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Difference between Gnats and Fruit Flies

Difference between Gnats and Fruit Flies

Gnats and fruit flies might look similar to the untrained eye, but there are some distinct differences between these two types of tiny flies. Learn what makes a gnat a gnat and a fruit fly in this post!

What are Gnats?

Gnats are small, fly-like insects that are often found near sources of moisture, such as overripe fruit, drains, or potted plants. Although they are not typically harmful to humans, Gnats can be a nuisance due to their constant buzzing and swarming. Gnats are also known to carry diseases, which can be transmitted to humans through bites or contact with contaminated food. In order to prevent Gnats from becoming a problem, it is important to keep sources of moisture clean and dry. Additionally, Gnats are attracted to light, so keeping lights off or using insect screens can help to reduce their population.

What are Fruit Flies?

  • A fruit fly is a small, winged insect that feeds on the juice of ripened fruits and vegetables. The adults are about 1/8 inch long and have red eyes. The larvae, or maggots, are white and tapered at one end. Fruit flies lay their eggs inside the flesh of ripe fruits and vegetables.
  • When the eggs hatch, the larvae begin to feed on the fruit. This feeding can cause the fruit to rot and become diseased. Fruit fly populations can explode quickly, making them a serious pest of crops. In addition, fruit flies can spread disease-causing bacteria to humans through their feeding activities.
  • To prevent infestations, it is important to promptly dispose of any overripe or rotting fruits and vegetables. Keeping food surfaces clean and free of potential breeding sites is also important in controlling fruit fly populations.

Difference between Gnats and Fruit Flies

Gnats and fruit flies are both small, winged insects that can be a nuisance in the home. However, there are some key differences between these two pests.

  • Gnats are generally much smaller than fruit flies, and they have a more slender bodies.
  • Gnats are also typically darker in color, while fruit flies are typically light-colored.
  • Another difference is that Gnats tend to hover around plants, while fruit flies are attracted to fruits and vegetables.

Finally, Gnats typically lay their eggs in moist soil, while fruit flies lay their eggs on the surface of rotting fruits and vegetables. These differences can help you to identify which type of insect you are dealing with.


Although both gnats and fruit flies may seem like pests, they are actually two different types of insects. Gnats are smaller than fruit flies and can be identified by their long antennae. Fruit flies, on the other hand, have shorter antennae and are attracted to ripening fruits and vegetables. If you’re having trouble getting rid of pesky gnats or fruit flies in your home or office, contact a professional pest control company for assistance.

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