There are two insects that share a commonality between them--fungus gnats and fruit flies. Sometimes, it is often hard to differentiate between the two pests.

These are pests that fly, behave, and look similar; however, there are significant differences between the gnats and fruit flies.

What are the Primary Differences?

Fruit Flies vs Fungus Gnats

The primary thing that differentiates between gnats and fruit flies is their habitat. Organic matter found in the potting soil of a potted plant and outdoor gardens is where you'll typically find fungus gnats.

Meanwhile, the adult fruit fly consumes rotting food and overripe fruits. The fruit fly larvae feed upon slime that is in dirty drains and trash cans.

Fruit Flies vs Gnats: What’s the Difference?

Measuring in at a mere one-eighth inch in length, it makes it difficult to recognize the difference between gnats and fruit flies. Yet, here are some features that make it easy to tell them apart.

What do Fruit Flies and Gnats Look Like?

To differentiate between fruit flies vs gnats, you need to know what to look for. Here are some of the distinguishing characteristics of these pests:

  • Coloring: Fungus gnats are black or dark gray coloring, while fruit flies vary in color from black to tan.
  • Configuration: The size of these small flying pests is the easiest way to guide one in identifying them. In comparing fruit flies vs gnats, the fruit flies are similar to a house fly, only smaller, with a round body shape. Fungus gnats have long bodies that feature dangling legs, giving them the appearance of tiny mosquitoes.
  • The eyes: One of the most distinguishing characteristics of flying insects is their eyes. Fruit flies eyes have large red eyes, while fungus gnats' eyes are extremely tiny and often difficult for one to see.

What's the Difference Between Fruit Flies and Gnats?

One of the main differences between these two pests is where they live. If you are trying to compare them to each other, observe how they act and where they prefer to nest.

Fungus gnats are often found outdoors in your garden soil or sometimes inside your potted plants. On the other hand, fruit flies prefer a home that is unclean or close to rotting food or fruit.

Where Do Fruit Flies and Gnats Come From?

Wherever you store vegetables and fruits is where you might discover a fruit fly infestation.

How to Prevent Gnats and fruit flies

The adults will enter via a window left open, any gaps or openings in the screens.

Anything sweet or sticky a fruit fly will find attractive, meaning any overripe fruits and vegetables are a target. If you want to eliminate fruit flies in the house, you should cover all trash receptacles and clean up spills immediately.

Indoor potted plants, mulch, compost, and other organic matter are where fungus gnats prefer laying their eggs.

After two weeks of eating organic matter, the larvae emerge as adults, and the process repeats.

Gnats find moisture buildup attractive and always search for continued moisture sources. Such as unsealed trash containers, indoor potted plants, or sink drains.

All are potential areas for a gnat infestation.

What Causes Fruit Flies in Your Home?

What Causes Fruit Flies in Your Home

If you have any produce or fruit that is ripe, decaying, or rotting, you are inviting an infestation. These tiny flying pests also relish fermented things like wine, liquor, and beer.

You may also find them breeding and growing in garbage disposals, sink drains, mop buckets, and garbage cans.

DIY Way to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Your Home

One easy DIY method of removing drain flies is boiling white vinegar or plain tap water and pouring it down the drains. It is also a great method that works well with a gnat or fruit fly problem.

Is It A Fruit Fly or a Fungus Gnat?

One way to tell the difference between a fruit fly and fungus gnats is their coloring. Fruit flies range from tan to black shade. While the fungus gnat is dark gray to black.

A fruit fly has a round-shaped body, similar to, but more petite than the housefly. Fungus gnats are little bugs with longer bodies and gangly legs.

Do Fruit Flies or Fungus Gnats Bite

There are several gnat species, some of them are biters, and some are non-biting.

The most common ones found inside a house are non-biting species--fruit and phorid flies and fungus gnats. The biting species include sandflies, black flies, and biting midges.

Because these insects lack the correct mouthparts for penetrating skin, they are unable to bite.

What Does a Fruit Fly Look Like?

A fruit fly and a fungus gnat are so tiny it makes it difficult to recognize them with the naked eye.

A fruit fly is a small flying insect only about an eighth of an inch in length.

Their coloring ranges from tan to nearly black, with a round body. It's almost like a smaller version of the common housefly.

They have big red eyes and transparent wings. Their wings overlap and extend beyond their hind side.

Controlling Fruit Flies vs. Gnats

Both fruit flies and fungus gnats lay eggs and reproduce quickly. Thus, it is important to address an infestation swiftly.

These pests spread diseases via contaminated food. Additionally, know how to get rid of fungus gnats as they can harm your potted plants.

Fruits and vegetables should not be left in a bowl or on the kitchen counter to ripen. Fruit flies live and breed in these areas.

Scheduling pest control often will help you contain these pests and the problems they create.

How to Prevent Fruit Flies and Gnats

How to Prevent Fruit Flies and Gnats

You can prevent fruit flies and fungus gnats by setting up fly traps. These traps are valuable tools for the fly control and elimination of newly matured emerging adults.

Gnat larvae find organic material and fungi in the soil to be excellent food sources. The larvae of other pests eat these soil fungi and use the sludge in drains or garbage disposal for laying eggs.

Call the Professionals to Get Rid of Tiny Flying Insects

When you want to be rid of these annoying tiny flying insects, call the professionals. A.N.T. Pest control knows how to get rid of fruit flies and stop their life cycle.

Stop the spread of disease through contaminated food and further damage to your house plants by calling  A.N.T. Pest Control at 815-215-7200 today!

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1200 S Cedar Rd #2D/E
New Lenox, IL 60451


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