Understanding how different pests and insects act can be challenging. Many of them have unique characteristics and a myriad of different species. That’s why when you ask do gnats bite, the answer isn’t always a simple yes or no. You see, gnats have the ability to bite but may not be able to really bite a human in a way that will impact them. This will heavily depend on the species of gnat more than anything else.
In this guide, we will dig a little deeper into this topic and learn more about the question do gnats bite or sting? There are a lot of interesting details to be familiar with, so you can protect your home when needed. Plus, gnats are just plain pesky!
Are you familiar with what a gnat ultimately is? If you want to know whether or not gnats bite humans, you need first to understand this insect a little bit more. A gnat Trusted Source What are Gnats? Are Gnats Flies? Ask an Entomologist Gnats is a colloquial term for “small fly”. They belong to a suborder of flies called Nematocera, which are characterized by their small antennae. askentomologists.com is basically just a tiny little fly. They have nearly all the same characteristics of a fly, but they are much smaller insects. These tiny insects have black or brown bodies and then thin wings that are attached to their backs. They also have long legs to land on surfaces.
There are more than 1,000 different gnat species Trusted Source 12 Different Types of Gnats Gnats feed and breed near moist soil, and that is why they often enter your home uninvited looking for food. Whether it be gall gnats, buffalo gnats, phorid flies, or any of the 12 types of gnats, they are each unique in appearance and behavior. upgradedhome.com . However, if you see gnats in or around your home, they likely fall into the species of fruit flies, fungus gnats, or drain flies in most cases. Black gnats is an umbrella category that contains the 1,000 species mentioned above.
If you’re dealing with a gnat problem that you just want to get rid of, consider one of these best fly repellents to help out. Users say these options really work for reducing pests.
Fungus gnats Trusted Source Fungus gnats Fungus gnats infest soil and container media, where larvae feed on organic matter and roots, feeder roots and root hairs. www.missouribotanicalgarden.org are a species of gnat that prefer fungus. Fungus gnats bite mostly things like fungi, roots, mold, grass clippings, and organic materials. They much prefer plants or flowers that have some sort of fungus life growing near them. These pesky insects typically complete their entire life cycle within only 30 days, but they do reproduce heavily. The good news is that while they might bite if they feel threatened, it’s really unlikely. Fungus gnats also cover plant gnats, lawn gnats, and other similar species.
Plant gnats bite very rarely when it comes to humans, as do lawn gnats. Really, these types of gnats are all alike in that regard. If fungus gnats do bite humans, they are not dangerous to them in doing so. They do not transmit disease. They can harm your plants over time, though.
Do drain gnats bite? Well, much like the fungus gnat, these small, annoying gnats are not likely to bite you. Very rarely do drain gnats bite humans. This species also has a very short life cycle that is less than 40 days long. They like moist areas and will be attracted to things like drains in the home or even storm drains. It’s possible also to find them around gutter areas too. These nasty buggers often hang out in swarms but remember, drain fly gnat swarms don’t bite people or animals in most cases.
Once you get an invasion of these, it can be hard to get rid of them. The first step is to eliminate moisture, but you might also need the added help of repellents or even traps. These insect traps work well if it’s a low-lying drain that’s causing a gnat problem.
When you’re looking for what gnats bite or sting, biting midges Trusted Source Biting midges Information on biting midges and how to prevent being bitten. www.healthywa.wa.gov.au is certainly one to be aware of. They hit all the points. They could bite humans, or these gnats bite dogs as well. These gnats have been known to bite cats and other small animals at times too, but humans and dogs seem more likely to experience a bite. Gnats bite in clusters when they do bite, so that will be a sign to watch for if you’re concerned about bites.
These biting flies are some of the most vicious ones out there, particularly for your dogs. If you know you have them around, you might want to protect your dog with one of these best mosquito repellents for dogs. In most cases, biting midges are most active during the early morning hours or the evening and dusk hours.
Biting midges do fly in swarms typically, and the gnat swarms will bite, which may lead to a higher number of bites.
Black flies, or black gnats, bite as well. You might also hear them referred to as buffalo gnats or turkey flies. Only some black gnats bite humans, and it’s the females. Male black flies prefer to only feed on nectar, which means they won’t bite or sting you unless they feel trapped or threatened. However, females feed on blood, and their bites can really do a number on a person. These gnats leave bite marks, but they won’t be as prominent as a biting midge.
The symptoms are more severe, but the bite is less noticeable, aside from bleeding. You’re likely to experience things like itching, burning, blood spots, and possibly even a fever. The bad thing about these is those symptoms could last for a few days when bitten. People are common victims, but your livestock and outdoor animals might also fall prey to the blood-sucking females.
While their bites are certainly unwanted and can hurt, they likely won’t be carrying disease in most countries. They can potentially carry diseases in Africa.
The third type of gnat that is known to bite is the sand fly. Unfortunately, sand flies Trusted Source A sand fly Sand flies are characterized by their densely hairy wings, giving them a moth-like appearance. entnemdept.ufl.edu are also known to carry diseases at times, so these are a pest you definitely want to watch out for and take proactive action against if you see them. These flies are very small with a golden, brown color to them. They have long legs and humped backs. When they are in a resting position, their wings are in a V-shape. Now, even though these gnats bite humans and animals, it’s only the females that do so. Male sand flies are unable to bite or suck blood.
