Let’s begin by defining what a gnat is. Depending on where you come from, the term gnat has come to represent a grouping of numerous bothersome insects. So a gnat is not one specific bug but several. It is not uncommon for you or some you know to say ‘ these gnats are such a nuisance’. Notice that they say that for different flies.
That said, some gnats are more of a nuisance than an actual threat as they do not bite mammals and will feed on everything else such as over ripe fruit and insects as opposed to blood.
However, there are a select few gnats that are sheer terror. They not only swarm you when indoors or outdoors but they also have a painful bite when they want to feed on human or your livestock’s blood.
Where do gnats come from?
There are numerous species of gnats that are likely to be found in varying habitats. A prerequisite for them to consider an area of occupation as ideal is dependent on two major things. These are Moisture and food.
In your home, most gnats species are attracted by decaying matter such as over ripe fruit or vegetables. They are a staple in areas such as the trash can. Most species will be attracted by light while others will reproduce in overwatered pot plants.
Whether the gnats in your home are coming from outside the house or within the house, you will want to get rid of them. The size of a gnats is often smaller than that of a mosquito. They are capable of getting into your home through the tiniest of spaces such as through torn window nets, spaces on the doors or even through the wall spaces left by wire cables when entering the house.
Are biting gnats dangerous?
Biting gnats, like mosquitoes are female and feed on blood in order to reproduce viable eggs. Their bite is more painful than that of a mosquito. That is because while mosquitoes will pierce’s your skin through a sharp proboscis in order to draw blood. A female biting gnat is equipped with four sharp cutters that it uses to puncture your skin in order to draw blood. This is not only painful but creates a small visible wound that is more prone to infections.
Painful as a gnat bite may be in both humans and livestock, gnats do not transmit any disease to humans. However gnats are capable of transmitting a deadly disease to livestock known as Bluetongue.
Getting rid of gnats
Some species of gnats such fruitflies are easy get rid of through homemade traps and high standards of hygiene.
Biting gnats may need a more thorough approach due to the massive losses they can cause to Farmers and the discomfort they bring to humans. While clearing tall grasses and weeds as well as pruning trees and shrubs in home will help, getting rid of any debris such as piles of moist leaves in the yard is a good idea. Not over watering pot plants in the home is also recommended.
If you fear that you have an infestation of biting gnats in your home area, seeking the help of a licensed pest officer may be your best bet. An officer will assess the scale of an infestation and provide solutions that will eradicate the problem and help you avert discomfort and livestock loss.