Actual Size: 1/16 to ⅛”

Characteristics: Grayish-black with gray or see-through wings.

Legs: 6

Wings: Yes

Antennae: Yes

Habitat: Often found around bodies of water, which is where they lay their eggs.


  • Their presence in an area will attract spiders.
  • Also known as midges, they fly in swarms that look like clouds.
  • Often mistaken for mosquitoes, but do not bite or spread disease.

Gnats in Louisiana

Gnats and midges are common names for a large number of small, non-biting flies found throughout the United States. These flies typically breed in aquatic environments and can emerge from these sources in high numbers. Most species that affect homes and buildings are nighttime fliers that are attracted to the light on buildings. People are often troubled by the presence of these insects as they confuse them with mosquitoes. However, unlike mosquitoes, midges and gnats lack a biting needle, and because of this, they cannot spread disease.

Gnat Habitat

Gnats and midges are most common in spring and summer and are important pests around lakes, rivers, and aquatic areas where they lay their eggs. Although they are weak fliers, they can be carried long distances by downwind, migrating from nearby ponds, lakes, or rivers to swimming pools, homes, and buildings. Many gnats and midges are attracted to light and can be a nuisance, landing on people or entering homes or businesses. These tiny flies do not feed and only live long enough to mate, lay eggs, and die.

Gnat Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Although they do not bite, during peak emergence, immense numbers of gnats and midges move into adjacent residential or industrial areas causing annoyance and damage. Lake-front homes, sporting facilities, recreational areas, and businesses are often blanketed by these insects. Midges and gnats fly in swarms that look like clouds and can completely cover houses, vehicles, patio furniture, and plants in the landscape. Where midges are plentiful, spiders and spider webs abound, and this adds to people’s concern. At night, midges are attracted to outdoor lights in large numbers.

If you are dealing with a gnat/midge fly problem on your property, contact your local fly exterminators.