Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Moth Fly


I live in an apartment on the bottom floor. My home is VERY CLEAN. I started noticing these moth flies, and read an article that they may be coming from plants inside my home. I removed all of them and still I have tons of these things flying around. I have set out vinegar, no luck. How can I get rid of them??? I kill one and turn around and there are at least 15 more. PLEASE HELP!!! They are so tiny. They look just like the picture you were sent from someone. I just don't know what else to do to get rid of them. Thank you.


They could be moth flies, dark-winged fungus gnats, or even scuttle flies.  I'd have to see what you are referring to in order to make a concrete ID and offer control measures.

Generally speaking, even the cleanest homes are going to occasionally have insects.  All the flies mentioned above may breed in drain traps and other places where decaying organic matter accumulates.  The flies feed on that in their larval stage.  You might try putting a cup or container over your drains and see if you can pinpoint which one is generating the problem.  Treating with some kind of non-toxic enzyme solution might be your best bet in that event.

Otherwise, you can try consulting a local entomologist.  Take him or her intact specimens of the flies in question so you can get a proper ID and then act accordingly.

Best wishes for a quick solution, though most "outbreaks" like this resolve by themselves in a few days to a week.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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