Identifying Flying Insects

There are a variety of small insects that can be bothersome around the house and yard. Use these tips to help identify and mitigate common tiny insects. This is a guide about identifying flying insects.


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6 found this helpful
March 10, 2014 Flag

I read all the forums I could trying to find the solution to get rid of these insects. Some helped but did not get rid of them. All the sprays and insect killers did nothing but cost a lot of money trying.

For some odd reason I thought of the bottle of spray Hydrogen Peroxide I had and thought insects are loaded with bacteria. I started to spray Hydrogen Peroxide like I would bug spray. The sprayer on the bottle is like a mist. I would even spray mist in the air and let fall on me. Instantly, they started leaving me alone. I bought a quart bottle and refilled my spray mister and started spraying all my furniture.

In a week, I was 95% free. I was being eaten alive by these insects until now. I had these insects since July 2013. I finally have relief and I wanted to share.

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January 13, 2014 Flag

First, let me say, 'I am not an entomologist' (insect specialist). I have read many well intended articles here on how rid one's home of drain flies, fungus gnats and fruit flies. Quite often, the tips don't work. I think I know why. Misidentification.

I am not offering tips on how to deal with these insects. What I hope to do is help you identify these three insects so you can then choose the appropriate method for dealing with each.

Drain Flies (also known as Sewer flies, Filter Flies, Moth Flies), are true flies. They are near black and somewhat resemble the house fly; however, they are much smaller. They will fly openly about the house, but congregate primarily in and around sink, shower and other drains.

Fungus Gnats are the smallest of the three. They will fly openly about the house, but congregate primarily in the soil of house plants. They sometimes can be seen flying up from sink drains when the faucet is turned on. They are attracted to mucin which collects in a person's eye. Their 'bite' can really hurt. I put bite in quotes because I've read that the Fungus Gnat does not actually bite. What one mistakes for biting is the female scraping the skin with sharp 'teeth' on her hind legs.

Fruit Flies are light brown, usually with red eyes. They will fly slowly and openly about the house, but prefer to congregate on fruit or other vegetative matter. These are the critters usually brought home from the market. Make sure your bananas, tomatoes, etc. aren't infected before bringing them into the home.

Several pictures I've seen of Gnat traps, (glass/vinegar/paper funnel), had actually trapped fruit flies, not gnats.

I hope this helps when you are trying to rid your home of these insects, especially that worst offender, the aggravating, 'biting' and very persistent gnat.

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2 found this helpful
January 16, 2005 Flag

I have miniscule black flying insects that are biting me. I have no pets but do have house plants. I have tried the vinegar, alcohol and water mixture and haven't been able to rid myself of them. Now I have horrible sores on my face, neck, back of my neck and in my hair.

Does anyone know what these are and how to handle them? I am going to try "Deet".

Thank you for any and all help.

Maggie from Arizona

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September 26, 20080 found this helpful
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Hi, I was at a soccer game when the black bugs showed up. They were everywhere. We tried bug spray but someone said they were immune to it. A million bug bites later my dad found out that they might be repelled in something in baby wipes. Hope my story and insight helps.

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May 24, 2016 Flag

The bugs I am being annoyed by look like dust sort of. They almost look like they are floating. It is creeping me out. They are tiny. Do they sound familiar to anyone?

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August 21, 20160 found this helpful

Yes, I'm going through this now! I had no clue why we had they. There is no fresh fruit laying around. The dog is not bothered. I feel like they love me for some reason. And, lately there are scales in the base of my hairline in the neck area. I can't use hydrogen peroxide since my couch is red. What can I do.

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April 12, 2016 Flag

I live in a 6th floor high light apartment with a dog and houseplants. Around Thanksgiving I/we started to see many small, flying insects. We thought they might be fleas from a visitor. Then we thought they might be fungus gnats. Then a person in exterminating I spoke with suggested dust mites. We still have about 2 insects a day.

They look like very small mosquitos. They do not bite (dog or human). They shun the kitchen, dog's water bowl, garbage, etc. They seem more prevalent in a bedroom with a lot of paper files, but no water or plants. We have poisoned the plant soil, placed tissues with DEET in crevases of furniture, etc. (got to be careful of the dog) and poured bleach down all drains. I just read that dust mites don't have wings. What do we have?

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April 13, 20160 found this helpful

From your description, you may have wool moths-tiny flying and non-biting bugs that love wool and other fabrics. The methods you have tried to remove them do not affect the wool moth as they live in and eat fabric. You might try eliminating all possible wool and other natural fabrics from closets, dressers, etc., for several weeks to see if they disappear. By eliminating I mean completely enclose or fully remove from your home.

However, the problem can continue or start over if someone brings fabric into your home, even for a brief visit, as the moths can live in their clothes, as well.

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April 19, 2015 Flag

I have flying black insects that don't bite. They have been driving me crazy! They appear only at night. They are attracted by light, they always appear on my laptop screen or when I turn on a light.

I noticed them last year during this time of year, but no one was using my room back then, it was a guest bedroom. But now, they're driving me insane!

