Gnats vs. Fruit Flies: What’s the Difference?

Fruit flies on a rotting wrinkled peachThere are hundreds of thousands of different insects living around the world, yet most people are only familiar with a few varieties that they encounter on a regular basis. Two insects that we have here in Northern New Jersey are gnats and fruit flies, which have some similarities but are distinct species with unique qualities.


Here is a look at the differences between gnats vs. fruit flies to help you determine what type of small, flying insect you’re dealing with in your home.


All About Gnats

Gnats are usually black or dark gray in color and have long bodies with dangling legs. A common type of nuisance insect is the fungus gnat. In general, gnats have small eyes and often live in the soil of potted plants inside homes.


Gnats are found in various rooms throughout the home, not just the kitchen. They love finding mold, grime, warmth, and moisture in a home. This is one reason why you should not leave standing water around your house or delay fixing moisture damage. Rotting animal carcasses and sewage also attract gnats.


Understanding Fruit Flies

Meanwhile, fruit flies are tan or black in color and have big, red eyes. They have rounded bodies and live around ripe fruits and food scraps in trash cans. You’ll most commonly find fruit flies in your kitchen and gathering in groups.


They rarely go too far away from potential food sources, and the females lay eggs in fruit that is turning from peak ripeness to rotten. However, you may also find fruit flies inside produce that is growing in your garden, which is why it’s important to check fruits and vegetables that you harvest on your property before bringing them inside to wash and eat.


Similarities Between Gnats vs. Fruit Flies

Both gnats and fruit flies are tiny, flying insects that can be very annoying to have buzzing around you. They tend to be more of a nuisance than a serious health or safety concern.


Prevention strategies for both gnats and fruit flies involve making sure that window screens don’t have holes. For gnat prevention, use a yellow porch light instead of a white one to attract them less frequently. For fruit flies, take your garbage out frequently and make sure that trash cans have tight seals so that these insects don’t start lingering around.


Professional Help with Pesky Insects

Both fruit flies and gnats reproduce quickly, so if you notice a few in your house, chances are that you may have many more of them in the near future. Therefore, it’s a good idea to call a professional exterminator when you first notice a problem with either of these types of insects. A gnat issue that isn’t addressed may lead to damaged and unhealthy houseplants, while a fruit fly infestation can lead to the spread of disease through contaminated food.


After the long winter season, many pests start to become more active and cause big hassles and headaches for New Jersey homeowners. Precise Termite & Pest Control can help you get rid of many different kinds of insects and rodents so that your home is a clean and safe place that you enjoy spending time in.


For your free pest inspection or to learn more about how we can help with gnats or fruit flies, give us a call at 866-971-2847. Identifying the type of insect, such as gnats vs. fruit flies, is the first step to taking control of your pest situation and preventing them from coming back again anytime soon.