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Get Rid of Gnats

Summary: A gnat may be any number of small biting flies such as midges, biting midges,  black flies or sand flies. But, no matter what they are called, they can be a nusiance and all anyone really wants to know is how to get rid of gnats once you have them.

Everyone knows that gnats can be real pests at times. They are all miniature flies, around 5mm to 6mm long, buzzing about and causing chaos in our lives. Some of the most common types of gnats to be watched out for in varying degrees are fungus gnats, gall gnats, buffalo gnats and punkies.

Fungus gnats give birth to their young in damp organic matter that is found in shaded areas. Warm, moist temperatures create a breeding ground for these bugs. You need to watch these little critters around your various house plants as a few species tend to chew on the roots.

Some organic methods you can practice to keep your plants free from fungus gnat manifestation include buying yellow sticky traps and placing them horizontally on soil surfaces. For outdoor plants and around your yard, buy Bti, Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis. If you read and follow the instructions on the label carefully, this natural substance can be used to kill your fungus gnats, but not your plants.

Adult gall gnats make their practice of laying eggs in the healthy leaves of plants. This multiplies the cells within the membrane of the plant and results in a tumor-like growth in the middle of the leaf known as a gall. The little buggers do not bite, but they are somewhat of a nuisance as they love to fly around and check out what you are doing around the house. Fly traps, either homemade or store bought, are your best bet for getting rid of them. As always, be sure to read the label carefully and follow instructions.

Your plants do not have to guard against buffalo gnats or black flies, but you do. These gnats can be found near flowing streams where they drop hundreds of eggs directly into the water from the air. When in close proximity to water the best way to guard yourself against a bite from one of these bloodsuckers is to wear plenty of bug spray and reapply it every few hours for maximum protection. Don't forget to read the label for safety and proper application. Wear a hat safari-type hat that has a mesh guard that covers your entire face, neck and ears. Wear clothing that covers you fully, keeping exposure to skin at a minimum.

Sand flies, punkies, or as they are commonly known as, no-see-ums, are common house hold pests. They fly in the air for short distances and love to linger just after sunset. Physically moving away from the presence of these gnats while outdoors is an effective preventative measure. It is best to stay away from these little bloodsuckers if you can, as they have been known, in a few instances, to carry disease. Follow standard measures of protection such as using Skin-So-Soft. Avoid any kind of lotions or perfumes, fully cloth yourself and spray your clothes down with repellent, as well. If the gnats are persistent and you must use insecticide on yourself and your clothes, be sure to read the label and follow instructions carefully as these products contain toxic substances.

There is one other type of gnat called a Gnorm gnat which can be found in its natural habitat, within the pages of the 1970's comic strip, Gnorm Gnat, by creator, Jim Davis. True to its nature, it seems that no one could relate to the pesky little gnat, nor could he match wits with the lasagna loving feline, Garfield. No need to protect yourself, as the Gnorm gnat never did bite anyone.

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