Tiny Brown Flying Insects

I really don't know what kind of bugs these are, which is probably why I'm having trouble getting rid of them. They are very small and look like brown specks. They hop, fly, and sometimes when they are on a surface, I can squish them. Perhaps they are gnats, but they don't look like the gnats I'm used to seeing (gnats seemed to be more like flies, but these look like fleas).


I found them first in my son's diaper pail, but now there seem to be a few in almost every room of the house. I've tried vinegar, pouring bleach down the drains, sanitizing the diaper pail (no more dirty diapers in there, just wet ones), ant and bug spray, with no luck. We do have a dog, but I don't think they're fleas because they have wings, and I can catch them on occasion.

They don't bite, but just seem to fly around or sit on various surfaces. I really don't want to call the exterminator for something like this. Plus, with the measures I've taken (keeping the kitchen completely clean), it seems to be getting better, but I'd like them to be completely gone!

Please help. Thank you in advance.
ML from NC


Tiny Brown Flying Insects

This time of year, late August, early September here in Nova Scotia we have tiny black flies that are called "fruit flies" lots of things ripening too fast, plus heat and humidity. I've been doing this for a few years and it has always worked!


Put 1/2 to 1 cup of vinegar in a dish, cover with plastic wrap, put a few small holes (I use a fork) in the plastic. Place where the flies are bothering you and voila! They get caught and can't fly out; I empty every morning 'til mid September. Love these "old wives tales"! Some really do work. Doreen (09/06/2005)

By Streatch

Tiny Brown Flying Insects

You could try using indoor foggers also. (09/07/2005)

By Suzi homemaker

Tiny Brown Flying Insects

There is another possibility that is increasingly more possible. Research the names Sawtoothed grain beetle, tobacco beetle, cigarette beetle, drugstore beetle, foreign grain beetle. You are more likely if you are in a newer home or in an agricultural area (or formerly agricultural area) to see these types of bugs. They've also been known to be brought home in a package such as potatoes or dog snacks. Good luck. (10/15/2005)


By Brian W.

Re. Tiny brown flies

You might wanna try Dettol (a disinfectant like Lysol) if you wipe down all your surfaces with it (including the walls) then the flies will reduce in number. I had a massive problem in my flat. I could barely walk around with the number of flies that lived here when I first moved in, but unclogging the drains and pouring Dettol everywhere has stopped 98% of the problem. Now I can count the number of flies I see everyday on one hand.

Woohoo...almost there! (07/13/2006)

By shoushou

Tiny Brown Flying Insects

They sound like "Foreign Grain Beetles" - harmless to wood, fabrics, and stored food that's in good condition. Look for the source: an old forgotten bag of flour, a box of pancake mix, etc. I had an infestation originating from one of those homemade beanbags that you heat up in the microwave - it was filled with dried corn! Once you find and remove their home/breeding ground you'll notice a dramatic decrease in their population. They're harmless, but certainly annoying. Good luck! (09/05/2006)

By Jim H

Tiny Brown Flying Insects

I dunno about those measures. But about getting rid of them - look for any sort of food that they can breed in. I found a container of oats that I hadn't opened yet; those bugs were swarming in it! They ate right through the paper wrapping and the tin wall of the container and made their nest right in the oats! There were spider webs and at least twenty running around under the lid. The rice container also was breeding them.

Another thing. When you find a whole crowd of them, leave quietly and come back with the vacuum cleaner, then suck the whole lot of them up. Attack them with a fly swatter and they'll fly through the holes or scatter. (01/12/2007)

By Anonymous

Tiny Brown Flying Insects

Hi, the insects are actually "beetles", they are called "bread beetles" and grow in all sorts of grains...mainly packaged food stuffs. We got infected with them when we went on holidays. They breed in pantries and places were you store your packaged foods. The only way to get rid of them is to find the primary source of infestation and place the infected container ( box) in a sealed plastic bag and put it in the freezer for a week. This will kill the larvae, they breed very quickly. The female lays about 100 eggs. If you need more information do a search for bread beetles or cigarette beetles, they belong to the same family.

Check out this website:
Cheers. Harry (03/04/2007)

By Harry

Tiny Brown Flying Insects

I have this problem every once in awhile. They kind of look like small moths. I usually vacuum up a few moth balls and that seems to help. I figures it kills the eggs and the problem. Give it a try (03/31/2007)

By Tami

Tiny Brown Flying Insects

These bugs love fruit, vegetables (especially bananas and potatoes), anything wet such as drains, wet rags, and cat litter boxes. To rid your home of these pests, get rid of all fruits and vegetables, change litter box and clean it with bleach. Pour bleach in your drains.

Then take a few small bowls, fill them 1/2 with vinegar (any kind will do) and add a few drops of dishwashing detergent (fruity smelling such as lemon or grapefruit works best). Cover these bowls tightly with plastic wrap and punch 2 or 3 small holes in the wrap (about the diameter of the end of a wire coat hanger). Set the bowls in the areas where you see the bugs. You will be amazed at how many of these bugs will collect in the bowls. Change the vinegar-soap once a day until they quit collecting bugs.This will take 2 or 3 days. If you still have bugs, then you haven't eliminated the source. Check old spices and cereal boxes. This method really works so don't give up. Good luck. (09/18/2007)

By Ugh!

Tiny Brown Flying Insects

Those bugs you are talking about must be foreign grain beetles. They are tiny enough to come through window screens and such, however they don't bite but are just pesky pests. They like damp or moldy areas, so check to make sure there's no fungus or leaky pipes. That's all I know of, they're still hard to get rid of, but just keep cleaning and checking dry foods and all. Hope it helps! (06/20/2008)

By Sejal

Tiny Brown Flying Insects

I think I know where they came from in our house. We store our wood down cellar, and just recently we keep the cellar door open for the heat to come up, and at the same time, these tiny little pesty flying, brown beetle type bugs appeared. All over my counters, my floors, they love lights.

So, my husband made a trap. A bucket of warm soapy water, with a lamp over it, and that was the only light on at night, and they seem to go to, and then die in the water. I found quite a few in the water the next day. Keep doing that every night. Also, I put up sticky fly strips on the backs of my counter in a few spots, and on a beam in my kitchen where the lights are, and that trapped them very well. I haven't seen that many today. Until I just said that! Good luck. (10/22/2008)

By Diane

Tiny Brown Flying Insects

They are fungus gnats that feed of the roots of plants. I found tons of them in the bottom of a plant in my house. A way to kill them is to let the soil dry and they will fly away or die. Or if you don't care about the plant just throw it out. A way to find out if the plant has been eaten by them for a while the leaves will have become yellow.

By Brian

Tiny Brown Flying Insects

I purchased a bag of Beneful dog food at Petco. The next day I noticed these insects all over my kitchen (I keep my 35 lb. bag in my kitchen). I looked in my dog's bowl and it was infested! I exchanged the bag of food (Petco would not refund my money) and cleaned my kitchen top to bottom. I fed my dog the new food, checked it and it looked fine.

The next day my kitchen was infested again. I put the bag outside in the trash and spent the rest of the day killing every bug I found. I switched my dog to another brand of food and put it in an airtight clear container in the garage. I haven't seen another one since! Knock on wood! (02/04/2009)

By Heather


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