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Vinegar, water mixture takes care of gnats

Published: July 11, 2007
NORMAN — I'm not complaining about all the rain we've had, but there are a few aftereffects I could do without — frogs on my front porch, mosquitoes in my car and gnats everywhere. My main concern is the gnats, which have taken over one bathroom and the kitchen in my home.

Jack Dill of Blanchard feels the same way.

"It would be pretty hard to be upset with all the rain we've had, when you think about our last two summers of high heat, drought and wildfires,” Dill wrote in an e-mail. "It has been an inconvenience at times, but you count your blessing when you see those that have suffered from the flooding. My biggest annoyance has been the heavy increase of mosquitoes and gnats.”

I started noticing the annoying brownish-red pests last week. I purchase quite a lot of produce at the farmers market, so I'm used to a few gnats here and there. What I wasn't used to was an entire army of them showing up in force, seemingly overnight.

I put my fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator, and began searching the Internet for a solution. In addition to chemical sprays, which I wouldn't use in my home, I found several ideas for homemade gnat traps. I tried one that calls for ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and ½ cup of sugar mixed with water. I filled two old, clean glass jars (about the size of a pickle jar) a little more than halfway full with the solution. I left one in my bathroom, another in the kitchen. Within a few hours, dead gnats were floating in the liquid.

A co-worker's mom suggested apple cider mixed with dish soap, and one tip on the Internet suggested putting a piece of banana in the oven overnight, then in the morning slam the oven shut and turn it up to 400 degrees.

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