11 small black flying bugs in the house that are not fruit flies

Flying bugs of all sorts are one of the bigger insect-related problems a household can face. They disturb the general peace and infect the food we and our pets eat. On top of all that, various types of flying insects are known to transfer many illnesses. They can pose a great risk to our lives.

In most cases, if we think of small, black flying bugs, we say “fruit flies.” They’re the type that immediately comes to mind, as they’re the most common ones to appear in our house. However, this might not always be the case. There are lots of other bugs going around our houses that are too small for us to distinguish from a fruit fly.

Proper identification of these insects can prove to be more important than you think. Not only does it help you assess the risk the infestation poses, but it also gives you clear ways of dealing with the threat. Suppose you assume every flying insect is a fruit fly. In that case, you won’t be able to properly get rid of them. it causes you more problems than necessary.

Here’s a quick summary of the 11 small black, flying bugs in the house that are not fruit flies.

TypeWhat to look for
GnatsThey can look like baby fruit flies. They might bite.
AntsThey look like ground ants but with two pairs of brown-tinted wings if they can fly.
TermitesTheir body is up to ½ inch long. You’ll find them in moist wood
MosquitoesThey’re a potentially dangerous insect that will suck your blood. They¨re gray or brown with white stripes.
Horse fliesThey can reach up to 30mm in size with painful bites.
Grain mothsThey’ll have brownish-reddish markings on top of their cream-colored bodies and are about 1/3 inch long,
Cluster fliesThey’re bigger than your normal house fly. Rotting meat and pooling water will draw them there. They’re dark grey with bodies up to 10mm long. They’ll have yellowish hairs to help you identify them.
Flesh FliesThey’re very similar to house flies but larger with checkerboard patterns on top of their abdomen.
Drain FliesThey’re often near drains and either light tan or gray.
Blow fliesThey have a shiny green, blue, bronze, or black tint. It makes them look a lot like houseflies.

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Tiny black bugs in the house near the window

Even though we think flying insects only appear during humid, warm days, they tend to arrive on the colder ones too. My personal story is a good example of this. It’s also proof of why you should always check for the type of bug you’re dealing with.

I’m a pretty experienced insect killer, having lived in the warmer part of my country most of my life. It also doesn’t help that we have no AC, so the atmosphere in my house is mostly humid. I’ve had numerous instances of fruit flies flocking my flat, and I dealt with them each time without any problem. This time, I thought, it would be no different.

The insects first appeared in the window frames, mostly adults with some white eggs visible. I have to say, seeing them in the fall sort of surprised me. However, luckily I still had my anti-fruit fly pesticide spray with me.

I quickly doused the colony in the chemicals and went on with my day, expecting the problem to be solved. To my unpleasant surprise, I came back the next day to see that the pesticide barely did anything, and in time it killed off a small portion of them.

A bigger one appeared in their place. I sprayed the pesticide again, with the same result. As the infestation grew larger and larger, I began to worry that I might not be able to deal with it properly and that I’d have to spend money on an expert to exterminate them.

Luckily, that’s when I noticed that the bugs’ color was a bit different from what I normally notice in fruit flies. As I looked closely, I recognized the typical features of termites- an entirely different animal from fruit flies.

Now that I knew what I was dealing with, I could finally figure out a proper solution. I went to a store and bought an anti-termite chemical. I sprayed the entire window frame with it thoroughly, and the bugs were gone in a day. Just checking what the insects are solved my problem!

Small black flying bugs in the house that are not fruit flies

Here are the most common types of flying insects that you can encounter in your house:

Gnats

They are often confused with baby fruit flies. These insects can seek out food and are also drawn toward light. They can bite, and their bites are known to cause diseases. They can be killed using electrical traps and prevented by getting rid of all rotten food and plants. Lowering the humidity level of your plants inside and outside the house is also helpful.

Ants

These bugs mostly seek manmade light sources. Still, they can also go into your household for warmth during colder temperatures. Additionally, they can be attracted by sweet food. They can bite, and their bites can inflict various diseases and bacteria. They also infect the food they eat. They’re typically entering your house through small cracks in window frames or walls, so sealing these up can help with the problem. Each type of ant has its own way of being dealt with.

