7 DIY Tricks to Get Rid of Gnats in Kitchen Drain

how to get rid of gnats in kitchen drain

Gnats like fruit flies were my greatest concern in my kitchen, but not anymore!

Years ago, before we renovated our kitchen, these annoying gnats tend to be my worst enemies in my kitchen area.

The more I try to clean my kitchen surfaces each day, the more they come in and make me feel irritated.

But after reading more about these annoying creatures found in our kitchens, I learned why they actually come in and what I can do for getting rid of them.

Based on my personal experiences, I am trying to write here all about GNATS, where they come from, why they love to live in drains, and what you can do to keep them off.

Hopefully, by the end of this post, I can help you solve your issues regarding fruit flies and fungus gnats in the kitchen drain.

So, without any delay let’s jump in…

Where Do Gnats Come From?

Before we proceed to home remedies and tips to stop gnats (small flying insects), it’s important that you know where the gnats are actually coming from.

Surprisingly, with such a big world to fly around in, why do fungus gnats, drain flies, and fruit flies choose to hang out in your kitchen, especially around the kitchen sink and in drains?

Well, the reason is simple.

The drains, sinks, waste bin, and even the kitchen appliances & utensils in your kitchen may contain morsels of food that are sweet and can readily attract fungus gnats and fruit flies.

In addition, sink and drains in your kitchen can prove to be the warmest and moistest areas for gnats – where they love to thrive in.

Besides entering from the drain & sink pipes some adult flies may also try to enter your home simply by flying through the doors and windows (or any ventilation) present in your kitchen.

If at times you find that fruit flies are coming up and peeping from your kitchen drains or sinks, it’s important that you take proper steps for treating and getting rid of these bugs.

For this, you will essentially need to target the source — that is inside of your kitchen drains and sink pipes.

Signs of Gnats in Sink Drains

The gnats that are most common in kitchen sink drains are fruit flies, fungus gnats, and moth flies.

Phorid flies are also sometimes seen in drains but there are less common in households.

While fruit flies are brown colored and round, Fungus gnats are darker with long legs.

The most obvious signs of gnats present in your kitchen drains and sinks are the adult flies that are mostly found inside the sink drain.

You can often see them hovering around food scraps, wet dishes, cups, or plates left inside the sink.

In case you suspect but cannot see them, just wave your hand (or pass some air) over the sink drain.

You will most likely see them coming out of the disposal drain, disturbed by the air movement.

Tiny gnat larvae can also be many times seen near the walls of the infested drain or near the leakage of plumbing pipe.

gnats in sink drain

7 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Gnats in Kitchen Drain

If you often find fungus gnats and fruit flies hovering around the drainage system in your kitchen, it’s time to take action before the problem gets worse for you and your family.

Here are a few clever tricks you can try for getting rid of them in and around your kitchen drains.

1. Snake Out the Debris

It’s surprising to know how much gunk and debris gets released out of the drain every day from your kitchen.

Hence as a first step, you will need to make sure to clean and get rid of any debris that may be clogging up your kitchen drains.

This is where most of the times drain flies tend to lay their eggs.

If there is not much debris clogging the drains you may simply try snaking your drain.

Pour some hot water after snaking and this will help to kill the flies in the drain.

2. Mask Tape Over the Drain

If you have multiple drains in your kitchen/home and you aren’t sure from which drain the gnats are entering, you can try placing a piece of duct tape (or masking tape) over each of these drains.

You will need to place them before going to sleep at night.

And in the morning, you will find that any bugs, flies, or gnats that were trying to exit from the drain opening got automatically trapped.

This way you will be able to confirm the exact problem spot from which the gnats are entering your home.

3. Cleaner Gel into the Drain

One of the best ways of killing the gnats and drain flies (along with any fly eggs) is by pouring some cleaner gel into your kitchen drains.

For getting your kitchen drains treated you can pour a thick gel formula (like Green Gobbler) down the drain which is non-corrosive.

Make sure that you add this to the drain from all the sides and at night when the drains are not used in your kitchen.

This Fruit Fly Killer easy-to-use gel formula works in an automated way (due to its natural fly killing ingredient Citronella) to kill the fruit flies, drain flies, and sewer flies that are most of the time residing inside the hidden spaces of your drains.

The good thing about these fruit fly killers is its fast, completely safe to use and it kills pesky flies without corroding your drain pipes, garbage disposals, or septic systems.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar Trap

If you want to create a DIY fruit fly trap using the most common household ingredients – nothing is better than vinegar.

For creating this DIY trap for gnats and drain flies you will need to have apple cider vinegar, sugar, dish soap, water, and a small container.

  • In a container add a cup of warm water
  • Then add a tablespoon of sugar, two tbs. of vinegar and a few drops of dish soap
  • Mix them well until you see the sugar gets dissolved, and your DIY trap is ready

Place this container of vinegar solution overnight, near the kitchen drain or sink areas, where you see the gnats and flies most often.

The vinegar and sugar solution will automatically attract the flies into the container which gets trapped due to the dish soap present in the solution.

If you have many flies/gnats hovering around, try placing more than one such trap to make the process faster and efficient. 

5. DIY Fly Trap Using Stale Wine

Hard to believe but the left-over stale wine, that you are not planning to drink, can help you create a good trap for catching gnats around your kitchen drain and sink.

