Indoor gnats are a nuisance to pets and people. Gnats typically come from indoor plants and organic food matter. Controlling and reducing the gnat population is possible using nontoxic methods allowing you to avoid poisons that can harm you and your pet. While gnat infestations can be an ongoing issue, with a little time and attention, they can be snubbed out.

Furious girl with flyswatter
credit: Franck Boston/iStock/Getty Images
Fly swatters are not effective to control gnats.

Vinegar Applications

Vinegar attracts gnats and works well for baiting them into a trap. Place a cup of vinegar in an empty soda bottle and poke small holes in the bottle. The gnats will enter to get to the vinegar and will become trapped. Alternatively, pour vinegar in a bowl and mix with a few drops of dish soap to increase the viscosity. The gnats will go for the vinegar, stick to the dish soap and die as they are not strong enough to break the tension. Any vinegar will work but apple cider vinegar or adding sugar to sweeten is helpful.

Diatomaceous Earth

Sprinkle food grade diatomaceous earth on the soil of your indoor plants and mix it into the top inch of soil. Using food grade diatomaceous earth is critical to prevent any issues from contact with your pets and your family. The material has sharp particles that deter insects from crossing the barrier. They are micro particles that will not cut or hurt you or your pet on contact. Be sure to follow the directions on the diatomaceous earth package.

Cleaning Your House

Gnats are attracted to food sources and rotting or decomposing food in your house. Remove old fruit and vegetables to an outdoor trash. Clean your trash with a disinfectant to remove odor and debris. Check any pet cages as well and do a complete cleaning of the cages to remove decomposing bedding and hidden food particles. Things like old vegetables in a turtle or rabbit cage will attract gnats.

Spray Applications

Essential oil peppermint sprays are effective deterrents. Rub an essential peppermint oil on your hands and work it into the dog's coat. Do not rub around the eyes because it may burn and cause discomfort. Only use the oils when the gnats are actively annoying you and your pets.