Termites

They are typically associated with the ground more so than flying. These creatures come in certain variations, some of which can fly. They’re identified by their long body, up to ½ inches long. They’re attracted by moist wood and cracks in your walls. They don’t bite, but their existence is still scary. They might damage your house structure. Getting rid of all leaks and damp areas in your house should make them leave.

Mosquitoes

mosquito

They are probably the most annoying, as well as dangerous insect species to be present in people’s houses. They’re attracted to light and will enter through open doors or windows. Not only do they create unpleasant itchiness by sucking blood, but they also carry many deadly diseases such as malaria or West Nile Virus. A good solution for keeping these bugs out is putting up mesh screens or growing plants or artificial smells that repel mosquitoes.

Horse Flies

They are a common threat to households all around the world. This creature is the bigger cousin of Fruit Flies, reaching sizes up to 30mm. Although they typically feed on nectar, female horse flies can bite and drink blood. Their bites are not only painful, but they also carry many dangerous illnesses. Animals mostly attract these insects in or near the house. Mesh screens, as well as pesticide sprays, work well to repel these bugs.

Grain Moths

They’re typically found in pantries, these small variations of moth feed on grains. Their most popular way of traveling from one household to another is by infested grains people buy. Even though these bugs aren’t that dangerous to our health, they can make a big portion of our food inedible. The most common and only reliable method of getting rid of these invaders is throwing out all grain products.

Types of flies

On top of all the different insects that might invade your house, there are also many variations of flies. They can be even harder to distinguish from one another, given they are all the same type of animal. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking that identifying them is not worth the trouble. Knowing which type of fly you’re dealing with is the most important part of successfully getting rid of them.

Even though they all look similar, their organisms (and resistances) can vary wildly. Because of that, some types of pesticides and repellants might work perfectly on some flies and be useless on others. Properly identifying these creatures may be hard, especially for inexperienced house owners. Don’t worry- we’re here to help you with our extensive list of every common fly type and ways of eradicating them.

Cluster flies

These animals originate from North America, where they’re mostly spotted. They invade households in large quantities during warmer seasons, such as summer. They grow larger than a house fly, and their size is a good way to identify them. They’re attracted to rotting flesh as well as overwatered plants. Getting rid of all carrion is the best way to deal with them. Sealing all cracks and chips in your walls or windows is also a good idea.

Fruit flies are a type of fly with a specific red/orange color. They mostly feed on fruits that are past their prime, as they prefer foods with high fructose. Not only do they eat fruits, but they also lay their eggs on them.

Although they don’t bite, their eggs left on fruits make them inedible. They generally carry diseases and viruses. They’re attracted by the most common overripe fruits, such as bananas, apples, or strawberries. Various anti-fly traps and pesticides can eradicate them. A good prevention technique is to get rid of all food that’s getting overripe. You can also try spraying vinegar in your kitchen.

Flesh Flies

flesh fly

The most common fly type around flesh and carrion. They are grey and large in size, which makes them hard to distinguish from other types of flies. A good way of distinguishing them is by looking for maggots placed directly on rotten meat.

They don’t lay eggs. If you see some, it’s probably something different invading your house. Although this variation of flies doesn’t bite, they carry lots of illnesses. These flies largely depend on the decaying meat in a household, so getting rid of all bad meat products should solve the problem. 

Drain Flies

It’s a type of insect you’re most likely to find in dirty bathrooms, especially around unwashed drains. They feed on the organic waste that accumulates in drains and contaminated water. They also live and lay their eggs there. This variation is surprisingly harmless, as it doesn’t bite or carry any diseases, despite feeding on bacteria. The easiest way to get rid of them is by cleaning your drain. To do this, you must clean out all the organic waste built up by homemade or bought chemicals. Alternatively, you can put duct tape over all drains until the infestation is over.

Blow flies

blow fly

Yet another type of fly that feeds on organic waste. This one consumes a wide range of organic leftovers, such as:

  • garbage
  • compost
  • decaying meat
  • and buildup in dirty drains.

