Homemade Gnat Traps That Actually Work

Updated: Mar. 29, 2023

Gnats can prove particularly annoying once they get inside your house—especially since it can be difficult to notice them until an infestation is underway. Here’s how to get rid of gnats both indoors and out.

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Gnats
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How to Get Rid of Gnats

As household pests go, gnats don’t represent as serious of a health hazard as mice or mosquitoes, but these flying bugs are a nuisance that you don’t want swarming around your kitchen or anywhere else in the house. Fortunately, you can safely get rid of gnats (as well as fruit flies and drain flies) with a few common household ingredients that are probably sitting in your kitchen already. Here, you’ll find four simple solutions for natural pest control, as well as one safe product you can buy to eliminate gnats before they take over.

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vinegar gant trap dish soap HH handy hint
Family Handyman

The Best Homemade Gnat Trap

Gather a few small jars and pour in 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and whirl in a few drops of liquid dish soap. With the lids off, place the jars wherever you see the most gnats. The gnats will be drawn to the smell of the apple cider, but once they land in the mixture, the soap makes it difficult for them to escape. These non-toxic traps work like a dream. I set them out one night and the next morning, all the gnats were in the jars! — Gina Kinnan

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HH Handy Hint DIY bottle gnat trap
Family Handyman

Household Ingredient Gnat Trap

Here’s an homemade trap built around an old plastic bottle. Wash the bottle and cut off the top. Mark the center of the bottle with a permanent marker. This will serve as a “fill to” line. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of sugar in 1/4 cup of vinegar and pour it into the bottle. Add water up to the fill line. Place the cutoff top upside down in the bottle. The gnats can easily get into the wide opening, but it’s difficult for them to get back out. Place this on your kitchen counter or any area where you’ve seen a lot of gnats congregating.

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HH Handy Hint yellow index card honey gnat trap
Family Handyman

Simple Three-Step Gnat Trap

Attracted by wet soil, gnats love houseplants. To get rid of them, spread a little honey on bright yellow index cards. Glue the card to a straw or chopstick and stick into the soil of the gnat’s favorite houseplants. Yellow attracts gnats because it’s the color of plants under stress whose defenses are weakened against predators. When the gnats come to investigate, they’ll get stuck in the honey.

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gnat
. Kucharski K. Kucharska/Shutterstock

Red Wine Gnat Trap

Make a homemade gnat trap with a shallow dish and red wine, which will attract gnats. Some people use a container with a small opening, like a water bottle, so it’s more difficult for the gnats to fly away after they investigate the wine. These traps also work on fruit flies, which are not the same as gnats.

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Non-Toxic Gnat Traps

You can purchase highly effective, non-toxic gnat traps at an affordable price online. These traps eliminate fungus gnats—the most common indoor gnats—that breed in houseplants. According to the manufacturer, these traps control even the worst infestations without toxic pesticides.

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