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Tiny Flying Insects in Your House

Category Advice
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.


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 0 found this helpful
March 16, 2011

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


March 16, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

I'm not sure what kind of bugs those are but I found the apple cider vinegar trick worked when we had a gnat infestation. Maybe that would work for you. Place a cup of apple cider vinegar near where the bugs are (a few drops of soap in the vinegar helps). Dump out the collections of dead bugs daily. I was shocked at how many we collected. We also moved the bananas into the refrigerator until the infestation stopped.

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June 30, 2012

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.


July 1, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 7, 2018

We have tiny brown flying bugs that look like gnats in our house. We need help getting rid of them.


August 7, 20180 found this helpful

I've had good luck with spraying them with pure rubbing alcohol. YOu have the option of buying %50 or %75 alcohol - go with the %75 as it is more potent. YOu just spray them and they are gone

as well you can take the trouble to leave produce off the counters as much as possible, and do a drain bomb with baking soda and vinegar and hot water to kill anything that might be breeding in the drains. As well of course an Epic Cleaning Session to eliminate all sources of eggs/larvae

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August 7, 20180 found this helpful

Look for the nest and spray it. You may have to go outside and look where they are coming from. Make sure you have no leaks

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August 7, 20180 found this helpful

You could have fruit flies...without a pix it is hard to be sure. Check around to make sure you don't have any bad potatos, onions, apples or other produce item. I had one bad potato in a bag and it caused an infestation. It was awful. Once I got rid of the offending tater, the bugs went away. It took a few days, but when their food source was gone, they left.


Hope your solution will be as easy as mine was!

If they are coming up from the sink because something is caught in there, try boiling water and vinegar down the drain. You can put a layer of baking soda in the sink first and then pour the water/vinegar equal parts and vinegar and boiled will fizz up and hopefully kill off offending bugs!

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August 8, 20180 found this helpful

Fruit flies are usually a little larger than other gnats and generally always found in the kitchen. Drain gnats are usually found more often in kitchens also. Fungus gnats are generally around plants but can be found anywhere there is moisture.

  • Here is a site that has a pretty good description of all three types and some suggested remedies. There are several commercial products for getting rid of any of the three.
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  • Here is a good DIY way that does work but you will have to make sure everything is clean or they will returning.
  • First fill a small glass or bowl with about 1" of Apple Cider Vinegar (if you dont have any ACV, use regular white household vinegar) and a teaspoon of sugar; add a squirt of dish soap.
  • Cover with some plastic wrap and secure with an elastic band. This is to trap the pests.
  • Poke some holes in the plastic and set out on a kitchen counter near where the pesky bugs congregate. Place one in any room you have seen these bugs.
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By 0 found this helpful
June 7, 2018

Every night before I go to bed I turn off all the lights and turn on the lamp beside my bed and I look over there and there are like 20 small flies just flying in there.

Can someone help because I'm scared and freaked out and annoyed.


June 8, 20180 found this helpful

They are probably gnats. They like food, light and moisture. Make sure you eliminate water leaks and dont leave food out.


Get a spray that takes care of termites and they will be killed too. You can also go outside and see if you can find the nest.

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June 8, 20180 found this helpful

I have the same problem every night when I go to bed and turn on the light to read I have flies hovering around the light. I've tried bowls of vinegar and actually found a dead fly in the bowl this a.m. It's gross. Does anyone know where these flies are coming from and what to do to get rid of them?

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June 10, 20180 found this helpful

vacuum them up each time you see them. That will keep the population down. Keep an eye out for where you see flies in the house in the daytime. That may lead you to where they are coming from. Good luck.

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June 10, 20180 found this helpful

When I had the same problem it was fruit flies from a bag of potatoes with one bad one. The picture is hard to make out if that is what these are.


Here's an up close look.

My issue went away when I tossed the bag of taters. To this day I only buy what I need and use in in day as that incident stuck with me. Big ick!

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August 13, 20120 found this helpful

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!



August 15, 20121 found this helpful

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.

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October 18, 20170 found this helpful

These tiny black things seem to fly around computer screens n tv's as well as my face and skin. But how do I get RID of them?

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November 7, 20170 found this helpful

But how do u get rid off them

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May 29, 20180 found this helpful

Try turning on a light in the hallway and turning all lights in your room off. Leave the door open. Walk into another room for a little while and as long as there is no light in your room, they will have left. Turn the light off, shut the door first, then turn your light back on and ensure the bugs are gone

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October 1, 2011

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.


October 3, 20111 found this helpful

When you put bleach down drains, do you have a stopper to put over drain holes? You could try vinegar and baking soda. I heat up vinegar in microwave, then pour baking soda in drain and then pour vinegar. I've used this to unstop drains.
Note: after it stops bubbling from the vinegar and baking soda, put stopper over night. I hope this works or you find a solution.

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October 3, 20111 found this helpful

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

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February 19, 20100 found this helpful

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 joan dalton

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 marti gleeson

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 Deborah

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 jack

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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March 16, 20110 found this helpful

I have beetle looking bug that flies, it's about the size of a small ant, infesting my kitchen. Any idea what this is or how to get rid of it?

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June 17, 20100 found this helpful

Just wondering if anyone might have suggestions for controlling small, flying insects indoors? They look like baby flies.

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April 1, 20100 found this helpful

I have tiny flying insects in my home. They are smaller than mosquitoes. What can I use to get rid of them?

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