Santa Clarita gnat control

5 Tips to Get Rid of Gnats in Your Santa Clarita Home

The No Bugs Guide to Identifying & Preventing Gnats

It’s not uncommon to see gnats buzzing around Santa Clarita properties, bugging restaurant-goers, assaulting passersby, and frustrating homeowners. In the grand scheme of things, most species of gnats are more of a nuisance than a danger to the health or safety of your family, but that doesn’t mean you want to cohabitate with these annoying invaders.

Recently, a customer called the No Bugs office to get the 411 on gnat prevention, inspiring this article. An alarming population of gnats was flying around her kitchen and bathrooms, and she couldn’t figure out where they were coming from or how to stop them. Our Santa Clarita pest control experts took charge of the case and helped this customer. We decided to publish this guide to share tried-and-true prevention tips to help other Santa Clarita residents fight the good fight.

This article discusses which gnats are common in the Santa Clarita Valley and how to stop an infestation inside your home. If you have questions or would like to discuss the situation at your property, feel welcome to contact the Santa Clarita pest control experts at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control Inc. Our award-winning team has been battling the local gnat population for 10+ years and can help you create a game plan to protect your property. Dial (661) 294-0206 or fill out our online contact form today!

What Types of Gnats Are in My House?

Gnats are small insects with long bodies and thin, lengthy wings. The most common gnats found in the Santa Clarita Valley are drain flies, fungus gnats, and no-see-ums. Depending on the type, some will bite, which can easily get annoying. Gnats are very difficult to see, so the best way to recognize what gnat is in your house is to take note of their habits and flying patterns.

Drain Fly

Drain Flies

One of the most common gnats in SCV is known for flying in a zig-zag motion. This gnat is called a drain fly, sewer gnat, or phorid fly. These pesky bugs are attracted to decaying food and organic materials, so it’s no surprise that you can find them hovering around drains and sewers.

Their larvae take about three days to mature, so where there is one, there can quickly be hundreds. While these pests do spread bacteria, they don’t typically cause diseases in humans.

Drain fly characteristics:

  • Gray or brown, with a dark dorsal stripe
  • Fuzzy and hairy 
  • Red eyes 
  • Can grow up to 5mm long
Fungus Gnat

Fungus Gnats

In comparison, fungus gnats are more attracted to areas away from your kitchen, specifically overwatered houseplants with moist potting soil. A key identifying feature of fungus flies is that they travel in large groups and are often confused with fruit flies despite being unrelated species. 

Fungus gnat characteristics:

  • Black and dark gray
  • Long legs and antennae 
  • Translucent, smoky gray-colored wings 
  • ⅙ to ⅛ inches long

The good news is that fungus gnats are not dangerous to people…just your houseplants. They prefer to eat fungi and the roots of plants, and can damage seedlings and stunt plant growth when present in large numbers. 


The Dreaded No-See-Ums

No-See-Ums (a.k.a sand flies, biting midges, punkies – talk about notoriety!) are the supervillains of the Santa Clarita gnat population. These flying menaces are super tiny (hence the colloquialism) and tend to hang out in grassy and moist areas, such as parks, lakes, and properties with standing water. But they can be a huge pain when they get trapped inside your home. These are the gnats leaving painful bites on your arms and legs because they require blood to reproduce. 

No-See-Um characteristics:

  • Sandy color (not that you’ll see them)
  • Thick hair on their body
  • Females feed on blood to reproduce
  • 2mm long 

Unfortunately, our Mediterranean climate and rising humidity levels are the perfect breeding ground for No-See-Ums. Although their lifecycle is only 20-40 days, these little villains make their presence known with bites that can result in bumpy red rashes, fevers, and even viral infections like the Changres and Punta Toro viruses. 

Curious about the gnats and mosquitoes hunting for your blood?  Find out what may be biting you in “No-See-Ums & Ankle Biters: How to Get Rid of Them.”

Why Are Gnats in Santa Clarita So Bad This Year? When Is Gnat Season Over?

Gnats are most active at around mid-morning and dusk in the spring and summer months. They are attracted to areas with standing or pooling water, such as pools, birdbaths, dog bowls, drains, leaking hoses, and other water sources that can be utilized as breeding sites. If you’re noticing gnats around your home, it may be attributed to recent rain, precipitation, or excessive sprinkler watering (yeah, we see you sneaking out at night to save your lawn) that could increase the area’s moisture.

Inside the home is a different story. These gnats are specifically on the hunt for food and can be found around unsealed produce, open cartons, house plants, areas where food or beverages have been spilled, and open or overflowing trash cans. They may also be attracted to the tub or sink drains in your house, especially the cracks and crevices that collect water. Sink drains are particularly favored because they provide water, shelter, food, and a safe breeding site.

gnat swarm gif

Struggling with itchy gnat bites? Review “5 Home Remedies to Soothe Mosquito Bites.”

