What Can I Use to Kill Gnats and Fruit Flies on My Houseplants?


Houseplants can be a source of beauty in your home. If they have hordes of gnats and fruit flies around them, their beauty might not be worth it. Killing the insects and interrupting their breeding cycles will eliminate them.


Fruit flies can be most effectively controlled by trapping them. Create a trap by pouring about an inch of beer into a jar, covering the jar with a plastic bag. Keep one corner of the bag pointing down. Secure the bag with a rubber band and make a small hole in the corner of the bag. Fruit flies will fly into the hole to get the beer but will not be able to fly back out, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


You can use insecticides to kill fungus gnats. Using an insecticide designed for houseplants, spray the infected plants and their soil every two days for three weeks. This will kill a generation of the gnats and prevent them from breeding to create new ones, Colorado State University reports.


Controlling the places where gnats and fruit flies breed will help eliminate them. Discard any rotting fruit, leaves or bulbs from your plants and home promptly. Avoid over-watering houseplants because moist soil provides ideal breeding grounds for pests.


  • Colorado State University: Flies in the Home
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Flies in the Home
Keywords: kill gnats, kill fruit fly, bugs in houseplants

About this Author

Kay Wagers is a copywriter in Arizona, working over the past five years for clients in a wide variety of industries. Wagers has contributed pieces to several fiction magazines and holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and in history from the University of Arizona.