Are you noticing itchy little bumps on your skin and suspect a buffalo gnat might be to blame? Don’t worry; this blog post is here to inform and equip you with the knowledge needed to spot and treat buffalo gnat bites.
Maybe you’ve noticed small, tiny flies around your home or yard. You’re not alone if so— gnats are increasing their presence in yards across the United States!
Take note that not all gnats bite – and not all gnats are buffalo gnats. Gnats that hang near potted plants are referred to as fungus gnats. You will also find eye gnats in some areas of your home.
Keep reading for all the expert tips on how to protect yourself—and your family—from these pesky pests.
- 1 What are Buffalo Gnats?
- 2 Do Gnats Bite Humans?
- 3 What Do Buffalo Gnat Bites Look Like?
- 4 What Gnats Bite Humans?
- 5 A Gnat Bit Me! How to Prevent Gnat Bites
- 6 How Long Do Gnat Bites Last?
- 7 Who Gets Gnat Insect Bites?
- 8 How Do You Spot a Gnat Bite?
- 9 What Are the Symptoms of Gnats Bite?
- 10 How to Treat Gnat Bites
- 11 How Can I Avoid Buffalo Gnats?
- 12 Do Gnats Bite Dogs?
- 13 Conclusion
What are Buffalo Gnats?
Gnats are small flying insects whose size is averaging 1/9 to 1/2 inch. Gnat have two arms and they look like mosquitos rather than flylets. According to Wikipedia, gnats are any one of several small flying insects of the Dipterid suborder Nematocera.
The term “gnat” does not represent one species of insect but it is generally used for many types of flying insect. They are tiny biting insects that thrive in warm climates. They have long legs and a curved body, and they feed by sucking the blood from their hosts.
Buffalo Gnats can be found near bodies of water where they lay eggs along the shore. They are known to swarm in large numbers. These types of gnats can cause irritating bites that can be itchy and painful.
They are also sometimes called black flies, black gnats, turkey gnats, or turkey flies.
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Do Gnats Bite Humans?
Unfortunately, yes. While other insects feed on plants, why do gnats bite mammals or humans?
These type of gnats do bite humans and can cause a painful, itchy rash. For those who aren’t familiar with these gnats, they’re small, black flies about one-eighth of an inch in size. They have greyish stripes along their bodies and a humped back that makes them look like tiny beetles.
In most cases, female gnats feed on blood meal with their biting mouthparts to produce eggs. This is why they bite humans as well as other living creatures like livestock and poultry.
It is mandatory for female biting gnats to feed on a blood meal to reproduce. Meanwhile, male gnats feed on plant nectar.
Needless to say, only some female gnats will bite you. While allergic reactions to gnat bites are unusual, you can treat it with medication if it does occur.
What Do Buffalo Gnat Bites Look Like?
These bites usually appear as small, raised red bumps on the skin. These bumps can be quite itchy and tender but are usually not very large. Unlike mosquitoes, these insects do not usually bite through your clothing, but they can crawl under your clothing.
What Gnats Bite Humans?
Some gnats bite humans including the biting midge, deer flies, stable flies, and sandflies.
Biting Midges or Black Flies
Biting midges are tiny, black or tan flies that usually appear in large swarms. These insects, also known as sand gnats, are often mistaken for mosquito bites due to their small size.
Although they’re pesky creatures, biting midges’ bites often go unnoticed or misidentified because of their tiny size–less than 1/16 of an inch long.
Biting midges are also known as black flies or flying teeth. Despite being rather pesky pests, black flies actually help play an important role in ecological processes by providing food for predatory fish and larger insects that feed on them.
There are no known diseases transferred by black flies to humans, but it is known that they could cause River Blindness or Onchocerciasis.
Sand Flies or No See Ums
Sand flies, also known as no see ums, typically bite at dusk or dawn. Only the female ones suck blood with their scissor-like mouth structures. Male species feed on nectar and eat plants.
Invasive species of sand flies have been a significant issue in some islands as well as negatively impacting certain ecosystems creating additional challenges for conservations trying to protect their wildlife habitat.
A Gnat Bit Me! How to Prevent Gnat Bites
1. Avoid Standing Water.
Gnats are attracted to standing water, so it’s important to avoid leaving any water out in open containers. Be sure to empty any pet bowls, bird baths, or other containers that may be holding water. If you have any potted plants, be sure to empty out the saucers that may be underneath them.
