The National Plant Protection Centre (NPPC) in Thimphu has confirmed that the tiny black flies spotted in Trongsa town on September 13 as dark-winged fungus gnats (pronounced nat).

The fungus gnats do not pose real threat to human health though it can be a nuisance when in very large numbers. NPPC said that it is commonly associated with decomposing organic matters where the larvae feed on bacteria and fungi.

The only way to do anything about them is to reduce the availability of the larval habitat by removing wet decaying organic matter in the surroundings.

After spotting the gnats in Trongsa town, the dzongkhag agriculture sector reported to the NPPC in Thimphu.

Chief Dzongkhag agriculture officer (DAO), Karma Chewang, said that the fly sample was sent to NPPC.

He said such flies were seen for the first time in Trongsa. The DAO had said that he searched online and found it as midges and gnats flies. “But I am not sure.”

He noticed the flies two weeks ago but after few days, more appeared.

DAO said pest come with the weather condition and it could be same with the flies. “There is no harm caused on crop and people so far but few people reported that it is causing allergy.”

Meanwhile, a businessman, Tshela, said he has stayed in Trongsa town for decades but saw the fly this time only. “In the olden days, people consider it a bad omen and do rituals.”

Other residents say it is difficult to walk in the morning and evening with flies on the ground.

A resident, Tashi, said the flies swarm into the houses, making it difficult for them to chase away. “I am scared it will spread some diseases.”

Ugyen Dorji | Trongsa