9 Odd Small Black Flying Bugs In The House (Not Fruit Flies)

Fruit flies in the house are a nuisance. And so are the flies that look like them. 

These annoying flies swarm at you while you’re enjoying your evening or morning coffee. 

You first think that these black flies are fruit flies. But upon observing closely, you realize they’re not.

So, what can they be?

As an expert on tiny bugs and flies, I’ll shed light on the small black flying bugs in the house that are not fruit flies.

By the end of this post, you’ll be able to identify these tiny flying insects like a pro. 

And you’ll also learn the multi-faceted treatment hacks to prevent these pesky unwanted guests.

What Do Fruit Flies Look Like?

Tiny Fruit Flies In The House

Before we get into the tiny flying insects in the house that look like fruit flies, it’s important to know how to identify fruit flies.

Fruit flies are small brown, tan, or yellowish flies with big red eyes. 

These flies grow up to 3 mm (1/8 inches) in size and have a round head. They’ve got a pair of wings that rests on their back while they’re stationary.

The ripe or rotting fruits, vegetables, and kitchen wastes in the kitchen trash bin draw the fruit flies inside your home and kitchen.

You can also find fruit flies hovering around the beverages and liquor bottles. 

Fruit flies are common in homes, restaurants, breweries or in any other place where food is allowed to rot or where fermentation takes place.

Fruit flies will lay their eggs on ripe or rotting fruits, vegetables, or fermented products. And they’ll feed on them too.

Decaying organic wastes, such as food wastes, empty bottles and cans, damp mops, and compost piles are also egg-laying grounds for the fruit flies. 

A single female fruit fly will lay 500 eggs in her lifetime. 

The entire lifecycle of fruit fly, from the hatching of eggs, larvae, pupae, and then emerging out as an adult, will take only a week.

So, within a short time, too many fruit flies take over the home. And they become a nuisance. 

Fruit flies infestation peak during the summer months.

Fruit flies don’t bite humans. But recently research has shown that fruit flies can transfer bacteria from a dirty area to a clean area.

These bacteria can cause food poisoning.

Given their looks, infestation habits, flying patterns, and size, there are many flying bugs in the house that look like fruit flies. 

Small Black Flying Bugs In The House That Look Like Fruit Flies 

  1. Fungus gnats
  2. Drain flies
  3. House flies
  4. Mosquitoes
  5. No-see-ums
  6. Carpet beetles
  7. Phorid flies
  8. Flying termites
  9. Flying ants

If the small black flying bugs in the house are not fruit flies, then there’s 100% chance that those pesky flies are one of the nine flies above.

The key to solving the flies problem in the house is proper identification of these household pests. 

And knowing their source. 

Without this two information you won’t be able to eliminate them. It’s because you’ll be using wrong elimination methods and you won’t eliminate the source of infestation. 

Let’s get into each of these tiny black flies to find out what they look like, their sources, behavior, and the risks they bring to your home and to your health. 

Fungus Gnats

Fungus Gnats Are Small Black Flying Bugs In The House But Not Fruit Flies

You can easily confuse fungus gnats with fruit flies. Both fungus gnats and fruit flies are attracted to food wastes and ripe fruits and veggies.

Fungus gnats are small black flies that grow between 1/10 and 1/8 inches. That’s exactly equal to the size of fruit flies. 

Fungus gnats breed in wet soil beds of both indoor houseplants and outdoor plants. 

Decaying organic wastes like leaf litter, mulch beds, compost piles, garbage cans, and recycling bins are also their breeding grounds. 

The molds that form on the decaying organic wastes are their food sources. 

Fungus gnats are attracted to light. So, they’ll gather near windows trying to make their way inside the house to reach the light source. 

The cracks on the windowsills, walls, and doors are also their entry points. 

Fungus inside the house can also breed and cause an infestation. 

They’ll lay their eggs in the sludge of the sink drains, trash bins, and even inside appliances like dishwashers and coffeemakers. 

When the eggs hatch, the fungus gnat larvae appear. The larvae look like a tiny white legless worm with a black head. 

Fungus gnats resemble mosquitoes more than they look like fruit flies. They’ve got long legs and translucent wings. 

