How to Get Rid of Gnats in House Plants

Are gnats bothering your houseplants? Easily rid your plants of them with these easy tips from our readers.

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Q: Does any one know how to get rid of gnats in my house plants? They are mostly in my small ones like ivy and herbs and there are lots of them.

Tip #1: Put out small containers of cider vinegar. The gnats are attracted to the vinegar & drown in it. Hope this helps.

Tip #2: These insects are a problem in plants that are kept too wet. Let them dry out between waterings. Yellow sticky traps will help catch the adults. The larvae live in the soil and feed on the roots. Pull the plants out of the pots for a day or so to dry the roots. When the roots dry out most of the larvae will be killed. There is a product for treating that contains a special form of bacillus thuringensis specially for fungus gnats that will kill the larvae. But trapping adults and backing off on watering is usually sufficient. You can drench the soil with a plant soap like Safer on the next watering cycle.

Tip #3: You can wipe the stems and leaves with a mild soap-and water solution. You can also do the same thing to outdoor plants by using insecticidal soap and follow the directions on the can, or you can make a homemade insecticide by mixing 2 1/2 tbsp of biodegradable detergent to 1 gallon of water and using it to spray both sides of the plant leaves. After an hour, spray or hose them down with clear water.

Tip #4: I put a clove of garlic in each of my plants, cut down on the gnats but I still have a few. But I’m going to try the tobacco spray. I remember growing up my mom used to put her cig. butts in the plants and told me the nicotine helped the plants grow and kept the bugs out. (I had completely forgotten about the nicotine! now to find a smoker)!

Tip #5: I have a recipe for a gnat trap solution. Stir together until dissolved: 2 tbsp sugar & 1/2 c cider vinegar (white vinegar works, but cider vinegar works best). After sugar is dissolved, gently stir in 1 tsp dish detergent, careful not to create suds. Set this mixture out near the problem area. You may have to change the solution a couple of times, but you will see the gnats disappear.

If you want to try a commercial product instead of these DIY tips, there are many products available to get rid of gnats in houseplants. Here are a few that Amazon recommends:

BioCare Gnat Stix

Houseplant Sticky Stakes Insect Trap, (14 Traps)

Wondercide All-Purpose Organic Home & Garden Insect Control 32 oz Spray

Houseplant and Garden Insect Killer, 24-Ounce Spray

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Are gnats bothering your houseplants? Easily rid your plants of them with these easy tips from our readers.

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