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Fungus Gnat

(Families Mycetophilidae and Sciaridae)

Appearance

Most species of Fungus gnats are black in color. Their identifying characteristics are long legs and long thin wings.

Size

These small flies range from 1/16 to 1/4-inch in length.

Behavior

Fungus gnats are very small and can be an extreme nuisance. They are attracted to sunlight and also people’s colognes or perfumes.


Fungus gnats prefer to lay their eggs in moist potting soil, which is why buildings containing potted plants or atriums may often have problems. Soon after the eggs are laid, the larvae emerge to feed on fungus growing in the damp potting soil. After feeding for a short period the larvae pupate. A few days after pupating, the adult Fungus gnats emerge.

Habitat

Fungus gnats may breed anywhere that suitable molds might grow. A Fungus gnat infestation in a home could mean a moisture problem is present. Although fungus grows in areas such as moist wood (the result of leaks or poor insulation) and poorly ventilated crawlspaces and attics, most infestations are associated with moist potting soil. Look for adult Fungus gnats in areas where moisture problems have been observed or are suspected; fungus gnat eggs and larvae are more often not on the exposed surface of soil and are too small to see without good magnification.

Interesting Facts

Fungus gnat larvae feed on highly organic soils and can damage the roots of bedding plants, African violets, carnations, poinsettias, and foliage plants.

Control

Do you live in South Florida and think that this pest may be invading your home? Hulett Environmental Services offers specialty pest control treatments designed to control and eliminate this pest!

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