Why Fungus Gnats Are In Your Knoxville Home

Why Fungus Gnats Are In Your Knoxville Home

One of the most annoying pests that get into Knoxville homes is the fungus gnat. Like other gnats, they are very tiny. A fungus gnat doesn’t look like much more than a tiny black speck. This black color can help you tell the difference between fungus gnats and fruit flies. Fruit flies are tan with bright red eyes. Here are a few more things you should know about fungus gnats, including why you have them in your Knoxville home.

“How do fungus gnats get in?”

These insects can come into your home through a hole in your screen and an open window, they can fly in through an open door, or they can be carried into your home within plant soil. When they’re carried in, they are in their egg, larval or pupal stage of development.

“Where are the gnats coming from in my house?”

Once fungus flies get in, they will begin to reproduce. They can do this in many locations. Wherever they reproduce, there is going to be decaying vegetation or fungi present. Some common breeding locations are:

  • Damp soil in potted plants or on portions of house plants that are dying.
  • Rotting organic matter in open trash receptacles.
  • Rotting organic matter in drains.
  • Overripe fruit sitting out on a counter.
  • Fermenting liquid in returnables.

“What are fungus gnats attracted to?”

Dampness will usually attract fungus gnats because, where there is dampness, there is usually fungus. They’re also drawn to any organic material that is decaying or fermenting. People sometimes put out traps for fungus gnats using apple cider vinegar but, if made improperly, these can allow fungus gnats to reproduce quickly in your home. It won’t be long till you’re finding apple cider vinegar-colored splotches on white door frames where eggs have hatched and larvae have slithered around. And it won’t be long till you’re finding bright-colored walls covered in tiny black flies that prefer to run away from you rather than fly away. The good news is that they’re easy to squish. The bad news is, they do fly around and they can be very annoying, especially when they land on your face and run across your forehead.

“How do you get rid of fungus gnats?”

Adult fungus gnats don’t live very long. If you really want to get rid of them because they’re driving you crazy, a vacuum cleaner can help get the job done. If made properly, a trap can help control them. But ridding your home of adult fungus gnats isn’t going to fix your problem. You need to figure out where the gnats are reproducing and address the breeding sites. This can be difficult. Fungus gnats don’t always reproduce in locations that are easy to find. They could be in your ventilation ducts. They could be in your walls. They could be in a dirty drain. It is best to contact a pest management professional to track down a fungus gnat infestation.

“Are fungus gnats harmful to humans?”

Fungus gnats aren’t a direct threat. They don’t bite people. But they climb around on rotting things. This can make them a mechanical vector for bacteria. If you have a cat box, you could have some very filthy fungus flies in your home. These insects are known to crawl on moist cat feces that aren’t properly covered. If a gnat goes from a dirty location to your food-prep areas or dishes, they can spread harmful bacteria and pathogens. But in a home that is clean, and where there is no cat box with exposed droppings, fungus gnats are low threat for illness.

Fungus Gnat Control

If you’re having issues with fungus gnats and you’re in our Greater Knoxville service area, we can help you resolve your issue. Schedule a free in-home evaluation to get started.

A Simple Guide To Fungus Gnats In Knoxville

A Simple Guide To Fungus Gnats In Knoxville

If you have recently started seeing mosquito-like bugs in your house and all your plants seem to be dying, you may be experiencing a fungus gnat infestation. Many people are unfamiliar with these pests, which is why we’ve put together this simple guide to fungus gnats in Knoxville.

What Fungus Gnats Look Like

Fungus gnats are very small, rarely growing to be more than 1/8th of an inch in length, although they can grow up to ½ of an inch. They have an appearance similar to mosquitoes with dark bodies and long, thin legs. 
Fungus gnat larvae are worm-like in appearance with translucent white, legless bodies and black heads. They sometimes leave slime trails behind that are similar to slug trails.

Where to Find Fungus Gnats in Your Knoxville Home

Fungus gnats are attracted to moist soil and are often found in or near mulch, house plants, compost, and other organic items. 
Outside of your house, you may find them in the landscaping around the perimeter of your house. They are attracted to light, so from this location, they may get inside through small openings around your windows or doors. 
They may also get inside your Knoxville home by being carried inside in the soil used for houseplants.
If they get inside, you’re likely to find fungus gnats in your houseplants. You may also find them feeding on ripe or decaying fruits and vegetables on your counters or in other organic matter in your home.

The Problems Fungus Gnats Cause

Fungus gnats are primarily considered nuisance pests. However, when they get into your home, they are not without their problems.

  • First, fungus gnats reproduce rapidly. Even if just a few get into your Knoxville home, they can quickly grow to out-of-control proportions.
  • Second, fungus gnats destroy house plants. Fungus gnat larvae live in the soil and feed on the roots of plants. Eventually, the root damage causes your houseplants to die.
  • Third, fungus gnats can contaminate food. When they feed on produce, they make it unfit to eat. Not only does this waste food and money, but if you are unaware of the contamination and end up eating the food, you could get sick. In this way, fungus gnats can be harmful to humans.
  • Finally, fungus gnats spread bacteria. They spend time in some locations that are not sanitary. While there, they can pick up bacteria on their bodies that they can then spread to other locations, including your food and countertops.

How to Prevent Fungus Gnats

The best way to prevent fungus gnats in and around your home is to limit the things they love.

  • Since they prefer moist soil, make sure you don’t overwater your gardens.
  • Make sure mulched areas around your house receive plenty of sunlight so they don’t harbor wet, shady areas.
  • Keep compost piles well away from your house.
  • Be careful, when bringing potted plants into your house, that there aren’t any fungus gnat larvae in the soil.
  • Ensure that windows and doors have no gaps or cracks around them.
  • Make sure all window and door screens are in good repair without holes or tears.

How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats

If you find fungus gnats in your home, you’ll want to take action quickly to prevent them from getting out of control. Russell’s Pest Control offers treatments that will get at the source of the problem, eliminating fungus gnats and helping you eliminate the things that are attracting them to your home.