Things You'll Need
Gnats are frustrating little insects. They hang around your houseplants in swarms, fly in your face as you walk by and occasionally drown in your drinks. They are too small to swat. And no one wants to douse their house in pesticides unless absolutely necessary. Luckily, you can kill household gnats with a little rubbing alcohol. A few applications will kill the population of fungus gnats in your home and allow you to enjoy your plants in peace.
Mix one cup of rubbing alcohol with one quart of water.
Stir the mixture well and add it to a plastic hand spray bottle.
Coat your plants' leaves with the spray. Approach the plant slowly so as not to disturb the gnats. Early morning, just before sunrise, is the best time to surprise them. Spray the plant thoroughly to coat all of its leaves just before the point of runoff. Try to hit some of the fleeing gnats with the alcohol spray too.
Re-spray the plant at three-day intervals until the gnat population is dead.
Some houseplants are more sensitive to rubbing alcohol than others. To test each plant's sensitivity, spray the alcohol solution on one leaf. Check back in 48 hours. If it does not have yellow spots or any other sign of damage, it is safe to use the alcohol spray on the rest of your plant. If not, reduce the concentration to one-half cup of alcohol per quart of water. If damage still shows up, you must look for another gnat control method such as insecticidal soap.
Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.