Have you noticed mold gnats in house? Perhaps, you’re wondering – are gnats attracted to mold growth? Does mold attract bugs? How do you get rid of these pesky insects? Why are gnats and other pests drawn to molds? Some bugs eat mold, but what does mold eat? And how do you prevent mold growth?
Mold spores can cause illnesses so it is important to learn how to get rid of your mold problem. But where exactly do fungus gnats or these tiny flies come from, and why? Where do those fungus gnat larvae come from? And why are there so many adult fungus gnats in your house?
- 1 Where Do Gnats Come From?
- 2 Factors That Contribute to Mold Growth
- 3 Other Bugs That Mold Attracts Besides Gnats
- 4 What Else Are Gnats Attracted To Besides Mold?
- 5 Getting Rid of Gnats and Mold
- 6 Final Thoughts
Where Do Gnats Come From?
Certain types of annoying bugs generally referred to as “gnats” include fruit flies, sand flies, fungus gnat, phorid flies, and other biting insects.
These tiny flies will infest wet, humid locations. They’re also commonly found flying around fruits that aren’t stored in sealed containers. Does this mean you’d likely have fungus gnat infestations?
Factors That Contribute to Mold Growth
Mold is a type of fungus. It draws in bugs and flying insects because mold breaks down paper and wood so these things are easier to digest or feed on. Molds tend to help these bugs survive.
Some of these bugs have names that suggest their relationship with molds. A few examples include camel crickets, cockroaches, foreign grain beetle, and mold mites (the cousins of dust mites.) Unlike other insects, mold mites eat mold to survive. When this happens, you would find yourself dealing with fungus gnat problems.
Read about Beneficial Insects in Your Home
Some bugs feed on mold as well. This is one of the many reasons why molds attract bugs. Aside from gnats, mold attracts carpenter ants and subterranean termites as well.
For effective mold removal as well as fly infestation or pest control, you’ll need to first understand the source.
Fungal growth is supported by four factors:
Every species of mold requires moisture, organic matter, warm places, or the same conditions to grow and foster, so without water, it’s almost impossible for mold to grow.
Molds require the high sugar or high salt from organic materials.
Mold often grows aplenty in the summer season, and not as much in other seasons.
Most mold requires a slightly acidic environment to flourish. The ideal level for molds is a pH range of 3-7.
If there is mold, then creepy crawlies, bugs, or insects are often close by. Even at first glance, homeowners would usually find mold or mold-feeding bugs in their homes or other areas. The continuous presence of mold would attract more insects.
Mold Attract Bugs | They Both Grow in Humid Environments
Mold, just like gnat larvae, is also often found in cellulose-based building materials. So of course, the more moisture you have, the more gnats you’re likely to find.
Fungus Gnats Feast on the Decomposition of Molds
These bugs sustain themselves on the decomposition of mold. Gnats are known for their ability to eat moldy paper. Larvae feed on damp and moldy household materials as well as plant roots. Some gnats even feed on soap scum and mildew that are found in bathrooms.
Gnats are Drawn to the Smell of Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds
Molds secrete gasses called Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (MVOCs), which are what give mold its unique musty or earthy odor, which is similar to the scent of wet socks or rotten wood.
Other Bugs That Mold Attracts Besides Gnats
Gnats aren’t the only insects that favor living close to moldy enclosures. The top 5 common house pests that mold attracts:
Cockroaches feast on practically anything, including paper, because mold breaks down organic material, which makes feasting on paper and softwood so much easier for cockroaches.
Booklice, as its name suggests, consumes the paper found in moldy books.
Mold mites are the cousins of dust mites, which thrive off of the mold. These tiny bugs are commonly found in soil, homes, and rotting buildings.
Mold and termites have a give-and-take relationship. Mold helps break down wood to make it easily penetrable for termites. Termites create tiny tunnels in the wood, which allows mold to reach a bigger surface area inside the wood.
Beetles, more notably the foreign grain beetle, are another insect that lives off of molds. They’re commonly found in homes with high levels of humidity.
What Else Are Gnats Attracted To Besides Mold?
In a nutshell, gnats are drawn to three things: moisture, scent, and organic matter.
Here are a few places where you can find them, whether it’s inside or out of your home.
Outside Your Home
Your yard can be a gnat’s dream come true because vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and flower beds are great sources of food and moisture.
Where do you usually find gnats outside your home?
- Drain, sewers, and septic tanks
- Soil contaminated with sewage
- Rotting vegetables
- Damp organic materials found in garbage heaps
- Trash found outside such as empty soda cans, beer bottles, vinegar, etc
Inside Your Home
Many of what attracts gnats outside your home would also attract them inside, so pay attention here.
