Gnats are tiny… they’re even smaller than mosquitos. Unfortunately, their size makes it easy for them to sneak inside buildings. Holes in window screens, openings where utility lines enter the building, and cracks around doors are all perfect entryways for gnats.
There are many different types of gnats, and where you can find them depends on the species. All types of gnats, however, are driven by two elements: food and moisture—and they’re entering your building on a mission to find them.
What are gnats?
A gnat is a small flying insect in the suborder Nematocera. Emphasis on small. These little guys are so tiny they’ve been given the nickname “no-see-ums.” Unfortunately, their small stature doesn’t make them any less annoying than other pests. There are many types of gnats, but these are the most common types that you’ll most likely find in New York City:
- Fungus gnats. You can find fungus gnats near mushrooms and plant pots. This species of gnat is so small you can’t see it with the naked eye.
- Midges. This species looks similar to mosquitoes. However, their snouts are much shorter and the wings are feathered on the females and bushy on the males. These gnats are drawn to ponds and light. These are often the insects you see around porch and street lights.
- Drain flies. These gnats have a furry appearance. You can find them in bathrooms, kitchens, and other damp environments. These pests lay their eggs inside sink drains… yikes!
How do gnats get inside my building?
It’s not difficult for gnats to find their way into your building. Their size allows them to sneak in through cracks in the wall, openings around doors, spaces around window sills, and more.
Gnats enter your building looking for food, fungus, and moisture. Oftentimes, gnats are drawn to your space because of overripe fruit on the counter, softening potatoes in the cabinet, or even over-watered potted plants.
How to get rid of gnats?
Ridding your space of gnats can be a difficult process. A big reason for this is how quickly gnats reproduce. Females lay between 100 to 300 eggs in batches of 2 to 30. It only takes 4 to 6 days for eggs to hatch. So it can be tough to control the masses. If you’re dealing with a gnat infestation in your building, these are some things you do to try and save your space:
- Fly paper. Hang fly paper from areas of your building that get a lot of gnat traffic. You can also use window fly paper that covers the window in an adhesive sheet.
- Trap them. Fill a vessel with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and about 6 drops of liquid dish soap. Set near an area with a lot of gnats. You can also trap gnats the same way with old or expired wine and a couple drops of dish soap.
- Diluted bleach solution. This remedy is specifically for drain flies. If you’ve noticed gnats flying around your sink drains, dilute a half cup of bleach with approximately one gallon of water and slowly pour it down the infested drain.
- Chemical spray. If things get really bad, you may need a more serious bug killer than the DIY remedies listed above. Insecticide will usually get the job done, but it is quite harsh. It is best to get help from the professionals!
How to prevent gnats?
The best way to rid your building of gnats? Don’t have them in the first place. Here are some simple things you can do to prevent these pesky pests from taking over your space.
- Wash dirty dishes right after using them
- Replace old windows and doors
- Maintain and clean siding
- Don’t overwater plants
- Take out the garbage regularly
Don’t let your gnat infestation go on for too long. If you continue to have issues after following our pest tips and tricks, it may be time to get in touch with the professionals. Get in touch with Assured Environments today to take back control of your building! We can rid your space of gnats as well as assist you in preventing an infestation in the future.