- Color: Fruit flies range from tan to black. Fungus gnats are dark gray or black.
- Shape: Thinking about fruit flies or gnats in comparison to other pests can help identify them. Fruit flies have a rounded silhouette like a smaller version of the common house fly. On the other hand, fungus gnats feature dangling legs and long bodies that make them appear similar to a small mosquito.
- Eyes: Fruit flies are easy to recognize by their big, red eyes, but fungus gnat eyes are so small they are hard to see.
Another difference between fruit fly and gnat infestations is where the pests gather. Fungus gnats nest in the soil of gardens or indoor potted plants to feed on organic matter. Fruit fly adults eat overripe fruits or rotting food in trashcans and fruit fly larvae feed on the slime found in dirty drains.
Apple cider vinegar is only effective on fruit flies. Fungus gnats must be treated in a different manner. Click here to see effective fungus gnat treatments.