Mosquitoes flying around

How To Get Rid Of Gnats In The Office

February 06, 2023

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Gnats are a nuisance to have around your office. Not only are they distracting, but certain gnats bite humans and cause itchy bumps. As an office manager, you can prevent these bothersome insects from zipping around your workplace with the simple tips outlined below.

Where are gnats coming from in the office?

Generally, there are two primary sources of gnats in the office: indoor plant soil and garbage. Potted plant soil is a common place for gnats to breed because the consistently damp soil and nutrients from plants provide plenty of sustenance. Gnats in office plants can be tricky to get rid of because they bury in the soil to lay eggs, so surface treatments often only handle the adult flies. 

Kitchen scraps that stay in the breakroom or kitchen area for too long are another ideal spot for certain types of gnats to breed. Fruit and fruit scraps are especially high in sugar, giving gnats the energy they need to maintain a consistent reproduction cycle. 

close up of a gnat on a green leaf

How to get rid of gnats in office plants

Gnat problems can take some time to address, so patience is key. There are several ways to treat a plant without harming its growth, many of which don’t require harsh chemicals. Depending on the extent of your issue, one solution or a combination of solutions may work for you. 

  • Fly tape for plants – Like fly tape hanging in spirals from the ceiling, flypaper for plants is a loop of tape attached to a small plastic or wooden spike. Place the spike in the soil of your office plants and let the tape work its magic.
  • Isolation – Covering your infested plant with a plastic bag suffocates the gnats while allowing the plant to take in sunlight.
  • Dish soap – Dish soap treats eggs in the soil so the infestation doesn’t return. A drop of dish soap in a watering can helps kill eggs and stop them from hatching.
  • Apple cider vinegar – A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in a watering can also kills eggs before they hatch, although dish soap might be easier to find in your office.
  • Houseplant sprays – There are many options for commercial sprays meant to manage both adult gnats and their eggs. Your local garden center or home improvement store can recommend the right product for you.

How to keep gnats away from your office

Once you’ve conquered your current gnat issue, it’s time to prevent it from happening again. Here are a few ways to prevent gnats from taking hold in your office: 

  • Isolate new office plants when you bring them in. Gnats can spread from one plant to another. Garden centers typically take measures to prevent pests from infesting their plants, but big box stores are frequent culprits for selling plants with pest issues. Isolating new plants can help to reduce the chance that gnats will spread to other plants in your office.
  • Use gnat tape proactively. You don’t need to wait until you see gnats buzzing around to use fly tape. The glue stays sticky for weeks or even months, so you can catch any gnats who make their way inside before they become an issue.
  • Discourage employees from keeping food in their desk drawers. Even small spills or scraps of food can attract gnats and other pests. Ask employees to properly dispose of food and clean up spills when they happen. 
  • Take out the garbage daily. Gnats are especially active in warmer months, but the conditions inside offices can create an environment where they can thrive year-round. Taking out waste daily helps keep gnat populations down. 
  • Sanitize waste bins weekly. Garbage, recycling, and compost containers tend to collect leaks and overspill. Sanitize waste bins weekly to keep the gnats at bay.

gnats on orange fly tape

Pest control solutions for offices

As an office manager, you wear a lot of hats — but pest technician doesn’t need to be one of them. Partnering with Hawx Pest Control helps take office pest management off your plate. Hawx technicians are friendly, knowledgeable professionals who use their expertise to help you curb any current pest infestations and implement a variety of treatment plans to manage pests in your office building year-round.

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