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Insect Control

Flies

Are you finding small flies in your home?

Fungus gnats, sewer flies and fruit flies are the three most common fly problems in a home. Each is less than five mm long. All three can be very annoying since it is often difficult to discover from where they are coming.

Photo by John Tann under license CC BY 2.0

What do fungus gnats look like and where do they live?

Fungus gnats are three to six millimetres long, and they have a humped-back appearance. They look black but are really brownish yellow in colour, streaked with dark brown. Their legs are long. The young fungus gnats, known as larvae, eat fungus, decaying wood and other wet plant material. Fungus gnats lay their eggs in wet soil.

How can I control fungus gnats?

Fungus gnats need damp soil to breed. If you have a problem with fungus gnats, your house plants may be the cause. Often plants are too wet between waterings. Place stones at the bottom of the pot to help drain the soil. Also, letting your plants dry out completely between waterings reduces the chance of fungus gnats finding a good place to breed.

You can also use insecticidal soap as a soil drench. However, some plants react badly to the soap, so make sure you follow label instructions carefully.

What do sewer flies look like and where do they live?

You may see one of two types of sewer flies: the sewage fly and the little house fly.

The sewage fly is about two millimetres long and light tan in colour. The wings are lighter coloured and are mottled with black. It is moth-like in appearance. It lays its eggs in the scum lining of drains.

How can I control sewer flies?

Drains that need to be cleaned cause most household sewer fly problems. Scrubbing drains with a stiff brush often removes the scum lining. Garburators sometimes get a buildup of waste that can cause a problem. Take kitchen garbage out regularly to reduce the chance of sewer flies breeding in the garbage.

Photo by Martin Cooper under license CC BY 2.0

What do fruit flies look like and where do they live?

Fruit flies are light brownish yellow in colour with bands across the abdomen. They have red eyes. Females lay up to 200 eggs in moist food especially fruit. Rotting fruit odors attract fruit flies. It takes about a week for the adult to develop. An adult lives two weeks.

How can I control fruit flies?

You can control fruit flies by storing fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator rather than in on the counter. Also take your garbage out regularly.


Last update: May 16, 2019
Contact Us
Bugline: 311
or 1-877-311-4WPG
Media inquiries: 204-986-6000
311@Winnipeg.ca

Administrative Office and Research Laboratory
1539 Waverley Street
Winnipeg MB R3T 4V7

Operations Base
3 Grey Street
Winnipeg MB R2L 1V2
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