But unlike mosquitoes, fungus gnats can’t fly in a straight line. When they have an erratic flight pattern and they can’t fly long distances. 

Drain Flies

Drain Flies

Drain flies are tiny moth-like gray flies that appear as little black dots. Other common names for drain flies are sewer flies and moth flies. 

Their size is similar to fruit flies and fungus gnats. An adult drain fly grow up to 1/8 inches in size, has V-shaped hairy wings, and a pair of antennae. 

Drain flies are not strong fliers. When they take off, drain flies look like jumping bugs rather than as flies. 

Drain flies breed in complete filth like sewer, standing water, rotting organic wastes, and the sludge that chokes the drains.

Unused toilets, sinks, and stinky water in refrigerator drain pans are some of the most ignored sources of drain flies. 

Areas like kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and basement, where there’s lot of moisture and stagnant water, become the source of drain flies infestation in the house. 

If there’s a broken sewer line or sources of stagnant water at your outdoors, then drain flies from these areas will sneak inside the house. 

House Flies

How to prevent flies from getting inside a closed house

The common house fly is gray fly that grows up to 1/4 inches in size. It has a pair of wings that rests on it’s back in a V-shape while the house fly is stationary.

House flies lay their eggs in decaying wastes and feces.

House flies infestation occurs when they lay their eggs in the garbage bins. When the eggs hatch, maggots appear.

These maggots are legless white worms that are 1/2 an inch in size. 

House flies are more stout that fruit flies. 

But if you can confuse fruit flies will house flies because both are attracted to ripe and rotting fruits and veggies. 


What Are These Tiny Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes need no introduction. Mosquitoes are the worst small black flies that you can have in your house.

Mosquitoes feed on human blood and can cause many harmful diseases. 

Stagnant water and damp decaying organic wastes are the primary sources of mosquito infestation in the house. 

Water bodies in the outdoors like swimming pools, ponds, and fountains can also become breeding ground of mosquitoes if you don’t maintain them well. 

Mosquitoes deposit their eggs on the thin waste film that form on stagnant water. 

The mosquito larvae, which appear as tiny worm that wiggles on the water’s surface, matures quickly to become adult mosquitoes. 

The lush green vegetation in the outdoors also aids the spread of mosquitoes. 


Biting Midges look like mosquitoes

No-see-ums are small black bugs that fly and deliver a big nasty bite. 

Also known as punkies or biting midges, no-see-ums are common in costal regions especially in the states like Florida

They’ve got sharp mouthparts that cut open the skin to draw your blood.

Midge bites are intensely itchy. Red welts and rashes develop on the bite wound. 

An adult no-see-um grow up to 1/8 inches in size and they’re gray. They’ve got hairy wings with dark patterns on them. 

No-see-ums breed in stagnant water and in the damp wastes. Like the mosquitoes, they’ll lay their eggs in these areas. 

They’re outdoor bugs and bites take place when you’re near a water body or in dense vegetation.

If your home has lush green garden, lot of foliage, damp soil beds, and swimming pool, then you can have no-see-ums breeding on your property.

Biting midges are attracted to light. So, they’ll get inside the house to feed on your blood.

Indoor infestation of biting midges is rare unless there’s a continuous source of stagnant water inside the house. 

Carpet Beetles

Black Carpet Beetles Small Black Flies In The House

Carpet beetles are tiny black oval-shaped flying bugs that sneak inside the house to lay eggs. 

These beetles are one of the many tiny black beetles that invade homes.

Some carpet beetles are brown with white spots on them. Those are known as varied carpet beetles. 

Carpet beetles feed on the flower nectar and flower pollen outdoors. 

An adult carpet beetle is 3/16 inches in size. And it doesn’t bite or spread any diseases.

But the carpet beetle larvae that hatch out of the eggs can cause severe damages on fabric made from animal fibers. 

The source of carpet beetle infestation are the cracks and crevices on places like attic, walls, and floor where the adult beetles lay their eggs. 

Phorid Flies

Phorid Flies Look Like Fruit Flies In The House

Phorid flies, which are also known as humpback flies, are tiny black or tan flies that grow up to 1/8 inches in size. 