They have clear, round, wings and a long black body. They do not bite, and are easily killed. Some of them seem to lose their wings and just crawl around without them.

By Jennifer

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April 19, 20150 found this helpful
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They may be sewer gnats. Bleach all your drains including shower once a day for a week.

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May 8, 2015 Flag

Can anybody identifiy this bug? They're all over my hallways. I live in Massachusetts, but got nothing when I tried researching it. It looks like a mosquito, but I have never seen these types. Anybody? Thanks in advance :)

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May 17, 20150 found this helpful

Based on its size, it is likely a "Crane Fly." They are harmless, and attracted to light. Just kind of startling due to their size. Here is a link that might give you a little more info:

http://aggie-ho … _crane_flies.htm

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October 16, 2016 Flag

I have noticed smaller, flying, light brown insects in my home. What are they damaging, what are they, and how do I get rid of them forever? They look a bit like moths.

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August 20, 2015 Flag

I have no idea what it is. It's black, can fly, is fairly small, and I don't know if it bites because I didn't want to stay around to find out. I am literally terrified of bugs and don't feel safe not knowing what it is. I'm a bit of a wimp, but I'm mostly afraid of what I don't know.

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August 20, 20150 found this helpful

Most bugs are harmless to humans, especially small, black flying bugs. Your bug is probably one of the many flies or gnats that coexist with us on the planet. Most often, you bring these little guys home with you in your produce and grains. You can build a quick trap for these and many other flying bugs:

Glass or plastic bottle-small neck type like ketchup bottles

Add about half cup water, a tablespoon of honey and mix.

Use aluminum foil to partially cover the top but leave a hole open about one quarter inch.

Set out on a counter, etc., and forget it.

You will be surprized how many poor little flying bug bodies collect in a couple of days!!!

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May 23, 2011 Flag

I recently moved into my apartment. The air conditioning system is not the greatest, so I have to keep my bedroom window opened a majority of the time. I recently discovered that tiny flying bugs get in through the screen and gather typically on the ceiling where my lamps are. Does anyone know of any ways to prevent this? Now that they are here, how can I get rid of them?

By Anne

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June 5, 20110 found this helpful

I have been having a problem with very tiny white ( somethings) that look like a grain of salt. They bite me and my three children at night mostly. I've also seen the almost clear with a brown tint somethings everywhere in my home. This has been going on for over a mth now. I'm not sleeping!!! Can someone please help!! If anyone has any advice, I'm willing to just about try anything at this point.

Thank you

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June 22, 2010 Flag

How do I get rid of little brown flying insects? There are millions on the outside of my house and they get in through the screens. Today when I was sitting in my car trying to figure out how to get into the house, they were all over the front and rear door, they started landing all over the car. I made it through and they were all over me and my hair. I've never seen this before.

I had my son-in-law spray all around the house last night and it made it worse, he tried to do it this afternoon and they started to attack him, so he quit.

By Lori from Chaparral, New Mexico

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June 27, 20100 found this helpful

Expert: Swarm Of Tiny Bugs Hard To Get Rid Of

Monica Balderrama-KFOX News Reporter

Posted: 5:14 pm MDT June 23, 2010

Updated: 6:00 pm MDT June 23, 2010

EL PASO, Texas -- On Tuesday, KFOX reported on a Lower Valley resident, Yolanda Hernandez, who said her home was being invaded by tiny insects.

KFOX took a sample of the insects to an entomologist with Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension.

Dr. Salvador Vitanza said the bugs, called a false chinch bug, like moisture and you'll find them in weeds and grass. He also said they're hard to get rid of.

Hernandez suspected that already because she said she tried everything to get rid of them.

Vitanza said the bugs reproduce by the zillions. He said they stay around weeds and if those weeds are cut or dry out, the bugs will move to a different location.

"If a house is in the path of migration, they're may enter the home, but they're not going to feed on anything in the home; they're not going to harm anyone," said Vitanza.

He said calling pest control or spraying insecticide won't work. It might kill some of them, but they'll be back, which is the fear Hernandez had. But, he said, you can vacuum them up or just wait.

"The situation should die down in a few weeks. They don't last forever, usually in a couple or three weeks they should be gone," said Vitanza. Copyright 2010 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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June 8, 2015 Flag

The screen on my window is bent, and today I noticed at that there are tons of small brown flying bugs that got through the gap. They don't seem to bite and are attracted to light. They are completely ignoring the vinegar.

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June 9, 20150 found this helpful

This mix has helped us for most types of food moths and flies:

Heat a cup of water to warm, nothing hot.

Stir a tablespoon of honey into the water.

Pour the mix into an empty bottle or jar, juice bottles, etc., something that is wider on the bottom and small on top.

Set the mix out and leave for a few days. The buggers will fly in but rarely fly out!

Good Luck - my husband is an entomologist and uses this recipe!

