What do gnats eat?

Yes, I know “gnat” is an imprecise term and includes many different types of small
(usually fruit) flies of a genus whose name escapes me…but those tiny annoying
flies which hang out wasting time under overhanging branches, what DO thet eat?
Especially when they make an impromptu appearance on mild days in winter.
Do English ones eat different things to Scottish ones, or American ones?

According the the Britannica many of the little bastards are bloodsuckers, although the term “gnat” is imprecise enough that some non-bloodsucking insects get lumped in as well.

Some gnats gnaw on gnus.

Colibri: I just spent several precious seconds of my life trying to figure out how to work “gnostic” into that sentence so it made sense. Thanks a lot :stuck_out_tongue: .

  • Tamerlane

p.s. - As I’m sure Colibri will attest, some of the critters lumped into the category of “gnat” feed on gn…I mean nectar :wink: .

Gnats may also gnash at gnarled gnostic gnomes.

All right now–gnock it off!


Curse you :smiley: .

  • Tamerlane

In the Gname of God we abjure thee, to be cast out into the outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Some Gnats are members of a sinister, Ultra-Right Wing political conspiracy.

They are…



… here is some gnews about gnats.

Q. What eats gnats?

A. Spiders.


Good giggles, guys…but I really really DO want to know what GNAT’S EAT.
Surely its midges & mozzies that do the blood thing. Up in the wilds of Scotland, or on a mld January day in my garden, there’s not too much blood around.
(I’ve only got a palm-top computer, a small 2 inc X 5 inch black & white screen so real research surfin is a drag, so instead of the Britannica, I was searching for just this type of site…
Loads of folk with enquiring minds and a sense of humour)
…Please don’t say you don’t know…

Sorry about that previous link, Cid. I was actually trying to give you some information. Try this one. It is from the AltaVista search engine, and at the bottom of that page are many more pages of gnat links.

Here is something a little more specific from an entymology site. I hope your little computer will be able to access it.

That should be entomolgy, not entymology, sorry.

Here is a link about bug zappers from that same site. According to this link, bug zappers kill far more beneficial insects than harmful ones (including gnats, apparently).

Good giggles, guys…but I REALLYREALLYDO want to know what gnats eat.
Surely midges & mozzies do the blood thing, and I know for sure there’s not alot of that about in my garden on a mild February day,
or in the wilds of Scotland at any time of the year.
(I only have a small 2"x5" black & white screen on my slow hand held computer, so serious research surfin tends to be tricky.
So instead of Britannica and the like which I have already tried, I’ve been looking for a site like this, full of folk with enquiring minds and a good sense of humour)
…Please don’t tell me that you don’t know…

Thanx for the helpful links, just had a look thru’ them. I’m still looking for the answer.
Perhaps UK Gnats do things very differently from those in the US (Iowa in particular).
Look in on you again later.

Gno way.

It looks like it’s thend for this one unless anyone gnows someone who may gnow. So, so long and thanx for all the fiche.

Cid, the reason no one can actually answer your question is that we don’t know exactly what kind of gnat you are talking about. As the other sources indicated, while many insects called gnats suck blood, others feed on fruit, fungus, and lots of other things.

I’m afraid that “those tiny annoying flies which hang out wasting time under overhanging branches” isn’t much help when trying to look it them in an entomology textbook. Even with one of the little bastards in hand, keying out micro-Diptera is not a task for the faint of heart. We will have to know things like the fine details of wing venation, the number of hairs on the butt, and any distiguishing tattoos before we’ll be able to get anywhere with this.