Gnats and Fruit Flies

Gnats and Fruit Flies

These two small flying insects are often confused for each other, or thought to be the same insect. They both have you waving your arms in the air to keep them away from you and your food. They both are so tiny that it is hard to tell them apart. And you may try to get rid of them with a fly-swatter or – we’ve all done it – your hand!


Here’s a few simple differences between Fruit Flies and Gnats

and what to do with them when you’ve got them…


Fruit flyFruit flies are often found indoors. As their name conveniently reminds us, they are generally attracted to fruits and vegetables that you have on your counter or that are left too long in your trash can. They like to lay their eggs in overripe or fermenting fruits. The larvae then eats the fruit when it hatches.

Easiest way to control them: Prevent them. By not leaving overly ripe fruit or vegetables on your counter their food supply will be cut off and they’ll go ‘bug’ someone else’s kitchen.

What to do when you get them: If you are noticing the occasional fruit fly hovering over those bananas that have started turning brown, you don’t have to call an exterminator. Just throw away the bananas and take your trash out soon. But, if you’ve been out of town for two weeks and you forgot to take the trash out before you left, beware! You may have a new family of gnats that have been hatching and growing while you were away. If you don’t want to deal with hand-swatting or sticky traps for the next few weeks, give Southern Maryland Boys Pest Control a call.


Gnats. Some species of gnats are found outside. But one particular kind of gnat, the fungus gnat can be found inside, usually hovering around your house plants. They are attracted to the damp soil of over-watered potted plants. They will leave their eggs in soil in the over watered soil and when hatched the immature gnats will begin to feed on the decomposing soil.

Easiest way to control them: You may consider inspecting the soil of any new plants you bring into your home. Don’t over water your plants. Let the soil dry in between watering.

What to do when you get them: Find their source. Inspect your potted plants and make sure it has adequate drainage. You may consider re-potting your plant so you can inspect the soil and roots for any larvae. A glue or stick trap nearby the plants work well.


Simple steps you can take if you are having a problem getting rid of fruit flies or gnats:

  • Identify which pest you’re dealing with
  • Know what the food source is and remove it
  • Contact an exterminator if there’s more of an infestation than you can handle