Nats in my house #491620 - Ask Extension


Nats in my house #491620

Asked October 24, 2018, 8:31 AM EDT

I I have tried a spray fir just nats didn’t help Very much then I tried strips fir flying insects and am getting some slow results with that. But would really like to Know the best or several options of how to be rid of them completely. Also how they get in the house to begin with. Thank you

Anne Arundel County Maryland

Expert Response

You will have to identify what you are dealing with.  Some possibilities may be gnats, fungus gnats, or fruit flies.  Do not spray or use pesticides unless you have identified the pest.  In many cases, the issue can be solved culturally - no sprays.  
Gnats - If coming in from outdoors, most properties have fleeting occurrences of gnats. They like wet environments, so we recommend that you try to dry up any damp areas in the yard by filling in low areas where water sits (or make those areas into rain gardens so the plants will absorb the water) or changing the grade. Prune or clear up overgrown areas --especially non-native invasive plants--to encourage better air circulation and faster drying. Make sure you windows and screens fit tightly.  All you can do is vacuum them up.  They may be trying to get out if near windows, etc.   All you can do is vacuum them up.  

Fungus gnats - Do you have a lot of houseplants or have you brought in any new houseplants. Look around your houseplants for the flying adults.  The larvae breed in moist soil rich in organic matter, primarily in potted plants. They feed on the fungi in the soil. Overwatering contributes to the growth of the fungi. Allow the top several inches of soil in your containers dry before watering again. Also, do not allow the pot to stand in water or for water to accumulate in pot saucers. See our website for more information

 Fruit flies -  are attracted and breed in many places besides fruit. They have short life spans, but long enough to lay eggs that hatch and keep swarming in and outside. The primary control for fruit flies is sanitation. Eliminate larval food and development sites. Keep fruit stored in the refrigerator. Rinse and drain bottles and cans that are to be recycled. Squeeze out mops thoroughly and dry. There may be enough food and moisture to complete development on the damp mops. Another common site is trash containers especially when they are lined with plastic bags (look between the liner and the container). Remember that the source of the infestation may not be where the adult flies are found.

Here is our website, publication, and a link for more information  


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