How to Get Rid of Gnats in Plants Naturally: 10 Effective Methods

How to Get Rid of Gnats in Plants Naturally

Creating a natural environment inside your home can be a great way to bring some of the beauty of the outdoors inside. However, it also comes with a few problems that you need to address. One of the most common and annoying problems associated with introducing plants into the home is the presence of gnats. These tiny pests reproduce quickly and can spread throughout your home if not dealt with quickly. In this article, We will discuss in detail how to get rid of gnats in plants naturally.

What are Fungus Gnats?

Gnats, also known as fungus gnats, can commonly be found near houseplants. These tiny insects are typically black or gray and have long, thin legs. They are sometimes confused with fruit flies because they have a similar appearance, but they can be distinguished by their size and the fact that they fly in a zig-zag pattern.

Fungus gnats feed off the roots of houseplants, making them a major problem for gardeners and homeowners alike. They lay their eggs in the soil of the plants, and when the larvae hatch, they can quickly damage the roots and cause the plant to die.

Why are Fungus Gnats a Problem?

Fungus gnats can be a major problem if left unchecked. Adult gnats do not bite people or pets, but their larvae can cause serious damage to plants. The larvae feed on the roots of houseplants, which can quickly cause the plant to die. In addition to killing plants, gnats can also spread disease and contaminate food. They are also a nuisance because they can fly around the home,  which can be disruptive. Fungus gnats are particularly problematic in nurseries, where many susceptible young seedlings are grown in damp conditions. Therefore, it is important to take preventative measures to reduce the risk of a fungus gnat infestation.

What Causes Fungus Gnats?

Fungus gnats are typically caused by several factors. Overwatering or poor drainage of houseplants can create an ideal environment for the fungus gnat larvae to breed and thrive. In addition, if the soil is compacted, there will be less oxygen for the roots, leading to an ideal environment for fungus gnats. Other causes include using soil that has not been sterilized, leaving organic matter around the plant, or using too much fertilizer. Finally, fungus gnats can be brought in from the outside if windows or doors are left open for too long.

How to Recognize a Fungus Gnat Infestation:

A fungus gnat infestation can be identified by several tell-tale signs. First, you may notice tiny black or gray flies hovering around your plants. Second, you may see small larvae in the soil of the plant. Finally, you may notice yellow or brown spots on the leaves of your plants, which are caused by the gnats feeding off the roots. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to take action quickly to prevent further damage.

How To Get Rid Of Gnats In Plants Naturally:

There are many effective methods to kill fungus gnats but here we will only discuss natural methods. People prefer to opt for natural methods as they tend to be safer and more environmentally friendly. Natural ways of dealing with gnats in plants are also typically less costly than chemical-based methods such as sprays and pesticides. Natural solutions also often result in fewer side effects and may be better at preventing future infestations.

1: Use Yellow Sticky Traps:

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Yellow sticky traps are one of the easiest ways to get rid of gnats without using any harsh chemicals. They are also relatively inexpensive and easy to use, making them a popular choice for getting rid of gnats. These are small yellow-colored sticky traps that are coated with a sticky adhesive on one side. They are usually shaped as a cone or a rectangle and are available in garden stores and online. These traps are yellow colored to attract gnats and other bugs and flying insects, such as fruit flies. And when they land on the sticky surface, they get stuck and can’t escape and eventually die from dehydration.

2: Create an Apple Cider Vinegar Trap:

The apple cider vinegar trap method is another easy and cost-effective way to get rid of gnats. This method involves creating a mixture of equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a shallow container. The gnats will be attracted to the smell of the vinegar and fly into the container. Once inside, the gnats will be unable to escape due to the slippery surface of the mixture and will eventually drown. To make the trap more attractive to gnats, you can add a few drops of dish soap to the mixture. This will create a surface tension that the gnats will be unable to break.

3: Use Neem Oil Solution:

Neem oil is a natural, organic solution for getting rid of gnats and other pests in plants. It has been used for centuries in India as an insect repellent and fungicide. When applied to plants, neem oil acts as a natural insecticide, repelling and killing gnats, aphids, mealybugs, and other pests. The compounds in neem oil also disrupt the reproductive cycle of the gnats, preventing them from laying eggs and reproducing.

In addition to killing and repelling gnats, neem oil also acts as a natural fungicide, helping to protect your plants from fungi and disease. It also acts as a natural fertilizer, helping to improve the soil quality and health of your plants.

4: Introduce Beneficial Insects:

Introducing beneficial insects is another effective method to get rid of gnats. Beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, lacewings, and predatory mites, feed on gnats, larvae, and eggs, making them effective natural pest control. You can purchase beneficial insects from garden stores or online and introduce them into your garden or home. These insects will then feed on the gnats and other pests, helping to keep the population under control. Additionally, beneficial insects help to promote a healthy garden by increasing the population of beneficial pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. It is important to note that beneficial insects will only help to keep the gnat population under control, but will not eradicate them.

