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Little black bugs?

I'm having an invasion of teensy black bugs. They are flying insects, but they are not fruit flies. They starting congregating around the windows in my kitchen, and have now moved to invading the small tank that our little turtle lives. I can't see exactly where they are coming from. I don't think it's the sink, since there are never any around there. It's either from the windows, which we asked to be fixed, but the landlord still hasn't. Or they might be coming from the composter, which we've checked and it doesn't seem to the be the source. I need to know how to get rid of them, I can't handle them breeding in my turtle's tank. I've cleaned and refilled the tank, but they keep coming back. They look like a tiny black grain with wings, not like bigger flies. We've tried leaving beer out for them to drown in, but they don't seem to care about it.

Edit: I guess these are "fungus gnats" from research online. Anyone watching this thread, white vinegar in a little cup seems to lure them more than beer or sweet liquids with binding agents. If you have any other suggestions, please comment.


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2008 10:39 pm (UTC)
i had something like this happen and checked out my cabinet and i had some flour in there i hadnt used in quite some time in there....they had invaded it...i cleaned the cabinet and all was well...might check your food cabinets/pantry.
Jan. 8th, 2008 10:49 pm (UTC)
I'll look around and see, but we keep the flour in the fridge. Nice icon!
Jan. 8th, 2008 10:44 pm (UTC)
OMG we have these too. The are so annoying. Ours love to fly in your face. And they don't care about food.
Jan. 8th, 2008 10:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, so I don't know how to kill them. I keep sucking them up in the vacuumn, but they keep breeding.
Jan. 8th, 2008 11:03 pm (UTC)
Try Orkin. They helped me.
Jan. 8th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
I don't want to go that route, I have too many pets to worry about gases or fumes hurting them.
Jan. 9th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
Last night I tried little shot glasses of white vinegar and they are dying in it, you might try a small bowl of it.
Jan. 8th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)
I have some of those right now! I keep killing them, but then I see more! AND I'm in Colorado and it's winter! I thought bugs were supposed to be dead? Hmm... anyway
Jan. 8th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we've had snow on the ground since December, I was hoping they'd die. But no.
Jan. 9th, 2008 12:31 am (UTC)
It seems like they should!
Jan. 9th, 2008 03:18 pm (UTC)
You might try what I did last night, setting out small containers of white vinegar. I've killed a few since this morning.
Jan. 9th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
Ooh! I should try that, I have a TON of white vinegar around here. Thanks!
Jan. 8th, 2008 11:52 pm (UTC)
Do you have any plants? We have lots of plants in my house and if we over water a plant then we end up getting gnats.
Jan. 9th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that sometimes happens w/ Jon's plans. Though, he hasn't really been taking care of them lately... heh, so I don't THINK that's it. But I don't know...
Jan. 9th, 2008 12:59 am (UTC)
I have the same problem! I did notice that they only showed up when I brought my potted plants inside for the winter, and I do see them crawling around the plants pretty often, so I think that is their source. The plants themselves aren't suffering, so I guess they lay eggs in the dirt. I might try some diatomaceous earth in the plant pots, but that might not be great for your turtle (I have no idea what is and isn't okay for turtles). I'm currently researching other ways to control them, but hopefully others will know and post in this thread, too.
Jan. 9th, 2008 01:10 am (UTC)
Okay, so... like five mintues after I post, I find the info I want. I am pretty sure they are fungus gnats, and feed on the fungus that grows in damp soil. If you have potted plants, make sure the soil can dry out sufficiently between waterings, or try putting a layer of sand on top (which dries faster and prevents the adults from laying more eggs). Keep adult populations down with sticky fly-tape or homemade gnat traps. This will keep them from breeding so much.

If they are breeding in your turtle's tank, what kind of substrate are you using in there? It's definitely possible that either the gnats came in with it, or that you keep the tank sufficiently humid/wet that it allows fungus to grow and flies to breed in there. Try to at least keep the tank fixings dry, if it needs to be relatively humid for your pet. That's all I got right now, hope it helps!
Jan. 9th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
I have potted plants upstairs, but they are confined to a separate room. I'm guessing it's probably from our composter, even though I can't see any within the composter. I'll have to figure out a way to stop their breeding without killing our worms.
Jan. 9th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC)
Even though they're confined to a separate room they might still be able to spread throughout your home. They're quite small enough to crawl under doors and fly through ventilation systems. My mother has to deal with them every winter. Usually, letting her potting soil dry thoroughly and making sure that she doesn't overwater her plants to prevent fungus from growing will help to eliminate the problem. She has also had some success with bowls of apple juice with a little hand soap in it. The juice seemed to attract the flies, and the hand soap negates surface tension, which eliminates their ability to float on top of the liquid, so they drown.
Jan. 9th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
I made little traps when I had them. I used Apple Cider Vinegar in a bowl with a piece of plastic wrap on top held on with a rubber band. Then poked tiny holes They could get in but not out. Once they fall in the liquid they are pretty much toast. Also I got a venus fly trap, it worked wonders. They are a bit tricky to take care of but work!
Also make sure you are taking out your trash all the time. Also wash any garbage cans that you have. Just make your house as clean as possible. Ohh some people clean out their garbage disposal with baking soda and vinegar. That I have not done but heard it can be a major breeding ground.
Jan. 9th, 2008 08:47 am (UTC)
Sounds like the same things we get here. They are usually a summer bug here and hang around in massive clouds, especially near sources of moisture.
Citronella oil mixed with water in a spray bottle usually works in dispersing the little buggers, but they will come back until you find their hideout and ah...escort their little buggy butts to the underworld, so to speak.
Jan. 9th, 2008 03:16 pm (UTC)
Nice icon! My little buggers don't swarm, but they are still a nuisance!
Jan. 10th, 2008 01:17 pm (UTC)
Heh thanks!
Citronella oil works well for almost all insects, as well as nuiscance dogs and cats. They all HATE the stuff.
Jan. 9th, 2008 12:44 pm (UTC)
Ooo! I have/had the same thing. They were all over my kitchen window for a while. I assumed that they were connected to the big bag of rice that I had sitting open in the kitchen, since they were all over it. Once we threw out the rice (sadly), we didn't see as many, although one just showed up in a bowl of baking soda I keep around as an air freshner.
Jan. 9th, 2008 03:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, they started at the windows and have seemed to migrate to my baby turtle's tank. I think they are coming from the composter, but I will double check my pantry items. I have found that last night I set out little shot glasses of white vinegar by her tank and a lot of them dying in it. Before I had tried beer and fruit juices and nothing had worked.
Jan. 12th, 2008 01:44 am (UTC)
I must know where your icon is from. I really like it.
Jan. 12th, 2008 01:51 am (UTC)
It's from the movie Juno, you should watch it, hilarious and adorable at the same time.
Jan. 13th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC)
For getting rid of the adults, put out a glass of stiff red wine. I'm telling you, they will flock to this stuff! LOL Also, if you have any bleach, pour a few tbl down your drain in the sink. They breed there, and if you do the bleach, it will get rid of them. I hate bleach, but I keep it around for emergencies such as this! Good luck and let me know if it helps you!
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )

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