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.

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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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