A gnat is a part of many species of tiny flying insects in the dipterid suborder Nematocera, especially those in the families of Mycetophilidae, Anisopodidae and Sciaridae. They can be both biting and non-biting. Most often, the gnats fly in large numbers, called clouds.
Some gnats don’t damage plants and are considered as a nuisance. Usually, larvae don’t cause serious plant damage, but when present in large numbers can damage the roots of the plant.
Therefore, you need to get rid of them. Female gnats suck blood for reproduction thus causing allergies and pain.
Table of Contents
- 1 Different species of Gnats
- 2 How long do gnats live?
- 3 What attracts gnats?
- 4 Why are Gnats attracted to humans?
- 5 Why are they attracted outside the home?
- 6 How to get rid of gnats in Home, Plants and Outdoor?
- 7 How to get rid of gnats in plants?
- 8 How to get rid of gnats outside?
- 9 How to get rid of gnats at home?
- 10 How to get rid of gnats in the bathroom?
- 11 Do gnats bite?
- 12 How to get rid of gnat bites?
Different species of Gnats
1. Black Gnats
These are black in color and are found near the swage and tree trunks where they feed on decayed plants and insects and take their food to the small larvae where they eat and lay eggs on the decomposed substances.
2. Fungus Gnats
With the biological name Sciardie, they are found in dark fungus. They are mostly found near mushrooms and home plant pots. They are small, and can’t be seen with a naked eye. They are found in great population.
3. Eye Gnats
Their biological name is Chlropidae and is also known as grass flies worldwide. They are small and are in yellow, black, Green color. Their bodies look shiny because of no hairs.
They are mostly found near the grass which supports their color as well. The name Eye gnats are due to their abnormal attraction towards the eyes.
The female one’s feed on the blood of animals and humans for their reproduction process. The blood acts as a protein and provides energy to the female for completing the reproduction.
4. Sand Gnats
They are found near the sandy areas and one cannot distinguish them because they have the same color as that of the sand. Their bites are very dangerous and are known to transmit several diseases.
5. Gall gnats
These are the type of gnats that imply their larvae in the plant saps where they get nourished and cause abnormal plant growths. Due to this nature, they are called as gall gnats.
How long do gnats live?
The answer to this question depends upon the species of gnat, their reproductive nature and the favorability and quality of their chosen habitat.
Habitat favorability includes such things as the quality, quantity and availability of food sources, plus access to available moisture and protection within their habitat.
- Fruit fly adults may live from about 40-50 days or less and can take 35-60 days to complete a life cycle.
- Phorid fly adults may live about 8-14 days.
- Fungus gnat adults may live about a week or two and complete one life cycle in about 18-30 days.
What attracts gnats?
They are annoying pests. Many small, flying insects are characterized as ‟gnats” even though many of them are actually small flies. Fungus gnats, buffalo gnats and black gnats certainly fit the profile here.
The common flies that are often referred to as gnats are phorid flies and sand flies. Regardless of what you call them, they always seem to show up when you least expect it.
Why are Gnats attracted to humans?
The answer is simple. It’s all about scent – a certain smell which attracts them, especially fruits and sweet scents.
A question like “Why are gnats attracted to my face?” should be answered with an explanation like your face had some soap, shaving lotion, face-wash etc.
Anything having a scent would attract them. Body heat too attracts many of the gnats. Moisture plays a role as well.
Why are they attracted outside the home?
Outside environment also contain a variety of scents that attract gnats and flies. Fruit trees, vegetable gardens and flowers all provide a source of food and moisture.
Over-watering your lawn can also attract them. Similarly, inside our home also, they are attracted by the same.
Some of the types of substances that can catch their attention includes vinegar and honey. Most of them are attracted to vinegar and honey.
How to get rid of gnats in Home, Plants and Outdoor?
Fungus gnats in particular can be bothersome; they enjoy damp places, which can include plants. As gnats can harm your experience at home, the question arises: How do you get rid of gnats?
