3 Underrated Ways To Eradicate Fruit Flies and Gnats by cleaning. Top view of used plastic bottles and banana peel sorted into white containers placed on wooden floor in light room

3 Underrated Ways To Eradicate Fruit Flies and Gnats

There are a whole bunch of products you can buy to get rid of them, but here are 3 underrated ways to eradicate fruit flies and gnats that may not be super obvious.

Fruit flies and gnats are some of the most annoying bugs next to the pesky mosquito. They seemingly come out of nowhere just to fly in front of your eyes all the time! Read more for tips to get rid of them! But first, let’s answer some common questions.

Where do fruit flies lay their eggs?

They love damp and sugary places! So if you’re battling them, look for places where there is water and decaying food and start your treatment plan there.

black home area rug
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Why do I have so many fruit flies in my house?

You’re a super sweet person. ❤ Seriously, you must have something sugary in your home that makes fruit flies feel fabulous!

Why are there fruit flies in my house with no fruit?

Despite the name, fruit flies like more things other than fruit. That’s because they really like sugary water and decaying fruit tends to produce juices that the fruit flies looooove. So maybe they should be called sugar flies…idk.

If you don’t have decaying foods in your house, you might have gnats instead of fruit flies. Thankfully, the treatment plan is pretty much the same.

What’s the difference between a gnat and a fruit fly?

According to a response on good ol’ Quora, gnats are bigger than fruit flies. Also, gnats are usually black with longer legs.

Fruit flies are super tiny and brown. Usually, fruit flies love sugar; gnats love water

To be honest, I use them interchangeably because 1.) I’m not an entomologist, 2.) They tend to hang out at many of the same spots, and 3.) They both get on my damn nerves.

Okay…now that we have some common questions answered, let’s get into those often overlooked spots and underrated methods of getting rid of gnats and fruit flies!

a person cleaning the kitchen sink
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Tip #1: Check the garbage disposal.

You may have a gnat infestation or a fruit fly family living in your drain. Well not exactly your drain per se.

They may be hatching eggs underneath the black rubber splash guard! Why? Well, it’s the perfect dark, moist, and yummy place for gnats and fruit flies to live and thrive. Truly, garbage disposals make for the greatest bug breeding ground.


Frequently clean underneath a garbage disposal’s splash guard with hot water and dish soap.

How to kill fruit flies in a drain

Thoroughly scrub underneath the rubber splash guard of your garbage disposal with hot water and dish soap. Just flip it upwards and scrub!

Make it a habit to scrub underneath once a week.  Every now and then (think once every other month), add a little vinegar to your sponge and clean as well. The vinegar can cut down on odors and help kill off the bugs. 

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Check out how I clean my sink’s splash guard. Pin this to revisit in the future.

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It’s best to start this habit before you have an infestation. But, if it’s bad, cleaning underneath that splash guard is the first underrated task you can add to your extermination plan!

Tip #2: Check your plants.

We love a good houseplant here on Hello Home, Girl! However, I must admit that bug battles come with maintaining plants. Early in your plant journey, you’ll deal with gnats in house plants. 

Why do gnats love houseplants?

The top of a plant’s soil, especially when you water the conventional way, makes for the perfect breeding ground for gnats. They love to hatch eggs in the first few inches of your favorite plant’s dirt. All of a sudden, your poor pothos is now a gnat nest. 

Ain’t nobody got time for gnats! Here are a couple ways you can address this common issue.

ain't nobody got time for (gnats)

Top dressing

Top dressing is sort of a controversial topic. Some folks find it to be a waste of time. However, top dressing has helped me when conventional methods for getting rid of gnats out my houseplants did not work.

What is top dressing?

Top dressing is when you add a layer of rocks or pebbles to the top of your plant’s soil. Hence you dress the topsoil with rocks.

Therefore, I found that adding top dressing helps to smother those mini gnat nations from thriving.


Discourage gnats from living in your houseplant by keeping the first few inches of your plant’s topsoil dry.

How to add top dressing to a plant

First, let the first 3 inches of your plant’s soil dry out. It may take a few days or weeks depending on if it is the growing season. 

Then, add rocks or pebbles to the top of the soil. Afterwards, if necessary, bottom water the plant if it’s thirsty.

Wait…what’s bottom watering?

Bottom watering is when you add water directly to a plant’s roots rather than pouring water into the top of a plant’s soil. Hence you water the bottom of the plants. You can do this one of two ways.

The bottom of an idea pot with a hole drilled into the bottom to allow for proper drainage for this small pothos plant.

Bottom watering method one:

You can pour water onto a tray or at the bottom of a cache pot that has a layer of rocks or pebbles underneath. That allows good drainage in aeration for the plant.

A watering can pours water into a plastic pebble tray inside of a small terracotta pot. Perfect for bottom water house plants.

If your cache pot doesn’t have a drainage hole at the bottom, I’m guessing your plant is still in its grow pot. No problem! Just put some rocks or pebbles at the bottom of your cache pot and pour the water there.

Bottom watering method number two:

On the other hand, you can submerge your plant in a tray or container full of water and allow the plant to drink up the water. Once it gulps, move the plant back in its decorative cache pot. 

Either way, you’re eliminating breeding spots while also making sure your plants get watered!

person throwing piece of broccoli in the trash can
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Tip #3: Check your bins.

I hate to break it to ya, but your trash and recycling bins are the homie hangout spot where both fruit flies and gnats go to fellowship with one another. Your bins have all the snacks perfect for a pest party!

How to eradicate fruit flies and gnats from your kitchen 

3 Underrated Ways To Eradicate Fruit Flies and Gnats by cleaning the recycle bin

Clean the bottom of your trash and recycle bins.

Routinely, add hot water and dish soap to your trash and recycle bins. If you don’t mind a harsh chemical, add a drop of bleach to the mix. 

Scrub them out well and give it a hot water rinse. Completely dry the bins of water before adding your trash bag back or using the bin as usual.

Spray recycle bin with disinfectant

Bonus tip! I spray a little Pine-Sol at the bottom of my bins. It cuts down on odors while also disinfecting. Plus, gnats and fruit flies don’t pull up to party in Pine-Sol! That’s my underrated ways to eradicate fruit flies and gnats and smelly odors.


Spray a little disinfectant of the bottom of your trash and recycle bins to get rid of bugs and bad odors.

I’m feeling generous, so here’s a bonus, bonus tip!

Consider a Katchy

Now that your fruit fly friends and nourished gnat nations are getting evicted, you might want to place out a sticky trap. Thus, they go straight from their hiding place to the trap, lol.

I love my Katchy. It uses a fan and sucks in the flying bugs so that they get caught on a sticky pad. It has two settings: low and high. I find the low setting to be great. It barely makes any noise either!

I have mine in my bathroom, right next to the sink.


In conclusion, I hope you consider these underrated ways to eradicate fruit flies and gnats! Add them to your pest control plan to help keep the bugs at bay. If you’ve tried these or are planning to try, let me know in the comments below! 



P.S.: How much alliteration did you spot? 🤭

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