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 page about identifying flying insects.


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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


By Sandy (Guest Post)
January 17, 20052 found this helpful
Best Answer

They could be coming out of the soil in your plants. Some soil (even sealed) has these annoying bugs already in them. I can't remember what they are called but I will try to get more information on them for you. Another thing you might want to look at is your drains.


We have this problem in my job. The pipes get so filled with "junk" that these little drain flies start breeding in your pipes. They kind of have fuzzy bodies and they definately bite. You can try to mix bleach with warm water and pour it down the drain. If this is your problem, the bleach should help. Good Luck!

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By PegEb (Guest Post)
May 26, 20052 found this helpful
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These insects you refer to are clover mites, (they show up mostly in my bathroom around the sink and toilet) and I get them every year around May, June - I called a pest control company and was told to use the diazanon or spectracide. It seems they work pretty well - you have to use it several times through the couple months.

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By (Guest Post)
July 5, 20081 found this helpful
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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.

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By Joey (Guest Post)
August 13, 20083 found this helpful
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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.

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By (Guest Post)
September 27, 20081 found this helpful
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I'm in central IL and have tons of these small black biting bugs. They appear during the warm part of the day, when there is little or no wind and dissapear when it cools down in the evening. I've got 3 of those critters under a microsope comparing them to pics on the internet. My best guess is that these are "Kissing" and/or "Conenose" bugs.



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May 23, 2011

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


May 23, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Vaseline works well and is odorless. I buy any cheap Vaseline and squeegee it onto my screens. I do both sides. It doesn't deter them because all bugs are attracted to light, it just stops them in there tracks. As for the ones that do get in. Windex works great.


Good Luck!

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May 25, 20110 found this helpful
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I had that problem for quite awhile, the little flying no-seeums were life cycling. Didn't see any for weeks, then be inundated with them. Turns out, I had a water seepage problem in the basement, and we sealed that up, bombed the house with a regular roach bomb, never had them again.

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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 :)


May 17, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

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:


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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


July 1, 20100 found this helpful
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About the gnats in bath and 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 all 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.

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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.


August 20, 20151 found this helpful
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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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September 11, 2011

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


May 8, 20140 found this helpful
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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!

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September 6, 2011

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


September 9, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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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.


June 9, 20150 found this helpful
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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

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


February 3, 20150 found this helpful
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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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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?


September 14, 20170 found this helpful

Did you find out what these are? I have something very similar or the same. Thank you!!

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November 19, 20170 found this helpful

A male fruit fly. You'll 2 sizes around. The larger one is the female.

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Share on ThriftyFunThis page contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

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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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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February 19, 2017

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

Brown Flying Insect

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February 19, 2017

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 page contains tips for getting rid of tiny flying bugs in your house.

A woman holding a blue fly swatter.

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December 13, 2016

This is a page about tiny, colorless bugs that bite. If you are having trouble with invisible insects, check out the advice here.

A woman scratching her neck after being bit by tiny bugs.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 6, 2010

Since the summer, I have been finding flying insects in our home. They started in the kitchen, but have also been in the bathroom and living room. They have what appears to be two long brown wings going directly down their back. They squish very easily and do not bite.

Our house is made of wood and I worried that they were flying termites. We brought in an inspector who told us they were just moths. However, they are still here and it is winter. Should I call a different termite company to come and have a look? There are not a lot of them.

Betsy from Baltimore, MD



If it started in the kitchen, they could be weevils. I never knew weevils could fly until I had them in my house in Florida. Check your pantry; flour, pasta, any package mixes with powdery seasonings; mac and cheese, etc. You might have to get rid of a lot of stuff (I filled up a trash bag), but removing the source is the key. Then vacuum and clean the shelves.

You probably brought them home from the supermarket in a bag of flour or box of pasta, etc. My exterminator told me the problem can be averted by putting susceptible foods (flour, rice, etc.) in the freezer for 2-3 days before storing it in the cupboards. The good news is, once I got rid of them and cleaned out, I never got them again.

Indian Meal Moths

They are probably Indian Meal Moths. They will be living in food products so the time of year it is doesn't matter. They can be found in any product made from plants like cereals, meal, spices, and dog biscuits. Look for something that has been around for awhile and you will see webbing in what they are feeding on.

There is no need to spend money on an exterminator for them, just a thorough cleaning and removing the food source. Open up the unopened boxes of stuff not so much that they are in the food, but the caterpillars will get under the box flaps and turn into the moths so you feel good about getting rid of them then two weeks later a new crop shows up.



Those bugs are roaches. In the south they are common. Get the Roach Hotel or something similar and place them where there are small openings where these little critters can get in. Good luck. Let me know how it works.

By Dee

Basil Leaf

I don't know about all of you, but my mom used to put a bay leaf in her bag of flour or any other dry meal, etc. I do the same thing, because she told me that I wouldn't get bugs in my things. It must work as I am 70 years old and have done this ever since she told me this and I haven't seen any bugs ever develop anywhere. But, everything that has dry product. A bay leaf goes in there right away.

By Glenis

Flying Bugs in My House

I had a terrible time with this same problem. You have to interrupt the life cycle of the moth. They will bed up and lay eggs in anything including binding of books, etc.

I understand they generally thrive in dog food and/or bird seed. I discovered bird seed was how my problem started. I got rid of them by removing and discarding any food they had infiltrated and this is important, I hung sticky fly traps in the rooms involved. This trapped them where they could not lay their eggs and then hatch into moths. The fly trap was a more economical way than purchasing expensive sticky pantry moth traps.

It was a long process, but successful. I also sprayed inside my cabinets with insect repellent as I cleaned out the food, empty cabinets of course. I wish you complete success.

By Margie

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