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Tiny Flying Insects in the House

I recently, 2 months ago, moved into a furnished apartment. My first nights there, I felt like bugs were landing on me. Well, 2 months later, I can see these "minute flying insects". They are 1/10 the size of a fly, almost invisible. I usually see them at night. They land on my face, crawl in my ears, it has been a terrible 2 months.


I have bought foggers, flying insect killer, used bleach, and ammonia, but nothing seems to work. My landlord says he needs samples, hell, these are so small and fast, I cannot get any. I am asking you for help. I like organic or natural solutions.

Also, these insects have chewed a place on my scalp til it bled.

Please help me.

Thank you.
I am on SS, live on a fixed income.


HELP with Tiny Flying Insects

I had an insect problem and called my local Cooperative Extension. This is a designated college in each state funded by government money that helps citizens with problems in gardening, farming, etc. Your library should tell you which school in your state is the Cooperative Extension. They sometimes have toll free or local numbers that you can call (or visit with a sample), or an email address on the internet.

Sometimes these are local problems and they would know if others in the area had the same problem. Insects will hang around if there is food and water for them. Look under your sinks for leaks. I had a leak, but the pipe was not wet. The wet spot was way in the back under the faucet installation. For crawling insects, I put Borateem (cheap form of Borax) on the floor and baseboards and there is no longer a problem. (08/07/2003)

By goldengrain

HELP with Tiny Flying Insects

Those are black flies and the use of DEET on your skin will keep them from biting you. (07/05/2005)

HELP with Tiny Flying Insects

The best way to catch these bugs known as fungus gnats, is to get a paper cup and put vinegar in it, just a little. Get Saran Wrap and cover the cup and seal with a rubber band. Then poke a very ting hole in it. I promise you in 20 minutes you will have caught at least 10 of them. They are annoying. Good luck. (08/03/2006)


By Jessica

HELP with Tiny Flying Insects

I have found a cure for these little black bugs. All you need in 1 cup of cider vinegar, 1 cup of water, and 1 teaspoon of dish washing soap. I have a bowl I leave in the kitchen. You will have trapped them in 24 hours or less. Cheap, but works great. (10/18/2007)

By Belinda

HELP with Tiny Flying Insects

One answer I found by searching Google was that they are "noseeums" and you should use insect repellent. I'm still looking. (09/07/2008)

By Robin

HELP with Tiny Flying Insects

Hey guys, I managed to kill one with vinegar and got a good look at it. Ours are called Phorid Flies. They are brown with little black stripes going across the back half of their back. It doesn't have big wings, but it does seem to have a stinger on its butt. The biggest difference between the Phorid fly and fruit fly is that the fruit fly has red eyes, while the phorid fly has a humped shape back. It almost looks like a flea, except it's yellow/brown and flies.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a lot of remedies online other than finding the place where they are breeding and using X product for $29.99.

They like moist places to breed, like drains and/or pet excrement. We're going to be much more conscientious about our pet's litter box. We think they must have started breeding in it while we were away on vacation.

So, other than that, unfortunately I don't think there's a immediate remedy. (10/15/2008)

By Jonathan

HELP with Tiny Flying Insects

Try putting a tsp. of baking soda in all of your drains then pouring about a 1/4 cup of vinegar on top of that. Do this everyday for about a week then once a week for about a month there after.

Hope this helps. (10/25/2008)

By Steve

HELP with Tiny Flying Insects

I know exactly what most of you are talking about, a 'lightweight' type of gnat or fruit fly. One place where I believe they come from most of you may have in common. Dirt. Not from failing to dust that week (or month), but the kind from plants. They seem to propagate in the soil.

So I've gotten rid of them by putting either that real sticky fly tape (I cut it in pieces) around the base of the plant. This catches bunches of them. You can also buy what the garden stores call tanglefoot, dip a Popsicle or other stick in one end and put the other end in the dirt. Works great at catching them.


