Small Black Flying Bugs In House That Are Not Fruit Flies – Revealed

Many times in a year, especially in the warmer months, you’d find small black flying bugs in your home.

At the first look, these bugs look like fruit flies. But they aren’t.

In this guide, you’ll find out what are these small black flying bugs in your house that resemble fruit flies.

Plus, this guide also reveals other tiny flying bugs in homes that invade homes, the reasons for their appearance, and how to get rid of tiny flying bugs in your house.

Keep reading.

What Are The Small Black Flying Bugs In House That Are Not Fruit Flies?

Small Black Flying Bugs In House That Are Not Fruit Flies

These small black bugs flying inside your home that are not fruit flies, or mosquitoes, are fungus gnats.

Fungus gnats look like tiny mosquitoes. Outdoors, these small flying bugs live and breed on damp soil beds, compost piles, decaying organic waste like foliage, rotting wood pieces, and mulch beds.

They can also target children’s sandbox kept in yard if the sand is stale and moist. Fungus gnats are one of the nine bugs in the sandboxes that can be a nuisance of kids.

When they enter homes, fungus gnats will look for damp areas of your home. So, places like bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, and basement are their primary places to hide.

If you’ve got indoor plants in your homes, then fungus gnats inhabit the soil beds of indoor plants.

Fungus gnats lay eggs in the damp soil beds. The larvae of fungus gnats will feed on the roots of the seedlings and tiny plants.

Fungus gnats are black or brown. They’ve visible slender legs with two antennae over their head, and they’re only 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long. 

When stationary, you’d also observe Y-shaped veined wings on their back. 

Fungus gnats are weak fliers. They don’t buzz around in your home like fruit flies or mosquitoes. They’re also known as blind mosquitoes because of their erratic flying pattern.

When their numbers increase, you’ll find fungus gnats crawling on the floor of your kitchen and bathroom and on the soil beds of indoor plants.

What Attracts Fungus Gnats Inside Your Home?

Fungus gnats are tiny flying bugs in the house attracted to light. So, when they’re in your home, it’s common to see them flying around the glowing light bulbs in your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.

They’ll fly inside your home during the early morning and evening hours when the lights of your home are on. They’ll fly in through open doors and windows.

There’s another way that fungus gnats enter homes.

When you introduce potted plants with fungus gnats in the soil beds, you bring these small flying bugs inside your home.

High dampness in your home is also one of the reasons that attract fungus gnats. Fungus gnats will hide in the damp places near leaking pipes in your bathroom, kitchen, basement, and laundry room.

They’ll lay eggs in these damp places. Places like underneath sinks, bathroom vanity, bathtub, and drains are also their prime real estate to hide and breed.

Not to mention that soil beds of your indoor plants is the most common place where they’ll lay eggs.

Are Fungus Gnats Harmful For Plants?

Adult fungus gnats don’t kill or damage plants. 

But the larvae of fungus gnats do. 

Female fungus gnats lay eggs in the damp potting soil around the plants or the organic debris.

The larvae of the fungus gnats look like a worm, whitish, with a tiny shiny blackhead. They don’t have any legs.

Fungus gnats larva

After the eggs hatch, the larvae from the eggs feed on the roots of the plants. 

That causes severe damage to plants, especially to the seedlings. 

Apart from the roots, the larvae also eat mulch, foliage, fungi on soil, and organic debris. 

On top of that, the larvae of fungus gnats can attract ants to the soil.

What Do Adult Fungus Gnats Eat?

Adult fungus gnats can eat dead insects. But their main food source is the mold and fungi that develop on damp surfaces.

That’s why damp places draw these little flying bugs. Wet and moist surfaces develop molds that attract bugs like mold mites.

It’s quite common to see these bugs feeding on the molds that develop in the tiles grouts and floors of bathroom and basement.

Food wastes in the trash cans, stale vegetables and fruits, and the scum present around the leaky pipes and drains are also food for them.

Can Fungus Gnats Bite Humans?

No, fungus gnats don’t bite humans or pets. Neither they carry any diseases.