If you want you can even use beer or other beverages that come with a fruity aroma in place of wine.

This homemade gnat trap remedy works in a very similar way to the apple cider vinegar trap, we have just discussed above.

  • Add some wine into a small open container
  • Add some dish soap (optional) into the wine to trap the flies faster
  • Place this container next to the sink, drains, or any other problem areas

The scent of your otherwise unused wine automatically lures the fruit flies towards the container.

And as the flies try to get into contact, they get drowned in the wine and cannot escape further.

6. DIY Candle Trap Setup for Gnats

This is the simplest of all fruit fly traps as it requires only a piece of candle that’s lighted in the dark.

  • Place a lighted candle in a bowl that is filled with water
  • Keep this near to the area where you want to trap the flies
  • Turn off all the lights so that there is not a single source of light except the candle

This homemade candle trap setup for flies and gnats will help to kill them in two ways.

Firstly, the fruit flies and gnats that get attracted by the light source come close to the candle flame and get their wings burnt.

Secondly, some of the flies may get attracted to the flame reflected in the water and get drowned very soon.

Adding some dish soap to water can also make this trap work better making it impossible to escape the flies.

7. Readymade Gnat & Fruit Fly Traps and Killers

Well, this is one of the most convenient ways to get rid of fruit flies and gnats in and around the kitchen drain very fast.

Products such as BEAPCO 10036 Prefilled Fruit Fly Trap and RSVP Endurance Fruit Fly Trap are available to buy in the market, affordable, and easy to use.

If you are really fed up with gnats and flies in your home and are seeking an immediate solution to the serious fruit fly infestation problem, these disposable fruit fly traps can work very well.

Just follow the instructions provided with these readymade gnat traps and place them next to the infested areas such as kitchen counter, sinks, drains, etc.


Can Gnats Bite – Are They Dangerous?

While gnats can be harmful to plants (indoors and outdoors), the non-biting ones are generally not harmful to people.

But gnats circulating around your space in large numbers can be irritating, especially when working in the kitchen or relaxing outdoors.

There are few biting gnat species that can bite and consume blood (of humans and other mammals).

But they are less harmful because they do not spread diseases to humans.

With that said, their bite can be more painful than a mosquito bite and can cause itchy whelps on the skin due to the fact that they tend to slice a small area of the skin before they suck out blood.

Gnats vs. Fruit Flies: What’s the Difference?

Both fruit flies and gnats measure about one-eighth of an inch long.

They are known to cause similar issues in the kitchen and that’s the reason they are often misidentified for one another.

If you are confused, here are a few features you can look at to identify and distinguish between the two.

GnatsFruit Flies
ColorDark gray or blackTan to black
EyesVery small eyesBig red eyes
ShapeLong bodies with dangling legs
(like a small mosquito)
Rounded silhouette
(like a common house fly)
HabitatGarden soil, indoor potted plants and kitchenDirty drains and over rotting food/fruits

Tips for Preventing Fruit Flies and Gnats from Coming?

The lifespan of an adult gnat usually ranges between seven to 14 days with the overall life cycle of about a month.

While completely getting rid of gnats in your drain can be tricky, it is fairly easy to keep them off and prevent them from entering your kitchen and home.

You will just need to find out what is actually causing them to appear and then take a few simple steps to eliminate the source.

Below are some of the best ways by which you can prevent these gnats and fruit flies from appearing in your home and kitchen.

1- Throw Away Stale Items

Gnats and fruit flies can be seen hovering around the old rotten fruits, vegetables, cans of beers or soda, etc.

If they are left unnoticed for long, they can keep attracting more flies (due to the sweet smell of fermentation) and can make the problem worse.

Make sure that you throw away all the things (including stale fruits and vegetables) that you do not want to use.

2- Get the Dirty Dishes Cleaned

Many times, we have piles of dirty dishes, pans, used kitchen appliances, and garbage lying in our kitchen.

These not only lures gnats and flies but also the pests like ants, roaches, and others.

The very first thing you should do is to clean up these types of messes as soon as possible.

You should also make sure that there are no dirty dishes and food waste leftover in the sink.

It’s good to clean them as soon as your family has done with the meals.  

3- Cover the Trash Bags Tightly

When disposing of the rotten fruits, vegetables, and other waste food items ensure that you throw them in an air-tight trash can that comes with a tightly sealed lid.

This will help in avoiding the gnats from appearing and also prevent any odor from spreading into the surroundings.

4- Check and Get Rid of Dampness

Fruit flies, fungus gnats, and other pests usually like to thrive in damp and moist areas.

You should, therefore, examine your kitchen regularly for a possible leakage in the faucets, drain, or sink pipes.

If there is too much dampness in the area you may also require to get a small dehumidifier for your kitchen that can help.

The Conclusion

Whether it’s fungus gnats, fruit flies, roaches, or some other kind of bug in your kitchen drain, you might find that attempting to handle this by yourself isn’t the most effective answer.

Especially, it can be quite a challenging task to handle them on your own if they are present in huge numbers and are continuously coming in no matter what you try.

If you have already tried all the DIY ways out there and haven’t seen any success, it’s good to get in touch with a professional who can deal with the situation for you professionally.

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