Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Get rid of gnats with wine

By:  Tara Fuller

No more pesky Gnats

According to Donald Lewis, Extension Entomologist at Iowa State University, there are three types of household gnats: Fungus, fruit flies and moth flies.  Fortunately, despite being annoying, they don't bite, sting, transmit diseases or ruin house furnishings or structures. Good news, there are inexpensive yet effective methods to eliminating these pesky gnats; red wine may be your answer. 

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are similar in size to fruit flies but are more slender; and are often found festering around windows during fall and winter. These gnats thrive in moist soil and decayed vegetable matter so although it is possible for fungus gnats to come inside from the outdoors, most household invasions are traced to indoor plants that are being over watered. To get rid of fungus gnats, simply allow the potting soil to dry out to the point where leaves are starting to wilt before watering again. 

Moth Flies
Moth Flies, also referred as sewer flies and drain flies because they love to feast off bacteria lining drains, especially garbage disposals. They often emerge in the spring according to The University of Nebraska. To treat, run hot water down the drains to loosen bacteria followed by a generous dose of all-purpose cleaner using a toothbrush around crevasse to kill the bacteria.

Fruit Flies
Fruit flies, also called vinegar or pomace fly are most dominate during summer and early fall months when fruits and vegetables are abundant, as they like to hitchhike home on our fruits/vegetables. Pomace flies however, so similar to fruit flies many do not distinguish, prefer standing water or an open sewer drain, so removing fruits and vegetables may not be the only solution to ridding your home of these types of gnats. The University of Nebraska recommends a beer fruit trap as they are attracted to fermentation, whereas others, find it easier to simply leave a glass of wine sitting out on a kitchen counter-top a couple days. According to Iowa State University, fruit flies (aka pomace flies) most likely source in the home during fall and winter is a slow-moving or a seldom-used drain (sink, bathtub, shower or floor drain) where a layer of slime has built up above the water line. Dr. Lewis recommends as the only effective management of these gnats is to clean the slime from inside the drainpipe.


  1. I've done this!! Over the summer we had an Ant invasion, and we had a bottle of horrible wine. I put some wine in a shallow bowl, the Ants went in....but didn't come out. mawhahahaha.

  2. Hey, that's awesome to know. Thanks for sharing though I do hope to never have to put it to the test.

  3. How big do the holes need to be in the cling wrap to trap them?

    1. Just leave a little wine in a dish, no need to use cling wrap 😊

  4. Cool tip.. perils of drinking lol