The only problem with fungus gnats is that they’re a nuisance, especially when they’re inside your home in large numbers. 

However, there are other species of gnats that bite. These are known as no-see-ums or biting midges.

No-see-ums are tiny, can be hard to spot, and they’re active in peak summers. When they sit on your skin, no-see-ums look like a speck of dirt on the skin.

They feed mostly on mammal blood, including human blood. No-see-ums bites produce a burning sensation on the skin and cause itchy red welts.

Why Are Fungus Gnats Attracted To You?

Many people complain that fungus gnats tend to crawl on their bodies, especially in their noses. It’s because fungus gnats are always on the lookout for moist places. 

If you have a wet body after a shower or sweating, it can attract fungus gnats if there are fungus gnats at home.

When Do Fungus Gnats Lay Eggs?

Adult female fungus gnats lay eggs when they’re 17-19 days old. 

But female fungus gnats can lay eggs in a shorter time if the weather is warmer.

Warm weather also allows the fungus gnats to develop and multiply faster.

So, the warmer the weather, the more are the generations of fungus gnats in a year.

When Are Fungus Gnats Most Active?

Fungus gnats are active during the warmer months starting from late spring till the end of summer.

In this period, the eggs of flies like house flies, gnats, and mosquitoes hatch fast. That’s the reason there’s a sudden appearance of small flies in your homes during these warm months.

However, fungus gnats can be active indoors all through the year if you don’t get rid of them. They can also be active year long in places where the weather is pleasant and temperate.

For example, in California, where the weather is great, fungus gnats are active all through the year including the winter months.

5 Types Of Tiny Flying Bugs In Homes

Other than fungus gnats, there are five flying bugs that invade homes often.

  1. Mosquitoes
  2. House flies and fruit flies
  3. Drain flies
  4. Carpet beetles
  5. Clothes moths

The reasons for these bugs entering homes can be many. From getting drawn by light to breed and lay eggs, each of these bugs has multiple reasons and ways to get inside your home.

Some of them can be accidental intruders too. 

Let’s dig further into each of these flying bugs in your home and find out what factors are responsible for their presence in your home.

Mosquitoes In Home

The presence of mosquitoes in homes is because of one reason. And the reason is your house, and in certain situations, your neighborhood, are fertile breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

There are three primary sources of mosquitoes –

  1. Stagnant water
  2. Clogged drains
  3. Moist debris and wastes

Mosquitoes lay eggs in these places. And when the eggs hatch, you can even spot the tiny wiggling mosquito larvae in there. 

Stagnant water in your yard and things like trash cans and old tires provide a perfect place for mosquitoes to breed.

Wastes that clog drains, catch basins, and sewer lines are also go-to places for mosquitoes to lay eggs. The damp wastes provide the mosquito larvae with adequate moisture and food to form adult mosquitoes.

Not to mention ponds in your yard and even poorly managed swimming pools can also be the source of mosquitoes in your home.

Mosquito-borne diseases in the US are rare. However, species of mosquitoes that spread diseases like dengue fever are present in the US too. One of them is the menacing Asian tiger mosquito.

To have no mosquitoes in your home, you must get rid of the sources of mosquitoes on your property.

House Flies And Fruit Flies– The Most Common Flying Bugs In Homes

House flies appearance in the home is always sudden and out of nowhere. They appear in swarms in the summer months.

Many people find houseflies and fruit flies in their homes despite having a clean house. 

So, where do they come from?

The source of infestation of houseflies can be in the unlikeliest places in your homes. 

Indoors, the source can be anywhere in your kitchen, bathroom, attic, and garage. 

House flies will lay eggs in the thinnest of cracks in the walls, floors, doors, and windows. That’s why finding the source of infestation is quite tricky.

Not to mention that decaying organic matter in your yard, clogged drains, and garbage piles are places where they lay eggs.

Trash bins with waste lying in your yard for days are the perfect breeding ground for house flies. They’ll lay eggs there, and when the eggs hatch, you’ll notice crawling white maggots in the junk cans.

