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Gnat Bites

gnats

Gnat Bites

Biting gnats are also known as biting midges. They are a tiny species of fly. Gnats search for blood meals, similar to a mosquito. However, gnats don’t puncture skin like a mosquito. Instead, gnats bite by tearing at the skin with four sharp blades in their mouth. This causes pain disproportionate to the size of the gnat. The gnat then spits chemicals into the wound to stop clotting and sucks up the excess blood.

Gnat bites are painful and tend to swell. One can often see a blood mark where a gnat has bitten. The pain and swelling should go away after a few days. Gnats do not carry diseases that affect humans, however, there is always the chance of bacterial infection. The risk of infection increases if the bite area is scratched to relieve itching. An infection can lead to serious illness if left untreated. There is also the rare chance that a bite can induce an allergic reaction. If unattended, allergic reactions may result in death. Many could mistake Flying Ants in House as gnats. These are not gnats and are treated differently.

gnat bites treatment

Wash a gnat bite with soap and water and apply an antiseptic to reduce risk of bacterial infection. If the area itches, an anti-itch cream may also be applied. Do not scratch the bite wound. This opens the wound to more infection. Ice packs reduce swelling, and ibuprofen can reduce discomfort. Monitor the bite to watch for pus, which is a sign of bacterial infection. See a doctor if puss develops. In the rare case of an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately. Allergic symptoms include swelling of the throat, chest and mouth, difficulty breathing, and dizziness. An epinephrine pen can also stop an allergic reaction. Installing window screens made of finer mesh is the best way to protect oneself from gnat bites in the home.

It might be hard to find a product that specifically safeguards against  gnats. To prevent gnat bites use deterrent with deet in it. Most mosquito repellents will also repel gnats. Citronella candles also work very well in repelling gnats.

If you find that you are having a constant problem with gnats in or around your home there is a good chance you have standing water. Gnats thrive in wet moist conditions. Be sure to look in birdbaths, pools, buckets,  clogged gutters and storm drains. You may be over watering your grass and other plants. If this is the case allow 24 hours for the soil to dry before watering again.

 

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