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February 3, 2015 Flag

We are infested by tiny flea-like flies. I discovered lots of what looked like brown rice on a shelf in my cupboard, have also found these in pans and dishes around the kitchen, but on closer investigation found these to be a type of shell the flies broke free from. They are quite easy to catch and kill, but are very annoying when they fly around your face. What can they be?

By Tricia P

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February 3, 20150 found this helpful

These little flies are likely a type of pantry moth that eats any type of grain-wheat, corn, millet, etc. My husband, an entomologist, says you probably have a moth infestation and need a rather radical cleanout. These moths probably entered your home via flour, corn meal, etc., you purchased at a store.

This article from the very helpful "wikihow" site will explain what you need to do.

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April 26, 2016 Flag

These insects fly in two areas: on the side of our house and in the back. They don't bite, but our kids are afraid to go near them thinking that they bite. And when adults go near them, they won't bite, but you sure can feel them around your head.

There are no trash bins under or near where they fly so it's not some smell they're after. Still, I've soaped and brushed the concrete where they like to fly over hoping I'll get rid of whatever smell they're attracted to, but no luck there. When it rained this past weekend, they temporarily moved near our kitchen sliding door where there's an overhang. Pretty smart creatures! My husband was a given a zapper and when he used it, he gets several of these insects in one swing -- that's how many there are! He also tried a fly trap but these are not attracted to that light.

We are running out of options that we are aware of. So if someone here can help us with ways on how to get rid of them, or even identify them so we can take the proper measures, it'll be great!


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March 16, 2011 Flag

I have very tiny (maybe a mm big), round moth like bugs crawling on my walls and carpet. I just saw one fly the other day. They are black and white stripped with six legs and antennas. When squished they have a powdery dust on their wings. Any idea what they are? They don't bite; they're just a nuisance.

By Jess from Canton, OH

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March 18, 20110 found this helpful

I am guessing they are moth flies, google them and see a pic. We had them last year for the first time ever.

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June 30, 2012 Flag

I have tiny black bugs flying around in my kitchen and living room. What are they and more importantly, how do I get rid of them?

By Jacque B.

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July 1, 20120 found this helpful

Sounds like fruit flies. Do you have fruit in a bowl on the counter? Bananas? Is the weather warm? Clean off surfaces with soapy water and remove over-ripened fruit. I take vinegar and water solution and wipe off my countertops, etc.

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June 29, 2010 Flag

I have flying insects around the house. I don't know if they are gnats or mosquitoes. They are very annoying and they make my body itch. Does anybody have any home remedy to get rid of these annoying things? Thanks.

By Maribel from PA

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June 30, 20100 found this helpful

I found this on this site:

1. take a styrofoam plate with a lip tall enough to hold 1/4"-1/2" apple cider vinegar. I go with 1/2".

2. fill plate with apple cider vinegar.

3. then take Lemon scented Joy and sprinkle a fair amount of it over the vinegar.

4. plate place on flat area - keep pets away.

The next morning you should have all sorts of flying insects that drowned in this mixture.

I used it outside because I got those horrible big flies, plus the regular size ones, flying around the place i site outside to read. I used beer in a recipe to get rid of mosquitos and the beer attracted flies - just like my husband said they would!

The next morning I had 16 flies drowned! Plus a lot of other gnat-like things. I just changed the plate every day.

I tried this in my house b/c I found one gnat, I get a little too excited about some things. Anyway I did the recipe above and in the morning nothing was in the plate. i figured the gnat died on it's own and brought the plate outside. that's when I found all those flies/gnats in the plate the next morning, but the recipe said it works indoors so I'd try it. you have nothing to lose! I bet it works too!

One more thing: another way to get rid of flies, you have to have good aim, is to take a spray bottle and fill it with rubbing alcohol; the highest concentration you can find. take aim and spray. it works pretty well to keep them away, Not perfect. but if you do spray one, they die and that part is great.

I'm not sure if alcohol is bad for pets; you can find out by asking someone on this site, I'll bet. but i have pretty good aim and killed that one rotten fly in my house last night. dead as a doornail!

Good luck to you.

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June 27, 2010 Flag

I need help. I had a cat and although he's been missing for some time it appears we have some type of flea infestation. However from what I'm reading I'm not sure what these insects are. They have wings, can fly and are black in colour. They look like fleas, but don't bite either. I treated them, meaning the whole house last year, but they've returned. They're 2-3mm long 1-2 mm wide and black. The young look light greenish, they fly when interrupted, if nudged they fall down. Most are dead when inspected. Please help.

By Kal from Scotland

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Anonymous Flag
June 30, 20100 found this helpful

I second susanmajp's response.

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January 17, 2016 Flag

It is winter in Minnesota and in the last few months I've noticed these very small flying black bugs especially when I'm in the living room reading the paper. However, last night while cleaning dishes out of my son's room I noticed a bowl of leftover cheese broccoli soup with about ten of these things eating it. Help!

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October 1, 2011 Flag

I have black flying insects that bite in my house and they are driving me crazy. We were told by personnel at the hardware store to pour bleach down all of the drains, starting at the top of the house. I first saw them in my shower, coming from the drain.

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