Where Do Gnats Come From — A Detailed Look

Where Do Gnats Come From?

Gnats belong to the group of tiny flying insects that you typically find roaming free around your home. Gnats are extremely annoying little insects that will continue to disturb you in your garden, kitchen, and near your drains if you don’t properly treat the gnat infestation. If you find that you have a ton of gnats in the house, you may be wondering where do gnats come from, and how can you get rid of them?

It’s important to understand that these small flying bugs in a house are found near moist and damp areas in the house because they like to feed on decaying organic material and like to lay their eggs inside the wet soil.

This means you can usually find most gnats in plants, around your garbage cans, circling your drains, and infesting your overripe fruit. But, where do gnats come from and how do they find their way into the house?

What Causes Gnats in Your Home?

Where do gnats come from? Notably small in size and unbelievably prolific when it comes to reproducing, gnats quickly increase in numbers over a relatively short period if not dealt with appropriately.

In some cases, you will unknowingly bring gnat eggs and larvae into your house on everyday household items like the soil of potted plants or pieces of fruit. Here are some other ways that you can end up with an infestation of gnats in a home.

What Do Gnats Eat?

  • Overripe fruit
  • Algae
  • Softening potatoes
  • Compost
  • Fungus
  • Decaying organic matter

Garbage Heaps

One of the main reasons you might find a gnat problem in your home is because of garbage heaps in and around your house. The foul smell that comes with garbage attracts these black gnats in large numbers.

The moisture and proper environment of the trash, make it the best place for gnat eggs and larvae to feed and grow. To keep gnats from getting into your home, make sure you dispose of waste properly to get rid of nats.

Overwatered Plants

If you find a large number of gnats in a house, it could be an indication that you are overwatering your potted plants. Soils that have excess amounts of water present will attract gnats in large quantities.

When you overwater your plants, you will end up with root, crown, and stem rot and will become infected by fungal pathogens. This rotting organic material is precisely what fungus gnats thrive on.

They love to lay their eggs in the moist soil, so their larvae and pupae can easily access the organic material they need to survive and grow. If you’re interested in getting rid of gnats in your home, be sure not to overwater your plants and allow the soil to dry before watering again.

Uncovered Drains

If you’re dealing with gnats in the bathroom and kitchen, they could be coming from your drain. Most pipes, especially in older homes, have built-up organic material lining the walls, which gnats love to feast on.

Drain gnats will lay their eggs in the decaying organic materials inside of drains. When the eggs hatch, the larvae, and pupae will feed off the organic material until they are ready to mature into adult sewer gnats.

Left Out Food

When you leave leftover food sitting on the counter, it will start to decay rapidly. This decomposition will release a foul odor that will attract gnats. These tiny flying bugs in the house will infest this decomposed food at a high rate.

For the most effective gnat control, make sure to dispose of food in a covered garbage can, and remove the trash bag once it is full.

Small Holes in Window Screens

To get into the house, gnats will make their way through the tiny holes in your window screens. To keep flies out of your home, be sure to fix any holes that you might have in your screens. You also want to make sure to seal up any cracks or gaps in your window or door frames, because this is another way these tiny flies can make their way inside.

Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?

To learn about where do fruit flies come from, it helps to know what they like. Even though fruit flies are relatively small, they can detect the smell of ripe fruits from far away. If you have a bowl of ripe fruit on your counter, there’s a good chance that fruit flies are looking for a way into your kitchen.

They can get through the screens on your windows and between crevices in your windows and doors, and once they find their way inside, they reproduce, leaving you with a horde of tiny flies in the house.

Sometimes, these fruit gnats will catch a ride into your house on the fruits and vegetables that you purchased at the grocery store or farmer’s market. The fruit flies will lay their eggs on the skin of the ripe and fermenting fruit, make you the unwitting ride for a new generation of fruit flies.

How Long Do Gnats Live?

Luckily, gnats have a relatively short life cycle but reproduce on a regular basis. The gnat lifespan lasts for no more than four weeks, from egg to adult, but the female gnats can lay up to 300 eggs each during their life.

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They lay their eggs in areas that have moist soil. Those eggs, after a couple of days, will hatch into larvae and remain in this stage for about two weeks.


Where Do Gnats Come From?

The term ‟gnat” is used by many to describe a variety of small flying insects they encounter. There are many different species of flying insects that are difficult to identify. It’s often simpler to say, ‟Oh, that’s just a gnat.” Some people even think that gnats are baby flies, which is usually not the case. The following information will help you better understand the types of flying insects that may invade your home, why they are there and answer questions such as ‟How do gnats get in the house?”

Where do gnats come from?

Depending on the species, these insects can be found in a number of places. Two vital elements are of key importance – food and moisture. Some ‟gnats” bite and feed on blood while others feed on insects, decaying organic material or plants.

How do gnats get in the house?

The types of flying insects most people refer to as gnats are very small – usually smaller than a mosquito. That said, it doesn’t take much of an opening around your house for them to find a way inside. Gaps around windows and doors, holes in window screens and openings around where utility lines enter your home all provide easy entrance for these annoying pests.

Where do gnats come from in the house?

Once inside, gnats seek out the basics – food, water and shelter. Most species live and reproduce in decaying organic matter that is moist and shaded. Other species are attracted to overly ripened fruits and vegetables as well as garbage receptacles that are not properly covered. Some gnats live and breed in the soil of potted plants that contain excessive moisture. Generally, most gnats are attracted to light. You might find them buzzing around light fixtures and lamps.

What types of gnats infest homes?

It’s not only children and pets that can be seriously harmed if they ingest mouse poison, it’s any person or animal. Fortunately, most adults have the good sense not to ingest anything labeled as ‟dangerous,” but accidents do happen. For these reasons, it’s highly recommended that any rodenticide used not only be registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but that it is placed by a pest management specialist, and that all label instructions are followed to the letter.

Inside the home, as their name implies, you’ll find fruit flies hovering around trash cans and other places where decaying fruits and vegetables are located. These flies are also attracted to liquor and beer. Outside the home, they are commonly found around fruit trees and vegetable gardens.

Whether you call them gnats or flies, these flying pests are just downright annoying. Help put an end to the aggravation by calling the pest management specialists at Terminix.


What Causes Gnats and How to Get Rid of Them

I had a gnat problem in my kitchen. Turns out my indoor plants and dirty drain were the culprit.

What Are Gnats?

Gnats are small black or dark-brown insects with long, slender bodies (1/4-inch long) and thin wings. They look like tiny flies, but what you see are full-grown adult gnats. They belong to the Mycetophilidae, Anisopodidae, and Sciaridae families and are weak fliers. There are two types of gnats: non-biting and biting, but the ones you find in your house and yard are typically the non-biting type. The most common types of gnats people find in their homes are fungus gnats, fruit flies, or drain flies (phorid flies).

How to Get Rid of Gnats for Good

Use all three of these methods simultaneously to wipe out existing gnats and prevent further infestation.

1. Eliminate the Source

Clean up your kitchen, seal your drains, and replace your potting soil.

For fungus gnats: Fungus gnats live and breed in the soil of your potted indoor plants. Remove dead leaves on top of the soil. If you suspect mold or fungus, replace the pot liner, the soil, or both. If the root has rotted, consider replacing the plant altogether.

For fruit flies: Remove rotten or overripe fruit from the kitchen. Dispose of all organic foods outside. Tie the plastic bag tightly and properly close the trash bin to prevent gnats from getting attracted to the smell and breeding inside the trash can.

For phorid (drain) flies: If you see bugs in your kitchen that aren’t fruit flies, they are likely phorid flies (or drain flies). These insects can only breed in moist areas, typically in drains or where there is leakage. Wipe down the outside of the pipes, fix any leaking pipes, fill and cover crevices and holes where moist dirt can get trapped, and keep your kitchen and bathroom dry.

