Gnats

Identification

  • Colour Black, grey, brown, or yellow
  • Size From 1 mm to 13 mm long
  • Description Have a pair of long wings, spindly legs, and two antennae that exceed the length of their head.
  • Notes Gnats are poor fliers

General Facts

Why do I have gnats?

There are more than 600 species of gnat in North America. The most common gnat found inside and around buildings are fungus gnats and dark-winged fungus gnats. Turkey gnats, found outside, are also known as buffalo gnats or black flies. Fungus gnats like to find overwatered, fungi-ridden plants in greenhouses, nurseries, and sod farms, where they and their larvae can live in moist soil and feed on organic mulch, leaf mould, grass clippings, compost, root hairs, and fungi. In contrast, black flies prefer running water and lay their eggs on partially submerged objects in fast flowing waters, like streams. The larvae that emerge stay underwater for several weeks, attaching themselves to a rock or branch.

How worried should I be about gnats?

Female black flies do bite humans, mammals, or birds to suck their blood to get a "blood meal" required for egg development. This does not transmit disease but can cause a small wound or severe swelling. However, some tropical species of black flies transmit parasitic nematodes, which cause onchocerciasis, or river blindness, in humans. Additionally, large numbers of black flies attacking an animal all at once can result in death by blood loss or anaphylactic shock. Fungus gnats can also cause significant damage to and stunt the growth of potted, ornamental and greenhouse plants, as well as crops, when their larvae attack the fungi growing there. Whatever the species, gnats are extremely persistent and the most effective way of eradicating an infestation is with the help of a professional pest control service.

How can I prevent gnats invading?

Avoid overwatering plants, Ensure proper drainage and aeration, Remove standing water promptly, Remove infested soil and vegetation, Seal cracks in the foundations, Fix broken door and window screens

Other pests related to Gnats

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