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Are Gnats Baby Flies? (All You Need to Know)

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Flies are common in places where there are food and water. Gnats are a similar kind of insect. These insects have the qualities of flying and share some same characters. You can also confuse thinking them to be the same.

Are gnats baby flies?

No, gnats are not baby flies. The similarity in the size and structure of their looks are the reasons for this confusion. Both mature gnats and baby flies range from a quarter to half inches. Their habitats, families, movements, etc., are different. The similarity is in their wings and body parts.

The small flying insects that are similar to flies are gnats. They are not even an inch long and share similar features with flies.

The life cycle of gnats and flies passes through the same stages. They first lay eggs which then turn to larvae. The larvae convert to pupa. Then comes the adult phase.

During all these stages, their size and structure are different as well.

A mature gnat is around a quarter-inch long. It is similar to the baby stage of flies. That is, baby flies are the same size as that of a mature gnat.

Gnats are not flies, and they are very different.

They belong to different habitats and share a lot of common traits. But they belong to different families.

Baby flies are not fliers. And they walk around to places.

Gnats are also weak in the case of flying. Their wings are heavy. As such, they also prefer to swarm and walk. They can fly, but they prefer to move around without flying.

Baby flies are small, like gnats. They have white color in their body. And when they mature, they get red eyes. Gnats do not have red eyes. And the color gnats ranges from black to ash.

Are a gnat and a fly the same thing? 

Gnat and fly share a lot of similar characteristics. But they differ in size and color. Gnats are smaller than flies. They are two different insects.

Flies can infect humans with various diseases. And there are different kinds of flies that cause them.

They carry germs along with them. A carrier fly can transmit diseases from one body to another.

Gnats are not like flies. They do not carry viruses that are harmful to us. But some species of gnats can cause diseases in farm animals.

But these two insects are found in the same places and habitats. Similar environments attract these insects. Moist and damp areas are the ideal place for their habitation.

You are most likely to find them near bathrooms and kitchens. As these two places have regular water usage, they remain moist for longer times.

But gnats and flies are not the same insects. They are different in various ways.

Do gnats look like flies? Do baby flies look like gnats?

The appearance and physical features of gnats and flies are a lot similar. They both have a pair of wings and four short legs. Their bodies have three sections as well.

Gnats look a lot like flies. And people can fail to distinguish between a baby fly and a gnat.

Gnats are small in size. A mature gnat is the same size as a baby fly.

Flies are larger and have various stages of growth. When they are in their baby stage, they look like gnats. But still, some distinguishing features between them separate the two kinds.

Flies can range from 1- 1.5 inches. There are flies of larger size as well.

But gnats are tiny and measures up to 0.25-0.5 inches at best. The largest of gnats equals the size of a baby fly.

And this is why these insects are often considered to be identical. But they are different.

Gnatsvs Baby flies – What is the difference between gnats and baby flies?

Flies are very common in every house. And people might think of a gnat as a baby fly.

A baby fly is the same size as an adult gnat. Gnats and flies resemble each other in structure and size.

There are some differences between these two. Some of them are:

Belongs to the different families:

There are different species of flies. And the most common fly is the fruit fly, belonging to Drosophilidae. Gnats belong to the Sciaridae family.

Found in different places:

Leftover foods, dirty utensils, moist and damp places inside the house attract the most flies. You will find baby flies around your house flying and moving around these surroundings.

Gnats are smaller insects that you will find on grounds outside your house. They are also common indoors. But, they prefer the outdoors more.

They are found in moist and damp soils and environments.

Physical features:

The color of baby flies are cream and white. And the color of gnats is grey and ash. They are black as well.

Moreover, flies have red eyes. If you observe them closer, you will see that they are different in their physical appearance.

Mode of movement:

Flies can fly from place to place. But gnats prefer to walk or crawl around. They can fly as well. But their wings get heavy when they fly. Thus they prefer walking.


There are a lot of species of flies. But there are a few species of gnats if you compare it with that of flies.

What Do gnats look like?

Gnats are small insects. They are tiny in structure with some distinctive physical features.

Their bodies have three segments of a total length of 0.25 inches. Their size can range from 0.25 inches to 0.75 inches. Few species of gnats are a little bigger and resemble the size of flies.

Gnats have colors like yellow, ash, dark brown, black, etc.

They look taller because of their slender legs. They do not fly a lot, as their flying ability is weaker.

You can identify a gnat in the dusk at ease. The male gnats swarm at that time. They gather and swarm at dusk to form mating groups.

The antennae of gnats are long as well. And they seem to be aimless while flying around your house. These insects do not bite humans and are harmless.

Moisture and dirty fungal objects attract gnats. The soil around your house and yards are the ideal place for gnats. They are found in grass fields as well.

Do gnats turn into flies? How long does it take for a gnat to turn into a fly?

Flies are different species of insects than gnats. They are not of the same family. They might be similar in their physical features, but they are not the same.

Gnats do not turn into a fly. One species of insect cannot turn into the insect of another species.

They are small, and they go through various stages in their life cycle. The life cycle of gnats and flies are similar.

A gnat goes through 4 stages, from eggs to adults. They pass the stages of larvae and pupa in the middle. And when they mature, they reach the size of ¼ inches. It is also a similar size to baby flies.

 The proper life cycle of gnats covers around 17 days. Then they reach the size of their adulthood. Adult gnats are the same size as baby flies. So, it takes around 17 days for gnats to look like baby flies. 

How to get rid of little gnat flies?

Gnat infestation is a very usual instance in many households. But most of us don’t know that we can get rid of gnats using simple methods. Here are some of the ways to get rid of gnats:

Using flypaper:

There’s perhaps no safer solution than using flypaper. All you have to do is hang the flypaper in areas of your home where gnats swarm. Gnats will get stuck to the sticky surface of the paper then.

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Using a bug zapper machine:

These silent machines can work wonders to eliminate gnats. Plug it in and keep it in any corner of your room. The gnats will be drawn to the light generated by the device and zapped.

Using Apple Cider vinegar and dish soap mixture:

In a bowl of warm water, take some apple cider vinegar and add a tablespoon of sugar. Add a few drops of dish soap, stir the solution, and place it in a gnat-infested area. Gnats will come for the sugar solution and get stuck to the sticky soap mixture.

And you can always prevent these bugs using preventive methods. Keep your home and surroundings clean to distract these bugs from entering and spreading. And you are good to go.

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Final Thoughts

We cannot swap between two species of insects and call them the same. Gnats are different than baby flies. They only match in their looks and size. But these insects are not the same. They have distinctive features that make their body and nature. The characteristics of these species are different.

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