We all know how exasperating these insects can be. They can often be found flying around in bathrooms and kitchens, testing our patience at every turn. Besides being a nuisance, these flying bugs can potentially cause harm. As such, you’d want to know more about them and the measures to take in case of an infestation. Here’s a detailed look at fly or gnat infestations as well as answers to the most commonly asked questions about these bugs.
How did I get gnats or flies?
These insects are attracted to light, moisture, decaying organic matter and carbon dioxide. Some species love to breed and live around standing water while others prefer the moist soil of houseplants. These insects usually swarm around sources of light such as lamps, windows and other light fixtures. Besides the tendency to seek out decaying organic material, these insects love carbon dioxide as well, which is why they’re known to hover around our mouths and noses.
Although certain species can have a negative impact on the growth of houseplants, most species, including those that bite, do not carry disease vectors. While they are generally a nuisance pest, exceptions exist. Larvae can attack the fungus growing in moist soil, causing serious damage and stunting the plant’s growth. These insects can also be a danger to human health. For starters, they can transport pathogens from unsanitary sites, contaminating our food and increasing the risk of health concerns like dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever. Besides that, most of the species that feed on blood, including the buffalo gnat, can attack humans actively. Additionally, some species are known carriers of diseases. In fact, some have been linked to the spread of diseases like conjunctivitis (pinkeye) and others to the transmission of onchocerciasis (river blindness) in humans.
How do you get rid of gnats and flies?
Since most species are attracted to light, light traps can be used to control gnat or fly populations. Even so, locating and eliminating the conditions and sites favorable to their breeding remains the most effective, long-term method of control. Although they might be vulnerable during the larval stage of their life cycle, these insects can be tenacious. As a result, gnat extermination processes can be quite involving. Unlike the pest management procedures that involve one-time treatments, flying insect control is an ongoing process that features three crucial steps. These are assessment, implementation and monitoring. Positive identification is also necessary for the complete eradication of gnat infestations. While every home is obviously different, gnat extermination professionals can design a unique program for every situation. As such, seeking the assistance of a trained pest control professional might be the best course of action.
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Signs of a fly or gnat infestation
The presence of a few noisy insects does not translate to an infestation. It should, however, act as a warning sign. Sure signs of infestation include regular sightings of adult insects flying around as well as the presence of maggots or larvae and small, dark, pinhead-sized spots. Other indications include noticeably damaged plants, especially near ground level. Large populations of swarming insects, on the other hand, can often indicate an incursion. Potential breeding sites can be indicated by the presence of maggots. Common breeding sites include moist soil, decomposing foods and waste areas. Check wall surfaces, light fittings, hard-to-clean areas, the upper areas of a room, under damaged floor tiles and around sinks. Remember, waterlogged pot plants and standing water can also attract these insects.
Fly & Gnat Prevention Tips
Exclusion is the most effective prevention technique. Start by removing any infested soil and vegetation and checking your houseplants for wet soil. Allow the soil to dry before the next watering to reduce the growth of fungus. Overwatering promotes fungal growth. When applied correctly, appropriately labeled insecticides can help prevent infestations. You should also: • Use fly repellant scents like lavender, basil and citrus • Clean your yard • Put screens on your doors and windows • Cover your food and keep the kitchen clean • Use flypaper strips
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