Can I start off by saying what a marvellous website you've created - I've learned so much from your pages and discussion forums.
I've been inundated with tiny flies/fleas in recent weeks (photo attached). I've ignored them up to now in the hope that they'll go away but they seem to be determined to cling on in the bathroom, kitchen and even in my bedroom! Occasionally, when I'm typing away on my laptop, one floats across my screen as if it has just popped out from between the keys or from the fan vent.
Mostly I find them on and around windows and window sills where I have a number of houseplants. Although I do not have any pets of my own there are plenty of cats around the shared grounds and garden - plus a dog and a few pet rabbits in a nearby pen. I usually have my windows open most of the day. These little flies/fleas are getting on my nerves now - you could say they are starting to bug me.
In reading your website and others - e.g. "Amateur Etymologist's Society" , Wikipedia, etc - I've made some attempts at identification but without any real conviction. For what it's worth I think they may be Cheese Flies - Piophila Casei - even though I have never found them anywhere near my cheese - not yet!
I've started to develop a neurosis over accidental miasis now - so any assurances you can offer would be most welcome.
They are no more than 2 to 3mm long but as you can see from the photos, there are plenty of them. The background to IMG_0084JPG is a post-it note pad if that helps to give you some idea of scale.
I agree, with that wing venation they look like Sciarids (black fungus gnats) to me - fortunately they are nothing to worry about! They might be breeding in veg peelings if you have one of those little indoor compost bins, so give it a clean if you have one. Also they like particularly over-watered plant pots.
NHM ID Team
Excellent replies! Thank you so much. Now I can rest easy in my bed. What a great service.
Jaguarondi and Hannah and Episcophagus: Yes, that all makes perfect sense. Although I don't have an indoor peelings/compost container, a few months ago I enriched my houseplants with my own home-made compost from the garden composter. Over-watering too? Hmmm, yes, maybe I am inclined to be overgenerous at times.
The helpful Arizona College of Agriculture article makes fascinating reading. The wing Y venation is the clincher. Now I have some better understanding I should be able to work out how to deal with this interesting little gnat. Strangely, I don't feel quite so bugged by it now!