How do I get rid of gnats in my home?
Question: How do I get rid of gnats?
I do believe they are gnats. They are really, really tiny and look like black dots. I bought a house spray and have been spraying about 4-6 times a week. They are only in my kitchen at the base of my back door. I can”t tell where they are coming from. What must I do? P.S. My home is new construction. Would this be a factor?
Answer: If you have gnats in the house, it usually means the presence of one or both of these small flies:
FUNGUS GNATS. If the flies are small, black, and flying around windows or potted plants; then they are probably fungus gnats. These flies are the most common small fly in houses. They are small, delicate black flies that are weak flyers and often collect at windows. The immature stages are small and maggotlike, but with dark brown heads. They live in the soil of potted plants. The immature stages feed on the decaying organic material in the soil. They generally do no harm to the plant roots.
The larvae are common in the moist soil of the plants that have been overwatered and the soil remains wet or very moist. This may occur in the fall when plants are brought inside for the winter, or in the winter when house plants (or office plants) are overwatered. Read more about gnat control.
FRUIT FLIES. If the flies are small, light brown and seem to be attracted to places in the kitchen, then they are probably fruit flies. To control these flies you have to start with the removal of overripe fruit and vegetables; this is where the larvae live. To remove the adults, which can live for a few weeks, you can place a small amount of vinegar in a shallow pan, and place this pan in locations where the flies are common. They are attracted to the vinegar and some may get trapped in the liquid, and you can use an aerosol to spray the others that are waiting there. Read more about fruit fly control from Orkin.
Fruit Fly illustration
PHORID FLIES. If the flies are small, light brown to black, and have a rather jerky or erratic walking behavior when they are on a surface (they run in a zig-zag rather than a straight line) then they may be phorid flies. These are sometimes called sewer flies. They are similar in size to fruit flies, but the walking separates them, and they seem to be active at night, while fruit flies are not. Phorid flies usually have a direct connection to a broken sewer line (inside or outside the house). If these are the flies you have, it is best to get the sewer or septic tank system looked at. Read more about phorid fly control
Phorid fly illustration
- Question: I live in the 60136 area, and I have a BIG problem with gnats. I can’t open my windows ever! it was bad enough last fall, not being able to open my windows. I even had them during this past winter when I opened my window “just a little bit.” I don”t want to be turning on my air conditioner just to get crisp fresh air! What can I do? Are you able to help?
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