Gnat Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from gnats by learning techniques for identification and control.

Order Diptera
Small & long-legged
Weak fliers

Treatment

How do I get rid of gnats?

What Orkin Does

The most effective control methods require positive identification of insects, which is best conducted with the assistance of a pest control professional.

Orkin technicians are trained to help manage gnats and flies. Since every home is different, the Orkin technician will design a unique treatment program for your situation.

Keeping gnats or flies out of your home is an ongoing process, not a one-time treatment. Orkin’s exclusive A.I.M. solution is a continuing cycle of three critical steps—Assess, Implement and Monitor.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep gnats in their place...out of your home.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Gnats

Appearance

Gnats typically are small and long-legged insects. They often are weak fliers.

Behavior

Gnat is the common name for many small, winged insects in the fly grouping. Contrary to popular belief, these tiny flying insects are not “babies,” they are adults. The tiny flying insects that many people call “gnats” could really be fruit flies or fungus gnats. There are many differences between fruit flies vs gnats.

Diet

Some species are excellent plant pollinators and feed on crop pests such as aphids and scales. Other gnats, such as the Hessian fly, are crop pests themselves. Depending on species, gnats can be biting or nonbiting and will feed on plants, other insects or blood.

Life Cycle

Mating in Swarms

For some species, males assemble in large mating swarms known as ghosts. These swarms occur most commonly at dusk in large fields and above streets.

Eggs & Larvae

Depending on the species, gnat eggs are laid on land or water. Larvae may be immobile or capable of movement by way of rocks and water plants.

Adults

Adults range in size but usually are no larger than 33 mm. The larval and adult stages of the gnat are considered both beneficial and detrimental.

Prevention Tips

Wet soil

The best control for fungus gnats is to identify any plants that have wet soil and let that soil dry completely before the next watering. This will kill the larval stages in the soil. The adult gnats can be removed with a vacuum cleaner from windows and from around the plants.

Watering plants only when they need water will help prevent fungus gnat infestations.

Fruit

For most gnat populations, their food source must be located and corrected if possible. Fruit should not be exposed to open air. Keeping fruit in the refrigerator protects it from gnats and also prolongs the fruit’s period of ripeness.

Traps

Electric fly exploders that electrocute individual gnats may help to control their populations outside but also kill many beneficial insects. Inside, insect traps that are plugged into electrical outlets work by emitting ultraviolet light sources. Flying insects are attracted to this light and are caught by the sticky surface of the trap when they approach.

Most of these methods address only individual, adult specimens. In order to properly treat an entire gnat infestation, including larvae, it is best to consult a pest control professional.

More Information

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