how to get rid of gnats in a litter box

How to Get Rid of Gnats in a Litter Box: The Ultimate Guide

Gnats are naturally attracted to damp spaces, including your cat’s litter box. If you’ve noticed these tiny, flying pests in your home, it is usually due to a moisture problem. That moisture could very well be in the litter box. While gnats are more of a nuisance than a health hazard, they can be difficult to get rid of once they’ve taken up residence in your home.

Keep in mind, the best way to get rid of gnats in a litter box is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place.

Why Does My Litter Box Have Gnats?

The main cause for gnats being in your cats litter is because of dampness an moisture. Most likely, fungus gnats and fruit flies are to blame. Both are drawn to wet locations, such as in a litter box or in the scooping container. The type of litter you’re using may also be a draw. Organic and compostable litters can be a possible attractant.

Another possibility is that you’re not scooping the box often enough. A full or soiled litter box is an ideal breeding ground for gnats and other pests. Scoop at least once a day, and more if needed.

You should also clean the entire litter box regularly. This means dumping all of the used litter, scrubbing the inside and outside of the box, and refilling it with fresh litter. How often you need to do a deep clean will depend on how many cats are using the box and how often it’s being scooped. A good rule of thumb is to do a deep clean once a week for one cat, and more often for multiple cats.

Common Causes of Gnats in Litter Boxes

  1. Dampness and Moisture: Gnats are naturally attracted to damp and moist spaces, and your cat’s litter box might be the perfect spot for them. If you’ve noticed gnats around the litter box, it’s likely because of the moisture content in the litter. Fungus gnats and fruit flies are particularly drawn to wet areas, making your kitty’s litter box an inviting breeding ground for them.
  2. Type of Litter Used: Believe it or not, the type of litter you use can also play a role in attracting gnats. Organic and compostable litters, while environmentally friendly, can be appealing to these little pests. If you’ve been using such litters, they might be part of the reason why the gnats have taken an interest in your cat’s litter box. Clay clumping litter is a great choice to switch to if your cat’s litter box has gnats.
  3. Infrequent Scooping: Let’s face it, scooping the litter box is not the most pleasant chore, but it’s essential for your cat’s hygiene and for keeping gnats at bay. When the litter box is not scooped frequently enough, it becomes an ideal breeding spot for gnats and other pests. Make sure to scoop your cat’s litter box at least once a day, and more often if needed.
  4. Lack of Regular Cleaning: Besides scooping, giving the litter box a proper clean-up is essential. Regularly dump all the used litter, thoroughly scrub the inside and outside of the box, and refill it with fresh litter. How often you need to do this deep clean depends on the number of cats using the box and how frequently it’s being scooped. As a general rule, a weekly deep clean should work for one cat, but you might need to do it more frequently with multiple cats.

Remember, gnats can be a nuisance, but they’re not a major health hazard for you or your pets. However, dealing with them can be a bit of a challenge once they’ve decided to call your home their own.

gnats in litter box

How to Get Rid of Gnats in a Litter Box

Once you have gnats, getting rid of them can be tricky. But there are a few things you can do to get rid of these pests for good.

First, try using a vinegar trap. Fill a small bowl with equal parts water and white vinegar. Then, place it near the litter box. The gnats will be attracted to the vinegar and drown when they land in the water.

You can also try a commercial insecticide designed to kill gnats. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully, and keep children and pets away from the treated area until it’s dry.

The best ways to get rid of gnats include:

  1. Keep the litter box clean by changing the litter once a day.
  2. Make your own gnat traps from materials you have on hand.
  3. Get commercial fly traps from a store.
  4. Use an alcohol-based spray.
  5. Consider purchasing a bug zapper.

Preventing Gnats in a Litter Box

The best way to deal with gnats is to prevent them from coming into your home in the first place. Here are a few tips:

  • Keep your cats litter box clean and dry. Scoop it daily, and do a deep clean weekly.
  • If you’re using an organic or compostable litter, consider switching to a different type.
  • Avoid overwatering houseplants. Gnats are attracted to damp soil.

By following these tips, you can help keep gnats out of your home for good. And if you do find yourself with a gnat problem, use the tips above to get rid of them quickly and easily.

DIY Gnat Traps

There are three simple to make gnat traps that can rid your pet’s litter box and your home of gnats.

Vinegar Trap

You can make your own gnat trap with common kitchen items in minutes – obtain an empty container (such as an old bowl) and fill it with warm water. Then, add sugar, a tiny amount of liquid dish soap, and apple cider vinegar to the mix (gnats enjoy it). Stir until all ingredients are thoroughly combined and place this container on a ledge near the cat box; you must ensure that it is out of your pets’ reach.