Their size is exactly equal to fruit flies. So, it’s quit obvious that you can confuse phorid flies with fruit flies.

However, there are some differences between the two. 

The first difference is that phorid flies have a hunched thorax. That gives them a humpback appearance. 

Second, phorid flies don’t have bright red eyes like the fruit flies have. Their eyes are like house flies. 

The third difference lies in their flight pattern. Phorid flies don’t have a straight flight path like the fruit flies. 

In fact, phorid flies have a zig-zag flight pattern like the fungus gnats. 

Also, if you disturb them, phorid flies tend to run a bit before taking off.

Phorid fly infestation begins from decaying organic matter where they lay their eggs. They also lay their eggs in sewage and in the carcasses of insects, birds, and rodents.

Flying Termites

Flying Termites are one of the small black flies in the house

Flying termites are termites with wings, which are reproductives. 

Flying termites or winged termites, which are also known as alates, leave their current colonies in swarms. 

These flying bugs get inside the house through open doors and windows. 

Swarms can be of any species of home invading termites. 

Subterranean termites, drywood termites, and dampwood termites all have their winged versions that leave their colonies in swarms. 

Upon entering their home, these termites will mate, lose their wings, and drill themselves into wooden structures to start a colony. 

Flying termites are dark brown with transparent wings of equal sizes. When not flying, the wings of flying termites rest one over the other. 

Flying Ants

Flying Ants In The House

Like the flying termites, the flying ants are the winged ants. These ants are also reproductives. 

Flying ants also swarm during the swarming season when they leave their colonies to find a new colony.

Flying ants are reddish-brown, 1/2 an inch in size, and they’ve got two pair of wings. The hind wings are smaller than the frontal wings. 

When flying ants are at rest, their wings are not completely one over the other. They’re at a V-shape. 

Also, flying ants have developed antennae. 

Flying ants and flying termites can be hard to distinguish. 

But the shape of the wings and the presence of antennae in flying ants are two significant differences between the two.

Like the flying termites, flying ants will also mate and lose their wings. 

The Threat And Risks These Flies Bring

Fungus Gnats – These little black flies are harmless to humans. But their larvae can harm seedlings by feeding on their roots. 

Also, fungus gnat infestation in the house is a nuisance. Although they feed on decaying organic matter and food wastes, they can show up in places like bedroom where they don’t have a food source. 

Drain Flies – Drain flies don’t bite humans. But being inhabitants of filth and sewer, they carry bacteria that they can transfer to your food. 

These bacteria can cause diseases like salmonella and food poisoning. 

House Flies – Carry bacteria and pathogens because they live, feed, and breed in wastes and feces. These flies can land on your food, fruits, and vegetable and they can transfer the bacteria to them. 

House flies not only cause salmonella and food poisoning, but they also carry diseases like anthrax, cholera, and typhoid.  

Mosquitoes – There are no mosquito-borne diseases in the US as of now.

But the rise of tiny mosquitoes like the Asian Tiger mosquitoes in the US has rung the alarm bells of health authorities. 

Asian tiger mosquitoes carry disease vectors of encephalitis, dengue fever, yellow fever, and West Nile virus. 

No-See-Ums – No see um or midge bites don’t cause any diseases. But their bites are intensely itchy. 

Bleeding occurs in the bite wound. As biting midges are so tiny, it’s difficult to determine what’s biting you that you can’t see. 

Carpet Beetles – The adult carpet beetles are harmless. But they lay eggs in their home.

When the eggs hatch, the hairy tiny brown carpet beetle larvae emerge. 

The carpet beetle larvae are damaging fabric and kitchen or pantry pests.

The carpet beetle larvae feed on the natural fibers such as wool, silk, leather, cotton, feathers, and fur. 

These fibers can draw the larvae to your closet.

Carpet beetle larvae

They can also harm your stored grains and flour in your kitchen pantry.

So, the carpet beetle larvae are a threat to things like carpets, rugs, shoes, and other expensive clothing made from natural fabrics. 

Also, the hairy bristles on the carpet beetle larva can trigger allergic reactions like itchy red welts if they crawl onto your skin. 

