dc home infested with fungus gnats

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.  

Are they dangerous?

Fungus gnats do not bite, sting or transmit diseases to humans, however the larvae can damage houseplants and seedlings as they feed on the roots.  Occasionally, some may burrow into stems and leaves.  Plants damaged by fungus gnats may show signs of wilting and be more susceptible to root rot.

How do I get rid of fungus gnats?

Controlling fungus gnats in your home or office can be extremely difficult to do unless you eliminate all sources of moist organic material.  Contacting American Pest is the best way to effectively get rid of fungus gnats and keep them from coming back.

Can I do it myself?

Although getting rid of fungus gnats is not something many people have much luck with on their own, you can help reduce their numbers by not over-watering houseplants.  If you allow the breeding surface to dry between watering, especially the top 1 to 2 inches, it will decrease the survival rate of any eggs that may have been laid and reduce the attractiveness of your plants against future females that may want to lay their eggs there.

How soon can you get here?

At American Pest, we take great pride in our rapid response to customer requests to get rid of pests, such as fungus gnats.  In most cases, we can respond the same or very next day.

Is the treatment safe?

All products used by American Pest have been thoroughly checked by the EPA and registered for pest control use.  Only when products are EPA-registered will our highly trained pest control professionals consider them for use. You can rest assured that pest control services provided by American Pest will not cause any harm to humans, pets or plants.

How can I prevent this in the future?

Preventing fungus gnats can be very difficult, especially in homes or offices with a plethora of houseplants.  Should your home become infested with fungus gnats, contact American Pest.  We are committed to improving the quality of life for all of our customers by providing the safest and most effective treatment for the management of pests, which pose a threat to their health, property and food supply.


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