By martij

HELP with Tiny Flying Insects

Use citronella, catnip, rosemary, marigolds, or mosquito plants. It is found mostly in internet sales. You can go to and type in "Five plants that repel mosquitoes". (01/07/2009)

By Dave

HELP with Tiny Flying Insects (01/18/2009)

By Cola

HELP with Tiny Flying Insects

Only if you have tried everything else, then spend the money to get an Ozone generator. They are spendy. You might be able to rent one, but it must be strong enough to work in a house (they make small ones for cars). Ozone kills tiny insects. I tried it.

An ozone generator is not an ionizer. You must get an ozone generator strong enough to kill insects (kills mold too, removes all odors) and not to just "purify the air".

Ozone strong enough to kill insects is toxic to humans and pets. Not sure what it does to plants. It dissipates quickly afterward, but you must leave the house while it is working. And air out the house before you enter.

I just got one and it is working, but is taking forever because I do not have the money to stay at a hotel. So I only run it for a several hours a day. I run it in the bathroom all night with the door closed. You house will be fresh and clean smelling afterward.

You must wash all your clothes if they are infested and do your car too if it is infested. It turns clear plastic white so clear plastic must be masked. Sorry that is all the info I have as it is new to me as well. Good luck.



By nuitgoddess

HELP with Tiny Flying Insects

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet
1991 Kenny Road, Columbus, OH 43210-1090

Humpbacked Fly
William F. Lyon
Julie A. Steele

Common Name Scientific Name

Humpbacked Fly or Phorid Fly Megaselia scalaris

Humpbacked flies can become a nuisance in hospitals (burn units, operating rooms, pathology labs, autopsy rooms, morgues), food establishments (kitchens, soft drink vending machines, garbage receptacles) or homes (faulty septic systems, clogged basement drains, soil of potted plants, drip pans, garbage cans, rotting meat and vegetables). Some are found outdoors in decaying organic matter such as vegetation, animal feces, carcasses of animals, decaying insects and nests of ants, termites, bees and wasps. Flies may run rapidly across windows, TV screens, tables, walls and plant foliage in short, jerky movements, appearing reluctant to fly.

Adult humpbacked or Phorid flies are tiny (1/16 to 1/8 inch long), humpbacked (arched thorax), yellowish-brown insects with a characteristic wing venation. When wings are present, two veins near the front of the wing are very heavy (thickened), terminating about halfway before the wing tip; the remaining three veins are weak (finer), running diagonally not forming any closed cells. The outer third segment of the antennae is much larger than the other two segments and bears a long stout bristle. The head is small with rather large eyes, legs are large with the hind femora laterally flattened (adapted for jumping) and the abdomen short, narrowed and dropping behind. The head and thorax have scattered, large bristles. Larvae are elongated, almost cylindrical, slightly flattened (3/32 inch long), dirty white and tapered at the anterior (front) end. The puparium is boat-shaped (1/8 inch long), light-brown and slightly translucent. Eggs are very small (1/32 inch long) and opaque-white.

Life Cycle and Habits:
Humpbacked flies reproduce in moist areas where food and water are present. Eggs are usually laid directly on the decaying material with females laying about 20 at a time (40 eggs over a 12 hour period). Eggs hatch in 24 hours with the three larval stages lasting 8 to 16 days and pupal stage lasting 14 days. The entire life cycle lasts about 25 days or more, depending on temperature, moisture and food available. Females are very strongly attracted to odors of decaying animal material and readily lay eggs on or near it. Larvae have been found feeding in sour milk, decaying plants (corn, onions, pineapple), open wounds of animals and humans, decaying animal and human flesh (cadavers), animal and human feces, decaying insects, laboratory culture media, clogged drains, crypts in a mausoleum, human tissue at hospitals, soil of potted plants, cut flowers in vases, garbage cans, garbage disposals, etc. Larvae do not initiate wounds or attack healthy animals or humans.

