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How to Prevent and Get Rid of Gnats and Midges Around Your Home

Now that we’ve finally seen the return of the rain in the UK, you are most likely going to see an influx of tormenting gnats and midges around your homes. 

a back garden in the evening, with the sunset illuminating a swarm of small flies - Get Rid of Gnats

Simply leaving out a ripe banana on your worktop or overwatering an indoor plant can attract the unwanted attention of flies. 

To start with, you may only see one or two pestering flies fluttering around. Though, if left unattended, you could find yourself with a full-blown infestation on your hands – leading to you needing our professional assistance!

What Are Midges And Gnats Attracted To?

These kinds of flying insects are usually attracted by humid and damp conditions. So, our current climate is the perfect time for them to come out and cause havoc! 

As they are drawn to moisture, we tend to encounter them around areas such as the kitchen drain, leaking pipes, houseplants, or any food spillages and rotten fruit. Which, unfortunately, is the perfect place for them to also procreate. 

How To Tell The Difference Between Small Flying Insects

Though gnats and midges may look quite similar, you may actually be dealing with different flies altogether. 

This is how to distinguish between the three most common small (annoying) flies:

  • Fruit flies are brown with red eyes and are usually more round in shape. These are typically found in kitchen areas, on the search for ripe or rotten fruit and vegetables. 
  • Drain flies, also known as Phorid flies, are fuzzy with moth-like wings. Like the clue in their title, they like to typically congregate around drain and sink areas.
  • Fungus gnats are black with long legs. These are often found around potted plants and decaying leaves.

Which Flies Bite People In The UK?

Most gnats you find in your garden or house don’t tend to give you a nip. Fungus flies, fruit flies, and drain flies are typically the non-biting variety.

Out of the midge family, it is only the female midges that bite people. They emerge after laying eggs, in need of providing them with nutrients to grow. Yes, unfortunately, we are the nutrients. 

Due to a rise in our temperatures in recent years, England is also becoming increasingly more hospitable to our little blood-sucking friends – the mosquitoes. 

How To Prevent Gnats and Midges In Our Homes

There are a number of preventative measures that you can take around your homes to help deter these pesky insects from bothering you: 

  • Eliminate their food source. Make sure to store food in the fridge or an airtight container, and wash up any dirty glasses or plates.  
  • Discard dead leaves, twigs, or dying flowers. 
  • Don’t overwater house plants. Let the soil dry out between watering and do not leave water in a dish below a plant.
  • Ensure that bin lids are tightly sealed and rubbish bags are tightly tied.  
  • Get rid of any damp areas. Fix leaking pipes and empty paddling pools – standing water acts as a breeding ground for flies.
  • Repot plants that have an infestation. Often try to replace the top soil and remove any fungus that grows.  

How To Get Rid of Gnats and Small House Flies

Set A Gnat Trap

  1. Pour apple cider vinegar (or wine…but who wants to part with that) with a bit of dish soap into a jar or glass and mix it together. The smell of apple cider vinegar will attract gnats, and the soap will prevent them from flying away.
  2. Cover the jar with clingfilm and poke holes in it; this will allow gnats to crawl inside.
  3. Throw away the contents of the jar after a couple of days, and start again – until you no longer see any trapped gnats.

Use Sticky Traps To Stop Flies In Their Tracks 

Use sticky traps or fly paper around problem areas. Be sure to change them on a regular basis. 

Burn Candles To Prevent Flies

  1. Place a tall candle in a candlestick holder, and place the holder in a pan. 
  2. Partially fill the pan with water. 
  3. Turn off the lights and wait for the gnats to fly toward the flame or fall into the water. 

Entice Flies With Rotten Fruit

Ok, so we said not to leave fruit out. However, if you already have an infestation, it’s a good way to lure them into a trap.  

  1. Add some rotting fruit in a bowl.
  2. Cover it with clingfilm and secure this with a rubber band. 
  3. Make some small holes on the surface.
  4. Watch the gnats flock to the fruit and not be able to escape.

How To Get Rid Of Drain Flies

The most effective way is to either pour boiling water or diluted bleach down your sink’s drain.

What To Do If You Have a Fly Infestation

If you’ve tried the above methods but are still seeing an infestation, we offer a range of fly control services and are a proud approved distributor of PestWest fly control units to eliminate your infestation.

Get in touch with our professionals and we’ll soon make sure you are fly free.

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