The sudden arrival of midges can be unpleasant, irritating and potentially harmful, and there are various items found in our homes that tend to attract them.
For example, fresh fruit, sweets and blooming flowers all attract these unwanted pests. In addition to removing these gnat magnets from countertops, there are, thankfully, a number of home remedies available to get rid of gnats without having to go to the store.
The homemade options are quick and easy wins that you can try and best of all, they use natural products that you probably already have around the house.
Home remedies to get rid of midges
Below, we look at the best at-home methods from our experts to help you remove midges from your home and keep these intruders from returning for good.
1. Eliminate standing water
“The first step in controlling midges is to clear standing water,” says Zahid Adnan, founder of The Plant Bible. “The midges rely on these areas to reproduce and lay their eggs, and without them their populations will start to decline dramatically.” Removing standing water (any body of standing water, including puddles, ponds, and sewage) from your garden and indoor spaces, such as your kitchen sink, can be the first step in getting rid of these insects.
Remove that leftover glass of water on your bedside table to keep midges away from your bedroom, and refresh the water in all the vases of fresh flowers in your living room, too.
Zahid is a renowned figure in the gardening industry, with extensive experience and hard-earned skills in horticulture. He is the founder and publisher of theplantbible.com.
2. Make a homemade fly trap
According to Miguel Camperos, vice president of operations at Virginia-based gardening company SunVara, there are a number of contraptions you can make to attract midges.
The first is a trap of apple cider vinegar and dish soap (use standard Dawn dish soap, at Walmart). The gnats are attracted to the smell of the vinegar and will be drawn into the trap, but the dish soap prevents them from escaping. Simply pour equal parts apple cider vinegar and Dawn into a small plastic container and cover it with plastic wrap before piercing with a cocktail stick.
A second trap is the one based on fruit and wine. Set a trap by placing a piece of ripe fruit or a small amount of wine in a container covered with plastic wrap. Make small holes in the wrapper to allow midges to enter but make it difficult for them to escape. Whether you use dish soap or wine, be sure to place several around the house.
3. Use plants that repel midges
An environmentally friendly option to prevent and remove midges is to strategically place plants with natural repelling properties around the house. Lavender, geraniums, lemon, and thyme are all examples of these useful plants, which give off strong odors that are unappealing to midges and other small insects while smelling great to us. You can also try spraying diluted essential oils into a spray bottle or making your own homemade bug spray.
4. Keep your home clean
By keeping your kitchen clean and dry, you will deter midges and help deter fruit flies. Dr. Shara Cohen, founder and director of Mums In Science, says: ‘You can get rid of midges by getting rid of overripe fruits and vegetables. Cleaning up spills and emptying trash containers will also help a lot.’
Gnats feed on spilled food particles, so it’s important to make sure your kitchen, bathroom, and any other areas where you prepare food are clean. Regular sweeping and mopping will help keep these pests away and can help get rid of house flies.
It’s also a good idea to avoid building up in kitchen trash cans, especially during the summer months. The longer you leave the trash out, the more midges will be attracted to the area and the higher the chance of dealing with maggots if the flies lay their eggs on exposed trash.
Mums in Science began in 2005 after its founder, Dr. Shara Cohen, identified a need to support STEM moms. It has now grown into an international network of people who provide support, information and tools to manage a career while facing life’s challenges, including parenting.
5. Add sand to the surface of your potted plants
Adding sand to the top of potted plants above the soil is a good way to deter midges and keep insects out of the houseplant soil. You can do this by applying a layer of sand or diatomaceous earth to the surface of the soil. According to Zahid Adnan, this can help control the spread of midge larvae as midges need a moist soil surface to lay their eggs. Because sand is abrasive, it damages the outer shell of the larvae and helps discourage fruit flies from laying their eggs around plants.
Where else do midges lay their eggs?
In addition to standing water, fruit flies like to lay their eggs where “organic slime” accumulates. This includes dirty drain lines, poorly cleaned garbage disposals and trash cans, or recycled containers.
Sometimes, midges can even make their way through our air conditioner, so if you’ve come home from vacation to find these bugs, that could be another cause. So it goes to show that some pest problems can happen to anyone, even if you keep your home spotless.
Using simple and natural remedies, you can effectively get rid of midges in your home. Remember to be patient, as it may take a few days to see a significant reduction in their population. If the infestation persists or worsens, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from pest control experts.
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