June's Pest of the Month: Gnats
Gnats are very small, but they can also be very annoying, particularly when they get inside a building. They look somewhat similar to mosquitoes, with two wings and antennae, but they are much smaller. Many species of gnats don't bite, but some do. They tend to fly in very large groups, which is part of why they can be so frustrating. They are often attracted to fruits, particularly ones that are rotting.
Different Species of Gnats
There are a few different species of gnat, but they are very difficult to differentiate by sight alone. Some common types include black gnats, fungus gnats, and sand gnats. Fungus gnats and sand gnats are often found near fungi and sand, as their names suggest. Black gnats like to lay eggs and hang out near decomposing matter. Sand gnats are typically considered the most dangerous, as they bite and can transmit infectious diseases.
While some gnats do bite, the main reason gnats are problematic for homeowners is simply because they are annoying. They come in large swarms and are hard to get out once they are inside. They make a particularly irritating buzzing noise and often will continually fly around your face, which can make it difficult to concentrate on whatever you are doing. Gnats can also be harmful to plants in some cases because they like to feed on roots.
Unfortunately, it can be quite difficult to prevent and eliminate gnats in your home because of their small size. However, there are some things you can do to trap them. Some pest control companies make sticky traps that you can use to catch the flies indoors. You can also make your own trap with apple cider vinegar and dish soap. Since gnats are often attracted to fruit, they will fly straight into it, but the sticky dish soap will catch them. Finally, you should always make sure to store your food securely, whether that's in your fridge or pantry. You should also make sure your trash is secure. When food is laying out in the open, it's a bigger target for gnats.