Getting Rid of Gnats

Are you truly dealing with gnats or with fruit or phorid flies?

The most important aspect of getting rid of gnats is identifying the pests infesting your property. This will allow you to choose a suitable treatment.

Although gnats are relatively small and do not pose much of a problem, these insects have a reputation of reproducing at such a rapid pace. Before you know it, your property is already infested by a large swarm.


If you notice small black insects hovering around potted plants and your windows, that means that you are dealing with fungus gnats. Usually, you can find these insects massed together at windows because they are weak flyers.

The immature larva has a maggot-like appearance and has a dark brown head. You can usually find these in potted plants, feeding on decaying organic matter. These insects, however, rarely damage the plants.

You can usually notice the larvae during fall, often on soil that has been overwatered.

On the other hand, if you notice that the “gnats” have a light brown color and mass near the kitchen, you are most likely dealing with fruit flies.

If the insects you find in your home are more active at night and have a light brown to black color, you are most likely dealing with phorid flies. Another sign to watch out for is the zig-zag pattern that these insects make when walking on surfaces.

Dealing with gnats

If you are truly dealing with a gnat infestation, the best thing that you can do is to dry the soil where you found these insects. Allowing the soil to dry completely will kill the larvae on the soil. Water the plants only when needed.

As for the mature gnats, you can use a vacuum cleaner to remove these from plants and windows.

It is also crucial to remove or keep the food sources away from these pests, especially fruits. Instead of leaving fruits exposed to open air, you should store these inside the fridge.

You can try using electric fly exploders, but be aware that these devices only deal with individual insects rather than effectively solving your infestation problem. Furthermore, these devices can also kill beneficial insects.

Some people advocate the use of pesticides. However, the wrong type of pesticides can cause harm to people and pets when improperly used.

To learn more about how to control pests in your home or business, be sure to contact your local Modesto pest control company.

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