How to Get Rid of Gnats in the Office

How to get rid of gnats in the office


It doesn’t matter whether gnats are harmless or not. If you’ve experienced an infestation of gnats, you can agree that they are irritating, pesky bugs.

The most common types of gnats are fungus gnats and fruit flies. Their presence in your office will leave you feeling frustrated and unable to work properly.

How Do Gnats Come into Your Office?

These pesky bugs are attracted to moisture and decaying organic material. You’ll notice them mostly during the warm season. Their main agenda is to find food and breed.

  • Decaying Material: Rotting flowers, plants, and other organic debris are a feast for fungus gnats.
  • Moisture: Gnats love moisture and breed in overwatered plants, under the sinks, in moist potting soil, and where food and drink have spilled.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Fruit flies are attracted to sweet-smelling food like fruits and vegetables.
  • Light: Gnats also swarm around lamps and other light fixtures

It’s important to deal with gnats as soon as you notice them. Or else you may end up tackling a serious infestation. If you’ve been wondering how to get rid of gnats in the office, we have great news for you. You can do this by yourself with these easy methods and simple ingredients you’ll find anywhere:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Mixture Trap

Make an apple cider vinegar mix to trap the gnats. This natural method kills all types of gnats without using toxic chemicals. Follow these easy steps to make this trap:

  1. Mix in a jar some apple cider vinegar, warm water, a spoon of sugar and a few drops of dish wash soap.
  2. Cover the opening of the jar with a plastic wrap and poke holes (big enough for the gnats to enter) in it using a toothpick. The sugar and vinegar will lure them into the jar and the soap will hold their legs and wings, trapping them until they drown.
  3. Discard the solution after two days and make a fresh mixture. Do this until there are no more gnats in the jar.

2. Dry Out the Pot Soil

Do you over water your potted plants in the office? Fungus gnats are attracted to moisture and overwatered plants cause root and stem rot which are the perfect breeding environment. Let your soil dry out completely between waterings and avoid overwatering.

3. Remove All Debris On the Soil

Fallen rotting debris in the office plant pots is food for fungus gnats. In the potting soil, they feed on moss, mold, rotting dead leaves, flowers, and twigs. Starve the gnats by removing all debris that has fallen on the soil.

4. Steel Wool Massacre

This method is quite effective in eliminating gnat larvae. Lay a coarse steel wool layer on the soil in the pot. The larvae flying out of the pot will be cut up into pieces. Also, the adult gnats flying in to lay eggs will not survive. To make sure that you destroy all the generations of gnats, leave the wool in for four weeks.

5. Take Out the Top Soil Layer

After using the steel wool massacre method for four weeks, it’s highly likely that all the larvae are dead. Proceed to take out the top layer of soil from the pot so that you remove any eggs that may have remained in the soil. Replace that top layer with sand which drains well and dries quickly.

6. Use Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is a sand-like powder made from fossilized algae. It contains a high concentration of silica that can shred the gnat larvae as they wriggle through it. The top layer of the soil is where gnats lay their eggs. Mix this topsoil with DE to control the larvae.

7. Water Plants With Hydrogen Peroxide

Mix 1 part of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 3 parts water. Make sure the soil is dry before watering. As soon as the gnat larvae come in contact with this mixture, they will die. The bubbling you’ll see after pouring the mixture is a sign that the solution is working.

8. Use Gnat Repelling Herbs

Herb repellants are an excellent alternative to dangerous chemicals. Place them in pots around the office. Some herbs will require you to gently rough up the foliage so that the oils and scents can be released for an effective repellant. Some of these herbs include:

  • Basil: For centuries, basil has been the go-to pest control herb because of its aroma.
  • Rosemary: This herb is more than just a fragrant ingredient for your meals. It’s effective in warding off gnats.
  • Lavender: This plant is not only a beauty to behold. Its strong scent keeps flies and gnats at bay.
  • Lemon Balm: This herb contains a high concentration of citronella which makes it an effective repellant.

Other repellant herbs include bay leaf, mint, catnip, tansy, and pennyroyal.

How to Make Sure Gnats Don’t Return to Your Office

Maintain a clean office kitchen
Ensure that the break room tables are always clean and clear of food residues. Wash all dirty dishes and glasses. Gnats will gravitate towards the smallest trace of juice or sauce.

Eliminate dampness
Promptly repair all leaking areas like faucets and pipes. Clean all damp areas thoroughly. Maintaining a dry environment will keep the gnats away.

Keep the trash out
Don’t leave empty pizza boxes and other disposable food containers exposed in the office. Trash them immediately. Always take the trash outside and cover the trash cans properly.

Use Indoor Potting Mix
This is a soilless mix that contains peat moss, perlite and vermiculite. It has good water retention and does not waterlog your plants.

The Takeaway

Hopefully, you will use these easy tips to get rid of gnats in the office. The apple cider vinegar mixture trap is easy to make, right? The repellant herbs will not only keep the gnats away but also give your office a unique aesthetic. If your gnat problem is excessive, you might want to get rid of the office plants for now. Most of all, ensure that you have a clean and dry office environment to avoid infestation.

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