Get Rid of Gnats With Apple Cider Vinegar – Complete Guide

Getting rid of gnats can be challenging.

The good news is that you have many options available to you. Options such as:

  • Pesticides
  • Objects to whack them with
  • Electronic zappers
  • Natural methods (like essential oil)

This post will look at ways you can get rid of gnats with apple cider vinegar.

Let’s begin by taking a look at the different types of gnats.

Get Rid of Gnats With Apple Cider Vinegar

Types of Gnats

gnat on a leaf

Gnats are considered, by me, one of the most annoying insects to exist.

Although these are harmless insects, they can still be very irritating to find clustered around your home. Some of them may even bite!

The term gnat describes quite a few flying insects, but we will cover the most common ones here.

In reality, there are three types of insects called “gnats.” They are:

Wood Gnats

Wood gnats are small and slim flies and (as you expect) are commonly found in heavily wooded areas. They are very much like mosquitoes, measuring between 4-8 mm.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus Gnats are gnats that are attracted to moisture and humidity. More specifically, fungus gnats are attracted by wet soil.

Try not to overwater your house plants if you want to avoid attracting these flies. When you water your plants, ensure the soil is dry because fungus gnats breed in wet ground.

Other Small Flies – Not Gnats

While other small flies, such as fruit flies, are commonly referred to as gnats, they are different.

Yes, they are equally annoying!

How You Can Get Rid of Gnats With Apple Cider Vinegar

apples and apple cider vinegar

There are many harmful chemical sprays for sale that advertise gnat removal. However, you should consider more organic methods before resorting to those.

A great way of safely getting rid of gnats is apple cider vinegar.


  • Half a cup of apple cider vinegar.
  • One small bowl.
  • Three drops of dish soap.
  • Plastic wrap.

Preparing the Trap

  • First, pour the apple cider vinegar into the small bowl.
  • Next, add the three drops of dish soap. Please note, however, that this is not completely necessary. Make sure you carefully stir the mixture so that the soap is evenly distributed in the vinegar if you choose to add the soap.
  • Finally, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Poke about three or four holes in the wrap, depending on the size of your bowl.

The Process

The gnats will be attracted to apple cider vinegar because of its sweet smell and taste. Through the holes, the gnats will fly into the bowl. The flies will not be able to get out of the bowl easily.

Because the bowl is full of liquid, there will be no solid landing place for the flies, so they will drown in the vinegar.

If you chose to add the drops of soap, the flies would die because the substance is poisonous to them, thus making the trap more effective. It kills those that would have survived otherwise.

Best Locations for the Trap

You should prepare several small bowls of the trap instead of one big bowl. This method is more effective because you can cover more ground.

Place the bowls in the different areas where you have been observing the gnats. For example, if you see more gnats in the kitchen, place them near the refrigerator (because they mostly congregate around the drip pan).

It would be best if you also placed the traps next to the garbage can, on the kitchen counter, or near the sink drain.

These places attract gnats because they are rich in moisture and food content. They are the reasons why you have gnats in your home.

The Aftermath

The trap should have gotten a decent number of pests within a few hours, although you could leave it out for a single night. The bowl will be full of dead gnats when ready to remove it.

Carefully peel away the plastic wrap, and then pour the contents of the bowl down the sink. You could also dispose of the vinegar in your backyard if you don’t like the idea of dead gnats in your sink.

Slightly rinse the bowl before refilling the vinegar, and follow the steps for preparing the trap. Return the new trap to its former position.

It would help if you continued this cycle until your home is entirely free of gnats.

Why This Works

white question mark

Since gnats are tiny creatures, they are not easily killed with normal fly swatters. Most gnats’ primary sources of nutrition are fruits and vegetables, although they prefer those that have just begun to rot.

This is because they are attracted to fermentation and sweet scents.

Apple cider vinegar is a perfect lure because not only does it have a sickly sweet smell, but it is also a fermented liquid.

The combination of these two characteristics makes the stuff irresistible to gnats.

When selecting the apple cider vinegar brand, you must pick one that is primarily unfiltered and contains a healthy amount of retained bacteria from the fermentation process.

Gnats are more likely to feed on apple cider vinegar’s enzymes, bacteria, and proteins.

The drops of dish soap also play a significant role, not only because of the poisonous nature but also because the chemical properties of the substance will break down the surface tension of the vinegar so that the flies will be unable to balance on its surface.

Surface tension acts as a thin film on top of most liquids, which grants liquid the ability to resist external forces working on it. Adding the drops of dish soap will strip the vinegar of this property so that once the flies touch the liquid, they drown.

Otherwise, some flies would be able to escape.


There are a couple of other methods of using apple cider vinegar to get rid of gnats, although they might not be as effective.

They are:

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus Paper Cone

The apple cider vinegar plus paper cone method requires the vinegar, a piece of rollable paper, and a jar.

The first step of the paper cone method is to pour the apple cider vinegar into a jar and roll the paper into a cone funnel.

Next, you place the paper cone into the jar. The narrow end of the cone has to be facing down to the effect that the bottom of the come is just above the vinegar.

In this method, the flies enter the jar through the wide end of the cone and remain trapped inside the jar because the end of the jar is narrow.

Apple Cider Vinegar Plus Dish Soap

This method works just like the method explained above, only that there won’t be plastic wrap.

In this method, the drops of dish soap are mandatory because the flies are trapped solely because of this substance. It is less effective than the apple cider vinegar plus plastic wrap plus dish soap method.


Now you are armed with a few ways to use applied cider vinegar to get rid of gnats, you can make a start!

I said at the start that getting rid of gnats is a challenge. It is also an ongoing challenge too! Don’t even stop, or they will simply return to annoy you.

Good luck!


About the author

DIY Pest Control Enthusiast Since 1996

After spending the entire night lying awake in a cockroach-infested hotel, I have driven myself to build knowledge on all things pest control. Since then, I've tested pest control techniques to see what works and what doesn't. Now, here I am giving you all the info I have learned!

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