up close image of fruit fly

Fruit flies and drain flies: Are they the same thing? What about fungus gnats? Aren't those fruit flies, too?

And an even more important question is can we easily get rid of them?

Drain flies, fruit flies and fungus gnats are all different. They're visually distinct but can easily be mistaken for one or the other by the untrained, or very subtle glancing, eye. And as for getting rid of them, oh yeah, you just have to make a few little changes to see some big improvements.

Drain Fly or Fruit Fly or Fungus Gnat?

Having any type of fly in the house can cause frustration, especially when they start to multiply in number. Before you can take action, it's important to identify the pest so that you can choose the right plan of action and get rid of them for good.

  • Fruit flies: These pests are very common insects that enter homes. They can be black or brown and have either red or black eyes. They grow a little over 1/8-inch long and have a similar body shape to a house fly. You can spot them around fruit, trash cans, garbage disposals and flying around the house in search of food.
  • Drain flies: These pests are a tad smaller than fruit flies and have a more moth-like appearance and shape. They have fuzzy hairs all over their bodies and wings, making them look like dark, fluffy dots in the air. They breed inside the sink drain and can be spotted resting on the walls and ceilings.
  • Fungus gnats: These flying insects are about the same size as fruit flies but have an almost mosquito-like body shape. They're brown or black in color with black eyes and can be seen around plants or flying from room to room looking for moist soil if they've come indoors from the outside.

Preventing Fruit Flies, Drain flies and Gnats

Identifying them is one thing; getting rid of them is another. Once you have a good idea which pest you're dealing with, you can take preventive measures to curb their numbers. If it's a full-blown infestation, you may have to turn to fly control products to kill them faster.

To get rid of fruit flies, you'll want to keep your kitchen area as clean as possible. Get rid of old fruit, and put new fruit in sealed containers or under a glass lid. Clean up spilled drinks and old crumbs, and don't let the trash pile up in the bin or leave it uncovered for long.

To get rid of drain flies, you should clean your sink drains at least once a week. Sludge builds up quickly, so getting rid of it will help to take away the flies' food source. A quick DIY method would be to pour salt down the drain, followed by a half cup of baking soda and a half cup of white vinegar. It will quickly look like a science experiment coming out of the drain, but it will kill the flies and eggs.

To get rid of fungus gnats, you should take any infested plants outdoors and let the soil dry out a bit. Pull the plant out of the pot, and check the soil for mature flies and small, clear larvae. Don't bring any infested plants home. Avoid overwatering the plants or adding material that could retain water, such as peat moss.

Get Rid of Fruit Flies with Heritage PPG

When DIY prevention methods fail to work, look to Heritage PPG for fly control products that will get rid of flies quickly. Whether it's Alpine Pressurized Fly Bait knocking out fruit and drain flies or Catchmaster 962 Fly Traps catching them where they land, we have a full inventory of insecticides to kill and control fly infestations both indoors and outdoors.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published