A Quick Rundown on the Origin of Gnats

Sometimes you just wonder what those annoying little insects that fly around your head, don’t you? They especially increase in numbers when summer comes around or the temperature rises up. Another irritating about them is that when you’re just enjoying the clear view of your garden and suddenly, they just destroy them by flying around.

The little buggers are actually called gnats. But where do exactly they come from? Are there different types of gnats? I hope, that in writing this article, I will be able to give you sufficient knowledge of gnats that you will be able to anticipate their arrival.


What are gnats?

Before tackling on their origin, let us discuss what they are first. According to Google, gnats are little, two-winged fly that is similar to a mosquito that are usually common during summer season. There are different types of gnats, the kind that bites and there are also types that do not bite. When it comes to gnats, there are the basic and popular ones.


Let’s get to know the three of them.

#1. Fungus Gnats

These are the species of gnats that grow indoors, especially if the humidity and the moisture levels are very high. You usually notice them flying around your windows or the potted plants you may have around your house. One thing you would notice about them is that they are weak flyers, this is due to the fragility of their wings.

It starts out as a tiny, maggot-like larvae that gets its nutrition from the plant roots and then after four days, they finally leave the soil. The adult fungus gnats are generally an eighth of an inch long.


Where do they come from?

Since they’re usually spotted around potted plants, the tendency is that they’re also from there, too. One thing you should know about fungus gnats is that they thrive in a wet environment where nutrients are easily available like fungi, hence, they’re called fungus gnats.

Damage done and damage control

Via Amazon

Since they feed on the nutrients found in the soil in potted plants, it has a high tendency to damage the plant that lives in it and it shows by signs of wilting, less growth and yellow leaves.

The things you will need to do to keep the fungus gnats in check is to make sure that you do not water your plants too much and to do a regular checkup for the larvae on the soil, making sure that they do not grow into adult gnats. You could also consider going for putting traps and applying larvicides as suggested by Planet Natural.

#2. Gall Gnats

They could be also called gall midges. Gall gnats are known for being flies that feed on small plants that usually results in the inflammation of plant tissues which is called galls, hence its name. Due to its nature, gall gnats are considered to be one of the most serious pests.

Where do they come from?

To start, female gnats are known to insert the eggs into small spaces in growing plants. The egg is usually colorless then transition to different colors as it matures then after a few days, it hatches into a larva. The larva utilizes its jaw-like mouth to feed on the plant tissues and along the way, it also leaves secretion that causes the inflammation.

After the larvae gets too big to be in the swell, it leaves the plant then proceeds to dig into the soil. The maturation of the larva to the adult gall gnat varies between species and age.

Damage done and damage control

As already mentioned above, gall gnats damage the plants by larvae eating the plant’s tissues from within causing swelling. They usually target leaves and flower buds.

There’s no exact solution yet for when gall gnats have completely infested your plants so it’s best that you remove them and any susceptible ones surrounding it. However, if you still see galls on your plants, you can still cut them off and prevent any larva from getting into your soil.

#3. Biting Gnats

This is the opposite of the previous two which are both non-biting gnats. They usually are found within close proximity of a body of water. A biting gnat or midges are more present during dawn and dusk and they also tend to avoid windy weather.

Though they are known to be biting insects, most of the danger is directed on animals rather than humans. Another thing about them is that they don’t rely on blood as food alone but also gets nutrition from nectars.


Where do they come from?

They have a different habitat compared to that of the fungus and gall gnats. When the two comes from damp soil or near any source of freshwater, the habitat of biting midges is generally mud, sand or any decaying plants.


Damage done and damage control

As mentioned before, there is no record that biting gnats are disease-carrying insects for humans and when bitten, it only causes a bit of irritation and may result into blisters if not handled properly. For animals, they are troublesome because a particular species of biting midges they are vectors or carriers of the Blue Tongue virus.

There is no way known to control the biting midges yet and all you can do for now is personally protect yourself and avoid places that are known to be populated with biting midges. It also does not hurt wearing protective gear or lotion against mosquitoes.

Bracing for the Gnats

I hope that this article has armed you with enough knowledge about gnats and their different kinds; fungus, gall and biting gnats. The first two are non-biting types so you won’t have to worry about yourself when it comes to it but you’ll need to worry about your plants as they target them.


On the other hand, you will need to watch out for the biting midges. Overall, there’s no solid solution when it comes to dealing with gnats. The only thing you’ll need to remember is preventing before real damage is dealt.

If you have any additional questions, comments or reactions, feel free to ask me down in the comments below and I’ll make sure to reply.

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