Fruit Flies vs Gnats

When it comes to flying pests, gnats and fruit flies are two of the most common. But what’s the difference between these two tiny buggers?

For starters, fruit flies are attracted to, you guessed it, fruit! They’re also drawn to other sweet things like sugar and alcohol. Gnats, on the other hand, are attracted to decaying matter like garbage or compost.

Appearance – What do they look like?

Some people confuse gnats with fruit flies. But, there are some clear differences between the two. Fruit flies have a shorter lifespan than gnats and they can breed faster. They also have a more rounded head.

Fruit flies are usually red or black and have large eyes. Gnats, on the other hand, can be a variety of colors but most often they’re brown or gray. And while both pests are small, gnats are usually even smaller than fruit flies.

Lifespan – How long do they live?

Fruit flies live for a maximum of nine days, while gnats can live up to three months.

The lifespan of a fruit fly is 9 days, while that of a gnat is 3 months.


When it comes to getting rid of these pests, both can be a real pain. But there are some slightly different methods you can use for each. For fruit flies, try placing a trap with some apple cider vinegar and a drop of dish soap. For gnats, try using a yellow sticky trap.

So, there you have it! The next time you’re trying to figure out whether that fly in your kitchen is a fruit fly or a gnat, just remember the difference: fruit flies like sweet things and gnats like decaying matter.

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