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Common Small Flying Insects Identification

By DoMyOwn staff

Finding the source of the infestation and a positive identification of the insect you're treating is essential for control.

 Common Small Flying Insects Identification Video Play

Video Transcript

Hi I'm Kara with Today, we'll be discussing how to identify small flying insects that may be found in the home other than your common house fly. The key to identify small flying insects is to determine the source of where the insects are coming from but also getting a positive ID of the flying insect, as your treatment method will be based on the positive ID. The most common small flying insects are gonna be drain flies, fruit flies, and fungus gnats. Today, we're gonna discuss on how to identify them and what the best treatment options are for those particular insects.

Drain flies are gonna be one of those small flying insects that seemingly pop up overnight. These flies are gonna breed in areas like sink drains, shower drains, floor drains, or any areas of the home where organic matter can build up. Drain flies are normally dark grey to black in color and only measure 1/5 to 1/6 of an inch in length. Drain flies have 6 legs, fuzzy wings, antennae, and they appear to be tiny moths when viewed up close. Our drain fly kit would be recommended to treat drain flies in the home. Our drain fly kit is gonna come with a drain gel to treat the drains individually, a contact spray aerosol, and also monitoring glueboards to help monitor your infestation. Please check out our drainfly treatment guide for more information on an in-depth treatment for treating drain flies in your home.

Fruit flies are another small flying insect that are found in homes and often confused with drain flies. Fruit flies only measure to be about 1/8 of an inch long and are red in color. Fruit fly numbers tend to be greatest in late summer and early fall during harvest season. Fruit flies hover around and thrive near drains, garbage receptacles, fresh and rotting produce,  and moist organic material that gathers under fridges and poorly cleaned areas. You wanna be sure you keep an eye on your shopping bags - they can come into your home from fruits and veggies you buy from the grocery store. Fruit flies are gonna be best treated with an aerosol spray, fly lights, and fruit fly traps in areas around the home or establishment where you're seeing fruit fly activity. For more information, please view our fruit fly treatment guide for more tips and recommendations on an effective treatment.

The next small flying insect we're gonna talk about is fungus gnats. While fungus gnats typically originate outdoors in oversaturated soils, overgrown landscape beds in shaded areas, they can work their way indoors through transplanting soil or even overwatered houseplants. Fungus gnats are dark grey to black, have long legs and a humpback shape. They are tiny in size measuring 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long, almost the same size as a fruit fly. They have 1 set of grey colored wings and tiny antennae resembling small mosquitoes when viewed up close. When inspecting soils for signs of fungus gnats, the larvae resembles small white or cream colored worms with black heads. One of the best ways to treat for fungus gnats in the home is to use a contact kill aerosol for a quick knockdown and then using insect monitoring glueboards to help monitor the infestation and control the population. You can also use a systemic insecticide on houseplants that are listed for systemic applications but also to landscape ornamentals outside the home. You can treat houseplants with neem oil for a foliar application to knockdown fungus gnats inside the home. A good prevention method for fungus gnat. control is to make sure you're always using sterile potting material and letting the soil dry out completely to eliminate any moisture or damp material where fungus gnat larvae can breed.

In addition to the treatment methods listed for each of these insects, additional options such as the use of fly lights, glueboards, and an insect growth regulator can help with the treatment process. The use of an IGR, or insect growth regulator, is gonna be needed for full control. An insect growth regulator stops the smaller stages or juvenile stages of insects per the product label from being able to mature into adults. Using fly lights or glue boards indoors will not only help catch the insect but help identify and monitor the type of insect you are treating.

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