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Where Did All These Gnats Come From?

Gnats are a hard nuisance to get rid of. Don't let yourself get stuck living in a swarm!


gnats on sticky tape outside a house plant

Gnats are tiny but hugely annoying and once you start to accumulate a population of them in your home or yard, they are terribly difficult to eliminate.



 

What Do Gnats Look Like?

"Gnat" is just a name for any number of small flying insects in the Nematocera family. Because it's just a loose term for anything that could be included in the category of gnat, there isn't a highly specific description of what a gnat looks like. In general, they have slender bodies, long and narrow wings, and are very small. While most gnats don't bite, some (like the the black fly or midges) are blood-sucking insects. Gnats often travel in "clouds" or a large swarm of the creatures. Most gnats generally only live about a month across their entire lifespan, from egg to adult.


Are Gnats Harmful?


While gnats are usually just an annoyance, they can actual spread disease between humans. Pink eye is one of the most commonly spread diseases by gnats, but they can also spread diseases such as sepsis (WebMD). They can also spread diseases between animals.


Gnats can also cause harm to your vegetation and houseplants. The larvae tunnel into the roots of your plants, weakening the roots system. They also deplete the plants of the nutrients they need to grow, eventually sickening or killing your plants.


Additionally, there are varieties of gnats that will bite you (cleverly named "biting gnats") and leave painful, itchy welts on your skin.


How Do I Eliminate the Gnats in My Home and Yard?

Different types of gnats are attracted to different things. Some like the fungus that grows in drains or rotting organic matter (such as leaves or yard waste). They like moist areas, such as sinks and toilets. Some gnats like to make their home in your plants, where they can have easy access to sap and nectar.


Keeping your soil maintained and house free of spills or trash will help, as will fixing any leaks you may have. Standing water in your yard may also be an attractant.


If you find yourself with a population growing in your yard or home, you can use sticky traps near the plants or drain. You can also try a DIY option of cider vinegar traps (many places, like this article in Good Housekeeping have instructions on how to make your trap).

Regular professional pest control can also help prevent insect populations from forming, or give you tools to help eliminate any that do form.


Call us today and we can help answer any questions you may have!

Learn more about insects in Virginia in our Pest Library

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