These maggots feed on the waste where the adult houseflies lay eggs. 

In the summer months, the eggs of house flies hatch fast. That’s also one of the reasons for their sudden appearance.

In that period, house flies also tend to enter homes looking for food and places to lay eggs.

House flies fly inside your home through open doors and windows.

They can also sneak in through thin gaps and cracks on walls, window frames, and through drain holes too. Bugs exploit these crevices on the windowsills. And you’ll see many bugs near windows trying to sneak inside.

Wherever houseflies sit, they discard their feces. The feces look like a cluster of tiny black spots when they become stale.

So, while getting rid of houseflies, look out for these tiny black spots. The places where you find those black spots in your home will be around cracks and gaps. These cracks can be the source of housefly infestation in your home.

Houseflies do spread diseases as the pathogens of the most unhygienic places stick with their legs and their bodies. Houseflies regurgitate and defecate on the food they sit upon.

As per Penn State University, pathogens from houseflies can cause 65 different diseases. Some of them are cholera, dysentery, anthrax, and tuberculosis.

Drain Flies – The Nuisance Flying Bugs In Homes

Drain flies are tiny flying bugs in homes that come out of clogged drains. These flies are brownish-gray, and on looking at them closely, you’ll find that they resemble moths.

These flying bugs are a nuisance in homes. They lay their eggs on the waste that clog drains. 

So, drains in your kitchen and bathroom sinks, bathtubs, bathroom floor, basement, and laundry room are the sources of drain flies infestation.

The larvae of drain flies are tiny grayish worms that feed on the waste and the scum that develops on the interior sides of the drainpipes.

When the drainpipes dry up, these larvae can come out of the drain holes for alternative food sources. They’ll feed on the molds that develop on the grouts of the bathroom floor, and on any other damp surface.

Outdoors, drain flies can lay eggs on compost piles, rotting wood piles, trash bins with garbage, foliage, and even on damp soil beds.

Drain flies aren’t strong fliers. Instead of flying, they hop around. 

Their numbers increase fast if you don’t treat your drains. And they can spread all over your home. 

Like fungus gnats, drain flies can also get inside electrical appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, and even inside washing machines.

Drain flies enter electrical appliances through the vents and openings on them. That’s why when there’s a heavy drain fly infestation in your home, you’d notice frozen dead drain flies inside the fridge too.

Clogged sewer lines and catch basins are also breeding grounds for drain flies. No wonder that drain flies are also known as sewer flies.

Carpet Beetles – The Flying Beetle In Homes Whose Larvae Cause Severe Damages

Carpet beetles are tiny flying beetles that fly inside homes to lay eggs. 

These beetles are tiny oval-shaped black or brown beetles. Inside homes, they look for materials made of animal products.

Why?

It’s because the carpet beetles’ larvae feed on these products.

So, things made from leather, silk, wool, furs, and feathers are prime targets of carpet beetles to lay eggs.

Animal products contain keratin. And keratin is the food source for the larvae.

So, the larvae of these beetles will damage products like carpets, leather upholstery, books with leatherbacks, silk clothes and fabrics, taxidermies, expensive fur coats, and even cotton fabrics.

They’ll chew on these materials and will leave holes in them. 

Adult carpet beetles will also lay eggs in the kitchen pantry. And the larvae of these beetles will feed on the stored dry food. That makes them a potential pantry pest.

Dirty clothes and fabrics stained with sweat and food droppings also draw these larvae. So, the larvae will chew on the dirty clothes lying in the laundry basket for days.

Dirty bedsheets stained with food droppings also attract the carpet beetles’ larvae to the bed.

That’s why these larvae of carpet beetles also fall in the category of bed worms.

Adult carpet beetles don’t cause any damage or harm inside your home. It’s the larvae of these beetles that cause the damage.

The carpet beetle larvae look like a tiny brownish-black worm with hairy bristles on its body. 

The hairy bristles may trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people, including children and the elderly.

Cloth Moths – The Fabric-Damaging Flying Moth In Homes

A flying moth that enters a home for the same reasons as the carpet beetles is the cloth moth. 

