Where Do Gnats Come From and How to Get Rid Of Them

Overview

Fungus gnats can appear out of nowhere. You may have noticed that your home or office is clean at once and suddenly these tiny flies start to show without a warning. So, to keep these insects away you need to identify the insects, know the reason for the infestation, and also how to get rid of them. Gnats are one such kind of insect that needs to get in control. A lot of people have no idea about what gnats are and where they come from. In this article, we will pinpoint only these questions and will ensure to answer you the best.

So, firstly people who don’t know gnats properly or only have heard about them never seen must have a clue about how they look.

How Do Gnats Look?

Well, gnats are small brown or black insect having a single pair of wings and antennae. They are often confused with the mosquitos due to their long and thin legs. Though these insects aren’t good at flying. You will more likely spot them crawling or resting around potted plants and landscaping.

Where Do Gnats Come From?

Gnats come from eggs laid on unripe fruits. They usually lay eggs in moist organic material like mulch, dirt, and compost. The larvae after hatching rely upon the decaying matter, fungi, and algae in the soil. After two weeks of feeding, they come out as mature flying gnats. However, the mature gnats are annoying and can damage plant roots, which then cause the foliage to die.

Moreover, these tiny pests soon become a big problem in wet, humid conditions like greenhouse or mushroom farms. Gnats can also create issues in hotel lobbies and workplaces when fungus gnats may come from the potted decorative plants.

Also read: Red spiders: identification and control 

Gnats have two key elements: food and moisture where they come from. Some gnats feed on blood through a bite, while some feed over insects and decaying organic material.

These flying insects are as tiny as mosquitoes and do not need much space to come inside. They can enter the home through small holes and cracks in the windows or doors. Small gaps in the doors and holes in the window screen also invite these.

They look for shelter and food once inside. Many species live and reproduce in decaying matter that is shady and moist. While other species are attracted to ripened fruits and vegetables and uncovered garbage receptacles. Nonetheless, some gnats live and breed in the soil of excessively moisture plants. Usually, gnats are attracted to bright light very much, and you can spot them buzzing around bright lights and lamps.

What Do Gnats Eat?

Gnats usually feed on the nectar plant. While in some species, females need blood to develop eggs and which is why they bite mammals like pets, livestock, and humans.

Do they affect humans, if yes how? Are they the same as mosquitoes biting? Let’s find out.

What Do Gnats Do to Humans?

Gnats generally bite humans or animals to get blood as their feed. Female gnats are usually the ones who get feed from humans to develop their eggs. They extract blood from any human or animal close to it. Gnats have bodies not larger than the length of the tip of a pen. Gnats possess grey bodies that get red after they feed.

Gnat Bites Symptoms

Gnat bites have not any specific symptoms. They generally cause you a burning sensation while biting. This burning sensation will fade out leading to a red and itchy bump. The gnat bite bumps feel red, painful, itchy, and swollen. Bleeding may also be felt while gnat bites you. However, in some people, these bumps may turn into cysts filled with fluid.

How To Get Rid of Gnats?

Getting rid of gnats isn’t a big deal. The first thing is to remove the favorable condition where they can grow. Here are some simple things to get rid of gnats.

Avoid overwatering/water bodies:- gnats usually stay near swamps, marshes, ponds, and streams. Avoid spending more time at these places and limit your exposure to them.

Cover your exposed parts:– wear a full sleeve shirt or top while going out. Gnats can bite any area of the skin, so by covering your skin you can prevent their exposure.

Wear light clothes:- gnats may be attracted to dark colors. Hence, try to wear light-colored clothes.

Wear insect repellant:- apply insect repellant overexposed areas that contain DEET. Either you can use a natural alternative like the oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Wear closed shoes:- closed shoes will prevent you from gnat bites outside.

Avoid wearing scented products:- strong products like shampoo or perfume can attract gnats and other insects. Avoid wearing such products while going out. Rather use a fewer odors product.

Repair your windows and doors:- cover holes in your windows and doors and seal all the cracks to stop them from coming inside.

This is for the preventive measures you need to take. Avoid moisture and leakage at your home as moisture brings insects. Also, there are various homemade as well as commercial methods to deal with these gnats. You can contact pest services if you find a gnat infestation.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I get rid of gnats?

You can get rid of it with a mixture of apple cider vinegar, sugar, water, and dish soap. Also, you can get the same results by simply mixing red wine and dish soap. Or if you find gnats hanging near plumbing fixtures such as down the sink or tub drain, pour some diluted bleach over there.

What causes gnats to be in your house?

The main reason for gnats is moisture at or around your home. The most favorable conditions for gnats include food receptacles, moist potting soil, excessive grass or plants, in kitchen leaky pipes or sinks can cause it. And the moisture around the window and vents, especially during rain.  

What is the fastest way to get rid of gnats?

The fastest way to get rid of gnats is homemade killer spray or either you can use a readymade spray. To make a homemade killer spray you need to mix a half cup of water, half cup of isopropyl alcohol, and a teaspoonful of dish liquid in a spray bottle. Now you can use it directly over the gnats to kill them. 

What do gnats turn into?

There are four stages gnats develop from – eggs, larvae, pupa, and then adult. They are two-winged flying insects. Gnats species are holometabolous (fully developed insects). 

What smell do gnats hate?

A peppermint repellent keeps the gnats away from your place. You can make it by yourself. Take a spray bottle and mix two cups of water and 20 drops of peppermint essential oil with a spoonful of a liquid dish. Spray this mixture everywhere in your garden, home, lawn every week to stay gnats away. 

You can spray twice a week if there is already enough or gnats out there. 

What causes gnats in kitchen and bathroom?

If you find gnats hovering in your kitchen or bathroom, it is because of the moisture and dampness around the bathtub, shower or air conditioner vents. You can also find them over the dirty dishes or uncovered garbage or over-ripened fruits. 

How do you get rid of gnats without vinegar?

  • Candle traps
  • Essential oil sprays
  • Stale wine traps
  • Fruit fly traps
  • Make use of rotten fruit

How do you get rid of gnats with white vinegar?

You will need a mixture of water, vinegar and dish soap. Take the following quantities of the same:-

  • 1 cup of water(240ml)
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar(15 ml)
  • ¼ teaspoon of dish soap(1.2ml)

Mix this spray whenever you find gnats flying around. This is the natural way of dealing with gnats.

Do gnats lay eggs in hair?

No, gnats don’t lay eggs in the hair. They only breed in moist conditions. Your hair or scalp is not the favorable site of their breeding for sure. 

Do gnats turn into fly?

Gnats are the adult phase of their development. Gnats usually go through four stages of growth which start from an egg, then hatches into larvae (worm-like stage). Then the larva turns into pupa or cocoon stage. Which is the final stage and gnats are ready to fly. 

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