What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We’re in Fungus Gnat Hell
Thu, Jan 22, 2009 at 9:13 PM
Is this some sort of Fungus Gnat? They act like a cross between a mosquito and a small fly. About the size of a mosquito, with long wings. But in flight much slower than any mosquito or fly (that is, I can swat one). They appear to have invaded us after an extended warm spell here in San Diego. They don’t seem to bite, and appear generally harmless, but worry that they’re a danger to the outdoor plants or citrus trees. My kids are freaking out b/c they think they are mosquitoes, lying in wait to torment them and suck their blood while they slumber…
Kel
Coastal San Diego

Fungus Gnat

Fungus Gnat

Dear Kel,
In our estimation, you are correct that this is a Dark Winged Fungus Gnat in the family Sciaridae.  Charles Hogue, in his book Insects of the Los Angeles Basin, identifies a Root Gnat in this family, Bradysia impatiens, that also looks like your specimen.  Hogue writes:  “This is the tiny black gnat that flits in your face while you are watching television and that always seems to get stuck in fresh paint.  The larva lives in decaying plant material, such as compost, peat, and sphagnum;  it also commonly infests the roots and stems of various herbaceous plants.  The insect may develop in the media used for potted plants, which explains its mysterious appearance indoors.”

Fungus Gnat

Fungus Gnat

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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