Ghat Attack What are Gnats and How to Get Rid of Them?

Abigail Lowrey

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Plants are amazing, they clean the air, they look aesthetic, and sometimes it’s just nice to have something to take care of. Unfortunately, all good things must be leveled out with some bad. In this case, plants, especially from big-name stores, carry little pests. No matter how hard you try they will almost always show up once you think you’ve got the last one. These unwanted house guests are called fungus gnats, they are mostly attracted to moisture and damp spaces. Plants, with their need for water, are a breeding ground for these pests.

There are a few ways to prevent your inside garden from being attacked by gnats. The ones I have found to be extremely effective are using a soap and water mixture and spray it on your plants every once in a while. Another way that I have found to be very efficient is by bottom water, meaning putting your plant in a tray of water to allow the soil to soak up any water in the dish. Using the bottom water method makes it so the gnats don’t have a surface that is moist. If you’re humane and just want to deter the little bugs, I recommend using strong scents such as lemon, lavender, vanilla, or cinnamon around your plants. Scents work due to the fact that gnats simply hate strong smells. Another alternative that I have found to be not nearly as effective is combatting the flies with more plants, something like a venus fly trap, or other carnivorous plants. They just don’t get the job done well enough. Regardless of how you choose to deal with these guests that do not pay rent, do not try fire. If you try to use fire you will end up lighting something else on fire as gnats are extremely difficult to catch. Gnats are a natural consequence of owning plants so don’t be too worried if they show up every once in a while.