Is there anything we can do to get rid of the gnats?

Asked June 16, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT

We have had gnats in our yard from the day we moved here in 2007. This year, a pest control company that controls mosquitoes for us has tried to also control gnats, but there really has been no improvement. Is there anything we can do to get rid of the gnats?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

If this is a chronic problem, something about your property provides an environment that encourages gnats. Most properties have fleeting occurrences of gnats.

Gnats like wet environments, so we recommend that you try to dry up any damp areas in the yard by filling in low areas where water sits (or make those areas into rain gardens so the plants will absorb the water) or changing the grade. Prune or clear up overgrown areas --especially non-native invasive plants--to encourage better air circulation and faster drying.

Also, encourage a well-functioning ecosystem which will includes lots of birds and predator insects to feed on the gnats. Hornets and wasps, for example, are big predators of flies and gnats. To do that, avoid all pesticides except those targeting a specific identified problem on a specific plant. Plant lots of berry and flowering trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants.