What are fungus gnats

Abell Pest Control

About the fungus gnat
Although fungus gnats are very similar to fruit flies, there are several differences that set them apart. Unlike the fruit fly, the fungus gnat is skinny and black, asserted the Massachusetts Government Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. In size, they are about 1 millimeter and in habits, they are very similar to the classic gnat. Also known as manure flies or mushroom flies, fungus gnats are found near compost bins, greenhouses and the soil of household plants due to their attraction to moisture and fungus. Although they are not dangerous or harmful, they can be a nuisance.

Life cycle of a fungus gnat
Like other tiny pests, the fungus gnat has a very short life span. According to the University of Vermont Extension Department of Plant and Soil Science the adult flies lay single eggs that are scattered in strings of groups of three to 10. These oval-shaped eggs are shiny, white and almost transparent, making them difficult to see with the naked eye. Each egg takes between four and six days to hatch. From eggs, they turn to larvae and eventually wrap themselves in a silk cocoon. After this stage, they emerge as a pupa and fast for several days. Finally, the adult emerges and is able to mate soon after it flies. This overlap is often the cause for the abundance of flying fungus gnats at once.

It is difficult to prevent fungus gnats if you have compost piles near your home because it is the two very aspects that make up compost that these flies are attracted to. Eliminating the fungus and moisture would also eliminate your compost. Planet Natural advised thoroughly sifting through the soil of your household plants to check for the clear, transparent larvae. If you find signs of this, or of flying fungus gnats themselves, it's best to dispose of the plant completely. If you pot your own plants, avoid soft material that is likely to hold moisture such as moss. These are hot spots for egg-laying and keeping it out of your home will help to keep fungus gnats at bay. If you start to experience serious problems or cannot control an infestation of fungus gnats on your own, it is best to call your local pest management professional.

About the author:

Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.

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