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Types of Small Flies

Small flies can be quite the nuisance when they infest homes. Not only do they buzz around you and your home, they can also contaminate food and areas where you prepare your meals. Knowing which fly you’re up against will make it easier to get rid of these pests. We’ve gathered information about common home invading small flies to help you identify an infestation.

Fruit Flies

Fruit fly

As their name suggests, fruit flies like to hang out near your fruit. These pests often sneak inside looking for a place to breed and something to eat.


  • Tan or brown body with black and gray abdomen
  • 2 large red or dark eyes
  • 1/8" in length


  • Fruit flies are found in kitchens near produce and trash bins.
  • They are attracted to overripe or decaying produce and fermented drinks and food.
  • These flies lay eggs under the skin of fruit.
  • They are most active on warm days but can be found in homes year-round.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats on flower

While fruit flies prefer to spend time near your produce, fungus gnats like to bug your plants. You’re likely to spot these pests flying around plants or near windows. 


  • Grayish-black body
  • Long legs and antennae, giving them a mosquito-like appearance
  • 1/16" to 1/8" in length


  • Fungus gnats are attracted to plants and damp soil.
  • Their larvae feed on fungi and organic matter in soil.
  • When larvae feed on roots, they can damage the plants.
  • Fungus gnats are more likely to walk along the surface of soil, and they only fly short distances.

Phorid Flies

Phorid fly

Phorid flies are often found in areas with chronic moisture build-up. These pests are sometimes referred to as scuttle flies because of their erratic movements. 


  • Brown, black, or yellow body
  • Humpbacked appearance
  • 1/8" in length


  • Phorid flies are attracted to decaying plants and animals.
  • They are commonly found near trash bins, recycling bins, garbage disposals, rotting food, and drains.
  • They are often mistaken for gnats.
  • Phorid flies rapidly run across surfaces, and they fly short distances.

Drain Flies

Drain fly

If flies are gathering near your drains, there’s a good chance you’re dealing with drain flies. Because of their fuzzy body, they are sometimes referred to as moth flies.


  • Brownish, gray, or dark body
  • Small hairs cover their body, giving them a moth-like appearance
  • 1/16" to 1/4" in length


  • Drain flies are attracted to stagnant water and decaying matter in drains and sewers.
  • They lay eggs in the film that forms in drains and pipes.
  • You are likely to spot them in sinks, shower and tub drains, or buckets with standing water.
  • These pests have an irregular flight pattern, and they can’t fly long distances.

How to Get Rid of Small Flies

Flying Insect Killer

Flies in your home are sure to drive you crazy. Thankfully, there are things you can do to get rid of these pesky bugs. Check out a few tips to help keep your home free of small flies.

  • Seal Entry Points: Flies sneak into homes through small openings. Check for and seal any cracks and gaps. Make sure weatherstripping is in good repair. Examine window and door screens for tears and repair or replace them if they’re damaged.
  • Keep Your Kitchen Clean: Removing food sources and breeding sites can help to prevent small flies. Wipe down counters. Sweep and mop your floors. Regularly remove trash. Don’t leave dirty dishes or food residue in your sink.
  • Clean Your Drains: Since drain flies breed in drains, it’s important to keep these clean. You’ll want to use a microbial drain cleaner that digests the film that these pests breed and live in. By removing the scum, you’ll be eliminating the source of the problem.
  • Minimize Moisture: Many flies, especially phorid flies, are attracted to damp environments. It’s important to avoid moisture build-up in your home. Check for and repair leaky faucets and plumbing leaks.
  • Properly Store Food: Storing your food in air-tight containers can help to deter flies. It’s best to store fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator to avoid attracting fruit flies.
  • Take Care of Your Plants: Keeping an eye on your plants can help keep fungus gnats away. Be sure you don’t overwater your plants. This will prevent the soil from becoming too damp. Pick up any fallen leaves and produce. You can also use our plant-based 3-in-1 Garden Spray to help prevent and control fungus gnats.
  • Use Fly Traps: Our Fruit Fly Trap can help keep fruit flies from bugging you. It attracts and kills fruit flies. Place it in areas where you have seen fruit flies, especially near fruit bowls, vegetables, and garbage storage areas.
  • Use a Plant-Based Insecticide Spray: Plant-based insecticide sprays are an effective solution against pests. Our Flying Insect Killer kills flies and other flying pests on contact. It also provides residual repellency, helping to deter pests from returning to your home. While it will help with flies flying around, it won’t take care of breeding sites in drains.

By identifying which fly you’re dealing with, you’ll be able to take the right steps to kick them out of your home. If pests are bugging you, we have your back! For a more environmentally and family-friendly solution, check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products.

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