Are gnats fruit flies? Well, this is a common question that has brought a general confusion among many people. However, when these irritating, tiny winged insects start buzzing around your head, they can be tough to deal with.
Both gnats and fruit flies have similar characteristics, but they also have different distinctive features that can help you distinguish them as outlined in this article.
- 1 Are Gnats Fruit Flies?
- 2 Drain Flies vs Fruit flies
- 3 Types of Gnats
- 4 What Attracts Different Types of Gnats?
- 5 Should Gnat Infestation be a Worry?
Are Gnats Fruit Flies?
It’s always a challenge to differentiate gnats from fruit flies. This is because they bear almost the same characteristic. But, unique features set them apart and help you quickly identify the difference in both and apply the right control measure.
Both of these small flies belong to the order of Dipterans insects, fungus gnats belong to Nematocera, a suborder.
Some of the standard distinctive features include:
1. Shape of a Fruit Fly
In terms of shape, fruit flies have s a rounded silhouette just like the smaller version of common house flies, while a fungus gnat features dangling legs with a long body, making them appear much like small mosquitoes.
Color-wise, gnats are usually black or dark grey while a fruit fly ranges from black to tan.
A fruit fly is easily recognizable due to its big red eyes. Gnats, on the other hand, have smaller eyes that are hard even to see.
4. Fruit Fly Infestation
Both of these small flying insects have a tendency of invading suddenly using different channels. Fruit flies frequently enter the home as eggs inlaid on the surface of your fruits or vegetables, while gnats usually invade the home in potted plant soil.
Gnats are also well known in hovering within groups. However, fruit flies belong in places where there are many food sources. The fruit fly larvae feed on the the grime that you will find in dirty kitchen or bathroom drains.
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Are Fungus Gnats Baby Fruit Flies?
Examining both fruit flies and gnats closely will surely help in eliminating the general misconception of these two types of tiny flies.
Are gnats fruit baby flies? No, however, these tiny flying insects pass through a similar development stage that begins from the eggs to hatching into a larval. From the cocoon stage, they emerge as adults flies.
Drain Flies vs Fruit flies
It is ubiquitous to come across a few fruit flies flying around the kitchen, taking a sip from your fruit juice now and then. These tiny pests also lay eggs in your trash cans.
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While this may seem disgusting, you must keep in mind that they might not be the only fly type within your kitchen.
With many homeowners assuming that fruit flies are the only flies that will always fly into the sink drain to take a few sips of water after they have eaten, this might not necessarily be the case.
Drain flies mainly live in wet areas, and to many homeowners, these two fly species will look very similar. To differentiate drain flies from fruit flies, you have to keep in mind that fruit fly features a very sleek body while drain flies have wings that easily spread out.
A drain fly will also feed on pieces of stuff that are fermenting in your grain.
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Types of Gnats
Depending on the type, some gnats can bite, eat other bugs, and eat plants. Adult gnats measure around one to three mm long, depending on the type. With this, let’s go through some of the common gnat types.
1. Blank Gnat
Black gnats contain over 1.000 species all over the world. They have a dark appearance and are biting flies featuring an antenna with short legs. They also lay their eggs near water bodies or streams.
Midges are a gnat type that is more similar to mosquitoes. However, they do not bite. Midges love breeding close to canals, ponds, damps, and clogged gutters. They do not however, breed inside a building but will inevitably invade buildings in large groups.
They like to fly in large groups during the day. Since midges like bright lights, you can opt for a soft yellow light instead of a bright white light to lessen the midges’ attraction to your light fixture.
3. Sewer or Drain Flies
Sewer flies or drain flies tend to hang around sewers or drainpipes frequently. Their infestation can be a clear indication that your property has a plumbing system issue.
Both gnat types like reproducing in drainage or sewer systems. However, sewer or drain flies can reproduce even in organic matters during their late stages of decomposition.
To eliminate the infestation of the drain gnats, you have to start by removing the gnats’ breeding place. This can be achieved by simply spraying pesticides or pouring bleach inside the sewer or drain.
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What Causes the Invasion of Gnats in a Home?
While these little flying insects love the taste of vegetables and fruits, they are more attracted to plant leaves, mold, and blood. Some of these items are not only limited to your kitchen, therefore when you see a swarm anywhere within your property, then you have to take the right measures as this can be a sign of gnats invasion.
Gnats normally roll into the walls of your property from the soil of potted plants picked up from your garden store. Nonetheless, this is not the only way in which gnats can invade your home.
Other types of gnats are usually attracted to slime and mold. They can, therefore, reach your property through a draining system and make their way up through your bathtubs and sinks.
What Attracts Different Types of Gnats?
Warm homes offer a perfect environment for gnats. Nonetheless, gnats also prefer damp plant soil, stagnant water areas, and blood.
However, due to the wider variety of gnats, it might not be that easy to specify what each type finds alluring. But it’s clear that any stagnant water presents a perfect opportunity for gnats to invade your home.
Should Gnat Infestation be a Worry?
Gnats normally feed on decomposing plants, animal carcass slime, and mold, not forgetting sewage waste. Nonetheless, female gnats are also known for their biting nature on both humans and pets. This, therefore, raises a concern with the direct approach after identifying the gnats being elimination.
How to Eliminate Gnats from Your Property
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Having learned the main difference between gnats, fruit flies, and drain flies, you can apply the right remedies in eliminating the gnats from your home.
With gnats being majorly attracted to sewage, moisture, mold, and animal waste, home remedies can quickly help you eliminate them entirely. To catch the gnats, apply vegetables or fruits just like you would have done with fruit flies.
However, it would be best if you kept in mind that gnats may not naturally fall into your traps, but placing your trap in the open makes it simple to lure them into your trap.
If things get out of hand, you can make use of eco-friendly insecticides. But, this is not always a great option, especially if there are small children within the home. Instead, it would help if you considered sticky traps as it can attract the gnats without causing any health effects to the family members.
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For the sticky trap to be effective, you have to place it in a location with high gnat traffic. This will ensure that it catches as many gnats as possible. Gnats and fruit fly traps come at affordable prices and can be found in many pesticide shops and websites, including Trappify.
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It is vital to ensure that you keep your home safe by eliminating stagnant water and keeping your drainage system clean and unattractive to gnats and fruit flies.
Your fruit fly problem can also be resolved by DIY solutions like using apple cider vinegar.