Types of Small Flying Bugs In House (With Pictures) - Identification Guide (2022)

Small flying bugs can be an extreme nuisance in homes. Fruit flies and fungus gnats are the most common flying house pests that most people can identify. However, annoying flying pests in houses also include houseflies, drain flies, cluster flies, whiteflies, and pantry moths.

Identifying types of small flying bugs in the house is the first step to getting rid of them. Typically, flying pests are usually active around a food source or nest. For example, although they look similar, the difference between fungus gnats and fruit flies is that fruit flies tend to only be around decaying fruit or garbage, whereas black gnats infest houseplants.

In this article, you will find out about small flying bugs in the house that are not fruit flies. A practical identification guide will help you recognize the type of disgusting bugs flying around your home. In addition, you will get tips on eradicating flying house bugs for good.

Identifying Small Flying Bugs

To identify small bugs flying in your home, look at their behavior, shape, and where they tend to be. Try to find out what attracts the annoying flies — odors, dampness, poor sanitation, or heat. Some flies are typically found in the kitchen near drains, garbage cans, or rotten food.

Then look at the color of the flying bugs to identify them. For example, fruit flies are dark brown, whereas gnats are black. However, drain flies are larger, moth-like, gray insects and are common in kitchens. Black houseflies tend to fly around erratically and are typically found on windows.

Small Black Flying Bugs in the House That Are Not Fruit Flies

Many people assume that tiny flying bugs are fruit flies. However, if the little flying bug is black, not brown, then the chances are that the bug is a fungus gnat, not a fruit fly. There are also other kinds of flying household bugs that are not fruit flies. Here are a few.

Gnats – Tiny Flying Bugs in the House That Look Like Black Dots

Types of Small Flying Bugs In House (With Pictures) - Identification Guide (1)

Gants are small black flying bugs that can be found in damp places in the house

Tiny black flying bugs in your kitchen, living room or bedroom could be fungus gnats. The small, winged bugs have a black or dark gray, slender body, six legs, and two long antennae. These tiny bugs only measure 0.08” to 0.3” (2 – 8 mm) long. They become annoying when flying in faces.

Fungus gnats are commonly found in potting soil, damp places, or other sources of organic composition. Even though they are a nuisance and get in your face, fungus gnats don’t bite or sting. And if they infest houseplant soil, they won’t do any lasting damage to plants.

What attracts black fungus gnats to your home? Gnats typically get into your home in potted plant soil. However, factors like dampness, humidity, and light at night can draw the annoying pest to your home. Then the tiny black bugs lay larvae in dark, damp places, and you’ll end up with lots of little flying bugs to deal with.

These black bugs with wings are most active in spring and summer. However, they can be active throughout the year inside your home. This is why it’s so crucial to get rid of fungus gnats for good; otherwise, getting rid of swarms of gnats is exceedingly challenging.

Small Flying Bug Identification

Fungus gnats are easy to identify because they are dark gray or black flies with slender bodies, long legs, antennae, and transparent wings.

How To Get Rid of the Small Flying Bug in the House

To eliminate fungus gnats from potting soil, make a soil drench by mixing one-part hydrogen peroxide 3% and four parts water. Then, use the solution to kill bugs in the potting mix as you water your plants.

You can use sticky yellow traps to reduce their numbers if you have fungus gnats in the kitchen. However, eliminating the source of black gnats is the only way of getting rid of them for good.

Fungus Gnat vs. Fruit Fly

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Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens)

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Fungus gnats are easy to confuse with fruit flies. The main differences between the two are their shape and color. Gnats are black with slender bodies and long, dangling legs. On the other hand, fruit flies are brown with a rounded shape, somewhat like tiny houseflies.

Housefly (Musca domestica)

The common housefly is a dark gray to black fly with a stripped back and fuzzy appearance. Houseflies measure about 0.2” (6 mm) long. They also have transparent wings and spiny black legs. The small annoying black flies also have two pronounced compound eyes.

Houseflies are a nuisance pest because of the buzzing sounds they make. Also, their erratic flying behavior and excellent vision make them difficult to swat. A serious reason to get rid of houseflies is that they are disease carriers, and they feed on rotten meat and decaying organic matter.

Small Flying Bug Identification

The common housefly is identified by its black body, gray and black striped thorax, and large reddish-brown compound eyes.

