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Identifying Flying Insects

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bug spray

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.


Solutions: Identifying Flying Insects

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Hydrogen Peroxide for Biting Insects

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.

    By Norman W. [1]

    Tip: Identifying Flying Insects In Your Home

    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.

      By likekinds [66]

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      Here are questions related to Identifying Flying Insects.

      Question: Miniscule Biting Black Insects

      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


      Best Answers

      By Eric in IL (Guest Post)09/27/2008

      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!

      Best Answers

      By Lindsay (Guest Post)09/26/2008

      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.

      Best Answers

      By Joey (Guest Post)08/13/2008

      Do your "miniscule black bugs" fly? I have had an invasion of what we in NM call "No See ums" (gnats) in my house. They bite and leave red marks and the bites itch like crazy for a day or two. I am thinking they came in some potting soil because I'd just repotted a few plants prior to the invasion.

      Best Answers

      By (Guest Post)07/05/2008

      Actually, these are Conenose or "kissing" bugs. Their bites are significantly more itchy than other bites and potentially dangerous if you have an allergic reaction (like how some people do to bee stings). They are unfotunate but sommon in Arizona. They are around spring through summer and bite mostly at bedtime, you'll find evidence of them near your bedding.

      Question: Getting Rid of Black Flying Insects

      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


      Best Answer

      By Abigail A. [8]04/19/2015

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

      Question: Tiny Flying Insects in the House

      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

      Most Recent Answer

      By batmap07/07/2011

      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.

      RE: Tiny Flying Insects in the House

      Question: Tiny Brown Flying Insects

      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

      Most Recent Answer

      By mesha [1]09/14/2011

      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

      Question: Tiny Flying Insects in the House

      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

      Most Recent Answer

      By Jarron [7]10/03/2011

      Have you tried the bleach and then plugging or covering the drains so they can't come out?

      Question: Flying Bugs in My House

      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

      Most Recent Answer

      By Patty [11]07/01/2010

      About the gnats in bath & kitchen areas. If they are the gnats that look like baby flies with big round wings. Take a can of foam bug spray. Spray down Aall drains before you go to bed. (Those kind breed in the drains.) You may have to repeat this one more time. I've never seen this fail.

      Question: Tiny Flying Non Biting Black Insects

      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

      Most Recent Answer

      By s.m. [1]07/24/2015

      I think I have the same issue. I thought my kitty somehow managed to catch fleas even though she is strictly an indoor cat. I've noticed her scratching alot lately, but I don't see any flea symptoms on her. Recently At night when I lay on my bed I feel really tiny insects jumping all over me, but I have no bite marks. I did the flea water test but no fleas, just some bugs that look like fruit flies. Any ideas? Its really annoying to feel these things jumping all over you. I live in a ground floor apartment.

      Question: Identifying a Flying Bug

      Identifying a Flying Bug

      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 :)

        By Christian GwopGetta T. [1]

        Most Recent Answer

        By Deana S.05/17/2015

        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

        Question: Getting Rid of Black Flying Biting Insects in Drains

        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. They are in my laundry room, probably from the floor drain. I have seen them upstairs now in the main bathroom and the kitchen sink. The bleach has not done anything.

        I have red welts and a rash all over my arms, hands, and shoulders. I don't know about my back, but it is always itchy. So is my head. I am going crazy and can't sleep. I hate to go into the bathroom at night, because I have to start picking up the bodies after spraying with Raid Max. Nothing works. They just keep coming back, they never go away. Help.

        By Bev G.

        Most Recent Answer

        By Jarron [7]10/03/2011

        Have you tried the bleach and then plugging or covering the drains so they can't come out?

        Question: Small Flying Pin Size Bugs

        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

        Most Recent Answer

        By Tabitha R.05/08/2014

        The fastest way I've found to get rid of fruit flies is this:

        1) Clean. Anything organic that isn't in a very sealed container has to go. Leave no piece of fruit, bread, sweet sticky thing behind. Scrub away any spilled syrups or anything that has sugar. These things like to eat.

        2) Grab a small container. A ramekin works great for this. You're going to make the little buggers a meal. Pour in some maple syrup, soya sauce, honey, any mix of random sweet sticky liquids you can find. The stronger the sweet smell, the better. Now for your secret ingredient: dish soap. Drizzle some liquid dish soap into the mix. Lay your devilishly delicious smelling trap somewhere that the flies seem to be gathering in large groups.

        The flies will be drawn to the scent and will go in for a snack, but the soap lowers the surface tension of the liquids and they will get stuck in it, eventually drowning.
        Top up the liquids as needed and keep the place clean for about 10 days to 2 weeks. They have an average life span of about 10 days so if you keep it up, they will be gone within 2 weeks, easy. Plus the soap greases the container so cleanup is a breeze!