Adults have sponging type mouthparts and are sometimes confused with vinegar or fruit flies and fungus gnats due to their small size, flight pattern and breeding habits.

Control Measures:
Humpbacked flies do not bite humans but may become a nuisance by their presence in large populations. Since they originate in filthy conditions, there is a possibility of transmitting certain diseases. These flies can cause much anxiety and embarrassment by their presence in hospital burn units, pathology labs, autopsy rooms, morgues, mausoleums, etc. The most important task is to locate and eliminate the larval breeding sources. Carefully inspect the facilities for concentrations of adult flies and decaying odors.

Blacklight electrocuting devices are not effective control agents, but can monitor populations. Also, sticky traps can be used to monitor populations. Flies are attracted to natural light and will fly erratically around lights at night. Sticky traps, placed in several locations with a yellow background color, are most attractive. Place traps after closing and remove for examination before opening if customers are of concern. Monitor at one or two month intervals.

Indoors, thoroughly clean drain pipes and traps with a good, stiff, long-handled brush. Often, it is best to remove the drain trap and use a "snake" in clogged drains to clean the pipes of all gelatinous material, removing the larval food source. Bleach or commercial lye solutions may be poured into the drain pipes after a thorough cleaning by brush, carefully flushing with boiling water. The use of a caustic material (drain cleaner) is effective with repeat applications.

Use a dehumidifier or fan to eliminate or reduce unnecessary moisture or dampness. Avoid accumulation of wet organic matter in roof or ground drainage sites. Keep these areas free of wet leaves. At temperatures of 50 degrees F or lower, life cycles of these flies are suspended. Temperatures around freezing for one to four weeks will kill many insects. Temperatures of 130 to 136 degrees F for a few hours will give good kill. Use high pressure sodium vapor lights (not mercury vapor lights rich in ultraviolet wavelengths) away from doors and windows if exterior light is needed. Damp organic matter of potted plants and pollen on indoor flowers can support these flies. Keep excessive vegetation (grasses, leaves) away from the foundation. Dispose of dead rodents and old bird nests. Clean garbage containers and seal (caulk) cracks and crevices to prevent entry sites into structures.

Indoors, aerosol space sprays of pyrethrins or resmethrin, labeled for small flying insects, will kill adult humpbacked flies, providing temporary control. Repeat applications will be needed to kill newly emerging humpbacked flies until the feeding and breeding source of the larvae are found and removed. Outdoors, licensed pest control operators or applicators can use cyfluthrin (Tempo) or permethrin (Flee) applied to dirty garbage cans, compost piles, outside sewers, window frames, etc. Read the insecticide label carefully and follow directions and safety precautions.

This publication contains pesticide recommendations that are subject to change at any time. These recommendations are provided only as a guide. It is always the pesticide applicator's responsibility, by law, to read and follow all current label directions for the specific pesticide being used. Due to constantly changing labels and product registration, some of the recommendations given in this writing may no longer be legal by the time you read them. If any information in these recommendations disagrees with the label, the recommendation must be disregarded. No endorsement is intended for products mentioned, nor is criticism meant for products not mentioned. The author, The Ohio State University and Ohio State University Extension assume no liability resulting from the use of these recommendations.

By o'malley

HELP with Tiny Flying Insects

For Phorid Flies:

  1. A vinegar trap with a few drops of liquid soap. Cut a plastic 20 oz or 2 liter in half so that the bottom forms a cup/bowl. Fill with 2" of apple cider vinegar. Invert the top so that it forms a funnel and insert in bottom and seal edge with tape.

  2. These flies can infest your clothes and can definitely survive washing. Soak clothes 48 hours in a strong Borax (20 Mule Team) solution before washing. Rinse a couple of times before washing to make sure most of the Borax is rinsed out. Use 10-15 gallon plastic tubs (available at most supermarkets) to do the soaking.

You may need to treat shoes and outwear, and all linens, as well. (12/12/2009)

By pr2

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