How to get rid of biting gnats and noseeums in your home

a mosquito on green leaf in close up photography
Photo by Pavel Hájek on

The past three summers biting gnats in my home has been a problem. Even just one can ruin your relaxation time or work at home hours. After identifying the source and some trial and error I have some pet friendly methods to control them.

I have no plants in my home and I don’t keep fruit out in the open so where are they coming from? The answer is twofold.

#1. They come in from outside. They are outside my front door in my building. Every time I open it one or two will fly in and there is no way around that. Adults come in and if they don’t get into one of my traps they breed.

#2. Hatching in my home. Then they turn into no-seeums.

They interrupt day to day constantly. In the hot summer having to wear long pants, long sleeves and a face covering like this during waking hours is awful. It impacts me working out (as I tend to skip workouts if I can’t be in fitness wear) .

This is war, and war means you set up the troops on several fronts to defeat the enemy

Tip 1: Putting 4-5 drops of lavender essential oil or tea tree oil in your body lotion after you dispense it into your hand is a good hack to keep them from biting and that allowed me to resume wearing summer clothing inside.

Tip 2: Putting bleach in your drains at night and if your washing machine has a bit of standing water in it put a bit of bleach in there. (portable machines tend to hold water by design)

Tip 3: Vinegar traps work great. Apple cider vinegar (use the inexpensive kind not the Braggs’), a drop of liquid soap and a teaspoon of sugar in a bowl. Put plastic wrap over it and poke a few small holes in it. They work their way into the trap very easily. I notice only the adults go into the vinegar. It doesn’t help the noseeums.

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Tip 4: The LED fan. It only works when it’s dark so put it on at night when your home is dark. No sleeping with lights or tv on, no nightlights. That should be the only light so it is their only option. It wasn’t unusual for me to wake up with 4-10 new gnats in it. Bonus of moths and mosquitos would turn up in it too. I have this one:

This trap only works when it’s dark so turn it on at night when you go to bed and all lights are out. You can see it has moths that I didn’t even know I had!

If you employ all four of these tips it will help you tolerate bug season a bit better. Sadly insects tend to win in life but we can make coexisting with them in our own home a little better.