Cloth moths too enter homes to lay eggs on materials made from wool, silk, fur, and leather.

But, unlike carpet beetles, cloth moths limit themselves exclusively to places like wardrobes and closets where you keep clothes and linen.

Clothes moths are often confused with grain moths. Grain moths are pantry pests, and they don’t lay eggs in places where you keep your clothes.

There are two types of cloth moths that invade homes. The first is the webbing cloth moth, and the second is the case-making clothes moth.

They got their names not from the differences in appearances as adults but based on the differences in the appearance in the larvae form.

However, there’s a minor difference in appearance when they’re adults.

Adult webbing clothes moths have a brownish yellow color with tiny reddish bristles on their heads.

In contrast, the adult case-making cloth moth has dark color patches on the wings. And they’re beige.

Both are the same size, growing only up to ½ an inch in length.

Cloth moths avoid light, and they tend to hide in dark places. So, they’ll remain hidden in your wardrobe and closet till they lay their eggs there.

The larvae of the clothes moths look like a tiny white worm with a reddish head, and they’re half an inch long. 

The larvae of both the clothes moths feed on the undersides and the folds of the clothes and fabric.

The webbing cloth moth larva will leave behind a silken web on the portion of the fabric that it chews. The larvae will also defecate on the clothes. So, you’ll notice tiny black droppings near the chewed areas.

In contrast, the case-making larvae spin a tube-like case on its abdomen. It drags the case with itself wherever it goes.

Clothes moths’ larva damage both natural and synthetic-blend fabrics. And they can climb on your bed too.

Like the carpet beetles’ larvae, clothes moths’ larvae also fall in the category of bed worms because of their habit of getting on beds and soft furnishings.

Both clothes moths’ larvae and the carpet beetles’ larvae feed on the keratin that is present in the animal products.

Like the adult carpet beetles, the adult clothes moths larvae don’t cause any damage to your home. Neither of them bites humans.

Wasps – The Stinging Flying Bug That Sneak Inside Homes (Sometimes)

Wasps are not typical home invaders like the other bugs on the list are. But the likelihood of building nests in your property makes wasps accidental intruders to your home.

Wasps build nests in loft areas like high on the trees, roof shingles, and eaves. Some species of wasps also build their nests underground.

If there are wasps nests on your property, then chances are they’ll fly into your home. Apart from open doors and windows, vents, attic, and chimneys are some of the places that wasps use to enter your homes. 

Wasps are not aggressive by nature. However, they can get fiercely aggressive when they feel their nests are under attack.

That’s why wasps sting people who come close to their nests. You’re also at risk of wasp sting if you stroll in an area with wasps nests around.

Two types of wasps can enter homes. These are yellow jackets and paper wasps. Paper wasps enter houses more often than yellow jackets. 

However, both yellow jackets and paper wasps can build nests in your home or property if they can find an appropriate place.

Getting rid of wasps can be a risky affair because you’ll have to remove the wasps’ nests. And that will expose you to painful wasp stings.

Hence, it’ll be best if you hire a pest controller to do the job.

How To Get Rid Of Flying Bugs In 9 Steps

Fungus Gnats On Indoor Plant

In this section, you’ll find out how to get rid of these tiny flying bugs in your home. And what steps you can take to prevent these bugs from entering your home.

Remember these are not applicable to get rid of wasps and their nests in your home.

Let’s get into it.

Step#1 – Clean Your Yard To Eliminate The Breeding Grounds

Outdoors, your garden and your yard are the primary breeding grounds of these flying bugs. These bugs lay their eggs in places like –

  1. Decaying organic matter
  2. Waterholes
  3. Trash bins

Get rid of decaying organic matter like rotting pieces of wood, tree stumps, decayed mulch beds, and foliage.

Decaying organic matter is a breeding ground for gnats and many other bugs like roaches, ants, termites, and centipedes.

Waterholes in the yard and things like old tires hold stagnant water. And stagnant water is the place where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

So, fill those waterholes and remove any unnecessary objects holding water.