- The soil of overwatered potted plants
- Overripe fruits and vegetables
- Uncovered drains
- Left out food on the table
- Decomposing matter found in garbage cans and sink drains
Getting Rid of Gnats and Mold
Make sure to deal with household mold and insect infestations as soon as possible. Both quickly spread uncontrollably throughout one’s home. It’s worth noting that they may cause a serious problem, but only when left untreated.
Here are some tips on how to get rid of gnats inside your home once and for all, because no one enjoys a pest.
Step 1: Identify the Pest
There are four common types of gnats: fruit flies, drain flies, and phorid flies. The presence of phorid flies in your home is an indication of mold infestation. Take Phorid flies as red flags especially if you find discolored patches on your home’s surfaces as well.
Fruit flies are brown with red eyes, and typically round in shape. They’re usually in the kitchen, feasting on leftover food.
Drain flies have moth-like wings and a fuzzy body. As its name implies, you can find them in drains, sewers, and septic tanks.
Phorid flies look a lot like fruit flies but have black eyes instead of red. These insects are attracted to garbage, drains, and rotting vegetables and fruit.
Fungus gnats are black with long legs. You can find them in a decomposing matter in moist soil and overwatered potted plants.
Step 2: Eliminate Its Breeding Ground (Mold)
Mold and gnats grow in damp areas, so you’ll need to find out where this moisture comes from. It may come from plumbing leaks, ventilation or drainage issues, peeling paint, rotted window sills, wet or rotting sheathing, etc.
Step 3: Eliminate Food Sources
Clean your kitchen and throw away rotting fruits and vegetables. Also, seal your drain, replace old wood, cover your trash cans, and avoid over-watering your potting soil.
Step 4: Use a Bit of Force To Get Rid Of Gnats
And by this, I mean using products that aid in killing gnats, because they can be tricky
Such products are as follows:
- Pest Control: Dual sided sticky bug cards for mosquito, leafminer, aphid, and other flying pest problems. Protect your best inside plant from fungus...
- Easy To Use: Peel off a trap from the stack and place in a houseplant, a home kitchen, or a garden. Highly rated zapper catchers to finally protect...
- Organic Gardening: Safe way to remove small pests with non toxic and no harsh ingredients. Fruit Flies, Gnats and other small flying insects are...
- Designed for Variety Trapping Flying Plant Insects - great for capturing aphids, leaf miner, fungus gnats, thrips, white flies, black flies, midges...
- Cut it as you wish - The fruit fly yellow sticky gnat traps is easy to cut and fit for your needs. 10 wooden sticks or 2 holders will be included at...
- Hang it on the tree - Hang them on the tree with the included 20 twist tie and the pests will be attracted to the bright yellow color, then they'll...
- Bug zapper use blue-violet light to attract mosquitoes, gnats, aedes mosquitoes,moths,flies, and other most insects. Once mosquitoes fly in, they will...
- Mosquito zapper outdoor is EPA registered, safe for your family and pet. It is made of ABS plastic, has a safety grid to keep children and animals out...
- Wider defense range Up to 1,500 sq. ft and can be used at home, patio, lawn, garden, or even while camping.Works better at night and in darker...
- REPELS MOSQUITOES: 7 percent DEET formula repels mosquitoes, including those that may transmit the Zika, West Nile, Dengue and Chikungunya viruses
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- ALSO REPELS TICKS, GNATS, BITING FLIES, CHIGGERS & FLEAS: Create a barrier against annoying bugs that can spoil the outdoorsCONTAINS ALOE AND VITAMIN...
- EFFECTIVELY REPELS - NO NATZ is proven to work very well against gnats, no-see-ums, sand gnats, mosquitos, and biting flies. Developed in 2002 on the...
- Hand-Crafted Safe Formula - NO NATZ is a hand-crafted formula made with the finest essential oils including: rosemary oil, lemongrass oil, geranium...
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For a more natural solution, you can always use apple cider vinegar traps to kill fruit flies.
Here’s how to make it:
- Pour apple cider vinegar into a glass or remove the cap from a bottle
- Cover the opening with a plastic wrap
- Secure with a rubber band
- Poke small holes with a toothpick for fruit flies to enter, and they will be trapped
Are gnats attracted to mold? Yes, they are, and now you know all you need to know to prevent them.
Gnats and mold will most likely disappear once you follow the steps mentioned above. However, if you’re facing a severe infestation, do call a pest control professional to exterminate these gnats.