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Identifying Flying Insects

Category 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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By 6 found this helpful
March 10, 2014

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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June 19, 20160 found this helpful

I tried your hydrogen peroxide tip. It's much worse when I used your suggestion. If it is joke, not too funny.

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January 13, 2014

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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January 14, 20140 found this helpful

I did post pictures. If there was an issue with them, I wasn't informed.

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February 19, 20170 found this helpful

A woman holding a blue fly swatter.

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There is nothing more frustrating than having tiny flying insects in your house. Identifying what type of insect they are will help you get rid of them. This guide contains tips for getting rid of tiny flying bugs in your house.

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February 19, 20170 found this helpful

Brown Flying Insect

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Are you having trouble with tiny brown flying insects? This guide has tips for identifying and getting rid of flying insects.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 3 found this helpful
January 16, 2005

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.

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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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By guest (Guest Post)
September 26, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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By 0 found this helpful
June 2, 2017

What is this tiny light green bug that has wings and jumps fast? They jump on me when I'm in my house or out on the porch. What is their purpose?

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June 4, 20170 found this helpful

Why should you : first surely break at least one of its legs or wings and then suffocate the bug in a plastic bag ? Internet and thriftyfun fans are powerful enough to help indentify a bug.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 22, 2017

I live in Southern California. We have found these flying critters (they have wings, so I assume they fly) only dead, or swimming around, in the dog's outside water bowl. This is about the third time. We haven't noticed them flying around inside or outside the house, but they must be out there somewhere. Most of them are only about 1/4 inch long, but some are between 1/4 and 1/2 inch. They seem to be found when the water has been still for a good amount of time. The dog has another bowl of water that he most often drinks from and I don't see the bugs there. This bowl is sort of a back up.

Since they aren't bothering us or the dog, my main concern would be if these are termites. If I continue to see them after identifying, I will call an exterminator, but I don't like spraying pesticides in the house or around the yard. Thanks for any help!

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May 23, 20170 found this helpful

My guess is that these are carpenter ants, not termites. Carpenter ants have a waist, and termites don't. I would call in a professional, as carpenter ants can damage wood.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 11, 2017

Furniture was brought home from my husband's parents' house who live in the woods. They also may have a mold problem in the basement. Now we have these bugs that crawl and sometimes fly. They look like ants until they fly and they can be pretty big. I have seen some big ones fly around the couches or crawling on us. The small ones that are the size of ants are found crawling on the ceiling at night above the lamp. What could these be and how do I get rid of them?

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April 11, 20170 found this helpful

If you are able to get one or two in a baggie or an empty jar someone at a local pest control office might help you.

Here is a site that I use to help me identify regular household and garden bugs - BUT - please be sure you know, these bugs are not a pleasant sight and definitely are not for a small( ?) child to see.

http://www.pest  .org/pest-guide/

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By 0 found this helpful
January 27, 2017

I have some brown long skinny flying bugs in my house. They look like fireflies with a bit of orange on their back or wings. I am just starting to see them around this week. I would like to know what they are and how to get rid of them.

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January 28, 20170 found this helpful

can yo tell us where you live... offer a picture? probably the best way in stead of us guessing to to tape a dead bug on a piece of paper and go to your cooperative extension office .....

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By 0 found this helpful
February 5, 2017

We started noticing these showing up everywhere in our home about two weeks ago, but we have no idea what they are. They're very attracted to liquids. I can't leave a drink unattended for 5 minutes before they get into it. They don't bite or anything. They are just very annoying. Every time we kill one we spot two more! Help?

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February 7, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you for this! They sure look like Fungus Knats too, but we don't even have house plants. They must of just come from outside somehow. I'll be doing my homework. Thanks again!

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By 1 found this helpful
April 12, 2016

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?

Answer Was this helpful? 1
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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By 0 found this helpful
May 24, 2016

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 19, 20150 found this helpful

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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By 0 found this helpful
October 16, 2016

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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February 2, 20170 found this helpful

They possibly are moths, especially if the wings are opaque and dusty-looking. These are eating your clothes of dry goods in your pantry.

If they have transparent wings and look more like micro flies, they are actually fruit flies. They just take over your kitchen, and enter your home via fruit, then they colonize in drains, food debris, and any left out fruit. These are more of a nuisance than anything. If you leave a cup of vinegar around these generally commit Kamikaze by trying to consume it.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 8, 2015

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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By 0 found this helpful
August 20, 2015

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, 20110 found this helpful

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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By 0 found this helpful
June 8, 2015

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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By 0 found this helpful
April 26, 2016

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!

Thanks!

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February 3, 20150 found this helpful

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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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By 0 found this helpful
January 17, 2016

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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By 0 found this helpful
September 30, 2015

I have these brown flying insect that don't bite, but they multiply very quickly. They get in everything food, the refrigerator, the ice maker, and they especially seem to like decomposed items like meat that may be left out a long time. I'm worried they might be carriers of some sort. Does anyone know what these things are?

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By 0 found this helpful
June 29, 2010

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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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By 0 found this helpful
June 27, 2010

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
June 30, 20100 found this helpful

I second susanmajp's response.

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September 11, 20110 found this helpful

I have tiny pin size, all black, flying bugs that are everywhere including the litter boxes. What are they and how can I get rid of them?

By webee

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September 11, 20110 found this helpful

Sounds like fruit flies, they will be every where, put all your food away, and clean your sink.

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September 6, 20110 found this helpful

My refrigerator was off for several days and food spoiled. Now there are these tiny flying insects in the refrigerator that I cannot get rid of. Help!

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