Gnats are basically fruit flies, little insects that usually come out and even multiply in the summers. Gnats are small sized, black color insects that fly like mosquitoes. They usually don’t buss but cause real annoyance. These insects are attracted towards the light; they usually hover around mirrors, bright rooms or near windows. The fungus can grow wherever there are moisture and gnats simply love fungus. These creatures have a total lifespan of four to five months and a female can lay more than 300 eggs. They lay eggs in the small portion on organic decaying materials.
Species of gnats
There are some species that also thrive on houseplant soils but they mainly find out unhealthy or wet corners mainly outdoors and indoors. All of these conditions are suitable for the dwelling and reproduction of gnats. These insects are basically nuisance because they are a real threat to human health especially if you have babies and kids at home. Some of the species are:
- Fungus gnats (nonbiting)
- Eye gnats (nonbiting)
- Sand gnats (biting)
- Buffalo gnats (biting)
Not all species of gnat bite so they either feed on plants, insects or blood. Females of the black gnat, also known as the black fly feed on blood. This type usually carries parasites and spreads various types of diseases to livestock and humans. Do you know that the government had started different programs due to gnat infestation and spreading of sicknesses like river blindness and other health issues? They are aiming to decrease their population so that our lives are out of danger.
Why do gnats bite (females)
Females bite humans and animals whereas the males only feed on nectar. Female gnats need a meal consisting of blood for successful reproduction. They also need sufficient amount of protein to create the eggs. After sucking the blood, they take a few days time and they are ready to lay 150-400 eggs. The females fly miles in search of blood and they are mainly attracted to black color and carbon dioxide. They cut the hole in the human skin to suck out blood and this might trigger allergic reactions.
Gnat bite symptoms
A gnat bite is really very painful; it can cause swelling and itchy skin so here are some of the gnat bite symptoms:
- It can cause pain and swelling in the areas and remain for a few days
- Redness of the skin area
- Burning sensation and irritation of the skin
- There can be a little drop of blood in the bitten area
- This is very rare but some might feel difficulty in breathing.
A gnat bite can be dangerous because some can transfer bacteria from other nasty objects and beings they have landed on. This can lead to severe bacterial infections in humans.
- Apply disinfectant to the area – Clean the area with tap water and use little mild soap. You can then use vinegar or alcohol-based disinfectant.
- Antiseptic – An antiseptic is safe for the skin. Apple cider vinegar and ice is very good for the skin.
- Pain –relief or anti-itch – Apply a pain-relief if you feel a lot of pain and in case of uncontrollable itching, use an anti-itch. Scratching the wound might lead to bacterial infections.
- Essential oils – When it comes to insect bites, applying essential oils is very useful.
- Visit the doctor – In case there is something unnatural or if you feel other side-effects in your body, visit the doctor.
Getting rid of gnats
- It is recommended to keep vegetables and fruits covered and inside the refrigerator. Do not keep cut/uncut fruits outside for a long time and if you do this no gnats would be flying above.
- Do not over-water the plants in your garden. There are some plants that need to be watered on a weekly or monthly basis. If there is excess water, make sure you drain it or else gnats might affect the area.
- Your compost pile should always be placed outside because its one of the best place for gnat eggs to mature.
- Clean food particles because if there is any particle stuck it would rot and attract gnats.
These were a few tips on how you could prevent gnats from flying into your house but killing these is pretty easy using the flying-insect spray for the household. If there is gnat infestation, it could take a lot of time, maybe months to locate the source or you could even find out before that. This is why taking prevention is the best.
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is the freelance health writer. She is passionate to write about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology and nutrition and provide in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.