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Where Do Gnats Come From


Summary: If you wondered "Where do gnats come from?", we have compiled some information that will help you out during the next infestation.

Ever wonder what those pesky little flies are that buzz around your head? While you're busy swatting at them, you're probably asking where they came from and how to get rid of them. These irritating bugs can be classified as gnats. Gnats can be found in all sorts of places, the particular species depends upon location and source.

Fungus gnats are usually found near plants in or around your home. Plants are the best places for this species to reproduce exponentially because its eggs are laid in moist soil. Fungus gnats feed on fungi, but it also feeds on the roots of wheat plants and the tubers of potatoes.

The gall gnat actually lays its eggs in plants, as opposed to just the soil. When this occurs, large bumps form in the plant. These bumps, known as galls, often

Swarming gnats

signal serious health problems with the plant.

Non-biting midges can be found in any source of freshwater or in damp soil. This gnat spicies loves moisture because it feeds off of most types of vegetation that grow in water, such as algae. As irritating as these midges might be, the good news is that they cannot bite you. If they are in or near your home they may be a nuisance, but at least you'll be bite-free.

Biting midges have a different habitat than non-biting ones. They are usually found in mud, sand, or near decomposing plants. Female biting midges look for blood meals, but will also eat nectar. Kind of makes you want to rethink eating peaches.

Tips to Get Rid of Gnats:
• Instead of using peat moss in your plant soil, try using vermiculite. Fungus gnats are highly attracted to peat moss because of the large amount of organic matter it contains.

• Check the dampness of the soil in your plants daily. If you have noticed fungus gnats buzzing around them, they have probably already laid eggs in the soil. The good news, though, is the gnat larvae cannot survive in dry soil. So, allow the soil to dry thoroughly before watering again. Make sure not to wait too long, though, or you may accidentally kill your plants.

• If your gnat infestation is out of control you may want consider using insecticide like Eco Exempt IC 2  or Talstar Pro on your plants. This product is all natural and can be used without contamination concerns.

• If you do use an insecticide, make sure to apply the product to the soil once a week for about a month. This will ensure that if any gnats are not killed by the treatment, their young will most likely not survive. Talk about sticking it to the gnat.

• Try making a gnat trap. Take an empty milk carton and paint it bright yellow. After it dries, apply some sort of adhesive to the carton (like clear glue). Hang the trap near your plants or wherever the gnats seem to be congregating. Because gnats are not the brightest creatures on this plant, they will most likely be attracted to the bright object and get stuck on the carton. Granted, you will only dent their population, but if it makes you feel pro-active, go for it.

• Although this may seem like an obvious tip, make sure to keep your house clean to avoid gnat infestations. This includes taking your garbage out, washing dirty dishes, and storing food in pantries or cupboards on a regular basis. Think of a clean house as a gigantic bug zapper that will keep out a multitude of creatures.

• Some species of gnats may be attracted to vinegar, so setting up vinegar traps may help eliminate the bugs. Set out a jar of vinegar and poke tiny holes in the lid with a needle or other sharp object. Try to make the holes as small as possible so that the gnats cannot escape. You may want to put peanut butter or some other sticky ingredient on the inside of the lid. After configuring your trap, gnats will fly into the jar and will not be able to get out. They will either get stuck in the peanut butter, or will be unable to escape from the tiny holes. Say hasta la vista to the gnats for good.

Ask Rick A Question


Chris Packard
14 Jul 2011, 09:37
I was recently in a room for a whole day. It was humid and musty. We saw little flying things and I saw some people scratching. I was scratching big-time, and still am! No one else seems to have had any long-term effects from these little creatures but they seem to have stuck to me and I have them in my home now. I've showered repeatedly, vacuumed and cleaned but they won't leave me alone. What do I do? I'm at my wit's end! Very itchy. Please help me.
Ask the Exterminator
14 Jul 2011, 10:00
You can't tell the players without a scorecard, they say. You need to get the "gnats" properly identified before you can hope for control. Collect a few and take them to your local county extension agent for a free ID. Once you know the species you will be able to learn where they hide and breed and that will lead to their control.
25 Mar 2012, 09:21
We use red wine vinegar is a jar with Dawn dish soap- works great! No lid though- it seems like they come in due to the red wine vinegar & the dish soap weighs them down & sticks to their feet.
21 Jul 2012, 00:53
We don't have any plants. Right now there
gnats all over especially in the kitchen. I read that hair spray would kill them on contact.I tried it but there are still bugs everywhere. I know how others feel and it does get discouraging. They aren't usually around except in the summer.
Maryann K. Patzke
25 Dec 2012, 23:13
I've waded through an inordinate amount of info trying to find out what to do about an infestation of biting insects. This site has been the best resource I've come across to date. If you get nothing from this site other than the following, it'll be the best piece of info you get anywhere: BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE, IDENTIFY THE SOURCE OF YOUR PROBLEM! I've had exterminators here who didn't pay any attention to what I told them or what I showed them. They came in with preconceived notions from conversations they had with my landlord, which only served to make my situation worse. IDENTIFY THE SOURCE. THEN FIND A PROFESSIONAL WHO KNOWS HOW TO ELIMINATE THE PROBLEM.*

* This is the most important piece of info on this site bar none.
11 Aug 2014, 08:53
Ive found bleach water works the best and if you spray your garbage with it it will help kill and control the gnats. The bleach water will knock them right out of the air.
07 Jul 2015, 12:20
Okay... maybe I missed something, but I still don't know where they come from in the first place. How do they just appear out of nowhere? Even when my house is air-tight, if I leave fruit on the counter too long, here they are! From where are these things appearing?
Ask the Exterminator
07 Jul 2015, 14:57
They occur naturally outside. They are most often found around flowers and fruit bearing plants. When you bring fruit or flowers indoors you can easily carry in fruit flies. Plus, when you open and close your doors, small flies can be pulled inside.
17 Jul 2015, 07:07
Hi, We use cloth diapers and store the dirty ones in a diaper pail and have gnats from time to time. The diapers are usually rinsed before placing them in the pail. Is there a way to keep gnats from coming. It's as if they appear out of nowhere. I doubt they are coming in from the outside.
Ask the Exterminator
17 Jul 2015, 09:35
Yes, they are coming in from the outside. Small flies and gnats are in abundance during the spring and summer. They often come into our homes as we enter and leave. They follow various odors until they find the source. Make sure the diaper pail is washed often and that the top creates a tight seal. This will help.
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