5: Remove Old Plant Material

Removing old plant material is an effective way to help clear out gnats in plants naturally. This method should be done by removing any dead leaves and plant debris that may be present in the soil or around the plant. This will help to eliminate potential food sources for the gnats and reduce their population around the plants. Additionally, it is a good idea to make sure the soil is kept dry, as this will also help to discourage the gnats from taking up residence.

6: Utilize Cinnamon Powder or Cloves:

Cinnamon powder and cloves are two natural ingredients that can be used to help remove gnats. To use either of these ingredients, simply sprinkle a light layer of either cinnamon powder or cloves around the areas where gnats are present. The smell of either of these ingredients will help to repel the gnats and discourage them from staying in the area. Additionally, the powder can be sprinkled on plants to help keep the gnats away. Cloves can also be placed near windows or other potential entry points for gnats, as their strong smell will help to make the area unattractive to pests.

7: Use Hydrogen Peroxide:

Killing house plant gnats with hydrogen peroxide is an easy and non-toxic solution. First of all to apply this method you need a few things: hydrogen peroxide, water, and a spray bottle. Make sure you have the typical 3% household hydrogen peroxide and dilute it down with a ratio of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 4 parts water. Now you can apply this solution on dry soil. For surface treatment, spray the mixture on the top layer of soil, until it saturates a couple of inches down. For a deeper and more effective treatment, water the entire plant with the mixture and make sure to soak the soil. When it is applied, it will fizz and foam which is normal. This will effectively kill the fungus gnat eggs, larvae, pupae, and adult flies on contact, giving you the results you want.

8: Use Baking Powder:

Baking powder is a simple and cost-effective way to rid your home of pesky fungus gnats. Plus, baking powder is safe to use around pets and children, making it an ideal solution for families. To use baking powder to get rid of fungus gnats, simply sprinkle a light layer of baking powder on top of the soil of the affected plants. This will absorb the extra moisture (that the gnats are attracted to) and will help to suffocate the pests and prevent them from reproducing. Additionally, baking powder has an alkalizing effect on the soil, which helps to discourage the gnats from taking up residence.  

9: Make a Garlic and Pepper Solution:

Using a garlic and pepper solution is an effective way to clear out gnats naturally. To make the solution, mix equal parts garlic and pepper powder in a spray bottle with some water. Then, spray the mixture around areas where gnats are present. The smell of the garlic and pepper will help to repel the gnats and deter them from staying in the area. Additionally, the solution can be sprayed directly onto the gnats to help kill them.

10: Use Raw Potato Slices:

The potato slices method is an easy homemade solution that can be used to rid of gnats naturally. Plus, potato slices are safe to use around pets and children, making them an ideal solution for families. To use the potato slices method, simply cut potatoes into slices and place flesh side down on the soil of the affected plant to attract larvae. The potato slices should be checked every couple of days and any feeding larvae should be removed and the slices should be replaced with fresh ones.

Tips to Prevent Fungus Gnats from Infesting Your Plants

Gnats are a common problem in homes and gardens, and they can be quite difficult to get rid of. Here are a few tips that will help to stop fungus gnats from infesting your plants:

  • Increase airflow around plants: Make sure your plants are in an area where they can get plenty of air circulation. This will help keep the area dry and prevent fungus gnats from breeding.
  • Change potting soil: Change the soil in your potted plants once a year to prevent problems like fungus gnats. Make sure the soil is well-drained and free of excessive moisture levels.
  • Prune dead leaves and stems regularly: Make sure to regularly prune dead leaves and stems from your plants to help keep the area clean and free of potential gnat breeding grounds.
  • Control moisture level: Make sure to keep the soil in your plants moist, but never soggy. Extra moist soil can attract fungus gnats and give them a place to breed.
  • Avoid over-watering: Don’t water your plants too frequently, as this can cause the soil to become too wet and attract fungus gnats. So let the soil dry out completely between watering.
  • Separate affected plant: If you see a fungus gnats problem, move the affected plant pots away from other houseplants to limit the spread of the problem.


When it comes to eliminating gnats in indoor plants naturally, there are several methods that you can use. First, you can reduce the humidity around the plants by keeping them away from humid areas and increasing air circulation. Additionally, you can put yellow sticky traps around the plant pots to trap any gnats that may be flying around. Finally, you can make a homemade insecticide using natural ingredients such as garlic or neem oil. Mix a few drops of either ingredient with water and spray it on the soil of your plants every few days. These methods should help you get rid of gnats in your indoor plants without any harsh chemicals.

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