What is a fungus gnat?
Fungus gnats are small, dark, short-lived flies of the order Diptera. Also known as dark-winged fungus gnats, they are mosquito-like insects often found in homes and offices in the vicinity of houseplants. Adults are 1/8th of an inch in length, fragile, black flies with long legs and antennae.
There is a distinct “Y-shaped” pattern on the forewings. The larvae are small, wormlike and translucent, with a black head capsule. Larvae feed on fungus, algae and plant roots as they grow; adult fungus gnats do not feed or bite. Female fungus gnats lay approximately 200 eggs during her 7-10 day life cycle and are active all year long. During the winter months, they are often mistaken for fruit flies.
Why do I have them?
Fungus gnats flourish in soils rich in organic material and moisture. You may notice these nuisance pests more during the cooler months of fall and winter as outdoor plants are moved inside and as shorter, cooler days slow plant growth, causing them to retain more moisture.