17 Different Types of Gnats

different types of Gnats
Image credit: Georgia Public Broadcasting

Gnats are tiny, annoying insects that seem to increase during summer. At the same time, there are many different types of gnats.

The one thing they all have in common is their unpleasant tendency to swarm around any and every human being who happens to be nearby.

Disrupting conversations, causing physical discomfort, and just generally getting in the way of enjoying the great outdoors with friends and family members. 

Here’s a list of different types of gnats that may cause you some grief this summer if you aren’t ready for them.

1. Blow Flies

Blowflies are one of the different gnats that get their name from their tendency to be attracted to dead and decaying animals. They can also spread disease due to their contact with rotting flesh. 

There are over 1,000 species of blow fly found all over the world, making them a truly global problem. The most common type in North America is the green bottle fly. These flies are about 1⁄4 inch long and have a metallic green body. 

In addition, they’re attracted to garbage cans, pet food, and any other type of food that’s been left out. If you see one in your home, it’s best to remove it immediately as they can lay up to 500 eggs at a time!

2. Buffalo Gnats

Of all the different types of gnats, buffalo gnats are perhaps the most annoying. These pests are attracted to moisture and can often be found near stagnant water or damp areas. 

Also, they are attracted to humans, which makes them a nuisance when trying to enjoy time outdoors. Buffalo gnats are small, dark-colored insects that can be difficult to spot. But their presence is often made known by their constant biting.

In addition, these bites can be painful and irritating. If you’re dealing with a buffalo gnat infestation, there are a few things you can do to get rid of them. But it’s always best to contact a professional for help.

3. Common Housefly

The common housefly is one of the most ubiquitous types of gnats. They’re often found in homes, as their name suggests, but they can also be found in other buildings and outdoors.

Houseflies are attracted to food and garbage. This is why they’re often found near kitchens and other places where food is prepared or stored. These insects can carry diseases, so it’s essential to keep them away from food.

4. Drain Flies

The scientific name for drain flies is Psychoda phalaenoides. They’re small – about 1/8 to 1/4 inch long – and have a moth-like appearance. The wings are fringed and often rest with them folded over their bodies. 

Also, they’re known as sewer moths, filter flies, or sink flies. If you see tiny black bugs flying around your drains, chances are they drain flies.

5. Drain Fly

Of all the different types of gnats, drain flies might be the most annoying. They’re often found near drains or other standing water sources, where they lay their eggs.

When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on organic matter in the water. This can include things like hair, grease, and other gunk that’s accumulated in your drain.

If you have a drain fly problem, you’ll likely notice them near your bathroom sink or shower. To get rid of them, you’ll need to clean out your drains and remove any standing water where they’re breeding.

6. Eye Gnats

Eye gnats are small, dark-colored flies that are attracted to moisture, such as tears. They are often found near water sources, such as ponds or streams. 

Despite their name, eye gnats do not enter the eye to lay their eggs. Instead, they lay their eggs on the ground near water sources. The larvae then hatch and enter the water to feed on microscopic organisms.

7. Dung Flies

Dung flies are small, dark-colored flies that are often found near sources of decaying organic matter, like manure. As their name suggests, they’re attracted to dung, which they use as a food source. 

While they don’t bite humans, their presence can be a nuisance. There are two main dung flies: house flies and stable flies. 

House flies are the most common type of fly found in homes. They’re about 1⁄8 inch long and have a gray or tan body with four dark stripes on their thorax.

They’re attracted to food and garbage, which they can contaminate with their saliva and feces. Stable flies are slightly larger than house flies, at about 3/16 inches long.

8. Fruit Flies

These small, brown insects are often found near fruit. While they don’t carry disease, they can be a nuisance in your home. If you have a problem with fruit flies, try placing a piece of fruit in a jar with some vinegar. The flies will be attracted to the fruit and drown in the vinegar.

9. Fungus Gnats

These tiny black bugs are commonly found near damp areas, both indoors and out. Although they don’t bite, their constant presence can be annoying. 

Furthermore, Fungus gnats are attracted to moist soil, so if you have them in your home, they’re likely coming from your houseplants.

Start by letting the soil dry out for a few days to get rid of them. If that doesn’t work, you may need to use an insecticide.

10. Gall Gnats

Gall gnats are a type of fungus gnat that are attracted to plants with high moisture content. The larvae of gall gnats feed on plant tissue, which can cause damage to the plant.

Adult gall gnats are small, dark-colored flies that are often seen near the soil surface. If you have plants that are being damaged by gall gnats, you may be able to control them by removing affected leaves and stems and increasing air circulation around the plant.

11. Hessian Fly

The Hessian fly is also one of the types of gnats that attacks wheat plants. The fly lays its eggs on the plant, and the larvae feed on the plant’s tissues. 

Meanwhile, this feeding can cause the plant to wilt and die. The Hessian fly is native to Europe, but it has been introduced to North America, where it is a severe pest of wheat crops. 

There are several different types of Hessian flies, each with a further preferred host plant. The most common type in North America is the wheat strain, which attacks wheat plants.

12. Highland Midges

Highland midges are a type of gnat that is particularly bothersome to humans. They are small, dark-colored insects that bite humans and animals, causing itching and swelling. 

Highland midges are found in Scotland and Ireland, but they have also been known to travel to other parts of the world. There are many highland midges, but the most common ones are the Culicoides impunctatus and the Culicoides brevitarsis.

13. Midges

Midges are also on the list of gnats, a type of small fly found near bodies of water. They are often mistaken for mosquitoes, but they do not bite.

Midges can be a nuisance, however, because they fly in large swarms and can be challenging to avoid. There are many different types of midges, including the following: 

  • The Non-biting Midge – This type of midge does not bite or feed on blood. They are attracted to light and often swarm around porch lights or streetlights. 
  • The Chironomid Midge – This type is also called a bloodworm because it is red. It is commonly found in stagnant water and is known to bite humans.

14. Sand Flies

Sand flies are a type of small fly that is commonly found near bodies of water. They are known to bite humans and animals, which can cause skin irritation.

There are many different species of sand flies, but they all have similar life cycles. The female sand fly will lay her eggs near a water source, and the larvae will hatch and feed on organic matter in the water. Once they mature into adults, they will mate, and the cycle will start over again.

15. Stable Flies

Stable flies are one of the most common types of gnats. They’re often found near livestock, where they get their name. 

These gnats are blood-suckers, and they’re known for being aggressive biters. If you have a stable fly problem, you’ll likely see them near areas where animals are kept.

16. Horse Flies

Horse flies are another type of gnat that’s commonly found near livestock. Like stable flies, they’re attracted to the blood of animals and will bite humans if given a chance. 

These types of gnats can be particularly troublesome because their bites can be very painful. If you have a horse fly problem, you’ll likely see them near areas where animals are kept.

17. Unique-Headed Bugs

Have you ever been outside on a warm day, enjoying the sunshine, when all of a sudden a tiny little bug starts flying around your head? If so, you’ve probably encountered a unique-headed bug known as a gnat.

These small insects are annoying pests that can be found in many different environments. There are several different types of gnats, each with unique characteristics. 


There are many different types of gnats, but they all have one thing in common: they’re annoying! Whether buzzing around your head or biting you, these little insects can ruin a good time. Luckily, there are ways to get rid of them.

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