Avoid overwatering your yard. Overwatering causes dampness in the yard to increase. And flying bugs, especially mosquitoes, need it to survive.

Clean your trash bins. Garbage in trash bins lying around for days starts to rot. And it attracts flies. The flies lay eggs there in the decaying waste.

After discarding the trash from the trash bins, it’ll be best if you could clean the trash bin with a disinfectant to keep bugs and flies away.

Step#2 – Unclog The Drains To Prevent Drain Flies

Choked drains, both inside and outside your home, are sources of drain flies. 

The waste that blocks the water flow in the drains is a perfect place for drain flies to lay eggs.

There are many drain cleaners that you can use to unclog the drains. But there are alternative ways too.

Mix boric acid with hot water and pour into the drains. The mixture will both unclog the drains. It’ll also kill the adult drain flies eggs and larvae in the waste.

Bleach works in the same fashion. Bleach mixed with hot water and pouring it into the drains will kill the drain flies’ eggs and larvae.

It’s also a great way to kill drain roaches that live and breed in clogged drains.

But use bleach cautiously. And use it only when there’s severe clogging.

Mishandling of bleach can cause harm to your skin. And bleach is corrosive and can damage the drains. 

So, do not use bleach more than once or twice.

Step#3 – Spray A Mixture Of Hydrogen Peroxide And Water In Your Yard

Spraying a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water on woodpiles, soil beds, and compost bins eliminate the eggs and larvae.

And the best part? The mixture is safe for plants too. 

Mix one part of food-grade hydrogen peroxide with three parts of water. Stir the mixture well and pour it into the spray bottle. 

Spray it in places where you’ve noticed heavy dampness and wastes while you’re cleaning the yard. Also spray it on the soil of potted plants.

Hydrogen peroxide kills the gnats and gnat larvae, mosquitoes, and flies on wastes, soil beds, and trash bins.

Spraying a mixture of white vinegar and water also works. But many people don’t like the pungent smell of white vinegar, so they use a peppermint oil spray.

Peppermint oil spray keeps the flying bugs and pests like roaches, kissing bugs, and ants away.

There’s also diatomaceous earth that eliminates the larvae and eggs of these flying bugs.

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth in your yard, soil beds, woodpiles, and compost bins where flies like gnats and house flies lay eggs.

Diatomaceous earth is a desiccant. It kills the bugs and their larvae by eliminating the moisture inside their bodies.

Step#4 – Seal Gaps And Cracks To Prevent Flying Bugs From Laying Eggs 

As you know by now, cracks and gaps on walls, door frames, and window sills, are the places where house flies can lay eggs. 

The cracks in the walls can be the source of carpet beetles too. 

So, caulk these crevices with a silicone-based sealant. Repair the walls and floors if there’s heavy damage because of excessive dampness.

Damaged walls and floors not only harbor the eggs of flying bugs but also they’re home to roaches and termites.

Step#5 – Lay Sticky Traps Inside Your Home To Trap The Flying Bugs

Let’s face it. These methods don’t get rid of the flying bugs inside homes instantly. 

They take time and you may need one or two repetitions before you get rid of them completely.

Till then, sticky traps will help you to get rid of these adult flies inside your home.

Keep the traps near places where you notice flying bugs often and where they can lay eggs.

So, places near to refrigerator and underneath sinks, basement, bathroom, and laundry room are the right places to keep the traps.

These places are damp. Flies like drain flies and house flies frequently visit these places. They can also lay eggs in cracks that develop in these places because of high dampness.

When flying bugs land on these gluey traps, they get stuck. Keep the traps early in the morning. 

Dispose of the traps with bugs stuck on them and keep a new trap. Continue this process at least for a week or till you don’t see any flies in your home.

In addition to fly traps, use pyrethrin-based sprays in your home that kills flies and gnats.

Using both the traps and pyrethrin-based sprays will significantly reduce these buzzing nuisances in your home. You can use the spray both indoors and outdoors.

If you want to get rid of gnats and flies by using natural methods then a vinegar trap made from apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap are great options.

