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How to Use Vinegar to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats on a House Plant

By Amrita Chuasiriporn ; Updated September 21, 2017
Cider vinegar can help you kill fungus gnats
bottled vinegar apricots image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com

Fungus gnats live and thrive in the soil of houseplants. If you have a fungus gnat infestation and do not want to use commercial insecticides or pest strips, you may already have the solution to your problem in your house. A little cider vinegar in a container may be all you need to get rid of your fungus gnat problem for good. If the gnats in your house are too smart for the simple vinegar solution, a slightly more involved remedy involves judicious application of peanut butter along with the vinegar.

Pour a small amount of cider vinegar into your container. About 1 inch of liquid will suffice.

Place the container of cider vinegar near the infested houseplant. Fungus gnats should dive into it, as they are attracted to the smell. They will then drown.

Rub peanut butter on the inside of the lid to the bowl or container you are using for the cider vinegar.

Poke holes in the lid of the container with a knife. Make sure the holes are not very large. Secure the lid on top of the container, with both the vinegar and the peanut butter inside.

Strain the vinegar into a new container after you have attracted a bunch of fungus gnats with it. This will allow you to reuse it until your gnat problem is completely quashed.


Things You Will Need

  • Cider vinegar
  • Small lidded bowl or container
  • Peanut butter
  • Knife
  • Strainer (optional)


  • If your fungus gnat infestation was too smart for the vinegar by itself, using a lidded container with peanut butter coupled with the vinegar solution should do the trick. Exterminator Rick Steinau advises that fungus gnats will be attracted to the smell of the vinegar, and will find their way into the container through the holes. Once inside, they will get stuck in the peanut butter and die.
  • Using cider vinegar to eliminate your fungus gnat problem will work, but it will take time. Fungus gnats lay eggs in the soil of houseplants, particularly when it is kept very moist. You need to water your plants but, unfortunately, this provides a wonderful growing environment for fungus gnats. You may need to utilize the vinegar solution several times before you have gone through all of the life cycles of fungus gnat that are living in your house. If you desire a quicker solution, you may need to consider other fungus gnat elimination methods instead of or in conjunction with the vinegar method.

About the Author


Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker and writer who has written for several online publications, including Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication CarEnvy.ca. Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.