2. Kill the Babies (Larvae) and the Adults to Prevent Multiplying

Search for their breeding ground in order to kill the larvae and stop the cycle of procreation.

For fungus gnats: The best method I’ve found is using a combination of steel wool and yellow sticky traps in my potted plants. I cover the top of the soil with coarse steel wool to shred emerging baby gnats flying out of the soil and adult gnats that fly in to the soil to breed. I recommend getting medium coarseness or higher, and don’t get the steel wool sponges because those have big holes that are easy for flies to get through. I also hang these Trapro Sticky Fly Traps on the plant to catch flying gnats loitering nearby. This combination ensures that I kill every single gnat possible.

For fruit flies: Fruit fly larvae live in fruits, so just dispose of infested fruits in your kitchen and refrigerator. Hang up those sticky fly traps to catch existing ones.

For phorid (drain) flies: Drain-fly larvae live in the sludge and film within your drain, but they may also breed inside the dirt that covers the outside of the pipes. Wipe down the outside with soap and water, and then do another wipe down with distilled white vinegar.

To kill the larvae inside the pipes, I used this Drain Treatment from Green Gobbler. I used the whole gallon over the course of a week, and my kitchen was completely clear of gnats after that. The product is a gel that traps flies and larvae, and then kills them with the active ingredient, citronella. I would pour some down the drain at the end of the day and cover the drain with a glass bowl to prevent escapees. Then I would run hot water for 5 minutes the next morning to clear everything out, and then repeat the process again that night. I did this for 6 days.

3. Water Plants With a Hydrogen Peroxide Solution

To kill fungus gnat larvae on contact, water the plant with a mixture of 1 part hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) and 4 parts water. Once you pour the mixture into the soil, you should see some bubbling, which indicates that the solution is working.


4. Apple Cider Vinegar Gnat Trap

This is an efficient natural and homemade way to kill adult gnats without using harmful chemicals. The best part is that this works on all types of gnats.

How to Make a Gnat Trap:

  1. Pour apple cider vinegar and a bit of dish soap into a jar or cup and mix it thoroughly. The smell of apple cider vinegar attracts gnats like crazy and the soap prevents them from flying, thereby drowning them inside the cup.
  2. Cover the cup with plastic wrap and poke holes in it with a pen. The holes allow the gnats to crawl into the cup.
  3. Dump out the contents after 2 days, and start fresh. Do this repeatedly until you no longer see gnats inside the jar.

Note: You can also use beer, wine, or ripe fruit instead of apple cider vinegar, however, you may attract ants, so I recommend sticking to apple cider vinegar.

What Are Gnats Attracted to?

Gnats are attracted to moisture and organic material, which is why you’ll notice more gnats during the summer than during the winter. They typically enter the house in search of food and a place to procreate. They gravitate towards decaying organic material, such as decaying leaves or rotten fruit and moist areas inside the home, such as wet potting soil or wet sinks and drains.

The following are causes of gnats inside your house:

  • Moisture: Moist breeding grounds for gnats include food spillage, moist potting soil, overwatered grass or plants, garbage cans, puddles in kitchen or outside your house, leaky pipes under the sink, and condensation around windows and vents.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Fruit flies appear when you leave produce out in the open, especially sweet-smelling fruits. They are also attracted to fallen or rotten fruits in your garden.
  • Decaying organic material: Fungus gnats love rotting plants and flowers. Things they feed on include fungus, mold, moss, and compost. They typically live in your potting soil where they can feed on either root rot or decaying leaves.
  • Humans: Perspiration, body heat, mucus from your nose, tears from your eyes, and carbon dioxide are all elements of attraction to the common household gnat. They also like sweet-smelling lotions, perfumes, hairsprays, and detergents, so avoid fruit fragrances if you have a gnat problem.
  • Light: Like flies, gnats can’t fly very well in the dark, so they swarm around light fixtures and lamps.

