How to Get Rid of Gnats or Fruit Flies Indoors

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Things You'll Need

  • All-purpose clean

  • Damp sponge

  • 1 teaspoon of bleach

  • 1 gallon of water

  • Plastic pail

  • Plastic wrap

  • Painting tape

  • Potting soil

  • Cider vinegar

  • Jelly jar

  • Coffee filter

  • Scissors

Fruit flies and gnats are a quarter to a half size of regular houseflies.

Tiny gnats and fruit flies irritate pets and people but removing them isn't difficult. Their appearance indicates that some plant maintenance or housekeeping is needed. Removing these insects protects you from exposure to disease-causing pathogens. These small bugs quickly reproduce. One fruit fly can lay 500 eggs at a time. You may need to control them a few times before they are completely gone.

Step 1

Identify fruit flies' source by locating the densest population. Look for rotten or overripe fruits and vegetables in your home. Throw away rotten foods immediately and take them to an outside bin. Remove open wine bottles and dirty garbage and recycling bins. Clean these items before returning them.

Step 2

Wipe down kitchen surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner and a clean, damp sponge. Use a bleach water to clean garbage cans.

Step 3

Cover sink drains with plastic wrap and tape it into place. Leaving the plastic in place overnight kills the bugs.

Step 4

Examine planted pots for fungal gnats. Repot the plants in clean, slightly damp soil. Throw away moldy, rotted potting soil.

Step 5

Pour 1/4 cup of cider vinegar in a small jelly jar. Gather a coffee filter together by the edges and clip away the pointed tip with sharp scissors. The hole should be small, about one-third inch wide.

Step 6

Place the filter in the jar without getting the paper wet. The fruit flies fall into the trap and you may then dispose of them.


Replacing torn window screens protects the home from bug infestations.


Monica Patrick

As a former senior sales director with Mary Kay and the co-owner of a renovation company, Monica Patrick has firsthand knowledge of small business operations. Besides start ups, she has extensive skills in recruiting, selling, leadership, makeup artistry and skin care.