Indoor flying pests

Asked February 16, 2019, 11:58 AM EST

We have these flying bugs in our house. They look like a type of flying ant, but I'm not sure. Can you identify them? They're about a quarter of an inch long, appear to have two (not four) wings) and are very quick. We've had some success with fly paper, they drown in the dogs' water bowl and that sort of thing, but are still numerous and annoying. I have no idea where they came from. See the picture I've attached of one caught in a small bowl of water. Thank you,

Montgomery County Maryland

5 Responses

Thank you for contacting eXtension. Your photo did not come through—you can reply to this response with an attachment (using the “choose file” button below) or send a new question with the attachment. Detailed photos are very helpful! Also helpful is information such as where in the house do you see them, what time of day?

We see them at all times of day, really, in all our rooms, but they seem to be most prevalent in the living room, kitchen and a loft area above the family room. I hope the picture comes through this time.

Your video came through this time, thank you.
We don't think this is an ant but a type of true fly.
Our entomologist looked at it and thinks that this is a type of snipe fly or soldier fly. These are beneficial outdoors but clearly you would rather not have them inside.
It will take some sleuthing on your part to figure out where they are coming from. They need moist/wet areas to breed, often in decaying wood and often common in wooded areas. It's possible that during the last warm spell they hatched out, either in your home (firewood?) or nearby and came in.


Thank you. We do have an aging pile of firewood stacked against the house that I intend to get rid of, as we are converting to a gas fireplace (tomorrow, as a matter of fact). In the meantime, any suggestions on how we can kill or otherwise get rid of the ones in the house? I've had some luck with flypaper, as I mentioned, and attracting them to water, but things like Terro don't seem to have any effect.


The best recommendation is to find out where they are breeding and eliminate the larval breeding site. Some other possibilities include compost bins, decaying vegetable matter, wet grains, dead animals in chimney, etc.
Use the fly paper and a fly swatter on adult flies. No insecticides are recommended.