Where Are the Gnats Coming From? What Are Gnats Attracted To?

1. Dirty Sink Drains

Gnats can be found in your sink drains because they are attracted to stagnant water, decaying food, and moist environments. These components create a hospitable environment that could result in an infestation.

The best way to combat the gnats in your sink is to remove the moisture and food remnants, clean your sink drain with boiling water or a natural drain cleaner, purchase a sink stopper, and maybe try some of the additional tips we have listed below.

2. Houseplants & Fresh Flowers

Finding gnats around your houseplants is a pretty solid indicator that you might be overwatering or neglecting your green babies. If you notice mildew or spores growing on the leaves, tackle the infection by treating and repotting the plant. And if the soil is moist or watered too often, you might attract more gnats because that environment is luxury suburban real estate.

Gnats lay eggs and produce larvae in your houseplants because it’s a safe and wet mini ecosystem perfect for their needs. The same can be said for freshly cut flowers in vases. Gnats see your dirty old flower water as the ideal place for their babies to thrive.

Need some tips on how to protect your indoor plants? Check out “How to Protect Household Plants from Insects.”

3. Overflowing Trash Cans

More than water, gnats love rotting, decaying, organic foods. If trash builds up and begins overflowing out of the can or bin, nothing will stop the gnats from enjoying the rotting food they love most.

The solution? Take out that trash!

Decaying Organic Produce

We all buy fruits and veggies with the goal of making healthy life choices. Some of us are just better at eating our bounties before they start to decompose. 

Gnats love eating fungi and rotting organic matter. That old and questionable-looking orange in your fruit bowl looks like a 3-star Michelin meal to a gnat. Eating (ideally) or tossing (we can’t judge what we don’t see) your fruits and veggies before they get to this point can reduce the number of gnats in the kitchen. 

4. Overwatered Yard

Gnats are attracted to areas with standing water, high moisture, and overwatered grass. The soggy soil and wet environment create an ideal breeding ground for these annoying insects.

California has new water restrictions that many residents and commercial property owners are trying their best to dodge. But one upside to your browning lawn is that it may reduce the number of gnats flying about your property.

The other good news is that cutting back on water reduces the likelihood of an infestation inside your home. If the gnats aren’t attracted to your yard, they won’t be close enough to sneak inside (unless you bring them in on a houseplant).

"How Can I Get Rid of the Gnats?": 5 Tips for Success!

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

This DIY tip relies on the sweetness of Apple Cider Vinegar, a liquid that attracts gnats. The first step is to fill a shallow bowl or cup with cider. Then, place a thin plastic wrap on top and secure it, if needed, with a small rubber band. Next, use a tool (a toothpick is most recommended), and poke holes through the plastic top.

Place this DIY trap in the area where you see the most gnat activity in your house. The gnats will crawl through the small holes to reach the cider. Once inside, they will be unable to fly or crawl out, trapping them in the container.

2. Try a Fan

A small gust of wind is one way to keep the gnats away! These insects are small and not the best fliers, so purchasing a battery-powered fan is one simple trick to keep them away from you, your food, and maybe even targeted areas of your home (with the size and right positioning).

Picnic Fan Protection

3. Boiling Water

If your problem is gnats hanging around your drains, a little boiling water might do the trick! Pouring boiling – and we mean boiling – water down the drain is an effective way to kill the gnats and any eggs they might have laid. As you know, gnats love moist places to call home, and your drain is a prime location for food, shelter, and breeding. Boiling water can remedy the infestation and rid you of those small, irritating insects.

4. Sticky Traps

If you are desperate, and would rather buy something quick and easy, then sticky traps might be your best option. These traps can be very effective at luring gnats in by color and scent. Once a gnat lands on the trap, it will become stuck to the adhesive and unable to torment your family and plants again.

Sticky traps vary in quality and consist of different materials and chemicals. You should always research before purchasing, especially if you have pets or small children. Make sure to buy a product that works and is safe for you, your family, and your home.

5. Call a Professional Santa Clarita Pest Control Company!

Everyone has different tips and tricks for keeping gnats away. Some people like making DIY vinegar candles, turning scrap paper into sticky traps, or making spray repellents. But what if the popular DIY tricks and store selections aren’t working for your situation?

Contact the Santa Clarita pest control specialists at No Bugs Termite and Pest Control Inc at (661) 294-0206 to mitigate your gnat infestation today. Our professional team can investigate your property and determine the best treatment method to help you live a gnat-free life. 

Dial (661) 294-0206 to schedule a free evaluation with the Santa Clarita pest control experts at No Bugs. We can inspect your property and create a safer space for your family and pets.