Do you ever wonder what the tiny flying insects are that keep buzzing around your face? Those annoying little flying insects could be crane flies or mosquitoes, but these seem to be much smaller, which makes it likely they are gnats. But what are gnats?
Gnats, also known as no-see-ums, are small flies in the Mycetophilidae family and suborder Nematocera, which includes midges, biting gnats, mosquitoes, crane flies, and black gnats. They tend to be confused with many other kinds of flying insects.
Due to their three body segments, six legs, and one or two pair of wings, gnats are considered true insects. Most gnat species have long legs as compared to the size of their body, and while they do have wings, most species of gnats are considered weak fliers.
Adult gnats have mouths that are defined by one of three classifications; lapping, sucking, or piercing. There are some gnats, like biting midges and buffalo gnats that will bite and feed on blood, while others in the Sciaridae family feed on organic material.
What is the Lifespan of a Gnat?
Gnats have a relatively short lifespan, living for no more than four weeks. The adult female gnats will produce up to 300 eggs during the ten days that they are alive, and like stink bugs, the like to lay eggs within the moist soil of potted plants and other wet areas.
When the eggs hatch, the gnat larvae will feed on the decaying organic matter around them. Ten days later, the gnat larvae enter a pupal stage, in which they undergo a metamorphosis into flying adult gnats a week later. If not treated, a few gnats can quickly turn into a gnat infestation.
How to Get Rid of Gnats
If you find that you have a gnat problem, there are several natural ways that you can get rid of gnats from your home. The best way to get rid of gnats is with an apple cider vinegar and dish soap trap.
The sweet smell of the cider vinegar will draw the gnats into the trap. When they go to land on the surface of the liquid, their legs and wings become covered with the dish soap, rendering them unable to fly and eventually drowning them in the fluid.
Essential oils are also great for repelling gnats and also what repels mosquitoes. If you are dealing with gnats in your home, add a few drops of essential oils to your home diffuser to keep gnats away.
If you are outside and looking to repel the large mating swarms in your yard, add some essential oil to a carrier oil, like coconut or olive, and apply the homemade repellent to your skin.
The tiny flying insects known as gnats are extremely annoying little creatures. Once you know the difference between gnats and other flying insects, you can take the appropriate steps to deal with them and eliminate them from your life.
We hope you enjoyed reading about what are gnats, and if you found the information in this gnat control article useful, please feel free to share it with your family and friends.