Black Gnats

What Are Black Gnats?

People refer to many small, dark insects by the name black gnats. These pests frequently include fungus gnats, black flies, and biting midges. All of them may become common nuisances in or near living spaces, so it’s important to know which insect is really causing the problem.

Flies Often Called Black Gnats

Fungus Gnats
These long-legged, mosquito look-alike pests live in gardens and overwatered houseplants. Mold and other microorganisms that grow in moist soil and decaying plant debris is this insect’s main food source. Fungus gnat swarms can annoy residents and damage plant roots over time.

Black Flies
Black flies breed in running water and feed on human or animal blood. The insects appear after sunrise and before sunset during the summer months. Bites can result in bleeding, swelling, and possible allergic reactions.

Biting Midges
In addition to black gnats, people also refer to biting midges as no-see-ums, sand flies, or punkies. These pests may look like just a dark speck to the naked eye, but their bites create a noticeable burning sensation. Biting midges may leave behind itchy welts on skin.

Eye Gnats
These gnats do not bite, but are a big nuisance since they fly around the eyes, nose, and ears seeking fluids to feed upon. While they generally are only troublesome nuisance gnats, sometimes these insects will cause infections such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) by transmitting bacteria to the eyes during their feeding process.

Limiting Black Gnats

Installing fine mesh screens for windows and doors helps to prevent black gnats in the house. Homeowners can also try traps, though these devices produce mixed results. Because gnats and flies breed rapidly, traps rarely get rid of them altogether. Orkin can identify black gnats and provide efficient control and effective methods of prevention.

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