Gnats in NJ, NYC, and Eastern PA

Gnat Control in New Jersey, New York City, Philadelphia, Connecticut, and Delaware

Appearance

What Do Gnats Look Like?
gnat picture
Size: Gnats are incredibly small and usually reach no more than 1/8 inch in length. They have long legs compared to their bodies and are easily swatted out of the air.

Color: Non-biting gnats range from brown to green, while others are black. However, the exact coloration of gnats is difficult to distinguish with the naked eye.

Characteristics: Gnats have wings and segmented antennae. In contrast to the lightning-quick reactions of common flies, gnats are slow to react to the movements of humans.

Call for service: (877) 250-3857

Facts

  • Known all over the world for their nuisance behavior, gnats can cause a disproportionate amount of trouble relative to their small size.
  • The insects are grouped within the fly family under the suborder Nematocera.
  • Gnats are typically classified as such for their small, nondescript appearance and weak flying skills.
  • Many types of small flies are commonly called gnats, including fruit flies and some mosquitoes.

Food

What Do Gnats Eat
Some gnats are attracted to rotting, overripe fruit and vegetables, though for egg-laying purposes only.

As adults, fungus gnats will feed on nectar from flowers, while their offspring consume:

  • Fungi
  • Decaying plant material
  • Rotten wood

Additionally, some biting gnats feed on the blood of animals, including humans.

Biology

Read about the gnat life cycle

Detection

  • Light: May notice adult gnats flying around indoors, often near sources of light.
  • Moisture: Look for gnats in moist places that support decaying organic matter, such as compost bins or potted plants.
  • At night: May notice gnats breeding at night in large groups called ghosts. Breeding often takes place in large, open areas.

Problems Caused by Gnats

  • While just a few gnats present little trouble for people, the pests can quickly grow in number and create much larger problems.
  • Some gnat species are capable of damaging crops by producing abnormal growths and unsightly blemishes on plants, while others are known for feeding on blood and can transmit diseases like encephalitis.
  • Less dangerous though particularly annoying, certain types of gnats often fly straight into the eyes of people and other animals, and are thus referred to as eye gnats.

Signs of Infestation

Gnat infestations are most recognized by the slow-flying presence of the tiny insects. As some gnats bite, the resulting pain also serves as a sign of infestation.

In some cases, people can spot gnats by gently shaking houseplants. If gnats are present, the insects will be spotted fleeing from their preferred resting place.

Prevention Tips

  • Lighting: Avoid attracting gnats by turning off unnecessary lighting at dusk.
  • Torn Screens: If windows, doors, and screens are broken or damaged, the insects can easily penetrate these barriers.
  • Moisture: Homeowners can prevent fungus gnats by properly watering houseplants, as over-watered plant soil offers ideal conditions for egg-laying.
  • Bringing them home: When purchasing plants from retailers, make sure the soil is gnat-free.
  • Food: Throw out any overripe fruit around the home to keep the pests from repopulating indoors.

Tips for Removal from Home

Once gnats are present in the home, residents should begin by removing attractive elements found in the structure.

If gnat populations grow to out-of-control numbers, responsible individuals should contact a local pest management professional to help them manage the infestation.

Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.

Call for service: (877) 250-3857