Fruit Flies vs. Gnats

We assume you either got a gnat or fruit flies problem. Though these insects look very similar, and many people think both gnats and fruit flies are the same, there are some dissimilarities between them regarding behavior, biting, and feeding habits. 

This article examines the difference between the two and helps you identify each of them. You will also learn how to get rid of the infestation. Then let’s get started!

What are Gnats and Fruit Flies?

Fruit Flies vs. Gnats

Gnats are small flying insects often found in places where ample moisture is present. They belong to the phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta and order Diptera which means they have a segmented body, external skeleton, jointed limbs, and two wings. With several species of gnats present, only a few types bite humans and spread infections.

Important Note: If you're tired of pests and want a reliable solution, then you should definitely consider seeking help from a professional pest control company. DIY solutions can be effective, but if you're dealing with a significant pest infestation, you don't want to rely solely on DIY methods. Pest control companies typically don't charge huge fees. You can fill out this form to receive free quotes from the top local pest control companies, and compare the quotes and see for yourself. Then, finally, your pest problems will be eliminated for good.

Fruit flies also belong to the same class and order as gnats and even resemble them when looked at with our naked eyes. However, they are two different insects in terms of body, color, and characteristics when examined closely.

What Makes Gnats Different From Fruit Flies?

In this section, we shall learn what makes gnats different from fruit flies. 


Fruit flies’ colors range from tan to black, whereas Fungus gnats are black or dark gray. 

Body Shape:

The difference between gnats and fruit flies isn’t clearly visible to naked eyes. But still, if observed closely, gnats have dangling legs and long slender bodies similar to mosquitoes. 

And fruit flies are smaller versions of the common housefly with a rounded silhouette. 

Also, gnats have small eyes and are hard to see. But fruit flies have big, red eyes which are easily recognizable. 


Fruit flies reproduce rapidly. The female flies lay upto 500 eggs that hatch within a day. If you wonder how a large swarm of flies comes from nowhere, this is why. 

They swarm around the food but are harmless to humans for the most part (just make sure to wash your fruits thoroughly before eating!).

Meanwhile, female gnats lay upto 200 eggs (half of what fruit flies do). Some gnat types bite humans and spread diseases through biting. Unlike fruit flies, gnats are often found flying solo rather than in large swarms. 

Feeding habits

Gnats require three things for their survival and to reproduce- food, moisture, and warm temperature. So indoor gnats like fungus gnats nest in home plants and feed on organic matter. 

Also, they keep buzzing around rotten fruits. But we mistake it for fruit flies. 

Fruit flies, as the name indicates, feed on overripe fruits or rotting food in trash cans. So this is why you often find these insects flying around these things.

How To Get Rid Of Gnats?

How to differentiate Between Fruit Flies and Gnats

Though the gnats aren’t as fast as fruit flies, their infestation is also a bit challenging to get rid of. So check out the given instructions below to eliminate gnats and avoid future infestations. 

  • Gnats love moisture and dwell in places where they find food, moisture, and warm temperature. So check and remove any leaks within your home.
  • Gnats swarm around trash. So keep your home free of the trash. You can also cover the trash completely and avoid gnats buzzing around.
  • Remove rotten or spoiled foods
  • Try using gnat traps and repellents. Take some vinegar and dish soap, mix it and place it near gnat infestation areas. This traps gnats, and the soap weighs down their wings and kills them. 

How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies?

Fruit flies multiply quickly so it is crucial to eliminate them as early as possible. Follow the below-given tips to remove the fruit flies in your home.

  • Remove the trash in your house, especially any fruits or rotten foods, as they become the breeding grounds of fruit flies. 
  • The next step is to pour bleach down your kitchen and bathroom drains to kill the infestation inside the drains.
  • Also, use chemical products containing bleach to clean the areas you suspect of their presence. 


Thanks for reading the complete article. By now, you know that fruit flies and gnats are two different insects. Though these flying insects don’t harm humans directly, they are a nuisance. 

So it is important to keep your house free from gnats and fruit flies. Just by cleaning your house regularly, you can avoid their infestations. Also, you can control or eliminate the infestation with the tips mentioned above. 

However, if you find it challenging to deal with these insects, then seek professional support.

Photo of author


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.

Leave a Comment