Phorid Flies – Phorid flies live and breed in garbage, decaying organic wastes, and even on the carcasses of dead animals. 

So, they carry pathogens and bacteria that they can transfer to your food. 

These bacteria cause diseases like salmonella.

Winged Termites – Winged termites don’t eat wood. They don’t bite either.

But their presence in your home is the beginning or sign of a termite infestation. 

These termites, after mating, will lose their wings and drill inside the wooden structures of your home. 

So, their presence is a direct risk to the structural integrity of your house. 

Hire a pest control company at least for a termite inspection if you’re seeing winged termites in the house. 

Flying Ants – Flying ants don’t bite unless they’re pressed against your skin. 

But flying ants will cause a home-wide ant infestation in the house. 

The flying ants of carpenter ant species will drill into the wooden structures after they mate and lose their wings to lay their eggs. 

How To Get Rid Of Black Flying Bugs That Look Like Fruit Flies?

Getting rid of these small black flying bugs in the house that look like fruit flies is a daunting but doable task. 

You’ll have to do repeated treatments to ensure that these flies are eliminated from their source. 

Here are the steps that you need to follow to eliminate these tiny flies from their source.

Remove Organic Wastes

Maintaining cleanliness in the home and outdoors is paramount for preventing flies. 

Remove organic debris from your yard. 

Ensure that you follow proper garbage disposal practices, like disposing of the trash everyday and cleaning the trash bins with dish soap.

Organic wastes, such as dead leaves and rotting wood pieces, are egg-laying grounds for many flies, such as fungus gnats and phorid flies, in the list. 

Remove Excessive Dampness In Your Home And Yard

Excessive watering of the yard soil, water leakages, and stagnant water increase the dampness levels of the soil.

That makes the soil an attractive place for flies like fungus gnats to lay their eggs.

So, refrain from overwatering the soil.

And ensure there’s proper drainage system that helps in removing the waste waters from your property. 

Scatter Diatomaceous Earth On Plant Soil Beds

Diatomaceous earth kills the larvae of the flies and even the adult flies. 

As many fly species lay their eggs on damp soil beds, so it’s essential that you scatter diatomaceous earth on them. 

Also scatter diatomaceous earth on the soil beds of indoor houseplants and compost piles. 

Keep the compost piles, trash bins, and recycle bins covered so that flies can’t lay their eggs in these places. 

Pro Tip: If you’ve got a fungus gnat problem, then scattering Epsom Salt on their breeding grounds kills their larvae.

Treat The Sink Drains

The sludge and slime the chokes the sink drains are breeding grounds for flies drain flies, fungus gnats, and phorid flies in the house. 

Use a drain cleaner to unclog the sink drains of the sinks of your bathroom, kitchen, and basement. 

You can also pour mixture of white vinegar and baking soda in the drain and let it sit overnight. Close the drain with a drain cover. 

The mixture eliminates any fly eggs and their larvae inside the drain. 

Don’t pour bleach inside the drains. It’s because bleach is corrosive and will damage the drains from the inside.

Also, bleach kills the essential microbes in the drains that helps in breaking down wastes. 

Clean The Kitchen Appliances

The food wastes inside kitchen appliances like dishwashers, refrigerator, coffeemakers, and mixer grinders attract the flies.

Many small black flies in the house will hover around these appliances looking for a way to get inside. 

Clean these appliances so that they don’t attract flies. Some flies, like the fungus gnats and drain flies, can also lay their eggs in the slime that develop on these appliances. 

Keep Yellow Sticky Traps On The Houseplant Soil Beds

Yellow sticky traps for fungus gnats

Yellow sticky traps are handy when it comes to lure flies like fungus gnats and phorid flies. 

They’re attracted to bright colors. And when you keep these yellow sticky traps on the soil beds of your plants, both indoors and outdoors, these flies will sit on them and get stuck.

Dispose of the sticky traps after keeping them on the soil beds for 24 hours. 

You can also keep the sticky traps at the places in your home where you’ve noticed flies. 

Use Window Screens With Fine Mesh

Window Screens With Mesh Prevents Wasps

Window screens with dense meshes are helpful in keeping off the flying bugs from entering the home. 

