What Do Gnats Eat?


What Do Gnats Eat?

Gnats are a broad category of flying insect species, including members of the Sciaridae, Mycetophilidae, and Anisopodidae families. While some of these insects bite, others are mostly innocuous. In contrast to most flying insects, gnats are often fairly small and enjoy flying in big groups, or “clouds.” Typically, these insects are hardly larger than a few salt grains.

What Do Gnats Eat?

What Do Gnats Eat?

Here is a brief list of some of the items that these insects enjoy eating:


The majority of gnat species adore soft, sweet fruits to eat. Because of this, fruit flies are another name for gnats. Both adult and larval gnats find great nutrition in fruits. Fresh, ripe fruits are a favorite place for fruit flies to lay their eggs. These little insects swarm around fruit trees and can ruin any fruits that your tree may produce. Although they will sting and feast on fresh fruits, they prefer rotting fruits.

All types of fruits are edible to gnats. Bananas, oranges, lemons, grapes, pawpaw, strawberries, cherries, other berry bushes, apples, and pretty much any other fruit they can discover are also favorites of theirs.


Additionally, a variety of veggies are tasty to gnats. Although they prefer to eat vegetables with softer shells, they will consume nearly any vegetable that begins to rot. Gnats enjoy hiding their eggs within rotting or soft-shelled vegetables.

Vegetables including potatoes, pumpkins, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, leafy greens, peppers, cucumbers, and many more are favorites of these insects.

Decomposed or Fermenting Plant Matter

Almost any decayed or fermenting plant materials can be consumed by gnats. They are particularly drawn to fermented plant materials and other plant matter with a strong odor. This is also the reason gnats surrounding your wine glass are so irritating.

In your yard, these insects can be really bothersome. They enjoy eating damp plant material and can be rather bothersome in overwatered gardens. You should give your plants less water if you are having trouble with a gnat cloud in your garden.


Slime that accumulates on water, in moist soil, and inside open drains is a favorite food of gnats. If you cure the slime that is accumulating in these damp regions, you can get rid of the gnats that are lingering about your drain in large numbers.

Moist manure

Additionally, gnats adore eating new, damp dung. They steer clear of dried dung but eat any moist manure. They enjoy eating any kind of soft manure, including that of sheep, cows, wild animals, and even dogs. Additionally, gnats enjoy laying their eggs in fresh manure piles.

Decayed Animal Carcasses

These little insects frequently visit the bodies of deceased animals. They enjoy eating the decaying meats and laying their eggs in the decayed carrion. Because they help break down animal tissue, their capacity to eat animal carcasses benefits the ecosystem.

Plant Roots

Because they like to eat degraded plant material and roots, gnat larvae can seriously harm plants. These larvae can scavenge through soft, damp soil beneath. If you don’t cure them right away or if you water your plants excessively, they may potentially cause plants to die.


Additionally, fungi that develop underground, on rocks, and on other surfaces are tasty to gnats. They are typically drawn to the smell of fungus like mold and mildew and will feed on just about any fungal development they can locate.

Diet Variations

Not all gnats will consume food while they are larvae. For instance, the larvae of fungus gnats do not feed at all. In addition to nectar, these flying insects also favor it over their typical diet of fruits, vegetables, and decomposing plant waste.

How to Feed Gnats

How to Feed Gnats

What do Baby Gnats Eat?

Larvae are the name for baby gnats. These insects emerge from their eggs as small worm-like larvae, then go through a pupae stage before becoming gnats.

Gnat larvae don’t always eat. Some only hang on until they can develop into pupae, after which they will begin to feed as adult insects. When gnat larvae do eat, they often consume the surroundings of their birth. Those who are born in vegetables or fruits will begin to consume these things until they are prepared to emerge. Gnats that hatch in soil typically eat plant roots, fungus, and decomposing plant materials.

How Much Do Gnats Eat?

Gnats are small insects, but because they love to fly in clouds, they can seriously harm plants and crops. Your fruit trees’ whole crop might easily be ruined by a gnat cloud, which could also be disastrous for fruit farms.

Are Gnats Dangerous?

You may get bitten by gnats, and while the bites can itch, they are typically not harmful. However, eating fruits that have larvae in them or being contaminated by these flying insects that contaminate food with trash cans can make you ill.

What Do Gnats Hate?

Eliminating their food sources from your environment is one of the greatest strategies to prevent gnat infestations. Fruit bowls can be covered, and fruits and vegetables can be stored in the refrigerator, to achieve this.

Some fragrances can also repel these flying insects. Sprays with odors like citronella oil spray, diluted rubbing alcohol, lemon oil, and other potent-smelling oils are options.


How do I get rid of gnats ASAP?

In a small bowl, combine six drops of liquid dish soap, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, one tablespoon of sugar, and half a cup of warm water. Gnats won’t be able to resist the tasty mixture, but they won’t be able to flee either because of the sticky soap! Feb 15, 2022

Why do I suddenly have gnats in my house?

Gnats can be drawn inside the house by produce that isn’t sealed, new flowers, houseplants, spilled food, and open or overflowing trash cans. Additionally, gnats may reside in sink drains where leftover food may congregate. Many fly species can find food, water, shelter, and breeding grounds in dirty kitchen sink drains.

Are gnats harmful?

Do Fungus Gnats Pose a Threat? People shouldn’t worry about fungus gnats because they don’t bite or sting and don’t carry any diseases. Fungus gnats can harm young seedlings and houseplants by feeding on their roots when they are indoors.

Where are gnats coming from?

The majority of gnats’ food comes from eggs laid in unripe fruits. When the fruit starts to deteriorate, the larvae consume it to develop into adult gnats. As well as hatching from eggs laid in vegetables and growing eggs in potting soil, gnats can also enter your home through an open door or window.

How do you get rid of gnats How do you get rid of gnats?

Use a bug zapper, please. Using a bug zapper is one of the most efficient ways to manage and get rid of gnats. Vinegar traps, wine traps, candle traps, drain cleaners, bleach drains, and reduce watering are just a few examples. – Use cards or sticky paper.


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Sarah Green

Wildlife and Nature Fan & Author