Gnat – Identification and Treatments
Gnat - Identification and Treatments

Also Known As:
Blackflies, midges

How to Identify:

Gnat – Identification and Treatments. Gnats are tiny flying insects who come from the same family as mosquitos. They have one pair of wings and six legs attached to a thin body. They are typically brown or black in color and very weak fliers. Gnats sometimes assemble in large mating swarms at dusk which can become a nuisance. These swarms are known as ghosts and are made up of only male gnats.


There are many different types of gnats and each species has its preferred food. Some species bite and feed on blood while others do not and instead prefer plants and fruit. Some species are beneficial and pollinate plants or eat agricultural pest, while others are considered pests themselves. Gnat eggs can be laid on land or in the water and hatch into larvae. The larvae of the Hessian gnat can be destructive to plants and cause root, stem, or leaf galls on the plants that they feed on.

Are They Dangerous?:

The species of gnats that bite can spread diseases to animals or livestock. In the US programs have been established in order to reduce the numbers of these gnats.

Fungus gnats lay their eggs in wet soil so letting dirt of houseplants dry completely between waterings is an effective way to kill their larvae. It is also beneficial to remove any potential food sources by putting fruit and vegetables in the fridge instead of leaving them out on a counter. Electric or sticky fly traps are effective at killing individual adults but cannot stop an infestation on there own. Individually gnats may not seem like a problem but their numbers can grow quickly resulting in swarms in and around your home. If you have a problem with gnats inside or outside your home the most effective way to handle it is to contact a pest control professional.

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