How to Prevent Gnats From Coming Back

  • Don’t overwater your plants. Let the soil dry out between waterings.
  • Remove dead material on top of the soil. Pick up and discard dead leaves, twigs, flowers, etc.
  • Don’t leave food out. This means washing your dirty dishes and drinking glasses. Even a slight hint of juice, wine, or sauce will attract gnats.
  • Get rid of damp areas. Fix your leaking pipes and faucets. If there is condensation on the pipes, insulate it by getting a foam insulator.
  • Cover your trash cans. You should take the trash out as often as possible. Stinky trash cans are a haven not only for gnats, but other creepy crawlies as well.

Types of Common Household Gnats

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


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We live in northern middle fl and gnats are so bad outside how do you get rid of them outside . it’s so bad u can’t even hardly walk to your car


Visine kills them in the eyes, don’t use it except externally, only eyes also» not up the nose. Flush nose with Nettie pot «» they make electric suction ones so it doesn’t go everywhere like down your throat ☆☆it sucks but if you want to get them out of your nose and sinuses and actually kill their home. get used to the idea, its the only way, once you do it they will find their way to your eyes «»From the inside.. you’ll feel them, Visine time. Now time to make a trap that works.. get a stool or something to wrap sticky fly paper around barber pole style,, 1 inch between wraps with a bowl of yeast sugar and water, on a plate after you watch it foam up the first time» don’t end up with a volcanic eruption on your carpet, or anything that works like a rotten apple those work great but not for the ones that want YOU, they want blood » hence the carbon dioxide from the yeast like you breathe out, love all of you, good to know I’m not the only one, it’s our chemistry, I wish I knew that fix, I’d become a millionaire, tnmoonshine ..aol


Hi, a good friend just told me , to get rid of all house gnats go to Walmart , they carry — in the bug spray isle, these little

Red plastic apples they come 2in a Box and come with some type of oil or something

And you just pour the oil in the two little apples and sit them out where you have gnats and they are drawn to them, fly inside and can’t get out.

She told me they work very well .

I have the same problem with these gnats eyes and nose, ears .need an solutions to this problem help me too

I got the same problem with these gnats eyes and nose, ears pleased help

Juanita drake

Where do i get greengobbler


I have a big issue as well.. I did not know they can come from the drain. I will be trying the remedy tonight.

The one thing I can say is them little suckers can get off those hanging sticky traps. I have watched them. Not strong fliers my ass. Even with residue from the sticky trap, the are on amission. They are so small they can walk around like nothing on it.

Taryn Ross

We caught gnats as soon as the electricity went out on Monday. There upstairs in the bed rooms and bathrooms and there is over a hundred in the kitchen. I don’t know how to get rid of them, please help. I just try to kill them when I see them, but I am tired of see them and washing my hands :(. I would also like prayer. I’am praying for all who have gone through this.

See also:  How to get rid of aphids folk remedies - Pests and plant diseases

April Olichwier

Hi! I live in the US, also. We have biting gnats! They bite my feet, toes, legs, arms, my back, my stomach, my neck, and anywhere else they have access to. The bite stings and really hurts! Afterward, the place they have bitten itches intensely! By the time I try to swat the area, they’ve moved on to another part. Research tells me they are also called “no-see ums”. They are black or grey and move so fast, you can’t see them! I have not been able to sleep at night now for about 2 months!!

They are driving me crazy, also! Good thing I don’t work, because if I did, I would probably lose my job, also.

From reading comments online, I put baking soda, white vinegar, and hot water down the kitchen and bathroom sinks last night. I’m going to try the green gobbler stuff tonight. I’m also taking the trash out every night. I might throw out the toaster, too. I don’t know what else to do, but pray!! I contacted my pastor and he is also praying. Got any other ideas?