It’ll prevent flying bugs like carpet beetles, moths, flying termites, biting midges, gnats, and winged ants from entering your home.

Also, they don’t block the air. 

You can also use the screens on vents and opening in places like attic, bathroom, and basement. 

Many bugs enter through these vents. And installing these window screens during the spring is a good preemptive step to keep flying insects away from your home. 

Seal Cracks And Gaps

Flies get inside the house not only fly through the open doors and windows, but also crawl through the thinnest of crevices on the windows, walls, and doors.

Carpet beetles, fungus gnats, flying termites, and winged ants are also efficient crawlers. 

Many homeowners ignore the cracks while treating their home to get rid of these small black flies in the house.

But you shouldn’t. 

Seal the cracks on the walls, windows, and doors to close the possible entry points for these bugs.

Fix Water Leakages

Leaking pipes, both inside and outside the house, increase the dampness levels of your house. 

Excessive dampness leads to the formation of molds and fungi that are not only food sources for flies but also for bugs like psocids mites and mold mites.

Check for any plumbing issues underneath kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, and in places like basement and laundry room. 

If you find any, fix them.

Use Fly Insecticide Sprays

Fly sprays come in handy and accelerate the process of removing these small black flies in the house. 

Permethrin-based sprays are effective against flies. 

You can use it in the outdoors, in the garbage bins both inside and outside the house, and on the soil beds. 

But ensure that you don’t use these sprays on your food storage sections. 

Make Your Own DIY Vinegar Trap

DIY Vinegar Trap For Small Flies In The House

Despite taking all these measures, little flies can come back. And to prevent that from happening you can make your fruit fly traps made from vinegar and dish soap.

Take a bowl. Fill it half by pouring apple cider vinegar. 

And a few drops of dish soap in the vinegar. Stir the mixture well.

Cover the opening with a plastic wrap or aluminum foil and secure it with a rubber band. Then poke holes on the wrap or foil. 

Keep the bowl for 24 hours in places like your kitchen, near houseplants, bathroom, and in places where you’ve noticed flies. 

The fruity smell of the apple cider vinegar attracts flies like fungus gnats, fruit flies, house flies, and phorid flies.

These flies try to access the liquid inside the bowl by sneaking through the holes. 

But the sticky dish soap in the bowl traps them.

Dispose of the mixture in the bowl along with the trapped flies the following day. 

Install Bug Zappers Near Windows

Bug zappers will greatly reduce the chances of flies like winged termites and ants sneaking inside the house.

They also prevent other flying bugs that are attracted to light from entering your home.

Install the bug zappers in places like near windows, porch, doorways, near swimming pools, and in your garden. 

The light from the bug zappers attract the flying insects. But when the insect lands on the bug zapper they get zapped! Or electrocuted.

Remove Stagnant Water And Excessive Vegetation

Stagnant water is a breeding place for mosquitoes, biting midges, and drain flies. 

Your home will have these flies if you don’t get rid of stagnant water from your home and yard.

Remove any old tires, pots and pans, and unusable garbage bins that hold water after rains. 

Ensure that you treat your swimming pool, pond, and fountain often so that water bugs and mosquitoes don’t lay their eggs on them. 

Shrubs and bushes intensifies the flying bugs problem, especially the mosquito and biting midges problem.

Trim or eliminate excessive vegetation in your yard or garden. And don’t over water the plant’s pot. 


This guide revealed nine small back flying bugs in the house that are not fruit flies and how to get rid of them. 

These flying bugs look like fruit flies because of similarity in shape and size. 

However, there are critical differences that you now know. 

All these flies, except fungus gnats, pose a risk. This guide revealed what could be those risks.

These fruit-fly like flies are hard to eliminate. But you can do it by repeating the steps laid out in the post. 

If you’re finding trouble in removing these tiny flying bugs, then hiring a professional pest control to do the job is your best option. 

So, what do you think? Are there any other flies that look like fruit flies. Leave it in the comments below and let us know.

1 thought on “9 Odd Small Black Flying Bugs In The House (Not Fruit Flies)”

  1. Thanks for this article. I have these fruit flies look alikes and wondering what they are. On observing closely I found out they are fungus gnats and phorid flies!

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