Texas gnats can ruin any outdoor fun not to mention being unsanitary and annoying. Five types of gnats that have taken up residency in our beautiful Lone Star State are: Eye gnats, Fungus gnats, Gall gnats, Buffalo gnats and Biting midges. Often, we may have to place some traps to get rid of those in your home. Having a regular service at your home will help stoop the invasion of insects on an ongoing basis.

A lot of these gnats share multiple similarities. Here’s a breakdown of each one.

Eye gnats:

Eye gnats are the most unsanitary of gnats. These 1/8” dark gray/black gnats are often mistaken for fruit flies. Eye gnats don’t bite but they are attracted to eyes and body openings. They are capable of spreading pink eye. Females lay their eggs in or on the soil. From the time the egg is laid to adulthood takes up to 21 days. Their diet consists of decaying plants and animals.

Fungus gnats:

Fungus gnats are the most common gnat and more commonly seen inside your home around your plants. Like the eye gnat, the fungus gnat is gray to black and also reaches 1/8” in size. However, this type of gnat can damage your plants. The females lay their eggs on the soil or on a plant near the base by the soil. She can lay up to 300 eggs over her 10-day lifespan. Fungus gnats feed on small plant roots. This can cause a plant to wilt or rot. They are attracted to wet/moist soil, plant debris, organic matter and algae. It’s important not to over water plants and clean out wilted or dead plant debris.

Gall gnats:

Gall gnats can destroy gardens as well as be a nuisance to nature. The larvae of this type of gnat feeds on plant tissue and its sap, creating abnormal growth spots. These growth spots are called galls. There are many types of species that can create galls on trees or plants. When a female gall gnat lays her eggs on a tree or plant, she also injects a chemical from her egg-laying organ which causes galls and the new larvae continue creating new galls while feeding on the plant tissue or sap. Galls make it look like it has hard balls or furry clumps on the leaves and stems.

Buffalo gnats and Biting midges:

Similar with their life cycle and eating habits, buffalo gnats, aka “black flies”, are found among fast moving rivers throughout the year. They are typically gray or black with a humpback giving it its name buffalo gnat. These gnats do bite and have been known to (in large numbers) attack birds.

The biting midge or as some call them, “no-see-ums”, are sometimes mistaken for mosquitoes and in some cases black flies. As per their name, this type of insect also bites but, in most cases, does not pose a health risk.

Both buffalo gnats and biting midges lay their eggs in water and the larvae go through several stages before adulthood. Adults swarm at dawn and dusk and can be seen on vegetation or in mud tubes during the day. They feed on decaying plants and algae and in some circumstances the buffalo gnat will feed on blood from small animals. Both types of larvae are a good source of fish food.

Don’t let the gnats bug you this year. Call us today to get started on a plan that fits all your pest control needs. Safe Earth Pest Control 214-321-2847