Yes, I know it’s disgusting. How we ended up with this dilemma is a story for another day. The short of it is a drain problem. With that said, I’m certain I can’t be the only one to have this problem because a search turned up a million and two sites with tried
and true ways to rid your house of them. So I tried two of the home remedies using what I had on hand.
The first was yellow paper with honey. I guess the yellow paper aids the honey in attracting the dirty things, then they get stuck in the honey. That’s the theory, anyway. The reality is that the gnats are attracted, but if, and I repeat IF, they land on the honey rather than just having a catered meal around the edges, they A)just fly away, or B)wiggle their way to the edges, then fly away. So I wouldn’t suggest wasting your good card stock or honey on this one.
The second home remedy was cider vinegar. I tried this two different ways.
The first was using a bowl with plastic wrap secured with a rubber band and entrance holes poked in it. It took some pretty large holes for the stupid things to find their way in, but they did. It blew my mind because if I’d just laid plastic wrap over something they’d been all in it, but try to get them in something…anyway. They didn’t find their way back out. It was incredibly slow, though. I didn’t have a few gnats, I had an entire swarm in my house. I literally watched the spoon I stirred my coffee with and within thirty seconds there were ten or fifteen on it, already. The kids had to be at the table when I put their plates down or it was too late. I sent them outside to eat their yogurt. I have never experienced anything close to resembling this. We get a few every summer but this was bad. BAD. BAD BAD.
The other way I did the cider vinegar method was using a funnel.
A friend was over and told me this, and also said to use a dark-colored container, which I didn’t have except for a big tall twisty blue cup my kids had. This produced zero results (I figure because the cider vinegar smell had a long way to travel out). I put the funnel (top cut off a 20 oz.)on top a mason jar and ran some tape around it. Not as productive as the bowl, and not many at all were in the liquid, but they couldn’t figure out how to get out of the funnel so there were several flying in the jar.
Those methods had about a two-hour head start on the next one.
So now for the store-bought remedies:
FLY PAPER. Super yuck. It’s gross to see it hanging there, but it was more effective than all the home remedies I had going put together. I chose to put them on both sides of my sink, and the left was more effective than the right, can’t tell you why, though. There’s something to do with drafts or something, but I wasn’t in the market to study gnats…I was wanting rid of them, ASAP. So as far as something you set out and forget, this is the winner. This still wasn’t fast enough, though.
On to the big dogs….an ELECTRONIC FLY ZAPPER. I’ve decided that whoever invented this deserves to be a millionaire. If I had a million dollars, I’d give it to them. To start with, before it was a giant catastrophe, I was cleaning the drain with some sort of foaming cleaner (either store-bought or baking soda and vinegar) when I’d notice a problem, then go around for a day zapping any gnats I saw. It was really working, apparently, because it wasn’t until my zapper broke that all hell broke loose. I noticed more than there had been, but I was out of everything…no cleaner, vinegar, zapper was broke. It was maybe Wednesday when I would’ve began an active assault as I had been. I didn’t go to the store until Friday. When I got home from the store is when I knew we had a problem. They were everywhere! EVERYWHERE!!! By the thousands is not an exaggeration. So, I cleaned the drain, but the house was already full! I tried the home remedies, bought the fly tape, and told my Mommy. She had already got me a new zapper, but lives an hour away and I didn’t see her until Tuesday. I almost went and bought another, anyway. If I could have found it. I had already started seeing them on clearance before mine quit, so I was lucky she snagged one. The problem was worse than before by then (it seems another crop had come out the drain before the originals died). She got to my house at 8:00 a.m. Tuesday morning and I went at it!!! You can’t swat them when their swarming. You can, but you’ll just look like a crazy person swinging wildly with no results.
You have to let them land, then gently come up on them and get them just as they lift. My gnats are fond of lying in wait on my ceiling. So I went around with my arm over my head zapping them. There’s always a few that you don’t get, and they move away from you, so I worked in circle around my house. My husband was so sick of hearing the “snap” of them being electrocuted because I wasn’t quitting. My neck was cramped. My arm was tired, but for two days that is what I did, and I’m proud to say we’re back in control. So, my cure is two-fold, treat your drains, zap from your ceiling. If you do it before they are strong enough to lift your house and carry the whole dang thing away it won’t take long and is SO worth it. Good luck!!
Update: (Because it took me three days to load any pictures and post this) I haven’t treated my drains again and yesterday the few who found their way in were on the bowl of cider vinegar, so for just a gnat here or there, without a giant problem, that would be my suggestion. I’ve zapped five or so from the ceiling today, though, so it’s time for me to treat my drains again….uggh. I hate to want winter, but this is ridiculous.