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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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January 16, 2005 Flag
2 found this helpful

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 27, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

I did more probing on the web and finally found a perfect match of the mysterious black biting bug(in my case). I originally thought it might have been the "Kissing" bug, but after looking at them under a microscope for several hours today, I found several photos after googling "Minute Pirate Bug"

Good luck!

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May 24, 2016 Flag
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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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    July 11, 20160 found this helpful


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    March 10, 2014 Flag
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    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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        April 12, 2016 Flag
        0 found this helpful

        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 21, 20160 found this helpful

          Do anybody know what kind of insect this is??? I have a whole bunch of then in my kitchen

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          April 19, 2015 Flag
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          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
          Best Answer

          They may be sewer gnats. Bleach all your drains including shower once a day for a week.

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          August 20, 2015 Flag
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          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 21, 20150 found this helpful

            The previous poster is correct. Most little black insects are harmless, especially if you are talking about fruit flies. However, without seeing the actual insect or a photo of it, it is impossible to say what it is. You will have to ask someone who is there. There are tiny black flies and no-see-ums that do bite, but usually if you live in an area where such insects exist, you are aware of it.

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            April 26, 2016 Flag
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            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. small nonbiting flying insects

            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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              May 8, 2015 Flag
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              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 :)

              Identifying a Flying Bug
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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:

       ... icials/beneficial-29_crane_flies.htm

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                June 8, 2015 Flag
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                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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                  May 23, 2011 Flag
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                  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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                  July 7, 20110 found this helpful

                  What I believe you encountered is a Thrips. A Thrips (yes, it is spelled plural) of the order Thysanoptera is small enough (less than 1/20 inch long) to crawl through the mesh of a window screen or some camping-tent mesh.

                  The bite of this insect feels similar to a mosquito, but since this little guy can bring hundreds of friends and reach places mosquitoes can not... you can know Thrips have arrived almost the instant the attack has begun. I first witnessed thrips as part of my insect collection for Biology in High School (captured from our family's garden roses).

                  But their invasion through the camping tent-mesh, stopped my camp-out on a warm sandy beach in Florida. I had no idea this little thing could be such a menace to living in or enjoying the outdoors. Summer heat after recent wet weather will bring them out en-force... thrips seek out warm, dark places to feed.

                  Hot sandy beaches and abandoned railroad cars are two places where I was practically eaten alive, though they are commonly found on garden flowers such as roses, fruit trees, ornamentals, vegetables, and citrus.

                  See Management here for how to control this pest or for more.

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                  June 22, 2010 Flag
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                  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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                  September 14, 20110 found this helpful


                  Do the bugs all of you are describing look a lot like tiny 'junebugs' (adult grub worm)? I have a trail of dead beetles (could be what is leaving the trail & died due to pesticides, but there are some a bit larger as well as the current invaders), dried corn (from squirrel corn dropped by squirrels outside), dry dog food (we have an inside dog, food is kept in an air-tight bin, but she always leaves a few morsels on the floor but never in closets, under fridge, stove,washer, dryer, bookshelves, along the eves of the cabinets, and finally the back corner of a closet...).

                  I sweep/vacuum just about everyday, lately it has been everyday and sometimes twice! I have been finding bits of straw wrappers and other small pieces of paper/wrappers a lot! Yesterday evening I swept & mopped very thoroughly. At 3pm when I came home there is little bits of string and food crumbs/flakes, bits of paper and trash, that had not been in the inside trash can for 4 days! The wrapper bit from the last granola bar I ate 5 days ago & had been put in large outer trash can!

                  We don't leave food out, we have all tile floors and a few area rugs as well as leather couches that have holes and grit and food and trash etc. They are 4 yrs old and ruined. We take our shoes off on porch then strait to their place in bedroom. I buy the 2nd best of the 4 hepa filters (3mo) and I replace it every month. I always touch up the caulk when and where needed.

                  I have a strict **no outside toys come in & no inside toys go out**. Wet bathing suits are taken off on the back porch then straight to washer, or left hanging outside to wear later. My husband is a tug captain and works a 2wk-on/1wk-off schedule so i do this all alone! A long story long, I need advise, a cure, solution, suggestions, directions, definitions, how-to's, diagnosis, and most important, info, and more info pretty please!

                  You can't see but I am on my knees, hands folded, begging, and crying with the whole giant alligator tears and a just a tad bit of mascara streaming down my once happy, life-lovin', baseball playing, down 'n dirty, do it yourself, 31 year old face. I have, not a day in my life been bothered by bugs and dirt and poop and now I am so uncomfortable in my own home that I take pride and work hard for.

                  F.Y.I. - Not ants, roaches (have only even seen two cockroaches in 10 years, both dead in the attic: son was given an x-mas ornament "cookie" I thought it was fake. I packed away and found in x-mas box the following year. 1 year later the drain pipe from the a/c pan in attic broke & 7 a/c companies & 10 a/c men later, all telling me that it stopped up because I didn't pour bleach in it every month or I'm not changing the filter, or (my favorite due to the fact that there is no leak), that it needed 8 lbs of freon because it went low, meanwhile the wood under the a/c was swelling with water. I kept all my pans up there and set my alarm even at night to change out pan.

                  About 6 months after I found the problem and rigged until my next opportunity to give away $165-$210. I opened the attic door and a dead one fell to the floor (3 years ago). I have been spraying 1) farm grade pest& mite Gordon's permethrin-10 >farm grade pest& mite>. Ihad mite infestation before trail appeared due to an infested bail of hay, entire acre, coop, hutches, laying boxes, feed, my house & most food was infested-2-3weeks apart.

                  Also everything had to be sprayed multiple times then washed the entire house-top-to-bottom, as well as burning any grass, hay, wood etc, & finally soaking the entire acre, coop, hutches, etc & treating all animals. I even had ducklings hatched in the incubator with itchy rashy looking places missing fluff, & mites got into the eggs even and we lost 18 out of 20 full term ducklings. 2) Sulfer -to repel snakes & spiders & anything else 3) malathion & 4) diatomaceous earth (wow wonderful! Kills a fly in 2 hours & can be mixed into feed for livestock, chickens, rabbits, ducks, etc).

                  Please if you know anything I'm at your mercy.

                  Thanks in advance,

                  Lightina Match

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                  February 3, 2015 Flag
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                  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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                  March 16, 2011 Flag
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                  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. Any idea what they are? They don't bite; they're just a nuisance.

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