How to Get Rid of Gnats Outside

How to Get Rid of Gnats Outside

Want to relax in your yard without gnats pestering you? Have an outdoor event coming up? Here are some tips and tricks to help you learn how to get rid of gnats outside.

Identify Problem Areas

First, find the home of the gnats in your yard. Any particularly damp or moist areas in your yard? Well, this is a prime breeding spot for gnats. Check-in areas like puddles, gutters and drains, and leaky water spouts or hoses. Do you have plants or a garden? Try there! Gnats like to make homes in overwatered plants. Get rid of any dead or rotting foliage and plant matter. The smell and moist environment attract them. 

Now that you’ve located your hot spots, now let’s look at some ways to get rid of them. 

Scent Repellents 


There are so many ways to utilize citronella in your backyard. Burn citronella candles. Having a get-together? Burn a tiki torch! You can even get a citronella incense stick!

Are you a plant person? Plant citronella plants around the areas you don’t want to have gnats! 

Other Garden Plants

Lemongrass, marigolds, and chrysanthemums repel bugs like gnats, flies, and mosquitos. Some herbs you can plant that can effectively repel gnats are lavender, basil, rosemary, and sage. These plants will provide beauty and utility in your outdoor space. If your problem area is near your plants, place these plants nearby to deter the fungus gnats!


Gnats stay away from citrusy scents such as lemon, orange, grapefruit, and lemongrass. Burn candles in these scents, or leave slices of dried fruit around the areas you want gnat-free.


Burning incense sticks are a great way to suffocate and deter gnats. Plus, it repels spiders too! Buy your incense in the scents mentioned above: lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, citrusy scents, and basil! Vanilla is a great scent that we love and they hate!

Homemade Traps

There are countless mixtures and DIY ways to attract and trap gnats with ingredients you already have around the house! Plus, they’re super cost-effective. Make any of these options that are readily available to you! 

DIY Gnat Trap

For your base, you’ll need a glass or cup and water. 

Then you need something to attract them. Pick any of these items or try a combo!

Apple cider vinegar


Dish soap 

(Optional) Finish off your mixture with any of these sweet scents:



A sweet fruit like an apple or strawberry

The gnats will be attracted to the scent, then get stuck in the mixture when they land. Change the mixture as needed. The smell should be bold.

(Optional) Add a funnel trap. Placing a funnel at the top of your glass or cup will help trap the gnats. They will fly into the small funnel hole attempting to get to the mixture, and won’t be able to find their way out. However, your scent can be minimized by the funnel. So make sure you can smell the mixture clearly or try putting your sweet scent towards the top of the funnel to attract them.

Don’t have a funnel? DIY it! Get a piece of paper and fold it into a funnel shape! Make sure the hole is big enough for the gnats to fly through, and not so big that they can easily fly out. Secure it with a piece of tape. Trim it so it’s not too large!

Red Wine 

Have you finished a bottle of red wine? Leave it out near your problem area, and they’ll be attracted to it and get stuck in the bottle.

Fruit Trap

Another homemade trap option is the fruit trap. With this simple method, all you’ll do is take a fruit that’s going bad and put it in a bowl. Then, you’ll cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke holes into it. The gnats will fly into the holes and be trapped.

More Traps

Is DIY not your thing? Here are some traps that you can grab from the store.

Sticky Traps

Sticky traps are a super easy way to catch gnats. Buy your trap of choice! There are traps to stick in plants, trans on sticks, and hanging traps! Place them near problem areas or in areas you want to keep gnat free. Mosquitos and flies will get stuck on the sticky traps too!

Venus Fly Trap

Probably the most fun option – a venus fly trap! This carnivorous plant will trap and ingest any gnat or bug that lands in its mouth.

Bug Zapper

It couldn’t get more simple than this! Try using a bug zapper. The gnats are attracted to the light and then are shocked by it.

How to Get Rid of Gnats Outside: Summary

Prevention of gnats with strong smells that we love combined with these simple traps should solve your gnat problem! These methods should keep other bugs that we’d rather stay away from too! Like spiders and flies! If all else fails, it may be time for a pest control treatment. Try a safe pesticide or call your local pest control specialist! What method worked best for you?

Written by: Genesis Cooper

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