A gnat is a small winged fly that belongs to the same suborder as mosquitoes. They are characterized by long legs, small bodies and weak flying abilities. Gnats can be biting or nonbiting and may feed on insects, plants or blood. Species include eye gnats, fungus gnats and black gnats.
Gnat infestations in the home are typically caused by fungus gnats. These gnats are attracted to moist conditions with organic material. Over-watered house plants, places of condensation and rotting vegetation are the common culprits in gnat infestations.
Gnats are small flying insects that are black in color. They have elongated abdomens, transparent wings and long, thin legs. The wing are typically veined but invisible to the human eye. Gnats appear to be almost perfectly round when flying, with few features distinguishable apart from their color.
The most common gnats within a home are fungus gnats, which claim soil from plants as their habitat. Gnats inside a home can also be due to having fruit flies and/or phorid flies.
Adult gnats, also known as midges, live for approximately three to five days, following an incubation period of three to seven weeks as larvae and approximately three to five days in the pupa stage. Five generations of gnats can spawn within one summer.
Gnats eat algae, fungus and various plants. Unlike mosquitoes, they do not consume blood. Some gnats do not eat during their three- to four-week lifespan.
The best way to kill gnats is to wipe them out in their larval stages by allowing wet soil in house plants and other locations to dry completely. Adult gnats around plants or other areas can be removed using the hose attachment of a vacuum cleaner.
To get rid of gnats inside the home, remove any potential food and water sources. If gnats are living in damp areas, such as under sinks, repairs may be required to stop leaks. Eliminating gnats can take several days if damp soil is causing the infestation.
One way to get rid of gnats is to let the soil around plants that have a gnat infestation to dry out completely. This kills the larvae, and vacuuming removes any remaining adult gnats. Another way to rid a yard of gnats is to set up electric fly exploders.
Placing bleach in strategic places while keeping your home free of excess moisture and rotting plant matter are the primary ways to rid your residence of gnats. Other ways of driving out gnats include covering any fruit and avoiding leaving standing water in sinks or containers.