Useful Tips on Gnat Bites
Gnats are tiny, long-legged, flying insects that are difficult to detect because of their minuscule nature. Gnats are also known by other names like midges and black flies. These tiny fly-like insects belong to the family of flies and mosquitoes. They lay their eggs on the water surface and that is why they are normally found near water bodies. Do gnats bite? Yes they do. Just like mosquitoes, gnats need blood to survive and that is why they tend to bite animals and humans. Unlike mosquitoes, gnats do not have the ability to bite through a layer of clothing but they can crawl into your hair or clothes and administer their bite. We often also wonder why do gnats bite? Well it because they suck blood which they require for successful reproduction. Gnat bites are very aggravating and can cause a lot of pain and itchiness.
Do Gnats bite? Are the Gnat Bites Dangerous?
Gnat bites are dangerous because they can cause an infection. This is because gnats may land to different surfaces that could be infected like garbage and dead animals before finally biting you. They may therefore cause an infection, transfer various germs and cause diseases. Most often, one doesn’t realize when they have been bitten by gnats because while being administered, the bites do not sting. Symptoms will however start being visible after a short while leaving the skin red, itchy and swollen. These symptoms should be treated immediately so that the wound doesn’t swell and cause much pain and discomfort. An infection and several allergic reactions could result from these bites.
How to Identify Gnat Bites
It is important always identify the type of insect that has bitten you in order to know the right medication to use. Gnats are often mistaken for mosquitoes, flying ants and other pests flying a round your house. It is good to understand that bites from these insects are to be treated differently from those from gnats. Gnat bites are more or less similar to those of mosquitoes. However, gnats will not break your skin the way mosquitoes do. With four cutters inside their mouth, gnats will cut your skin the same way a surgeon does.
A gnat bitten victim loses more blood. The gnats will inject anti-clotting agents into your blood so that the wound doesn’t form a blood clot thus sucking more blood. Gnat bites are a bit more painful than those of mosquitoes. This addresses adequately the question: do gnats bite.
How to Treat Gnat Bites
Wash the Area
This is the first thing that should be done after being bitten by gnats. Wash the area using an antibacterial soap and warm water. This will wash away any germs that might be transferred by gnats from animals or garbage.
Apply an Ice Pack
You will experience varying degrees of sting and burn after being bitten. To relieve the pain, administer an ice pack to that bitten area. The ice will make the place numb and make the pain bearable.
Using Antiseptic Creams
Applying an antiseptic cream to the bitten area will prevent an infection from developing. An antiseptic cream or gel also cools off the sting thus minimizing the swelling. If the itchiness continues you will be required to apply medicine or an anti-itch cream to the area. You can also apply any of those natural ingredients- vinegar, toothpaste, calamine lotion, aloe vera sap or witch hazel. Another solution is to apply baking soda diluted with water to the wound. Oil cloves and alcohol also do wonders in reducing the burning, itching, stinging and the swelling.
Just like any other insect bites, gnat bites could lead to an allergic reaction that could result to abnormal swelling, red patches and difficulty in breathing. When that happens, Benadryl medicines should be administered in the lotion or oral form. An antihistamine medication will also minimize the severity of the bites. If any of the mentioned medication does not work, then it is good to visit a doctor. The doctor will prescribe an antibiotic if an infection has developed from the scratching.
Do gnats bite? How to Avoid Gnat Bites
- Gnat bites can be reduced by limiting the amount of time spent outdoors during the time when the gnats are most active. Avoid dawn and dusk which are the gnat’s most favored times of day. Biting gnats are a big problem in hot climates and you should therefore plan to be indoors before the sun sets and postpone your early morning gardening till the sun is up.
- Gnat neighborhoods should be avoided. Gnats require water for breeding and this is why they are more common near rivers, lakes and other water bodies. The spot that you choose for your outdoor activities should be away from water bodies to avoid being bitten by gnats.
- Sealing off your house is another way of preventing gnat bites. Replace your regular window screening or keep your windows closed if biting gnats are invading your living space.
- Use fans to turn up the breeze so that gnats are not able to land and bite.
- Covering your legs and arms will make your skin gnat-proof. On areas like the hands, ankles, face, wrists and neck which are loved by gnats, an insect repellent containing DEET can be used when going outdoors. Petroleum jelly like the mentholated kind helps in creating an effective barrier to keep the gnats from biting your skin. Essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus globules, geranium and spearmint work well as natural gnat repellents. Cedar and basil are also effective repellents for gnats.
Gnats are found all over the world and they always bite unsuspecting individuals. Because of their small size, these insects will bite without you knowing although a noticeable mark appears thereafter. This article has attempted to address the question : do gnats bite. Gnat bites are generally painful and could lead to slight swelling of the area. A small amount of blood will be seen coming from the area after an initial bite. The good news is that there are several ways of treating gnat bites and ultimately preventing further biting. Follow the tips discussed in this article to get understand how to deal with these small but annoying insects.