Gnats vs. Fleas

We know that fleas and gnats are small insects omnipresent everywhere in our house. But we care about their existence only when we get bit by them. So it is vital to get rid of them as early as possible. 

But before that, let’s check out the difference between both and then learn the ways by which we can make our house fleas and gnats free

What are Gnats and Fleas?

Gnats vs. Fleas

Gnats are tiny insects that belong to the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta and order Diptera, and suborder Nematocera. These insects measure 1mm to 15mm and have slender bodies, a pair of wings, six long legs, and three body parts. 

Some of the common species of gnats include black gnats, fungus gnats, buffalo gnats, drain flies, and fruit flies. 

The feeding habits differ from one species to another. However, the gnats species mainly feed on plants, insects, fungi or algae, and rarely blood.

Now we shall learn about fleas.

Fleas are tiny parasites that survive on hosts by sucking their blood. Like gnats, fleas are of different species, and based on the species; they feed on warm-blooded animals. 

These creatures have flat and thin bodies within the hard shells, long-tailored legs, which helps them jump from one place to another. 

What is the Difference Between Gnats and Fleas?

The main difference between fleas and gnats is, fleas are wingless parasites, whereas gnats are tiny insects that can fly. 

Gnats are often seen around rotten or spoilt food, stinking drains, or near trash bins. 

Being parasites, fleas need a host for survival. So they stick to pets like dogs or cats. They quickly breed in the host, multiply and bite the pets. 

Fleas are annoying and harmful as they feed on your pets. They bite your pets and cause swollen and itchy parts. If you find your pets continuously scratching a particular area, it might be the reason. Also, this continuous scratching can lead to hair loss in some parts of your pet’s body. 

Though not all species of gnats bite humans or pets, there exist some species that bite and spread diseases. So it is equally important to get rid of them. 

Fleas lay white oval eggs on the host they dwell on, and gnats lay their eggs on land or water. 

In terms of appearance, fleas have plain eyes, look flat towards the side, and have strong bodies. So killing it is hard. You need to press your thumb on fleas forcefully to kill them. 

Meanwhile, gnats have complex eyes, fragile, slender bodies, long legs, and one pair of wings.

How to Get Rid of Fleas? 

Difference Between Gnats and Fleas

Gnats can be identified easily since they fly in different places. But this is not the case with fleas. These parasites dwell on hosts.

One of the easy ways to check their presence is to lay a white sheet on a carpeted floor and then, using your feet, drag the paper across the carpet. Since parasites are attracted to white surfaces, they will surely come out.

Or check your pets thoroughly. If you find any fleas clinging to their fur body, it’s time to work on it.

  • Regularly vacuum the floor and furniture, and change the vacuum bags once done.
  • Fleas can’t withstand steam. So use a steam cleaner on the carpets, furniture, and pet beds. 
  • Bath your pets regularly and wash their bedding weekly at above 50°C.
  • Use chemical treatments. Aerosol sprays are better than foggers as they can easily reach places that foggers can’t. Also, while choosing insecticide, check if it contains both an adulticide to kill adult fleas and an insect growth regulator that kills eggs, larvae, and pupae. 
  • While spraying insecticide, wear gloves, and spray only when everyone is out of the house; insecticides cause respiratory problems. Also, don’t let anyone inside the house unless the insecticide dries. 

If you have pets at home, then follow these fleas prevention steps.

  • Keep your pets indoors. By doing so, you can avoid fleas infestation. If they are outdoors, clean them thoroughly before letting them inside the house.
  • Frequently groom them using a flea comb.
  • Also, put on pet repellent collars on your pets, acting as additional protection.
  • If you find any organic matter in carpets, furniture, and bedding, try to remove any potential food supply to prevent fleas. 

How to Get Rid of Gnats?

How to Differentiate Between Gnats and Fleas
  • Make fruit traps. Take a rotten fruit in a jar, cover it with plastic wrap, and add tiny holes. Gnats get caught inside the pot and get struck. 
  • Use apple cider vinegar. Take a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, some drops of dish soap, and a tablespoon of sugar in a bowl and stir them well. Place this mixture near the gnats infestation. It will trap gnats and kill them. 
  • Pour diluted bleach solution into drain sinks. Then flush the drain with hot water. This will not just eradicate the gnats but also destroy their breeding place.  
  • You can also trap gnats with the help of bug zappers, flypaper, or even use chemical spray. 

You can prevent gnats infestations by cleaning your house regularly and disposing of the trash.


Both gnats and fleas are annoying creatures, and their infestations are a bit challenging to get rid of. By keeping your house clean and bathing your pets regularly, you can keep these unwanted guests at bay. 

Also, try following the methods given above to eliminate fleas and gnats and stay safe and healthy. We hope this article helped you a bit. Feel free to leave your comments below. Thanks for reading through!

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Daniel White
I'm Daniel White, and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. The warm and humid climate of Florida gives an ideal habitat for many different kinds of pests. So, if I had to live in Florida, I had to learn how to deal with these pests. Now, I have 7 years of experience in Pest Control.

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