Gnats on Your Plants? How to Get Rid of Them

There are plenty of nontoxic ways to get rid of gnats in plants.

Lauren Wellbank - Author

May 31 2024, Published 3:20 p.m. ET

Woman repotting a plant
Source: Getty Images

There's a reason why the words annoying and gnat are synonymous, and it has a lot to do with how unpleasant these small flying insects are to be around. Not only do they get into your face and buzz in your ears, but sometimes they can also wreak havoc on your houseplants. In fact, having a severe fungus gnat infestation in your home can be dangerous for your favorite greenery, which is why it's important to keep their numbers down as best you can.

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But don't stress, because I'm about to tell you how to get rid of gnats in your plants so that you don't have to worry about losing any of your collection to this unwanted pest. Plus, the below methods are fairly natural, and don't require killing the gnats.

Gnats flying around
Source: Getty Images
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How to get rid of fungus gnats in plants:

There are lots of natural ways to get rid of fungus gnats in your plants, which include making some DIY mixes that will help get the job done. Mind you, these mixes may be "natural" (like vinegar), but that doesn't mean that they are completely nontoxic or that they can be used around young children or pets without caution. You should still be mindful and avoid putting these items anywhere that little hands, or curious sniffers, could easily get into them.

One humane way to get rid of fungus gnats in your plants involves making a gnat trap. You can do this by using a small dish or cup and placing something enticing (like a bit of fresh food) into it before covering it with a piece of plastic wrap. Next, you'll want to poke a few holes into the top of the plastic, creating a variety of entry points for the gnats to get in, and then place directly next to an infested plant.

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The gnats will be drawn in by the scent of the fruit, but once they climb into the holes in the plastic wrap they'll be unable to make their way back out. And the best part is that you don't have to kill the gnats to remove them, but instead you can just take them outside and release them back into the wild.

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Another option involves filling some shallow saucers with a mix of apple cider vinegar, a drop or two of dish soap, and a little bit of sugar, according to TikToker @fullerfaithfarm0531. You can set a few of these traps out next to the plants where you see the fungus gnats, drawing them away from the soil and into the liquid traps. Once they get into the mix, they will be unable to get back out, and they will drown.

How to prevent fungus gnats from returning:

Another great way to deal with fungus gnats is to eliminate the food sources bringing them into your home in the first place, which include the soil in overwater plants, the buildup of rotting and decaying materials in the sinks and drains around your home, and any decomposing food that could be lurking in the bottom of your trashcan or in your fruit basket.

It may take a few weeks to completely eliminate your fungus gnat problem, but if you make these changes you should begin to get results (and some peace of mind) almost immediately!

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