Laurie Hayes

I’m dealing with eye gnats. These are mostly found in 3rd world countries, my Dr. said. My Dr. also said there’s no way I have these in the United States. Well I live in Florida and these eye gnats love the tropical weather. Iv’e had them since April and can not get rid of them. I’m beyond depressed, I lost a very good job, don’t have any life outside my home, and not really sure I can go on. They have over run my life and I’m the nest. I’m 56 and never ever have I experienced something so devastating. I have yet found a Dr. who believes me, and yes I brought in the ones I caught by using tape on my face. They love my eyes, nose and around my mouth. They now are under my fingernails and toenails. They breed so fast I can’t get a handle on them. Has anyone heard of these in the united states? If yes, Please let me know. Thanks so much. I’m wondering if I am high on my sugar intake and if I change my diet, will it help? I’ve done everything they say but it’s for fruit gnats or fungus gnats. No info on eye gnats. Help. I’m losing my mind because all treatment is for the home, and there’s no nest in my house, It’s in my ears and nose.

G. D.

I fought the fruit flies in the kitchen and finally figured out why I couldn’t get rid of them in spite of having nothing around that would attract them. I noticed they were in one area which is where the toaster is. So I thoroughly cleaned the inside of the toaster (as much as one can clean the inside of a toaster!), Then I put the toaster in a plastic bag and voila I have only seen two of the fruit flies since then!

Sam Mendoran

10 months ago from Morgan Hill, CA

Gnats in the bathroom are likely coming from the drain. Or if you have plants in the bathroom or a trash can that doesn’t get emptied frequently, that might be it. Clean your trash, remove any plants, and use the Green gobbler products down the drain.

Gnats around dog and cat food are fruit flies. Clean their dishes and water bowls after each day and the area around them, since they might make a mess around their bowls. And don’t let their leftover food sit out for too long.

Barb Weil

Hi again, I totally forgot to ask about the gnats that are in our cat & dog’s food. What type are they & how best to get rid of them? Please help as I am going insane here! Thanks, Barb

Barb Weil

What about gnats in the bathroom? I have seen them in the toilet & now I have to check all the time even when guests come over.

John Weber

Fungus Gnats are attracted to yellow. Go to Walmart pick up pop cycle sticks (crafts), yellow post its, glue stick, Vaseline. On pop cycle stick put the sticky part of the post it (top of pop cycle stick half way up post it) fold in half and glue other end of post it to other side of pop cycle stick, cover the yellow with Vaseline and stick one in each plant. The gnats will get stuck and die. This only works for indoors.


Vacuuming sounds like a great idea. Thank you.


We had bunch of fruit flies in kitchen. Just finished vacuuming them all up into oblivion. lol Cleaned up the whole kitchen, put bananas away, took trash out & put all recyclable drink cans in a bag & put outside.

Vacuum them. lol

Worked perfect for us


Thanks! This is really helpful.

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Where do «gnats» come from?

Where do «gnats» come from?

So, I’m wondering. when you have a room that is gnat free and you put a bowl of fruit into that room, tiny red-eyed gnats appear. Where did they come from? Are they IN the fruit. The fruit in question: bananas, kiwi, oranges, grapes.

Those are fruit flies. They can come from outside (opening and closing doors, windows, the tiniest crack or opening in a screen.) Sometimes you bring them in.

I ferment beer and wine so I sometimes get infestations of these fuckers. I swallowed some inadvertently.

One way is if you buy ripe fruit, the flies go into grocery stores easily. They will get onto the fruit and you carry them home with you. You also leave a chemical trail in the air that lays a road for more flies to follow. As the fruit ripens more or wine is left in a glass, the flies will follow the trail. They have a short life cycle so they multiply extremely fast.

If I see a group of them around fruit or near wine, I just wash surfaces and glasses really well. They leave shortly thereafter.


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