How To Get Rid of the Small Flying Bug in the House

The first step to getting rid of houseflies is to remove all potential food sources. So, it’s a good idea to store food in sealed containers or in the refrigerator. Also, keep a tight lid on trash cans and don’t leave pet food out overnight.

Flesh Flies (Sarcophagidae spp.)

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Flesh flies are small flying bugs in the house that are attracted to meat scraps

Flesh flies are another common type of household black flying bug. The tiny flies are slightly larger than houseflies, measuring 0.16” to 0.9” (4 – 22 mm) long. Like houseflies, flesh flies have a black body with gray stripes on the thorax. The flies usually lay eggs on scraps of meat.

Because of their ability to transmit disease and feed on garbage and feces, flesh flies are also classified as filth flies. Therefore, getting rid of flesh flies is just as important as eradicating houseflies from your kitchen.

Small Flying Bug Identification

Flesh flies are identified by their dark gray to black bodies and sometimes have a greenish or bluish metallic sheen. In addition, you may notice stripes or checkered patterns on their back.

Cluster Fly (Pollenia rudis)

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Cluster flies are commonly found in attics and are not attracted by garbage

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The common cluster fly is a small blackish flying house bug, identified by its black and brown mottled patterns in its thorax. The small fly has a slightly fuzzy appearance due to tiny hairs near its head. Cluster flies measure around 0.35” to 12” (9 – 12 mm) long.

Cluster flies become a nuisance in the home when they congregate in masses in late summer and early fall. They usually live and breed in inaccessible areas of homes and hibernate until spring. Unlike houseflies, cluster flies aren’t attracted by garbage, dirt, or filth.

Small Flying Bug Identification

To identify a cluster fly, look for its black body with light brownish markings just behind the head. Clusters of flies are often found in attics or lofts — one reason why they are called attic flies.

How To Get Rid of the Small Flying Bug in the House

Cluster flies are difficult to get rid of due to their large numbers. However, you can swat or vacuum flies you find indoors or use flypaper to reduce their numbers. To prevent further infestations, caulk all gaps around vents, electrical outlets, doors, windows, and baseboards.

Small Flying Bugs In The House That Are Not Fruit Flies

Although fruits flies and gnats are common household flies, other flying bugs can become a significant nuisance in homes. For example, some species of flying insects are commonly found in kitchens, whereas others are where you have houseplants.

Drain Fly (Psychodidae spp.)

Drain flies are gray fuzzy flying bugs with broad moth-like hairy wings. The tiny, winged creatures measure around 0.1” (2.5 mm) and usually emerge at night or from dark places like sink drains ortend to hop over kitchen countertops.

As their name suggests, drain flies inhabit drains, breeding and living in slimy filth. Due to their habitat, drain flies also go by the names sewer flies, sewer gnats, and sink flies. Getting rid of them is challenging because their larvae can swim, and the nasty gray bugs hide in drain sludge.

Small Flying Bug Identification

A drain fly is identified as a tiny gray moth-like fly that is often seen hovering around drains, sinks, and sewers.

How To Get Rid of the Small Flying Bug in the House

The best way to eradicate these disgusting flying bugs is to clean your drains thoroughly. Use a baking soda and vinegar remedy to get rid of flies from your drain.

To kill drain flies and larvae, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain. Then put a cup of baking soda in the drain, followed by a large cup of equal parts white vinegar and water. Cover the drain and wait for ten minutes. Lastly, pour a pot of boiling water down the drain to kill flies, white maggots, and larvae.

Blowfly (Calliphoridae spp.)

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Blowflies are usually shiny metallic in their appearance

A blowfly is a large flying bug that you might find in your kitchen, living room, or garage. The repulsive fly is identified by its metallic blue or green color, black legs, brown wings, and pronounced red compound eyes. Blowflies behave like houseflies, measuring 0.3” to 0.4” (8 – 10 mm) long.

Blowflies are attracted to garbage, rotting organic matter, and trash. Due to their shiny blue or greenish appearance, they are also called bottle flies, bluebottles, or greenbottles. Because they can spread disease and infect food, it is essential to eradicate blow flies from your home.

Small Flying Bug Identification

A blowfly is easy to identify due to its metallic blue or green body, erratic flight behavior, and loud buzzing noises.

