What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

black flying bugs
(great!) website and don’t see anything that matches what we have here – Every year about this time (Columbia, SC) we get these black flying bugs – they come in for a week or so and then go away. They don’t bite, don’t really seem to do much of anything except occasionally fly around. I think they are harmless but I’d like to know what they (or their larvae) eat so I know if my trees are in danger. It’s mostly just a little un-nerving to see hundreds of them on your wall (they seem to like the coolness of the brick) – looks kind of amityville horror-esque. I’m sending three photos – one looking down on them, one is a side view (so you can see the yellow abdomin – in this photo they almost look like lightning bugs but they definitely are not), and one is a shot of the wall – all those black spots are these bugs.
Thanks for any help you can provide.

Hi Kim,
We wanted to be sure exactly what type of gnat you are being visited by, so we checked with expert Eric Eaton. Here is what he has to say: “Ok, these are indeed gnats, dark-winged fungus gnats to be exact, family Sciaridae. I don’t know much about the outdoor varieties, but understand they can be overwhelmingly abundant at times. Adults do not bite, may not even feed at all. Eric”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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