Gnats, those tiny, pesky flying insects sometimes found indoors, can be a bit of a nuisance in numbers. These creatures are often found around houseplants, where their larvae grow within potting materials. While they only live a short time — just over a week — a female fungus gnat can lay up to 200 eggs in the potting mix, which can result in an onslaught of gnats if left alone. Altering the conditions gnats find attractive, as well as killing them with a homemade solution, can greatly reduce their presence.
Treat leaves of a gnat-infested plant with a homemade insecticidal soap. Make the blend yourself by pouring 2 tablespoons each of liquid castile soap and a vegetable oil such as olive oil, plus a teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper, into a gallon container with a gallon of water. Seal and shake the bottle, then transfer some of the mixture to a spray bottle. Spraying the tops and bottoms of plant leaves both kills and helps prevent additional gnats. Applying the mixture every several days for a few weeks may be necessary to get rid of all the gnats.
Tired of waving off clouds of no-see-ups every time you head outdoors to work in your garden? Well, stop waving and wipe a coat of baby oil onto your exposed skin. It forms a protective barrier against the minute monsters. Oh, yes! There is one little catch to this terrific trick: You need to stay out of the sun, or the oil will cause your skin to burn.