Gnat Control Services

There are several pests that can quickly ruin outdoor fun, like mosquitoes; gnats are at the top of most people’s list.

These annoying pests start spoiling outdoor activities in mid to late spring when temperatures rise above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Gnats are not just confined to the outdoors; they can invade your indoor space and create problems there too. Gnats can contaminate food by transferring bacteria from dirty surfaces, clog drains and cause other problems for humans and pets.

Swarm of gnats appear over blades of grass at dusk

What Attracts Gnats?

Gnats are attracted to damp areas and smell like those produced by fruit, vegetable, and flower gardens, perfumes, and body lotions. Since gnats only require two things to breed – moisture and some rotting organic matter — there are many things in your yard and home that can attract and create ideal breeding conditions.

Things that attract gnats:

Gnats outdoors:

  • Overwatering your lawn
  • A build-up of grass clippings
  • Rotten logs
  • Dead plants
  • Unremoved stumps

Gnats in house:

  • Rotting food
  • Overly ripe fruit
  • Food left in the garbage disposal

Gnat Life Cycle

Most gnats will move through their life cycle in approximately 30 days but lay enough eggs to keep their numbers consistent throughout the spring and summer. During this time, the male gnats swarm at dusk and mate with any females that enter the swarm. Once fertile, female gnats can lay up to 300 eggs—and up to 1,000 eggs during her lifetime.

Types of Gnats

How to effectively get rid of gnats will depend on the type of gnats you’re dealing with. There are thousands of species of gnats. Here are some of the species you are most likely to encounter inside and outside your home.

No-See-Ums (Biting Midges)
These gnats populate damp areas around your property and aquatic habitats such as fast-flowing streams and deep lakes. Like mosquitoes, they bite and extract blood from humans and animals. Non-biting midges, or chironomids, are gray and less than 1/8 of an inch in length. In the adult stage, they resemble mosquitoes, with females utilizing their long proboscis to extract blood from their victims.

Although the midge life cycle lasts less than three weeks, from egg to adult, they can be quite a nuisance for people trying to enjoy outdoor activities. No-see-ums will readily bite humans and pets, causing painful and itchy areas on the skin. Those allergic to no-see-ums (biting midges) may also experience long-lasting sores around the bite areas.

Fungus or Houseplant Gnats:
Also known as winter gnats, adults are grayish-black with long gray wings and long legs. They typically feed on the fungi and roots of plants. Their eggs (although almost impossible to see) are smooth, oval, and shiny white. The females lay around 300 eggs, which take about three days to hatch. Fungus gnats live up to a month, easily reproduce in warm climates, and are attracted to light.

Drain Fly Gnat:
These flies love drains and sewers and have been known to clog pipes and cause plumbing issues for homeowners. They reproduce in areas with decaying organic matter. The larvae take three days to mature. As adults, they can spread bacteria throughout your home as they travel from surface to surface but don’t usually cause diseases in humans.

Sand Fly Gnat:
These gnats get their name because of their sandy color. Thick hair covers their body and legs, and they have big black eyes. Females have a meal that consists of blood before laying their eggs (usually from a reptile or mammal), and both males and females enjoy the sugary nutrients that come from plant nectar.

Sand flies thrive in humid conditions that also have a dry area, which helps protect their eggs. The entire sand fly lifecycle is 20-40 days, with the eggs taking 1-2 weeks to develop into larval. Pupae develop into adults within 10 days.

If bitten by a sand fly, you may experience a bumpy red rash around the bite area. Some people can also get a fever due to a gnat bite. Sand flies can also transmit viral infections like Chagres Virus and Punta Toro Virus.

Eye Gnats:
Eye gnats (grass flies) are attracted to the secretions that come from the nose, mouth, and eyes of humans and animals, so they often congregate near these areas. Eye gnats have been known to transmit conjunctivitis (pink eye).

These gnats thrive in areas of loose, sandy soil and have a life cycle that varies based on the temperature, food, and moisture available. Adult females consume blood, animal sweat, secretions, and pus, to store protein for the pupa and larval stage. Females lay up to 400 eggs in 2-3 days, and adults typically live about 28 days.

Black Fly Gnats:
Black fly gnats (turkey gnats or humpbacked buffalo gnats) are tan, green, or gray and breed in fast-moving rivers and streams. They emerge in late spring or early summer. Males feed only on nectar, but females swarm animals, including birds and people, and consume their blood. These gnats are attracted to moving dark objects, sweat, and carbon dioxide.

These gnats can be a nuisance for anyone working or playing outside. They target and bite their prey around the neck and head area and can be very aggressive. Black flies can kill large animals with their persistent harassment. Fortunately, they only live about 2-3 weeks and usually disappear during the hottest months of the summer.

Can Gnats Transmit Disease?

Thankfully, most of the common gnats do not transmit harmful diseases. However, some like the Eye Gant have been linked to the transmission of conjunctivitis (pinkeye). There are some gnats that bite and cause irritation and redness when present in large numbers, which creates problems for anyone trying to enjoy the outdoors.

Tips for Minimizing Gnats Around Your Home:

  • Place rotting fruit, food, and vegetables in closed containers or sealed bags before putting them in the garbage can. Dispose of them as soon as possible.
  • Let flower and plant beds dry completely between watering.
  • Get rid of decaying organic matter such as leaves, grass, and plant matter.
  • Avoid using moss for beds (as it can retain moisture and develop fungus).

How to Get Rid of Gnats

Regardless of the type of gnats, you’re dealing with, a gnat infestation can quickly ruin an outdoor event and have the most enthusiastic outdoorsman seeking shelter.
Gnats are attracted to moisture, fruits and vegetables, and decaying organic matter. Many of these conditions can be found around your home, garbage cans, sewers, and even your lawn, and garden. Your local Mosquito Joe can help eliminate gnats in your yard. We offer both traditional and natural barrier treatments that help keep pests away for up to 21 days. If gnats, mosquitoes, and flies are ruining your good times, call Mosquito Joe. We can help make the outdoors fun again! Call 855-275-2563 or request an estimate online today!

Do You Offer Gnat Control Near Me?

*Gnat control service offering will vary by location. Please call your locally owned and operated Mosquito Joe for further information on gnat control in your area.