They’re typically attracted by compost, and thus they commonly make their way into your home from the garden. As a result, the best way to get rid of them is to clean your house and your garden from all decaying organic matter. You should also clean your drains and ensure nothing is rotting in your garbage cans. 

Crane flies

It’s a type of fly that looks very similar to a mosquito. Because of this, they’re mistakenly labeled as carnivores. In fact, not only do they not eat meat at all, but they also don’t sting or bite. They’re found in North American households after heavy rains. They eat houseplants as well as leaves. Their lifestyle makes them most common to inhabit lawns. Because of this, good lawn management is key to getting rid of these insects.

Best bug zapper

There are many possible ways of combatting fly infestations. Pesticides, plants, natural predators- these are all perfectly okay solutions to the fly problem. However, nothing is as trusted among us as a simple bug zapper. These tools have been used for many years with incredible success. Here’s our recommended bug zapper we tested that will work wonders for you:

Best Bug Zapper

This item brought to you by GOOTOP is the perfect way of dealing with mosquitoes and other flying insects. It’s equipped with a strong, blue-violet light that attracts all bugs nearby. The high voltage inside the zapper then kills all of them quickly.

It has a durable plastic grid. It makes it safe for all pets and humans who could accidentally touch it. It’s fireproofed, ultra-quiet and non-toxic, making it much better than all other unsafe zappers. It will make you not worry about dealing with pesticide smell or your pet dying from eating chemicals you use. On top of all that, it has a plastic loop on the top. It makes it easy to hang from anywhere. All of this comes at a reasonable price of $40. 

Pros

  • It will become your best new friend.
  • It comes at a very attractive price tag.
  • It’s so much more effective than a lot of alternatives.
  • It’s very satisfying hearing it zap when it gets insects.

Cons

  • It won’t catch all the flying critters.
  • It’s not completely quiet in operation.
  • You might get a bit of a surprise when it catches insects.
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It will make nights outside more pleasant.

Gnats vs. Fruit flies

These two types of flying insects are very commonly mixed up with each other, creating unnecessary confusion. As explained earlier, proper identification of them is key to successful eradication. That’s why we’ve conducted a list of all major differences between those two so that it’s easier for you to determine which is which.

For starters, fruit flies are much smaller than gnats. While fruit flies grow to only 1/8 of an inch, gnats can reach the size of ½ of an inch. They’re also colored differently. Gnats are typically darker than fruit flies, although it is possible for gnats to have brighter colors. The eyes of fruit flies are much brighter than gnats’ eyes, and their antennae are shorter. 

The life cycles of those two insects are different too. Fruit flies lay their eggs on rotten fruits and vegetables and containers of these items. Immediately after hatching, these bugs mate, and the cycle begins anew. On the other hand, Gnats can lay their eggs on fungi and different types of food. The maturing process of these insects is also much slower, and they take more time to mature. 

As fruit flies are typically drawn in by fruits and vegetables, gnats don’t care much about food. They mostly seek warmth and light, so any household can be a target. Eliminating or reducing those things is the best way of preventing being infested by them.

Why do gnats fly in your face?

Gnats are known for flying directly onto people’s faces. The answer as to why they’re doing it is quite simple. These insects constantly search for moisture and salt. Both of these things are found in the sweat and tears of humans and pets. Additionally, they can be drawn in by the smell of bad breath. It is especially dangerous because it can cause pink eye and carry dirt onto the vulnerable areas around your face.

For this reason, it’s recommended to thoroughly clean your face and teeth to prevent these bugs from ever touching you.

So have you found out if what you have is one of the following:

  • Gnats
  • Ants
  • Termites
  • Mosquitoes
  • Horse flies
  • Grain moths

FAQ

Why am I getting so many gnats in my house?

There are many possible reasons for gnat infestations. They include bad smells, warmth in colder seasons, or light.

Are fruit flies and gnats the same thing?

Although they look alike and pose similar threats, these insects are NOT the same and should be dealt with in different ways.

Are gnats attracted to vinegar?

Gnats are not attracted to the smell of vinegar. It can be used as a good repellant for them and other small flying insects.

What eats fruit flies?

Fruit flies are eaten by animals such as Braconid wasps, ants, ground beetles, spiders, dragonflies, robber flies, and many types of small birds.