Pour equal parts of apple cider vinegar and liquid dish soap in a bowl or jar. You can also add a tablespoon of sugar in the mixture too.

Keep the bowl in places where you see gnats and flies the most. The vinegar and sugar will attract the flying bugs and they’ll sit on the mixture.

But they won’t be able to escape because the sticky dish soap in the mixture will trap these flies.

Keep the mixture for a couple of days. Dispose of the mixture with flies stuck on it and replace it with a fresh apple cider vinegar trap.

Step#6 – Clean Your Wardrobe And Closets

Cleaning the places where you keep your clothes is an essential step to eliminate any larvae of clothes moths and carpet beetles hiding in these places. 

Vacuum clean your clothes’ storage places. And before you put your clothes back, keep mothballs or cedar balls to repel any bugs, especially the cloth moths.

Your entire home, especially your kitchen, will need extensive cleaning if you’ve noticed too many larvae in different areas of your home.

Step#7 – Use Window Shields To Prevent Bugs From Flying In

Light attracts flying bugs. You can’t live with your lights turned off to prevent these bugs from entering your home.

Window shields with fine mesh are the solution. Install window shields on the windows of your home. Install them from the spring months because that’s when these bugs start to get active.

You can also use these shields on ducts and vents in the attic and chimney from where wasps and rodents enter homes.

The bugs won’t be able to fly inside your home through the window shields. Putting them up on the windows of your bathroom and kitchen is a smart move. 

It’s because these flying bugs prefer dampness. Your bathroom and kitchen are moist because of regular water usage.

Step#8 – Install Bug Zappers Outdoors

Light from the patio and doorways in your outdoor area draws flying bugs inside homes. Installing bug zappers in these places reduces the chances of these bugs entering homes.

How?

Bug zappers draw these bugs towards them and electrocute them. 

So, having one on your patio will eliminate many bugs trying to fly inside your home attracted by the light. 

Step#9 – Reduce The Dampness And Humidity Levels In Your Homes

When it comes to reducing bug infestations in homes, many people underestimate the role high dampness plays in attracting these bugs.

Dampness and humidity in homes attract flies and a host of many other bugs, including damaging pests. 

A high level of dampness in homes also causes molds formation on the walls, floors, and furniture. These molds are food to gnats and other tiny bugs like mold mites and wood mites. 

You can reduce the dampness in your home by fixing water leakages and eliminating water logging problems in your home.

Leaking pipes inside your home, and even in your yard make the walls and floors damp.

Clogged gutters and damaged roofs hold water that can cause the dampness to spread in your home’s ceiling.

So, address these issues to make your home less damp. 

If your town’s weather is too hot and humid, use a dehumidifier to reduce the moisture levels in your home.

Conclusion

The small black flying bugs in your house that are not fruit flies are fungus gnats. 

This post revealed what causes fungus gnats in your home, when they’re most likely to invade homes, and where they’re most likely to hide.

On top of that, you’ve also found out five tiny flying bugs in the house that are common. It includes the reasons for their presence in your home and the damage they can cause if you don’t act fast.

There’s nine-step process in this guide to get rid of these bugs.

Here’s the summary of steps to get rid of tiny flying bugs in the house –

  1. Clean your yard and garden 
  2. Unclog and clean the drains of your home
  3. Spray a mixture of apple cider vinegar, water, and dish soap
  4. Seal gaps and cracks on your home’s walls, doors, and windows
  5. Use sticky traps to trap the flying bugs
  6. Clean your wardrobe and closet to eliminate the larvae that destroy clothes
  7. Install window shields to prevent bugs from flying inside
  8. Install bug zappers in your patio and yard
  9. Reduce the dampness and humidity levels in your home

In addition to these tiny flying bugs, there’s one more flying bug that leaves nasty bite invade homes. And this happens when you’re living in a farm or barn.

These biting flies are horse flies. So, do you want to know why horse flies show up in homes and what can you do about it?

Then read our post on reasons for suddenly appearance of horse flies in your home.