        Question: Flying Insects in Refrigerator After Power Outage

        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!

        By Betty

        Most Recent Answer

        By Louise B. [5]09/09/2011

        If you have insects inside, they must be reproducing in there. Hopefully, these are just fruit flies that have found some spilled juice or something like that. Clean the fridge thoroughly. You may have to remove panels or fan covers or things like that, if the spill have gone inside the fridge. I would swab it down with dilute bleach.

        Question: Getting Rid of Small Brown Bugs

        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.

          By shortalch [1]

          Most Recent Answer

          By Dinah Ackerson [4]06/09/2015

          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!

          Question: Small Flea-like Flies

          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

          Most Recent Answer

          By Dinah Ackerson [2]02/03/2015

          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.

          Question: Tiny Black Flying Insects

          By the light of my cell phone, in the dark of my bedroom, I have become aware of tiny flying (flea looking) insects. What might they be ? They are attracted to the light and I've only seen one at a time. I don't notice any bites, but after seeing them I feel they must be living off my dead skin! Help me, please, I'm creeped out!

          By JC

          Most Recent Answer

          By Richard Martin [1]08/15/2012

          They are called duloflectasty. And your right they do eat your dead skin and hair. They are harmless and are actually inhaled while you sleep. They attache themselves to your mucus membrane and crawl out through your nostrils, unless you breath through your nose at that point they find another exit. I have heard they will exit through the ear canal. Have no fear.

          Question: Getting Rid of Tiny Flying Black Bugs

          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.

          Most Recent Answer

          By linn [50]07/01/2012

          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.

          Question: Tiny Red Flying Bugs

          I just started noticing these flying little red bugs around my house. There are not a lot, I only see like 1-2 at a time and at night. They fly but are catch-able. They are oval/rounded shape, about 1-2 mm in size, and almost reddish brown to black in color. If anyone has a guess on what they might be, it would be terrific. Any suggestion to prevent them is greatly appreciate too!

          By Mike

          Most Recent Answer

          By Patricia Blegen05/31/2011

          Do they sort of look like lady bugs but kind of sting if they get one you? If they are, they are Japanese beetles, but not sure how to get rid of them. I hit them with a flyswatter! They eventually go away on their own.

          Question: Small Black Flying Biting Insects

          What are the flying, biting, black insects that look like mosquitoes but are smaller than flies?

            By Red Flash [1]

            Question: Tiny Black Bugs

            I have tiny black bugs in my closet upstairs and I do not know what they are! Orkin was here last week and sprayed and they are still here. I wiped everything down after they sprayed thinking I was rid of them, but today when the cleaning lady was here she had 11 in her bucket of scrub water after wiping the floor up in there. They kind of resemble the ones in a picture with 3 bugs with a penny, I think that is on the website about tiny black bugs. I have found a few in the bathroom upstairs as well but only 2 or 3. They are mainly in the closet!

              By nstoughton [1]

              Question: Flying Silver Biting Bugs

              I have these tiny, really shiny, silvery bugs that are biting me! I've noticed them now in the bar I work in. I phoned the nurse hotline as I could feel them in my hair and when I Googled flying silvery bugs I got freaked out. I told the nurse, that no, I'm not on drugs and seeing bugs. Thank God she believed me and Googled it herself. My home, my work, myself, and my animals are infested. I live in British Columbia Canada. Please, does anyone know what these are? I'm being bitten constantly!

              By Diane

              Question: Tiny Flying Insects

              These insects do not bite. They are so small they resemble the head of a pin. They are black and seem to be drawn to my paper towel rack and the side of my refrigerator. They also congregate around an open bottle of wine and food. Help!

              By Joy C.

              Question: Identifying Flying Bugs in my House

              When we're burning wood during the winter, between December and about the end of March, there are little tiny bugs flying around my kitchen table and in my bedroom. When I'm eating food, they like to land on my plate and usually they die, but sometimes they crawl for a few seconds then die.

              I've been seeing them for about 2 years now and have no idea what they are. I can tell you they aren't fruit flies! Any one have an idea what they are?

              By Erick S.

              Question: Tiny Red Flea-like Flying Insects

              I keep finding these little red bugs in my home. They are very tiny, resemble a flea, and fly. So far no one has shown any signs of being bitten or anything, but I keep finding them throughout the house, especially on the walls in my bathroom (I also have them flying around in the living room). They are very hard to squash, just like a flea. I've googled images but cannot find anything that resembles them. Any idea what they are? A friend who lives in Bliss, NY said he is also finding them in their home.

              By Stephanie D.