Fungus gnats lay eggs on moist soil or organic places. Larvae mature in the soil. There is a possibility to notice fungus gnats in houseplants that have been overwatered.
Locations such as hotel lobbies and commercial building atriums are the places where fungus gnats could be found.
Light attracts fungus gnats and you may see them on glass doors and windows. Fungus gnats may also be found around lawns that have been overwatered, along with areas that have recently been mulched.
How to get rid of gnats in plants?
Plants can enhance a space and create a positive atmosphere but, plant pests can definitely put a damper on that. Gnats are no exception. It is advisable that gnat management should focus on young fungus gnats rather than older ones.
- It is important to damp the places where there is a possibility of the growth of fungus, as fungus gnat larvae use fungi as one of their foods. This includes the potted plant soil as well. Once you’re known with the source, make it dry to get rid of gnats.
- Raking the soil to dry put even more quickly is a good step towards their elimination.
- Make sure you remove moisture from the trays under plant pots in order to prevent larvae from breeding there.
- Check the draining of plants as well.
- Don’t overwater plants.
How to get rid of gnats outside?
Isn’t it frustrating to see gnats flying around in your yard when you’re trying to enjoy a relaxing weekend? To improve the situation, try to decrease your mulch so it is less than 2 inches deep, as moisture would allow them to breed.
How to get rid of gnats at home?
Follow the below steps to accomplish the same.
- Create a simple fruit fly trap using apple cider vinegar and dish soap.
- After successfully examining the gnat affected area, place a bottle of stake wine next to the affected area.
- Mash up the rotten fruits in a jar and cover the top with a plastic wrap poked with tiny holes.
- Burn them by setting up a candle trap in a dark room.
- Place several sticky glue traps around the affected area.
- Clear away and securely store all the food in kitchen.
How to get rid of gnats in the bathroom?
There is a possibility to spot gnats or dragon flies in your bathroom. The thing gnats require to reproduce is nothing but moisture. Could there be any place better than a bathroom?
Only way to keep the gnat population under control in your bathroom is to clean it frequently. You can also pour bleach or other type of cleaning agent down your drains to clear things out and remove the gnat-attracting build-up.
Do gnats bite?
Yes, many types of gnats bite because they need human blood or animal blood to lay eggs. The reason behind the fact that female gnats suck blood while male blood feed on nectar is the same.
However, the gnats are so tiny and alike it is sometimes difficult to understand the gnat which bit you.
These are the smallest gnats with size up to 1/30 of an inch.
They do bite and the symptoms include intensive burning sensation during the bite, pain, heavy swelling and long itching.
Also known as the buffalo gnats, these are not the smallest but still invisible with size up to 1/16 of an inch.
They do bite with symptoms like painful burning bite with itching and welling.
Biting of gnats is painful because they pierce the skin using their jaws. This is the reason behind the reason that pain and burning are the main symptoms.
It is extremely frustrating when gnats fly into your eyes or bite you, but apart from the discomfort and unpleasant symptoms which include itching, burning and swelling, any gnat bite can cause an allergy.
Among the common allergy symptoms you’ll find severe rash, fever, shortness of breath, diarrhea, etc.
Any strange symptoms after the gnat bite require urgent antihistamine treatment or to an immediate visit to a doctor.
The worst case scenario is being contaminated with some diseases. The list of viral infections is mentioned below:
These could be annoying pests, but none are known to transmit disease to humans.
Gnats are attracted by open body parts, so make sure to wear long sleeves when you go out early in the morning if you’re living in a gnat-prone area.
How to get rid of gnat bites?
In most of the cases, they could be treated using soap, water and antiseptic to clean the wound and minimize the bacterial infection.
They are often itchy but over-the-counter cream is usually enough to tackle this until the bite has healed.
One of the key signs of the development of bacterial infections is pus-filled blisters and you should consult a doctor.
If you’re bitten and experience a severe allergic reaction, like breathing problems, swelling in your throat, mouth or other places on your body where you weren’t bitten – you should seek emergency medical help as soon as possible.