Jul 05, 2014 - 08:12 AM
Gnats, like most fungus and organic, decaying matter infesting organisms, require 3 things to survive.
1) Moisture. This can come from many places. Primarily, outdoors, under shrubs, decks, over watered yards, standing water, water saturated soil, and in natural settings such as creeks, lakes, rivers, woods, etc.
2) Breeding grounds / food sources This too can come from many places. For gnats it is primarily found under leaves, around garbage, water saturated soil (house plants can be a suspect), decaying organic debris such as plants, etc. This can be either indoors, or outdoors, but generally, this is outdoors and can be in the immediate area around structures.
3) Heat. Gnats don't survive well in cold temps under 60F. Above 60, and especially in hotter climates, gnats can prosper and their populations can explode. In extreme heat conditions, there is usually less moisture and therefore less gnats.
So the bottom line is that most of the time, gnats occur outdoors and unless the conditions are right, such as with overwatered house plants, overwatered lawns, decaying or rotting plants, garbage (compost piles, etc.) they cannot survive very long indoors. However, with loose fitting screens, open doors, windows, etc. they can find their way indoors and become a real nuisance.
There are several things you can do.
1) Try to find the source of breeding / moisture and eliminate it. If you don't or can't find it, then your gnat battles will continue until either extreme heat, cooler temps or the moisture source goes away.
2) Spray outdoor areas such as lawns, under shrubs, decks, trees, etc with a residual insecticide such as Bifen. This will kill exposed gnats and provide some residual to keep on killing for a few days or weeks. If you prefer GREEN products, then try either Essentria IC3 or Mosquito Barrier (Garlic). These 2 products don't kill gnats, but they can repel them.
3) Indoors, use traps such as the FlyWeb Fly light or the Catchmaster Gold Stick. These traps will lure and trap existing gnats. They are basically an exposed glue board type trap, so when the glue surface gets full, just replace it.
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4) Indoors use CB80 as a room or area "fog" to kill exposed gnats. CB 80 is a handheld fogger than can be aimed at trash cans, ceilings and open areas to give a quick fog of natural pyrethrins. The benefit to using CB 80 is that one can treats up to 17,000 square feet. Normally you only use a quick 2-3 second burst in an average room, so 1 can goes a long long way.
So that's basically gnat control 1,2,3. Start outdoors, eliminate the breeding grounds if possible and then spray everything with a residual insecticide. Indoors use gnat type traps (not fruit fly traps such as the Natural Catch, they won't trap gnats) and then fog as needed with CB80.
Occasionally, in commercial kitchens, gnats will breed in grease traps and could become a problem in floor drains. Using bleach or a commercial floor cleaner usually kills them. Also the use of a drain cleaner such as Drain Cleaner Gel can help. Keeping drains flushed, clean and dry is the best solution. Using small screens placed over the top of the drain opening or inside the drain pipe can also help.
So that's it. If you follow this basic advice, you will find that Gnat or as some people call them "nats" control will be easier. You may never totally get rid of you gnats, but at least, you can manage them more successfully.