How To Get Rid of the Small Flying Bug in the House

The best way to eliminate blowflies is to destroy their food source or breeding ground. Therefore, ensure garbage trash cans have a tightly fitting lid, remove all food from counter tops, and clean any pet waste from your home.


Types of Small Flying Bugs In House (With Pictures) - Identification Guide (8)

A close up picture of a whitefly. The tiny whitefly is a pest that can usually be found on the underside of the plant’s leaves

Whiteflies are identified as tiny, white-colored flying bugs that fly around infested houseplants. The tiny white flying creatures measure 0.08” (2 mm) long and usually fly in clusters. Although the swarming white bugs don’t bite humans or sting, they cause houseplant damage by biting into plant tissue, weakening the plants, and spreading disease.

Related reading: How to get rid of whiteflies.

Small Flying Bugs in The House

Phorid Fly (Phoridae spp.)

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Phorid flies are identified by their humpback and erratic flight

A phorid fly is a tiny brown flying insect that looks like a fruit fly but isn’t a fruit fly. Instead, the minuscule flying bug has a black to yellowish-brown color and an arched thorax. Phorid flies are just as tiny as fruit flies, measuring only 0.12” (3 mm) in size.

It’s easy to tell a phorid fly apart from fruit flies by their flight behavior. Unlike fruit flies that hover or fly in a straight line, phorid flies fly erratically in a zig-zag pattern. It’s vital to get rid of these disgusting bugs because they tend to feed on decaying, rotten organic matter and drain slime.

Small Flying Bug Identification

A phorid fly is identified by its humpbacked appearance, brownish color, and erratic flight behavior.

How To Get Rid of the Small Flying Bug in the House

To eliminate phorid flies from your home, get rid of any decaying food, open trash containers, and clean drains. To reduce phorid fly numbers, you can use sticky traps until they disappear for good.

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Fruit Flies (Drosophila spp.)

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Fruit flies are tiny brown house bugs that especially like sweet rotten fruit

Fruit flies are the easiest flying household bugs to identify. The tiny yellowish-brown flying bugs measure 0.1” (2.5 mm) long. They are identified by their short legs, tiny wings, large red eyes, and an oval body. However, fruit fly features are so minute that they look like tan-colored dots hovering around fruit or trash cans.

Fruit flies are active in the kitchen in summer through late fall. The tiny flying bugs are attracted by decaying or fermenting food, garbage, and compost piles. Also called vinegar flies or pomace flies, the bugs also feed on soda pop, syrups, and liquor.

Small Flying Bug Identification

A fruit fly is one of the most common flying bugs in kitchens. The small oval fly has a tan body and two large dark red eyes.

How To Get Rid of the Small Flying Bug in the House

Make a DIY trap to eradicate fruit flies from your home. All you need to do is pour apple cider vinegar into a glass, so it’s one-quarter full. Cover with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band. Then poke a few holes in the plastic and place it on your kitchen countertop.

Alternatively, to kill fruit flies for good, you could use an old banana peel or apple core instead of cider vinegar as bait. The sweet, fermenting aromas will attract the fruit flies and trap them in the jar.

It’s also crucial to keep fruit and vegetables and any sugary items in the refrigerator or suitable sealed container.

Pantry Moths

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The brown and gray Indianmeal moth is commonly found in kitchens and pantries in grain products

Pantry moths are small flying bugs that infest dried food items like flour, grains, spices, rice, seeds, and nuts. The most common flying kitchen bug is the Indianmeal moth. This common pantry bug is identified by its recognizable reddish-brown patterns covering half of its wings. The flying bugs measure 0.3” to 0.4” (8 – 10 mm) long.

The issue with pantry moths is that they can contaminate cereals and stored foodstuffs. The annoying tiny moths lay eggs, and then larvae hatch in dried food products. Signs of pantry moth bug infestations are silky webs dangling inside food packets, frass (feces that look like tiny black specks), dead skin, and crawling white maggots.

Small Flying Bug Identification

Pantry moths are identified as small fuzzy flying bugs with an elongated oval body and grayish wings, half of which have a mottled reddish-brown pattern.

How To Get Rid of the Small Flying Bug in the House

To get rid of pantry bugs for good, discard any infected food products in a sealed plastic bag. Then thoroughly clean the pantry cupboard and storage areas with hot soapy water. This will kill any microscopic white eggs or tiny white larvae that may be lurking in crevices.

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