What Do Gnats Eat

If you have assumed that gnat’s favorite food is blood because they bite and suck blood from humans or pets, then we politely point out that you are wrong. 

First, you need to understand that not all gnats species bite, and secondly, the biting species feed on blood only for breeding purposes, i.e., to lay eggs. 

If you are curious to learn about gnats’ diet, how much they eat, and whether their diet impacts other species, continue scrolling. 

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What Do Gnats Eat?

As mentioned, there are various gnats species, and each one has a different feeding habit.

We can give a straightforward answer that gnats eat fruits, vegetables, manure, slime, plants, roots, etc.

But what kind of fruits or vegetables? Do they eat moist manure or dried manure? Likewise, you may get doubts. So we have given a clear-cut explanation on what kind of food gnats intake and how it favors them. 

Now continue reading.


Gnats’ favorite food is not blood; it’s fruits. 

Gnats love to eat soft sweet fruits, which is why you often see them buzzing around fruits and mistake them for fruit flies. Rippen fruits are an excellent food source for both baby and adult gnats. 

Though they prefer decayed fruits, they sting and feed on fresh fruits. 

So gnats eat fruits like bananas, oranges, lemons, grapes, various berry varieties, apples, etc. 


Gnats also eat a variety of vegetables. But here is a catch, they prefer veggies with softer shells. However, they also eat any type of vegetable once they start decaying. They not just feed but also make them their breeding home. 

Their favorite vegetables are potatoes, kale, pumpkins, sprouts, leafy greens, peppers, cucumbers, and many others. 

Moist manure

Gnats like fresh, moist manure, especially the soft ones from sheep, cows, wild animals, and dogs. They feed on any moist manure but avoid dried manure.

Plant roots

Fungus gnats dwell in home plants and feed on decayed plant matter and roots. Some gnats eat the tiny leaves and prevent the plants from growing.

Meanwhile, the larvae can dig around, get a few layers in the soil, and eat the budding roots. 


Have you ever noticed gnats hovering around the open drain, water, or wet soil? 

Then it might be due to the presence of slime. Gnats love slime that forms in these areas. By treating the slime, you can get rid of gnats. 

In addition, gnats also intake decomposed or fermenting plant matter, fungi, decayed animal carcasses, and nectar. Also, their diet varies based on their lifecycle. 

What do Baby Gnats Eat? 

People often mistake that baby gnat to look smaller than adult gnats. Well, that’s not true. Baby gnats are called larvae. These larvae are tiny worms that hatch out of eggs. 

Upon hatching after a few hours or days, they enter the pupae stage to grow into adult gnats. 

So in larvae form, these baby gnats either intake food or merely survive until they enter the pupae stage and start feeding once they turn into adult gnats.

Now those larvae gnats that intake food feed on the environment they are born in. For instance, if they are born in fruits or vegetables, they feed on it unless they get into their pupae stage. 

Meanwhile, the fungus gnats usually hatch on soil, and hence, they eat decayed plant matter, fungi, algae, and plant roots.  

So that’s all about what baby gnats feed on. 

Did you get this doubt on how much they feed? Well, that’s the next topic.

How Much Do Gnats Eat?

Gnats are tiny flying insects that usually fly in swarms. So we can’t just calculate how much an individual eats. Instead it a large swarm of gnats can easily harm crops and plants. 

Even gnat infestation in home plants can prevent its growth as larvae or adult gnats feed on the new roots or tiny leaves and end up killing them. 

So a single gnat won’t cause much damage in terms of how much one can eat, whereas an entire swarm is dangerous and destructive.

How Does The Gnat Diet Impact Other Species?

Did you know that the gnat diet positively impacts other species? Yes, you read it right. 

Gnats are pests and a nuisance to us, but they too have an essential role in the environment. 

Gnats’ eating habits can contribute to the breaking down of certain materials, and this results in regulating the plant population by delivering nutrients from one plant to another. Apart from helping in pollination, they become a tasty snack for bats, small birds, and other bigger insects. So they are part of the food chain.

If in case, they disappear from the earth suddenly, it causes an imbalance in the food chain, and thus the ecosystem gets disturbed. 

This doesn’t mean that you need to tolerate gnat infestation. Instead, it is a gentle reminder of how much a small insect can hold importance in the ecosystem. 


There is no fixed diet for gnats. If there is moisture, food, and warm temperature, then gnats nest there and reproduce and feed on what is present in the environment. 

Hopefully, you have some idea about what gnats feed on. If you want to make your home gnats free, try removing the foods mentioned above or trash.  

But before we conclude, we want to ask one question. Did you realize how much a small insect can put up the ecosystem? Isn’t it exciting? If yes, comment about what you feel. Cheers!

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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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