However, the females can bite and suck blood and will willingly do so. They don’t like the wind and don’t fly strong, so windy conditions tend to repel them. They are not as likely to bite as some of these other types of gnats mentioned, but their bite could be the most dangerous. This is because they can carry sandfly fever, as well as some other transmittable diseases. The risks of these issues are minimal within the United States.
Fruit flies are much like the drain and fungus gnats we covered earlier. While these flies are annoying, the likelihood of these gnats and fruit flies biting humans is slim. They much prefer juicy fruits and sweet items. They love fruits, vegetables, honeydew, and anything that is decaying as well. Most of the time, when you find them in your home, it’s because they came in with the fruit. If you find them outside, you likely have something sweet that appeals to them.
These gnats only live about 30-60 days, but they reproduce as many as 500 eggs in a cycle, which means they are hard to get rid of once they start!
You might be interested to know that the majority of gnats you find around your home are unlikely to bite humans. That being said, it’s not impossible. Around your home, particularly around pets, you are most likely to find biting midges. It is also possible to see sand flies or black flies, but they are less common. While house gnats bite very rarely, it’s possible. The reason they don’t really bite is that they simply don’t have mouths that accommodate biting through the skin.
Just like with the gnats that bite humans, there are some species that can bite your pets. The gnat that is most likely to be a nuisance to pets like cats or dogs is biting midges. These gnats bite cats, dogs, and humans. They tend to leave behind uncomfortable, itchy welts on all of these creatures. You can treat your pets to help repel them and protect their skin from the annoying bites. You can do things to protect yourself as well.
You will find that common gnats like the fruit gnats, drain gnats, and fungus gnats don’t bite. They might attempt biting if they feel threatened, but generally, it won’t penetrate the skin. The other gnats, such as sand flies, biting midges, and black gnats, bite because they feed on blood, so you are a meal source for them, quite a bit like mosquitoes. In some of these species, only the female is capable of really biting, though, so you have a 50/50 chance.
Here are the most common symptoms associated with gnat bites. Notice that these symptoms are similar to some mosquito bites.
If you experience a gnat bite, there are some treatment solutions you can try to help relieve any pain or discomfort. Here are some great options.
Since gnat bites can leave behind pain and discomfort, a pain relief ointment is a great option to help reduce the symptom! Rub it onto the bites and enjoy some much-needed relief.
Probably the worse symptom of these bites is the itching. But you don’t have to suffer and itch. Grab some anti-itch cream and soothe the itch easily. It’s best to use a cream with hydrocortisone for this, as it will be the most effective at relieving the itch for you.
Many people think of calamine lotion as treating poison ivy, but why not treat the itch and discomfort of bites? It will help dry up the bite, relieve the itch, and improve the symptoms quite quickly. The only downside is that some calamine lotion is pink on your skin.
A cold compress, such as an ice pack or even a cool cloth, can be a great way to alleviate some of the discomforts of a gnat bite on your skin. The cold compress will soothe itching and burning and will also help with any swelling you might be experiencing.
Apple cider vinegar offers a lot of natural solutions, and relieving bites like these are just one of them. Some people drink apple cider vinegar, but for this purpose, you don’t need to do so. Try dabbing some on a cotton ball and then applying it to the bite. It will relieve your symptoms and help the bites to start healing faster.
Another great home remedy, if you don’t have creams and other things on hand, is baking soda. Create a paste that is two-part baking soda and one part water. You don’t need much. Apply this paste to your bites. It acts like a drawing salve and draws out the ailments of the bite to help alleviate your symptoms.
Understanding how to treat your gnat bites is certainly helpful, but what if you can be proactive and prevent them, to begin with? Not all gnats bite, but the ones that don’t are still a nuisance. In those cases, you could try something like these best fruit fly traps to repel them away.
A bug-repellent spray for you and your pets is a great option to prevent bites. You can use bug sprays that you spray on the person, but you might also want to consider something like this natural spray repellent that you can use on your surroundings too.
You can also protect yourself with clothing. When you’re going to be outdoors, particularly in areas that are more susceptible to gnats and insects like these, you can wear long sleeves and pants to cover your skin. Covering your skin will definitely give them less space to try to bite you.
If you have a patio, deck, or porch that you like to hang out on, attaching bug screens is a great idea. This will allow you to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air but also act as a barrier to keep those pesky gnats and flies out.
Some gnats can carry disease, but in most locations, it is very rare for them to do so. In the United States, it is nearly unheard of.
It depends on the bite, but most bites will last anywhere from a few days to a week.
Some gnat bites are more painful, but the majority of them are similar or comparable to mosquitoes.
Yes, it is possible, but sometimes gnats come in without you realizing it. Be proactive with repellents and take action if you notice them.
Gnats are pesky little creatures, but the majority of them are harmless. Once they find a way in, they can be hard to get rid of. It’s important to know how to repel them or prevent them completely. The answer to the question “do gnats bite” is really it depends. In some cases, gnats do bite. Those bites can be painful and uncomfortable for several days. However, the gnats that do bite are fairly limited, and the species that bite, only the females, usually bite. It’s still important to protect yourself from bites if at all possible and be aware of the possibility.