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Who does not know this - the windows are fitted with fly screens and all annoying pests have finally been driven out of the apartment. But there are still small flies here and there, which keep coming back despite bars or closed windows. With the right home remedies, however, they can also be combated effectively and sometimes even get rid of permanently.

Small flies in the apartment

Before thinking about fighting the annoying flies, you should first deal with what these little animals are and why they are in the apartment at all. If this is known, home remedies can be specifically selected and the pests can be rid of.

fungus gnat

Small flies near indoor plants are usually fungus gnats (Sciaridae). These one to seven millimeter large animals use the humid and at the same time warm environment of houseplants to rear their brood. The potting soil in the pots is the ideal place for laying the eggs, as the environment there is favorable for their development. After hatching, the larvae find an excellent source of food with the young root shoots, so that the fungus gnats are ultimately not only to be regarded as annoying, but even as harmful. For humans, they appear when he approaches the flower pots and a draft or vibrations cause whole clouds of these small black animals to rise from the surface of the potting soil.
Home remedies to fight the fungus gnat

Home remedies for fungus gnats


With a simple and effective trick, an infestation of the fungus gnat can be combated at an early stage. Simple matches are the key to stopping their reproduction permanently:

  • Execution: Stick several matches into the potting soil, head first, over the entire cross-section of the pot
  • Effect: Killing of the larvae and prevention of renewed oviposition by the sulfur of the match heads
  • Miscellaneous: Replace matches every two days
Matches as home remedies


Without killing them, you can get rid of small flies in flower pots with simple pantyhose or stockings:

  • Execution: Pull the stocking or tights over the flower pot from below and place the cuffs around the stem or stalk of the plant
  • Effect: Separation of flies and soil, thus deprivation of breeding opportunities and absence of sudden reproduction; at the same time imprisoning the larvae and preventing them from spreading
  • Miscellaneous: if the stems are thin, use thread or floral wire to put the stocking close to the plant

quartz sand

Moist potting soil is not only a paradise for the plants themselves, but also for the fungus gnats and their offspring. If the moisture is removed using quartz sand, the breeding territory becomes unattractive and small flies stay out:

  • Execution: When planting, fill flower pots only two-thirds full with potting soil, fill the rest with quartz sand
  • Effect: lack of moisture in the quartz sand, therefore no egg laying, at the same time the larvae have no opportunity to move in the sand to the roots as a food source
  • Miscellaneous: Only water the plants from below or through the watering tubes, otherwise there will be regular moisture ingress into the sand


Fungus gnats like moist soil, but they don't get along with pure water. Plants grown in hydroponics are therefore unattractive to them, so you get rid of the pests without actively fighting them.

  • Execution: plant plants in clay mineral substrate, replace soil with existing plants with substrate, rinse roots thoroughly
  • Effect: Deprivation of the livelihood of the larvae, thus no infestation
  • Miscellaneous: Don't forget the water level indicator, since the substrate dries very quickly on the surface


Although nematodes are not a real home remedy, you can get rid of small flies with the helpful roundworms without having to resort to chemicals:

  • Execution: administer nematodes located in clay mineral according to manufacturer's instructions, usually over irrigation water
  • Effect: Nematodes penetrate fly larvae and kill them from the inside
  • Other: Worms are not visible to the naked eye and have no adverse effects on humans or pets

Prevention through antibodies

Finally, your own kitchen offers numerous substances that the fungus gnat does not like. It is true that they cannot actively prevent propagation in the potting soil. However, since the animals are kept away from the outset, the substances are well suited as a preventive measure:

  • Use lavender or tea tree oil regularly, around 20 drops per liter of irrigation water
  • Sprinkle cinnamon as a thin layer on the soil and water the plant from below
  • Sift baking powder or baking soda thinly over the surface of the soil and pour the plant from below
  • Garlic cloves, either stick them completely into the ground or spread them out on the ground

fruit flies

If small flies are not found in the indoor plants, but rather in the air and especially near the kitchen, they are probably fruit flies (Drosophilae). With a body length of around two to two and a half millimeters, they are also very small flies that can often only be seen as a dark spot on fruit, leftovers or on the worktop or kitchen walls. They feed on food that is freely accessible and, above all, use open fruit to lay their eggs.

Home remedies for fruit flies

Vinegar, wine and sparkling wine

The classic home remedy for fruit flies are traps in which they die while drinking. In this way, adult animals are safely decimated and the population is noticeably reduced. As a result, the number of offspring steadily decreases until there are no more animals:

  • Execution: fill a flat bowl or glass with vinegar, wine or sparkling wine, add a drop of washing-up liquid, place near the fruit
  • Effect: fruit acid in the liquid attracts animals, drowning due to the reduced surface tension caused by detergent
  • Other: instead of washing-up liquid, a special fly glass with a labyrinth entrance can also be used

denture cleaner

Commercial denture cleaners are a good alternative to the killing traps of vinegar or wine. Because its ingredients drive the animals away without killing them:

  • Execution: Set up a glass with water and a denture cleaning tablet near the fruit plate
  • Effect: Animals are driven out of the vicinity of the glass
  • Miscellaneous: only limited sphere of activity, therefore several glasses may be necessary in the kitchen

Onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme

The essential oils of these spice plants do not like the fruit flies, so that an effective defense can be achieved with them:

  • Execution: Place the tuber or twig in the fruit basket between the fruits
  • Effect: Fruit flies are driven away by essential oils
  • Miscellaneous: Increased effectiveness by cutting the tuber or squeezing the leaves, thereby increasing the release of the ingredients


The mode of action of chestnuts against fruit flies is not known in detail. What is certain, however, is that they can be used to reliably get rid of small animals on fruit and vegetables:

  • Execution: Place chestnuts in the fruit basket
  • Effect: not known, flies are driven away and flee
  • Other: put dry chestnuts from the previous year in water again until they are plump and round again


The most effective way to combat the fruit fly is not to offer it any starting points for food sources and breeding sites from the outset. This includes covering all areas of the kitchen that are of interest to the fly:

  • Execution: cover fruit basket, close open juice etc.
  • Effect: Removes food source and breeding ground
  • Miscellaneous: Fruit flies are still attracted by scent, but cannot get to food and breeding sites through covers, so no reproduction


Actually in every household a matter of course, an improvement in hygiene can also mean that the annoying fruit flies stay away. Because in addition to fruit, they also feel almost magically attracted to leftovers, dirty dishes or a dirty stove:

  • Execution: Dispose of food leftovers, put dishes in the dishwasher, clean the kitchen regularly in general, dispose of old fruit or use it up at times
  • Effect: The attractiveness of the area for the fruit fly decreases, fewer food sources
  • Other: combination with other measures, e.g. garlic in the fruit plate, very effective!

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