If you don’t have a ledge, look for an old shelf to keep nearby. If the trap has been successful, you’ll almost certainly find a large number of dead gnats inside it the next day. To be effective, you must replace the solution in the bottle on a regular basis or even daily if there is an extensive infestation.

You may replace the vinegar with wine, beer, or any other sweet fermented beverage since all of these are beloved by those bothersome winged things.

Candle Trap

This isn’t a high-tech trap; all you need is a candle and a container filled with water. Turn off any other lights in the room (while ensuring that your pets can see from the candlelight) and place it next to the litter box (but out of their reach).

When it comes to bug control, the flame is an excellent tool. When they get close to a flame, their wings will be burned. Some may be drawn to the fire’s reflection in the water and be unable to fly out once they’ve entered. To ensure that they don’t flee, add a few drops of liquid dish soap to the mix.

Rotten Fruit Trap

Place old, decomposing fruit in a container and cover it with plastic wrap. Make a few holes in the plastic to allow the gnats to enter. They won’t be able to get out once they’re inside.

Do Gnat Traps Work? (Commercial Gnat Traps)

If you’re dealing with a persistent gnat problem and homemade traps aren’t doing the trick, you might be considering commercial gnat traps as a solution. These traps are specifically designed to attract and capture gnats, promising effective results. But do they really work?

The answer is yes, commercial gnat traps can be effective in reducing gnat populations in your home. These traps are typically designed with specific attractants that target gnats, luring them towards the trap. Once inside, the gnats get stuck to a sticky surface, preventing them from flying away and eventually leading to their demise.

One of the significant advantages of commercial gnat traps is their convenience. They come ready to use, and you don’t need to worry about creating the right bait or dealing with messy liquids. They are also designed to be placed strategically in areas where gnats are commonly found, such as near the litter box, kitchen, or potted plants.

To maximize the effectiveness of commercial gnat traps, consider the following tips:

  1. Placement: Place the traps in areas where gnats are most active, such as close to the litter box, near houseplants, or where you’ve noticed a concentration of gnats. Don’t forget to keep them out of reach of children and pets.
  2. Regular Monitoring: Check the traps regularly to assess their effectiveness. If you find that one trap isn’t capturing many gnats, try moving it to a different location or consider adding additional traps in problem areas.
  3. Combine with Preventative Measures: Commercial gnat traps work best when used in conjunction with proactive measures to prevent gnat infestations. Keep your cat’s litter box clean, opt for litter types that discourage moisture retention, and address any other potential sources of moisture in your home.
  4. Follow Instructions: Different traps might have specific instructions for use, so be sure to read and follow them carefully to get the best results.
best gnat traps

Best Commercial Gnat Traps

If you’re dealing with a gnat infestation and looking for a reliable solution, commercial gnat traps can come to your rescue. These traps are specifically designed to attract and capture gnats, making them an essential tool in your battle against these pesky flying insects. While the effectiveness of each trap may vary based on the type of gnats and the severity of the infestation, here are some of the best commercial gnat traps available:

  1. GREENSTRIKE Fruit Fly Traps: The GREENSTRIKE Fruit Fly Trap is a popular choice for capturing gnats and fruit flies. It utilizes a liquid bait that attracts these insects, luring them into the trap where they become trapped and eventually perish. The trap is easy to use and can be placed in various locations around your home where gnats are commonly found.
  2. Bugbane Fly Strips: The Bugbane Fly Strips is a simple yet effective option for gnat control. It consists of a sticky ribbon that can be hung in problem areas. When gnats come into contact with the ribbon, they get stuck and are unable to escape. This non-toxic trap is particularly useful for small-scale gnat infestations.
  3. DynaTrap DT3005W: While not specifically designed for gnats, the DynaTrap DT3005W Insect Trap is an electric insect trap that can effectively capture various flying insects, including gnats. It uses a UV light to attract insects, and a fan pulls them into a retaining cage where they dehydrate and perish.

When choosing the best commercial gnat trap for your situation, consider factors such as the type of gnats you’re dealing with, the size of the infestation, and any specific preferences you may have regarding non-toxic or chemical solutions. Additionally, reading customer reviews and seeking recommendations from trusted sources can help you make an informed decision.

Keep in mind that no single trap can guarantee complete eradication of gnats. Combining gnat traps with proactive measures, such as proper hygiene and reducing sources of moisture, will increase the effectiveness of your gnat control efforts.


While having a pet comes with lots of love and responsibility, sometimes it also means dealing with pests. If you have noticed gnats near your cat’s litter box, don’t worry – there are several things you can do to get rid of these pests for good. Try using a vinegar trap, commercial insecticide, or one of the three DIY traps listed above.

The most important thing is to keep the litter box clean and dry to prevent gnats from coming into your home in the first place. By following these tips, you can help keep gnats out of your home for good.

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