Identifying Flying Insects
A reader asks: We recently had a leaky pipe in the wall between our kitchen and bathroom. The leak was repaired about six months ago. Now, we are seeing these very small fly-like insects with wings crawling on the kitchen floor. They came from behind the refrigerator which is where the old leak occurred. The sheet rock was dry but we had these bugs all over. What are they?
To get fast control of the adult flying insect I like a fly treatment product called PT 565 Plus XLO. Works great and only requires a small burst of spray to kill the adult flies. If you've got hard-to-reach enclosed spaces you may also want to try a fogger or Nuvan ProStrips. I really like the Nuvan Pro Strips because they give off an insect killing vapor that works for weeks. You can only use these strips in enclosed areas like an attic, closet or other isolated location where humans and pets won't be constantly exposed to the vapors. You can see them on this website by clicking on the red, underlined words in this article.
The flying insects you had with the leaky pipe were probably fungus gnats or Phorid flies. Once the water problem was corrected they had no acceptable breeding environment and should have died off quickly. If they are still present you probably still have something leaking.
Sometimes with leaks, the water finds its way under the floor tiles through cracks in the grout. If that has happened, you may have to remove the floor tile and dry out the floor under the tiles. Worse, if the foul water found its way under the entire slab, you could have the flies breeding in the soil under the poured slab. In that case, you would have to open the floor slab, have a contractor dig out the foul soil and replace it with clean soil. A large and expensive undertaking, to be sure.
These tiny flies manage to slip through cracks that are paper-thin. It may look like it would be impossible for an insect to navigate through something so small, yet the presence of these flies is proof that they can do it.
Get your flies identified. Take them to your local county extension agent or to one of the local pest control companies for a free ID. Knowing the insect species will tell you where they breed and how to control them. It's the single most important step in controlling an insect problem.