Gnats, Flies and the drain game

Jun 24, 2016 | pest control

I seem to get a higher volume call this time of year for flies and gnats in the home, predominantly in the kitchen area. Gnats are small little flies that you find around fruit, drains and houseplants. The gnats do have a purpose in the food chain and that is to speed up the process of decay. The adult gnats lay their eggs in overripe fruit, moist drains and soil.
Maybe it’s just the time of year, but with farmer’s markets and other places offering a larger variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, we keep more available for handy, healthy snacks. The problem starts to come up with them being left out in fruit bowls or just out in the open. If they are not eaten right away, they provide an excellent food source for the gnats and flies. Keeping fruit in the refrigerator protects it from gnats and also prolongs the fruit’s period of ripeness.
The most common area gnats and drain flies are seen though is around the sink. Excess food in the disposal can provide a perfect breeding ground for these gnats. This can be one of the easiest fixes using all natural methods that will get rid of them quickly and safely. You can put a few tablespoons of baking soda into the drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. The mixture will fizz a bit and should be left to sit for a couple of hours before running water. Even better if you do this before bed and allow it remain overnight. If you don’t have these items handy, for now, pouring boiling water down the drain will help until you can get the baking soda and vinegar.
Another area to consider is the dishwasher. Food particles can remain in the drain and cause the same issues with gnats. Try running one small cycle in your dishwasher with no dishes in it and using one cup of vinegar. This not only helps cleaning but can also get rid of odors caused by bacteria from food particles.
Another area to consider is the potted plants in your home. Remember to empty the water in the saucers under your plants. Gnats lay their eggs in the moist damp soil of plants that have been overwatered. By removing extra moisture, you will help eliminate their numbers. If after you’ve removed the extra water from the bottom saucer but there is still a lot of moisture in the plant container from overwatering, you may need to try drying out the plant a bit. A fungus can develop in overwatered plants that will allow the gnats to thrive. Find a sunny location to allow the plant to dry out, preferably for a couple of days and this should take care of gnats around the potted plants. If this still doesn’t seem to take care of the issue, schedule a pest control inspection for further help in identifying and getting rid of this or other pests in the home.

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