Gnats: 27 Quick Facts, 5 Common Types & Gnat Problems

Close-up of a gnat on ground.

27 Quick Facts about Gnats

  1. The gnats can lay up to 300 eggs in a single day.
  2. They attack in large swarms.
  3. Their lifespan is very short, usually lasting from only four to five months.
  4. These creatures use dead or decayed insects or small animals as a safe space for laying eggs and providing them with nourishment.
  5. They feed on dried leaves and bad seeds, decaying animals, flies, and insects. They can live on these decaying substances for years.
  6. The male gnats do not bite, but the female gnats bite, and this bite is very painful and can transfer infections to the skin with their sting.
  7. Female gnats bite to complete their reproduction process, they use the blood as an enzyme that rapids the reproduction process and completes it.
  8. Male gnats do not require blood to live; they can live on the nectars of flowers and plants, and suck fruits.
  9. They are highly attracted to bright and dark colors.
  10. The female gnats travel long distances in search for sucking blood.
  11. They mostly attack homes during the winter month.
  12. The female gnats are attracted towards the black color.
  13. The gnats are attracted towards ripped or rotten fruits and vegetables.
  14. The eggs are hatched and nourished to form an adult in a week.
  15. Fungus gnats take more time to reach the adult stage.
  16. The Gnats stung people to protect themselves.
  17. These species do not change their habitat for years.
  18. They are mainly found near the trees, and plants as it is the food source for them.
  19. Female of fungus gnats lives only for ten days, and their decayed bodies are used for the nourishment of little ones.
  20. They are trapped by yellow sticky tapes that can attract them easily.
  21. The bites of gnats can transmit viral diseases.
  22. Sand gnats were named due to their sand like color.
  23. Female gnats can lay up to 150 eggs from morning to afternoon.
  24. Gnats have one of the most rapid reproduction capability.
  25. They are also attracted to flowers smell which predicts them good and juicy food for them.
  26. These insects are also found near the garbage and sewage where they easily find rotten and decayed substances for themselves.
  27. Sand gnats take more time in reaching their adult stage than the other gnats.

【Read more about Gnats】

Common types of gnats

1. Black gnats

The black gnats are black colored like which are found near the sewage and tree trunks where they feed on decayed plants and insects and takes their food to the small larvae where they eat and lay eggs on the decomposed substances.

2. Fungus gnats

Their biological name is Sciaridae, and they are found in dark colors containing fungus. They are mostly found near mushrooms and home plant pots. They are quite small, and cannot be seen easily with a naked eye. They are found great in population.

3. Eye gnats

Their biological name is Chlropidae which are also known as grass flies that are available worldwide. They are minuscule with yellow, black and green. Their bodies look shiny because of no growth of hair. They are mostly found near the grass. They are also said to be parasites for humans and animals. 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 mostly near the sandy areas, and one cannot see them because of their exact color as sand. Their bites are very dangerous and can transmit infectious diseases.

5. Gall gnats

These are the types of gnats that imply their larvae in the plant saps where they get nourished and causes abnormal plant growths. Due to this nature, they are known as gall gnats. They cause many problems and infections in the plants.

Gnat problems

1. Contribute to the spread of infectious diseases

They are the cause of spreading infectious, viral and bacterial diseases in animals, plants, and humans. During the bite of females, they carry infectious diseases that can transmit it by their bite. They suck blood, and their saliva mixes up with the blood fusing infectious diseases.

2. The bites and swelling are painful

They are known for their painful bite that causes swelling and makes the skin bumpy for more than one day. The swelling can cause intense irritation that can accelerate the transfer of infection in the body.

3. Cause annoyance and are a stubborn pest

They are also the cause of annoyance and stubbornness in the home because of their intense irritation, can make you feel restless.

4. They buzz around your ears and face

They buzz around your ears and face when you are walking near their habitat, or even if you are sleeping under a tree.

Gnat bites

1. Why do they bite

All the gnats do not bite, but female ones do. They bite to increase their energy for their reproduction process. The female needs protein diet that they achieve by sucking blood. Their bite is highly painful that can cause intense itching with redness and bumpy skin, also transmitting infectious diseases with their saliva. Their bite can cause fever, viral and bacterial infections; even some people faces difficulty in breathing.

2. Symptoms

These are the following symptoms that can be seen because of a gnat bite:

  • It causes intense itching with redness and bumpy skin.
  • You will feel restless and moody because of the irritation.
  • You will likely see a small drop of blood near the bitten area.
  • Some people can also feel difficulty in breathing and can even fall unconscious for a few hours.
  • Their bite can cause high fever and nausea.
  • You will feel weakness in the bitten part of the body.
  • If the bitten part goes untreated, the irritation can get quite overwhelming.

3. Treatment

If you ever get bitten by gnats, follow these easy steps for quick treatment:

  • Applying antiseptic:

Applying antiseptic will make you sure of no further infections because of the opening in the cell membrane of the bitten area.

  • Disinfection of the bitten area:

You need to use disinfectants and antiseptic soaps for cleaning the bitten part for stopping bacterial infections to take place. As there are bacteria and viruses in the air that can easily transfer infections in the bitten part.

  • Using pain relief medicines and creams:

It is highly recommended to use pain relief medicines and creams to control the intense pain that can make you restless for a day or so.

  • Visit the doctor:

It is recommended to visit the doctor and get your self-treated before an infection is transmitted to the whole body. The symptoms mentioned above can provide the knowledge that when you need to go the doctor.

Gnats vs. drain flies vs. fleas

Gnats are small and long legged insects which you can find near the plants and trees and in homes during winter. You can find drain flies as implied by the name, in drains, sewage and garbage areas. They love to live in dirty areas and can live on rotten and decomposed materials and dead things. They are hairy and release powder like substances when decomposed. They are mostly famous for contaminating the sewage and water tanks. Fleas are small and highly irritable for animals and humans. However, they mainly attack animals with hairy bodies to disturb them and suck their blood. They cause high irritation in animals leaving them restless. They use blood as their source of food and acts as a parasite.

Gnat control

  • One can control the gnats by using insecticides and pesticides in the plants and crops.
  • They can also be controlled by using vacuum in the house and by chemical sprays.
  • Using rotten fruits and vegetables in the insect’s trap to attract gnats to kill them or spray them.
  • You can also control them by using dry soil in your garden area which will mean that you do not have to water the plants often which provides nourishment as well as a fresh habitat for the gnats.
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