How Does a Gnat Trap Work?

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Attracting Gnats

  • Gnat traps are ingeniously simple to make and they work like a charm. And it does not take much to attract gnats: a bit of fruit in a fruit salad, a glass of wine, can of beer or a can of soda pop left open on the table. All of these things attract gnats, so it's a good idea to take advantage of the situation and use those items as bait. A plastic cup is a good way to start. Simply fill it part way with something sweet smelling, such as vinegar and sugar water with a teaspoon or so of dishwashing detergent. Then place a piece of plastic wrap over the top, poke some holes in it and you are finished. The gnats smell the bait, find the trap, squeeze through the holes and then cannot get back out again.

Pop Bottle Gnat Traps

  • A more permanent gnat trap can be made from a pop bottle, any size as long as it is plastic. Cut the top off the bottle with a sharp knife, being careful not to cut too far down into the bottle. Take the top off and fill the bottle with 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and a half a bottle of water. Do not fill the bottle so full that the fluid touches the opening at the top. Now close off the bottle by turning the cut-off bottle top upside-down and replacing it in the opening. The gnats can crawl down inside the bottle but they cannot crawl back out again. You can also leave the top of the bottle intact and simply poke holes in the sides of the bottle. Once the bottle is full of gnats you can either flush them down the toilet or dump them outside. Either way, you can then rinse out the bottle and start over again with a new mixture.

Gnats Crawl In, But Can't Crawl Out

  • Any type of container can be used as a gnat trap as long as it can be sealed off to keep the bugs trapped inside. Anything sweet makes great bait as well. An apple peel, a bit of squished banana, anything that would normally attract the insects in the first place is perfect for placing inside your homemade gnat trap. The fascinating thing about these traps is that while the bugs can readily crawl into them, they have difficulty getting back out again. As long as the holes are tiny, the gnats can fold their wings going in but they keep trying to fly back out and they cannot fit through the holes with extended wings. This is the secret of the gnat trap in all its many forms.

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