SMALL GNAT LIKE BUGS INSIDE MY HOUSE

Asked November 30, 2020, 11:11 PM EST

have small gnats in my kitchen (Bend Oregon) that I kill dozens of every day, in fact had to quit typing to kill one now. They are worse with the cold weather. I do not believe they are fleas, as they do not bite me and are not on my cats. Like fruit flies or something. GNATS! I have tried the vinegar and soap in a bowl thing, killed two. Amazon is bringing me some sticky paper stuff. I am not seeing that an ultrasonic will work, plus I am not sure I am up for that (did my research-no thanks). New in my kitchen this summer. I think they were on a ‘creeping Charlie’ plant, which I have since thrown away. They do not bother any/all my other plants. They do not seem to care about the moist soil when I water my plants. They like the kitchen counter, windowsills, tables, windows. They do not care about drains. I leave out NO FOOD. I sprayed the heck out of them with orange oil (guaranteed to kill them to death) and water spray but not sure that worked. Not very effective. Help?

Deschutes County Oregon

8 Responses

Hello, the insects you are describing and calling "small gnat like bugs" are likely to be fungus gnats. They are a common problem indoors especially when people have house plants. However, you have said they do not seem to be interested in your house plants. So, to be sure I would need a really good close up photo of these insects. Perhaps you could trap a few more and send me photos, I would be most interested in a head shot with antennae and body shot with wings. Please send these photos to my email address, toni.stephan@oregonstate.edu.

I will wait for photos to try to better identify the pest so I can respond with more certainty. Thank you.

Hi. If I try to get closer the image blurs, so I think this is the closest I can get. To me they really look like fleas I remember from my childhood in Orange Co. Ca, but they sure don't act like fleas at all, no biting me and not the least bit interested in my four cats or my plants. I am very concerned now because I need to run a humidifier during the winter or my skin and scalp get terribly dry and itchy.

Here is your photo:

Hi. If I try to get closer the image blurs, so I think this is the closest I can get. To me they really look like fleas I remember from my childhood in Orange Co. Ca, but they sure don't act like fleas at all, no biting me and not the least bit interested in my four cats or my plants. I am very concerned now because I need to run a humidifier during the winter or my skin and scalp get terribly dry and itchy.

Here is your photo:

Hi, thanks for the photo. This truly does look to be a fungus gnat. There are a few good methods that are helpful in controlling this pest without having to get rid of you house plants. I am attaching a couple really good links that will help inform you about this pest and how to control it. I like the publication out of Colorado, especially the part about taking a slice of potato to help detect the larvae. Here are the links.

https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/insects/fungus-gnats-as-houseplant-and-indoor-pests-5-58...

http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7448.html

I hope this information helps to get the problem under control.

I appreciate the articles but I never got any idea of WHAT to do from them. I don't see the point of the potatoes. I already know I have bugs.
I had read that an essential ORANGE oil would kill these bugs and that is a scent I can handle. It is also very inexpensive. Is it possible that this wold really work? I could definitely stand to spray EVERYTHING, every single day, with this.
I bought the supposed non-toxic mixture in the photo I posted to you. I have sprayed the soil of all houseplants, every five days for a month, just drenching the soil. I also bought some bright yellow sticky things to help me clean up the flying bugs. They definitely show me that I still have bugs, every day.
I open all the windows (even though we have snow) and turn on all fans, spray and leave for a couple of hours. It is tolerable when I get home, a strong scent.
I can no longer afford to keep up the purchase of this mixture.
I still have bugs. I kill about 40-50 a day with my hand on many surfaces. I really need help. I have 13-ten foot split-leaf philodendron that I have been nurturing for many years, hopefully to move to a nice purchased home in future. Right now I am in a small not nice rental. I cannot afford an exterminator and have pets and compromised health, I want nothing to do with poisons. I really do not want to trash all of these plants, if I can help it. Please help. Maureen

I cannot tell if the photos I am trying to post actually do post. I wonder if I can dilute and spray this products onto all of my indoor plant soil.
I have NEVER SEEN any fruit/fungus gnats in my plant soil, on the plant stems or leaves.
I have NEVER SEEN these bugs in my drains. They wander on countertops and window sills. Whenever I see several they are always DEAD.
I cannot tell from the ad if this product would be safe for me to 'water' my plants with. My plants WERE NOT WATERED AT ALL FOR EIGHT WEEKS. They are starting to die. I watered yesterday with the tiniest amount right at the stalks, I did not wet the dirt of the entire pot. I am NOT using my humidifier. It is snowy winter outside, I use gas forced ait and a gas fireplace for heat 67 degrees. Thanks.

Again-I read that citronella does not kill, only repels.I want to interrupt their life cycle and kill all of them.
What about these solutions?
1-Hydrogen peroxide to kill off fungus gnat larvae —Make a soil drench with hydrogen peroxide 3% to flush the soil. This remedy helps kill off gnat larvae in the soil to break their lifecycle.
2-Diatomaceous earth (DE) to kill plant flies—Another way to get rid of flying gnats is to put a layer of DE on your plant pot soil. The naturally occurring silica powder should kill flies as they emerge from the potting soil
EFFECTIVE? Could I do BOTH? Thanks

Hi Maureen, I'm sorry that what seems to be a fungus gnat infestation is causing you such stress. I looked for science-based information on using hydrogen peroxide and can find none. So I would stay away from this as a control method. DE is also questionable as a control for fungus gnats. I am sending the link again to UCANR pest notes as it has some very good control methods listed. http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7448.html

I would point you to the biological controls of Bti , Gnatrol, and nematodes. I have seen Gnatrol listed on the internet for purchase and you can do an internet search for the nematodes also. Clearly this problem is out of control so you may have to resort to repotting all your houseplants into new potting medium. Be sure to read the information on potting soil to use.

I would not repot any plants until you get the Gnatrol and nematodes if you choose to do so. Other than directing you to other cultural management of the fungus gnats I don't know what else to tell you. I hope you will be able to use the information on the linked document to eliminate the gnats.