Anyone who has ever dealt with a gnat problem knows how annoying the can be to get rid of. They are tiny and because of this can seem impossible to get rid of, but do not worry… you can get rid of gnats.
What are gnats and where they can be found?
Gnats are small flying insects that many people think they are babies of flies. People can also use the same name to call fruit flies and fungus gnats. The truth is that small flies are the adults of different species called gnats. These tiny insects can be found all over the world, in places that have a water stream nearby. They lay their eggs in watery places, moist plants and fruits. The size of an adult is usually no longer than 33 millimeters.
What do they eat, reproduce and behave?
Gnats usually feed on fruits and garbage, but some species need the blood of warm animals (including the one of humans) to survive. In some species, males gather in mating swarms that can be seen most of the time at dusk, in the streets or in large fields. Gnats reproduce really fast.
Do gnats bite humans or pets?
Since some of the species need warm blood to survive, they obviously bite humans and pets. From the different species of gnats, some can bite and other don’t. It seems that the location can matter. For example, in California, gnats focus on eating food and on their specific habits, while humans are avoided. In other areas, such as South Carolina, gnats can be quite aggressive. The main part of the human body that are targeted by the insects is the head, especially the ears, mouth and eyes. Gnat bites may not be felt, but their effects are seen later: swelling, itchiness and pain.
What to do when you are bitten by gnats?
The first measure to take when you are bitten by a gnat is to wash the affected area of the skin with water and soap. In this way, you will avoid bacteria that are usually carried by these insects from rotten food and animal corpses. You can also use an antiseptic on the area. When itching occurs, you can apply cream that is meant to calm itches or take medicine that is normally used for itches. If pain is experienced, pain medication can be used, but you can also apply a pack of ice on the affected area.
Why gnats can be considered a household pest?
Even if the small size of a gnat may not be taken as a threat, these tiny insects can rapidly reproduce and populate infested areas in large numbers. Swarms of insects can become a threat in this way for houses and apartments worldwide. Fungus gnats can destroy plants around your house. They usually become damaging to small plants, but they can also destroy large plants when they are in large numbers. Plants can be destroyed mostly because the flies attack their roots. Fruit gnats are attracted to fruits, due to their nice scent and the organic material. This is the reason for which we see so many flies hovering around fruits. For the species that need warm blood to survive, their presence around humans and the fact that they can bite is enough to be considered a pest.
What are the first things to do to deal with a gnat infestation?
The most obvious sign of an infestation is the presence of adult gnats in the air. The first measure that can be take for reducing gnat populations and even eliminating them is to remove anything that can be considered a food source for the insects from your property. But, this works only for species that eat fruit or garbage. Another immediate measure to take is to use a vacuum cleaner on windows and plants.
Using traps to remove gnats
Some traps you can do yourself and others you can buy in stores. One of the easiest ways to trap these small insects is by using a jar filled with apple cider vinegar. You have to cover the jar with a lid and make some holes in the lid. Gnats are attracted by the smell of vinegar, so you can make more traps of this kind and place them strategically around the house where you know the tiny insects are usually staying. Other types of vinegar can be good too. You can also use banana or banana peels in the jar.
Using sprays to deal with gnat populations
Gnats can be eliminated efficiently by using regular sprays for insects, as you can easily find them in stores. You can spray the flies directly, or you can spray the areas where they usually stay. Other insects may die as well, helping you to get rid of other pests as well. It is recommended to spray all the places where the insects are found, but you and your family should stay out of the house until the smell dissipates. You will have to make sure the insecticide that is used will not harm pets in case that you have animals in the house. The alternative is to take the animals with you when you are getting out of the house.
Other ways to eliminate gnats
People can use fly swatters, but these tools only kill the insects one at a time. There are also electric fly exploders, but these devices only electrocute insects individually. Homeowners can also use insect traps that have to be plugged into electrical outlets. These devices use ultraviolet rays to affect the insects in a negative way. Pouring vegetable oil in sinks and drains is another method.
Using pest control services
If you want the methods that are used to be the most effective and to really get rid of all insects for a long time, the use of professional pest control services is a must. A professional will not only be able to help you get rid of adult populations, but also of the eggs and larvae. Many times a correct identification of these insects must be made and a professional can help you with this. The best way to deal with a gnat infestation is to call a company with experience in this type of pest control.