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Pest Spotlight -- Fungus Gnats

Pest Spotlight -- Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are a nuisance pest you’ve probably never heard of but have seen flying in your home. Here are some facts about their biology and habits.

Appearance

Fungus gnats are tiny flies (only about 1/10 to 1/8 of an inch long) that have long legs that resemble those of a mosquito. Other characteristics, such as color, vary by species. The best way to identify a fungus gnat is by looking at the pattern of veins on the wings. This involves a microscope, so leave that to us.

Habitat and Development

Adult female fungus gnats lay eggs in decaying organic matter. Outside, this matter is typically leaf litter. Indoors, however, your potted plants make an attractive egg-laying site, particularly if there is excess moisture in the soil. Tiny, legless, and wingless maggots emerge from the eggs within a few days and feed on the organic matter. Once larval development is complete, the maggots pupate and emerge as adults a few days later. Indoors, adult fungus gnats only live for about a week. Their frequent reproduction indoors means that you’ll probably never see a dip in abundance even with this short adult life span. 

Treatment Options

A combination of chemical and non-chemical control is often useful for controlling fungus gnats. Sometimes, simply spacing out your watering schedule for indoor plants allows the soil to dry out enough that it is no longer suitable for fungus gnat development. Other times, however, fungus gnats indicate a bigger moisture problem in the home. Houseplants are not the only potential breeding grounds in the home. Wet, moldy insulation from a leaking roof or pipe may serve as a breeding site for these insects. If you are finding large numbers in your home, it is best to call your Raleigh pest control company, Innovative Pest Solutions. We can take moisture readings, identify the source of the infestation, and recommend chemical and non-chemical control options (such as replacing wet insulation) to provide long-term solutions to your fungus gnat problem.