Where do they come from and tips on how to prevent them.
Whether it is fruit flies or gnats I’m sure you’ve been seeing them around your house lately. Have you wondered why? Part of it is the warmer weather we’ve been experiencing and part of it is all the rain we’ve been getting as well.
Fugnus gnats are typically what Southeast Texans are seeing. These small, dark, delicate looking inspects with long wings generally can be found around potted plants or near the garbage. Outdoors they can be found in damp soil or decayed vegetable matter.
Here are a few tips to help you control these annoying pests:
- Breeding sources must be located and dried out, if inside a building.
- For potted plants, it is important to thoroughly clean the overflow saucers underneath pots as they will continue to breed there. The watering schedule for indoor plants must be controlled to prevent overwatering and the creation of excessive moisture. And do not bring plants indoors that have infested soil.
- Regularly wash your trash can out with soap and water to disinfect your trashcan and continue to dispose of garbage on a regular basis.
Fruit flies are small pests that are commonly found in homes, restaurants and other facilities where food is processed. They are found on moist, decaying matter that has been stationary for several days.
Contrary to popular belief, these flies do not come from the interior of the decaying fruit and are not spontaneously “born” from rotting fruit. Instead, they are able to detect the yeast produced by fermenting fruit, even from great distances. Once they have identified an intended target, they have little trouble getting to it as their tiny size allows them to enter a home through miniscule cracks and crevices. Most window screens won’t deter them either.
Here are a few things you should know to keep fruit flies at bay:
- If you keep fresh fruit on the counter, check it often for signs of over-ripening or decay. Over-ripe fruit should be disposed of in a sealed trash can, outdoors. A female fruit fly lays an average of 500 eggs on the surface of fermenting fruit. You don’t want those eggs hatching in your kitchen trash can!
- Run your garbage disposal regularly. Fruit flies LOVE the decaying food matter that accumulates down the drain.
- Wash or replace mops and sponges regularly. They also LOVE the old food particles these cleaning items gather.
- Don’t keep dirty dishes around. Dirtied dishes gathered in your sink, particularly those with fruit remnants, and soiled dishes that sit for too long in an un-run dishwasher can also invite these flies.
Gnats and fruit flies, like many pests, can be prevented by following good sanitation practices.