Gnats are frequently referred to as many different tiny flying insects, including fungus gnats, no-see-ums, fruit flies, and biting gnats to name a few. However, true fungus gnats are the small, non-biting pests that love to make their homes in wet, rotten organic matter.
The moist soil around your house makes for the perfect breeding ground for adult gnats to lay their eggs until they hatch into tiny gnat larvae. In general, gnats are relatively harmless, but their constant buzzing around the face is annoying enough to drive even the most hardened individuals from the porch or patio inside.
Like their annoying counterpart the mosquitoes, getting rid of flies outside can be a difficult problem to tackle, then indoor gnats because the issue may span well beyond your property line. Continue reading to find out how to get rid of gnats outside and begin enjoying your yard and flower beds again.
How to Get Rid of Flies Outside
When you are dealing with a gnat problem in your yard, it can be challenging to deal with, especially if you live near a farm, lake or other large bodies of water. Rather than avoiding the outdoors during the warmer months when the gnats are out in force, you can take the following steps to make your yard less inviting and get rid of gnats for good.
The first step in outdoor gnat control is to change the environment in which they grow and thrive. Start addressing your gnat problem by letting your garden beds and lawn dry out more between watering to reduce the amount of moisture that creates the hospitable breeding grounds for gnats. Then, make sure your yard is free of decaying organic matter.
Clean up grass clippings, fallen leaves, and dead plant matter from around your yard. If you have a compost pile, make sure that it is situated away from your porch or patio, and make sure you cover your garbage can to keep these small flies away.
After you’ve cleaned up your yard and eliminated the environment that gnats thrive in, there are also some natural options that you might want to consider.
Introducing natural predators of fungus gnats, like beneficial nematodes, into the environment is an excellent method of pest control that will kill gnats without using chemicals. You also might want to hang a bug zapper or sticky fly traps from your patio to trap and kill gnats that get too close to your outdoor living space.
How to Repel Gnats
When dealing with a gnat infestation in your yard, your first thought might be to turn to harsh chemicals to deal with the problem. While an insect fogger or chemical insect repellent will be useful in killing gnats, it is also extremely toxic to your family and the environment. Aside from wearing long pants during the hot summer months, here are several gnat repellent solutions that use everyday items to repel gnats.
A vinegar trap is an extremely effective way to deal with gnats in your yard. To make this effective gnat trap, add some apple cider vinegar and liquid dish soap to a small container or bowl.
Place the pots around the potted plants on your porch and in other areas infested with gnats. The sweet scent of the vinegar will attract the gnats to the bowl, and when they dip down to taste the sweet liquid, their legs and wings will become covered in dish soap. The dish soap effectively keeps them from escaping the trap, and they will eventually drown in the solution.
Does Citronella Repel Fruit Flies?
Essential oils, like citronella, have long been used to repel gnats, fruit flies, and other insects. Gnat repellents that contain botanical oils are extremely useful for dealing with these pesky flying insects. In answer to the question, “Does citronella repel fruit flies?” The answer is yes. There are several ways you can use citronella and other essential oils to keep insects, like gnats and fruit flies at bay.
You can dilute several drops of the above essential oils with water and add it to a plastic spray bottle and spray areas where you are dealing with gnats. You can also, crush some fresh leaves of the plants and rub them on your skin to keep you from suffering gnat bites. It can also be helpful to plant these plants around your home, to keep gnats out of your yard.
How to Repel Gnats with Neem Oil
If gnats are destroying the plants in your garden, you can apply a soil drench using neem oil to disrupt the laying of the gnat eggs and the development of their larvae, and as a bonus, you can use it to kill stink bugs that find their way into your yard as well. Neem oil is safe enough to use around all your plants while killing the gnat larvae before they can develop into adults.
Fill a bucket with water and add the neem oil and castile soap. Stir well to ensure the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Pour the mixture around the base of your plants that are infested with gnats to kill the eggs and larvae. Use some of this mixture to spray on the leaves of the plants to keep adult gnats and fruit flies from damaging your plants.
If gnats and other tiny flying insects have taken over your yard, it’s time for you to take it back. Utilize these simple solutions for how to get rid of gnats outside and start enjoying your yard again. These gnat removal methods are simple and use everyday ingredients that you probably already have in your home.
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