming your plants or the environment. You can use some neem oil, garlic, or cinnamon to repel or kill the flies, by spraying or sprinkling them on your plants or on the soil. You can also use some diatomaceous earth, which is a fine powder made from fossilized algae, to dehydrate and kill the flies, by dusting it on your plants or on the soil. You can also use some hydrogen peroxide, which is a mild antiseptic and fungicide, to kill the eggs and larvae of the flies, by mixing it with water and watering your plants with it. You can also use some beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, lacewings, or predatory mites, to prey on the flies and their eggs and larvae, by releasing them on your plants or on the soil.
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Sources

  1. Fruit Fly vs. Gnat: Difference Between Gnats & Fruit Flies | Orkin
  2. Gnats vs. fruit flies: how to spot the differences | Real Homes
  3. Fruit Flies vs Gnats: What's the Difference? - PestQueen
  4. How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies and Gnats in Your House - Real Simple
  5. How to get rid of fruit flies fast | Tom's Guide
  6. How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies & Gnats | Get Rid of Gnats - Thompson Creek
  7. How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Fast - Mom 4 Real
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