How To Get Rid Of Gnats With Dawn Dish Soap

Many refer to any small, pesky, flying insects as gnats or fruit flies. Often, these pests are gnats and sometimes flies. Either way, these bugs are burdensome to have in the home.

Use Dawn Dish soap to get rid of gnatsPin

Luckily, there is a straightforward household solution when it comes to getting rid of gnats.

Follow these simple steps on how to get rid of gnats with Dawn dish soap.

What Are Gnats?

Gnats refer to a group of small flies that can bite (different than mosquitos) and are always a nuisance to humans. Interestingly enough, there is not anyone scientific conclusion on what defines a gnat. 

There are some relatively common characteristics of gnats that include:



  • Swarming in “clouds.”
  • Hovering around the eyes of humans and/or animals
  • It can be biting or non-biting

Other noticeable characteristics include a shiny black head, elongated, whitish-to-transparent body, and segmented antennae, 

Moreover, their life cycle is also relatively short, often lasting 3 to 4 weeks. However, the gnat population can spread quickly.

Whatever it may be. It is small, and flying around your house will surely be a pest. And for a good reason, you want to get rid of them as soon as possible.

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What Damage Do Gnats Cause?

Gnats can cause serious damage to plants, especially indoors. Outdoors, typically natural predators, keep gnats under control. But indoors, they have less to worry about and, therefore, can thrive if not controlled quickly.

Adult gnats lay fungus gnat eggs to reproduce and then hatch to feed on the organic matter, like plants around them.

The larvae of gnats can feed on the roots of your indoor plants. They can ultimately stunt your plant’s growth and/or cause yellowing in the foliage.

Eventually, the leaves will drop. This can be especially harmful to young plants which do not yet have a strong, developed root system.

What Are Gnats Attracted To?

Before discovering ways to get rid of fungus gnat infestation, it is vital first to understand the things that attract them in the first place.

What is it precisely that is drawing gnats to your home?

Gnats Are Attracted to Humans and Animals

These pesky little insects are attracted primarily by scent. Typically, you will see gnats attracted to fruit and sweet scents.

If you find gnats gravitating more toward you, take a look at some of your hygiene products, including soaps, moisturizers, and even laundry detergents. You will likely find that they have sweeter scents in them.

Gnats can also be attracted to body heat and/or moisture from the body due to sweat. They can also be drawn to the mucous from your eyes and nose as a water source.

Related: Controlling Fungus Gnats With Diatomaceous Earth? or Bacteria (Bti)

Gnats Are Attracted to Your Garden

A bottle of Dawn dish soap on a table with potted plants, with text "How To Get Rid Of Gnats With Dawn Dish Soap."Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @learntogrow

Outside of the home, you will find gardens attracting gnats that provide both a food and moisture source for them.

They have an affinity and like to nest in moist soils and organic debris in potting soil.

In addition to your flower beds, lights also attract them. Anyone who has spent time outdoors in the summertime has seen swarms of gnats surrounding outdoor lighting.

Gnats Are Attracted To Your Household Items

It’s not just fruits and veggies that have been sitting out on the counter for too long that bring gnats inside your home. Yes, they are the obvious answer, but some less familiar attractants include:

  • Fresh cut flowers
  • Houseplants
  • Food spillage
  • Garbage cans
  • Dirty sink drains
  • Vinegar
  • Honey

Now that you are familiar with all the things that gnats are attracted to, let’s move on to understanding how to get rid of them. One of the simplest tricks to getting get rid of gnats uses Dawn dish soap.

How To Get Rid Of Flying Gnats With Dawn Dish Soap

Sticky traps on a potted plant with gnats, with a question about using Dawn Soap to eliminate gnats.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @miraclegrouk

There are many household tips and tricks for getting rid of gnats in plants.

Some include creating traps with a cup of white vinegar and honey, as those are known attractants. 

Others involve using certain types of scented candles or essential oils. But above all, the most significant is with Dawn dish soap.

There are a few methods using Dawn dish soap to get rid of the gnat problem.

Lure Method For Killing Gnats With A Vinegar Trap

Create a feast for the gnats they can’t resist. Combine a mixture of apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, and dish soap in a bowl or jars. 

Here is the recipe for this one:

  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 liter of water
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2-3 drops of Dawn dish soap

Cover the solution in the bowl or jars with plastic wrap and poke holes in the plastic wrap.

The scents produced from the vinegar and sugar lure the gnats, but when they contact the solution, the Dawn dish soap will cause them to get stuck and inevitably drown.

You can also substitute the vinegar and sugar solution with a simple glass of red wine and add 2-3 drops of Dawn dish soap.

The wine will act as the attractant, and the soap will keep them stuck in the wine.

Related: Planning to use neem oil to kill fungus gnats? How effective will it be?

Individual Approach

Attack individual fungus gnats that you find around the house using a simple spray made up of water, vinegar, and Dawn dish soap. 

Here is that recipe:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2-3 drops of dish soap (Dawn)

The spray bottle method is a quick and easy solution to keep handy for fungus gnat larvae or any stragglers around the house you might find. 

You can also pour the solution over the soil of your plants.

A good thing to note is that you don’t have to worry about this concoction hurting any of your indoor plants.

Dawn Dish Soap Saves the Day

Even if you do your best to prevent gnats from entering your home, you may still see that they somehow find a way into your home. 

You may also try to separate the infected pots away from healthy plants to prevent the spread of disease.

Letting the soil dry out for a few days and avoiding overwatering may also help control this case. 

You can also sprinkle a layer of sand, converting the soil to stop the gnats from laying eggs.

Another method you can use is spraying neem oil to control fungus gnats.

Using yellow sticky traps will also capture adult fungus gnats.

Adding cinnamon, which is a natural fungicide, will also help get rid of gnats because it’s an irritant to them and prevents them from laying eggs.

In addition, you can introduce beneficial nematodes to control the gnat population. 

But when these home remedies fail, try to get rid of gnats with Dawn dish soap!

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