Many times in a year, especially in spring and winter, you’d find small black flying bugs in your home.
They resemble fruit flies at the first look, but when you look at them closely, you realize they aren’t.
So, what are these tiny flying black bugs, and how did they enter your home?
Let’s find it out.
What Are The 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 are small flies that infest the soil bed of indoor plants in homes, nurseries, and in damp places like bathroom, laundry room, kitchen, and basement.
Most of the times, it’s on the soil of the indoor plants, if excessively wet, is a place inside your home where fungus gnats live and breed.
Outside of your home, compost pits and other decomposing organic matter like mulch and foliage are living places of fungus gnats.
What Attracts Fungus Gnats Inside Your Home?
How do fungus gnats get inside your home? Or what attracts fungus gnats inside your house?
The brightness from artificial light attracts fungus gnats inside your home.
That’s the reason you’d find fungus gnats gathered around your window glass after sunset.
Fungus gnats can get inside your home through open windows or doors and the window frames’ small gaps and cracks.
Once they’re inside your home, they’d look for indoor plants and the moist soil on the pots to get their nutrition.
What Do Fungus Gnats Look Like?
Fungus gnats are black, and they look like tiny fruit flies or mosquitoes.
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 do.
Most of the time, you’d find them either crawling on the floor or stationary on the soil of the potted plants inside your home.
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.
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 eat other small flies that infest soil and decaying organic matter.
That’s the reason fungus gnats are pretty common in mulch and compost pits.
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.
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?
Indoors, fungus gnats can be active all through the year if you don’t get rid of them.
Outdoors, they’re active during the spring and winter months, depending on the region.
For example, in interior California, where the weather is more relaxed and damp, fungus gnats are active during the spring and winter months.
How To Get Rid Of Fungus Gnats Indoor Plants?
To get rid of fungus gnats indoors, you need to target them during the immature life stages, which are when they’re in the larvae and pupae stage.
It’s because getting rid of the adult fungus gnats won’t ensure removing the eggs they’ve laid and the immature fungus gnats.
On top of that, adult fungus gnats have a short lifespan ranging from 7 to 20 days.
To get rid of the fungus gnats, follow the simple steps below –
Step#1 – Tilt the soil of plant pots and find out any signs of larvae.
Step#2 – If the soil of plant posts is too wet, then take them outside. Keep it out for a few days so that the soil dries up.
Larvae of the fungus gnats cannot live in dry soil. By the time the soil dries up, most of the larvae will be dead.
Step#3 – If there are any larvae, place a cut raw potato with the cut side down on the soil and the peel side up. Raw potato kills the larvae of the fungus gnats.
Step#4 – Mix a few ounces of apple cider vinegar with water and spray it on the soil. Apple cider vinegar also kills fungus gnats larvae.
Step#5 – For adult fungus gnats, keep a sticky trap near the plant. The trap will attract the fungus gnats, and they’ll get stuck on it. Dispose of the traps once it’s full of adult fungus gnats.
You may need to dispose of plants severely infested by fungus gnats. Keeping them will make them spread to other plants.
Install window shields with a smaller mesh to prevent fungus gnats and other bugs attracted to the light from entering your home.
How To Get Rid Of Fungus Gnats Outdoors?
The outdoors, like your yard or garden, are the source of fungus gnats.
It’s from the outdoors fungus gnats enters your home.
To get rid of fungus gnats in your yard or garden, begin with cleaning your yard.
Get rid of all organic waste like foliage and rotting pieces of wood from your yard.
If your yard is wet, then don’t water it for a few days. Let it dry. Damp and moist soil always attract fungus gnats.
If there’s any stagnant water, get rid of it by filling up the holes in your yard.
Fix any water leakages that are making your yard or garden wet.
In the mulch area, spray a mixture of boric acid and water. It’ll kill the fungus gnats living there and termites if there are any.
Mulches attract termites if you don’t use the right type of mulch.
Around plants in your yard or garden, spray a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water. That will kill any larvae and pupae in the soil.
To prevent fungus gnats in the future, avoid using excessive manure or fertilizers.
Also, avoid using unpasteurized or partially composted organic matter in the plant pots. It’s because fungus gnats infest them.
You can also use nematodes to kill the larvae of fungus gnats. Nematodes are small ringworms that penetrate the larvae’s bodies in the soil and kill them.
Diatomaceous earth is also a great option. Both nematodes and diatomaceous earth are plant and pets friendly.
We don’t recommend using any insecticide spray to get rid of fungus gnats in and around homes. You can easily get rid of them with the processes mentioned.
The small black flying bugs in your house that are not fruit flies are fungus gnats.
This post revealed what attracts fungus gnats inside your home and how to get rid of them.
If you see fungus gnats inside your home, follow our 5-step guide to get rid of them. You don’t need to hire any pest controller to get rid of fungus gnats indoors.
Also, keep in mind that fungus gnats don’t bite humans. And neither do they carry any diseases.
We’re Mark and Jim. We were serial pest killers for almost all of our lives. Through this blog we spread pest murdering tips to people like you who want to keep their homes pest free.