2. Keep Your Trash Can Covered.
Another way to prevent gnats from entering your home is to keep your trash can covered. Gnats are attracted to the odor of garbage, so a covered trash can will help to keep them away.
3. Use Insect Repellent.
If you’ll be spending time outdoors in an area where gnats are known to be present, it’s a good idea to use an insect repellent. Repellents that contain DEET, like DEET sprays, or picaridin are most effective at deterring gnats.
4. Wear Light-colored Clothing.
Dark colors attract gnats, so you might want to wear light-colored clothing instead. This will help prevent them from biting you.
If you’ll be spending time in an area where gnats are known to be present, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants to protect exposed skin.
5. Avoid Sweet-smelling Perfumes and Lotions.
Sweet smells also attract gnats, so avoid wearing perfumes or lotions in areas where gnats are present.
6. Keep Your House Clean.
Dirt and clutter attract gnats, so make sure to keep your home clean to help prevent gnats from taking residence. Be sure to vacuum regularly and wipe down surfaces with a disinfectant to deter gnats from making themselves at home in your home.
7. Call an Exterminator if Necessary.
Call in the professionals if everything else fails. A pest control company will be able to identify the source of the problem and get rid of the gnats for good.
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How Long Do Gnat Bites Last?
Gnat bites usually last anywhere from a few hours to several days. These insect bites may be itchy and swollen but should normally go away on their own. If the itching or swelling persists, you may want to apply a cold compress or anti-itch cream to the area for relief.
Who Gets Gnat Insect Bites?
Gnats bite humans and animals. People who spend time outdoors, especially in warm and humid climates, are more likely to experience these insect bites.
How Do You Spot a Gnat Bite?
Gnat bites usually appear as red bumps that can be itchy or swollen. They are usually located on exposed areas of the body such as the arms, legs, and face. If you experience a bite-like reaction that doesn’t go away after a few days, then it’s best to consult a doctor to rule out any other possible causes.
What Are the Symptoms of Gnats Bite?
The most common symptom of a gnat bite is itching. Other symptoms can include redness, swelling, and tenderness in the affected area.
In rare cases, biting gnats can transmit diseases such as leishmaniasis or tularemia so you may experience other symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and rashes. If you start to experience an allergic reaction, it’s best to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
How to Treat Gnat Bites
If you’re experiencing an itchy rash from buffalo gnat bites, don’t worry. In most cases, the itching and swelling should subside after a few days.
Here’s are some tips on how to treat gnat bites fast!
To speed up relief, try applying a cold compress inflammation and itching of the gnat bite. This also works for other insect bites. You may also want to take an antihistamine such as Benadryl if the itching is particularly bad.
Treat gnat bites irritation with anti-itch creams or ointments that contain hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion. Cold compresses can also help reduce swelling and itching.
If your symptoms persist or worsen, you may need to seek medical attention. Additionally, it’s important to keep the affected area clean and free of dirt, sweat, and other debris to prevent infection.
Finally, reducing exposure to biting gnats is key in preventing future bites so be sure to wear protective clothing and use mosquito repellents when spending time outdoors. Be sure to check medical assistance for severe allergic reactions.
If you have minor reaction, you can treat it at home with antiseptic like hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol to reduce irritation.
How Can I Avoid Buffalo Gnats?
The best way to avoid these insects is to keep your home and yard free of standing water and debris. Buffalo gnats breed in stagnant water, so be sure to drain any pools of standing water near your home or outdoor living space.
Additionally, you may want to invest in some window screens or netting around your patio to keep the bugs away from where you spend time outside.
Finally, wearing long sleeves and pants can also help reduce the number of bites you get if you’re going out into an area with a lot of biting gnats present.
Do Gnats Bite Dogs?
As it turns out, gnats can bite dogs and cause irritation – though gnats rarely feed on mammal blood. Nevertheless, gnat bites can be annoying and uncomfortable for your pup. It’s also possible that gnat bites could result in severe allergic reaction or further skin infections.
This means that pet owners should take steps to protect their pets from gnat bites if they tend to be frequently outdoors.
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Now that you know what buffalo gnats are and what their bites look like, you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself from them. If all else fails, remember that we sell bug traps that will help get rid of gnats! Get your traps from our store today!