18 Interesting Facts About Gnats (2023)

Gnats are also referred to as biting midges. They are quite smaller in size. However, when it comes to annoyance, they are second to none.

They belong to a category of flying insects and are present all across the world. They often bite, and their bites are quite painful.

They are also famous for continuous buzzing around your head. They live in moist areas where water bodies are present.

Gnats come in wide varieties, and each variety has specific features. Gnats are very significant bugs. Gnats have many characteristics which you may not know.

Moreover, several interesting details about gnats are unknown. They play a significant role in the ecosystem.

Gnats have peculiar mating habits, which intrigues biologists. All in all, gnats are interesting insects. Here are 18 fascinating facts about gnats that will leave you startled:

What are gnats?

Gnats are small size flying insects that can bite you. But most of them are non-biting and harmless for humans.

However, a few species, such as dog pecker gnats, have a dangerous bite. Usually, gnats fly in clusters and adopt only those habitats where moisture content is present in abundance.

There is a wide variety of gnats, and each type has different characteristics.

They usually fly around people’s faces to disturb them and pollute their food.

Are gnats mosquitoes?

People often confuse gnats with mosquitoes because their appearance looks very similar, but gnats are no mosquitos at all.

Like mosquitoes, all species of gnats do not suck blood to feed. Unlike mosquitoes, gnats suck flowers’ nectar as a food source to stay alive and grow.

Another difference is that mosquito bites can pierce their host’s skin. On the other hand, gnat uses their bite to suck flowers’ nectar sap or fungus.

What do gnats eat?

Gnats’ most favorable living conditions are moist and damp conditions. So, they can be found in your garden and greenhouse because the water and moisture are abundant in these places.

Gnats reside in gardens because of their food sources, such as nectar or sap of plants and rotting organic material.

A few species of gnats also eat plant roots and leaves to grow and stay alive. In adverse conditions, gnats also eat fungus growing on the organic matter to live.

How long is a gnat’s lifespan?

The longevity of any living specie depends upon various factors, including their living conditions and availability of food sources.

In the case of gnats, it also varies in different species. There are several gnat species, each with a different life span depending upon their surrounding environment.

If environmental conditions are conducive, gnats tend to live longer. Suppose there is an abundant supply of food and no predators in an environment, the lifespan of gnats increases.

Gnats with shorter lifespans survive only a few days or perhaps a week. However, other types with longer lifespans can live up to several weeks or months.

Are gnats attracted to light?

Light is very important for gnats. They are not only attracted to light but also find food through it. Light helps gnats navigate their way while finding food.

They are particularly attracted to ultraviolet light. Gnats like moist places. In this context, heat is given out by light sources also attracts them.

It is because heat signifies a warm, moist setting. Light sources near moist places also attract the attention of gnats.

Their attraction to light is troublesome for humans. Humans employ various techniques to keep them away from their homes.

Do gnats lay eggs?

Gnats lay eggs in small clusters. However, female gnats require a proper environment to lay eggs. They mostly lay eggs on organic materials under damp conditions.

The organic material may include vegetables, fruits, or any organic waste. The purpose of laying eggs on the surface of food is that the organic matter acts as a food source for the larvae once they hatch.

They instantly begin to consume the organic matter. The average time for the eggs to hatch is one day, and the whole lifecycle of a gnat is not more than a week.

What smell do gnats hate?

Gnats belong to a large family of insects and, like all insects, they hate certain smells. They are unable to stand those smells and are repelled by them.

Lemon and peppermint are some of the smells gnats hate the most. These smells, in turn, are used as sprays to repel gnats and keep them away from homes and workplaces.

Gnats also do not like the smell of cloves and cinnamon. These elements can be used in repellents to keep gnats at bay.

How long do gnats live without food?

All insects require food for survival, like gnats; they also need food to eat and grow. The answer to this question depends on the age of the gnats.

An adult gnat has the potential to survive for weeks without food because their body has stored enough energy. However, it becomes weaker and weaker. Ultimately, its lifespan decreases.

On the other hand, the survival of larvae without food is difficult, and they can only live for a few days without food.

Their growth is severely hampered, and they cannot perform several key functions without eating food. Eliminating food and moisture sources is an effective technique to stop the growth of gnat populations.

Do gnats like the cold?

Gnats prefer to live in warm and moist environments because they do not like cold temperatures. Cold temperatures do not offer optimum conditions for their growth and other activity.

Also, gnats show most activity in warmer, humid environments, and their ideal temperature lies between 60- and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

They become sluggish and unable to perform their functions effectively without eating food.

However, a few species, such as the winter gnat, can survive in cold temperatures by slowing down their metabolic activity and saving energy.

They can survive for a long period without food. They can also survive indoors around you and reproduce in your surroundings.

Do gnats bite humans at night?

Unlike mosquitoes, gnats are not known to be aggressive insects toward humans. They are infamous for flying around fresh fruits, vegetables, and drains also.

That’s why they are not likely to beißen humans at night; instead, they depend on the dead organic materials to stay alive.

However, they do not pose a significant threat to human beings. But their bite can cause skin irritation to you if they accidentally run into your skin.

A person can feel irritation caused by the wings or legs of a gnat, but this is not the feeling of being bitten. If a person is bitten at night, the reason is most likely a mosquito. 

What is the difference between gnats and fruit flies?

Although gnats and fruit flies both belong to the insect family and can fly, the two have many differences. Fruit flies are bigger in size when compared to gnats.

On the other hand, gnats have longer legs than fruit flies. Gnats are darker in color while fruit flies are reddish-brown in color.

Gnats have a lean body shape compared to fruit flies’ rotund shape. Another difference lies in where they live.

Gnats are present near plants and wet areas; however, fruit flies are present where there is garbage or food.

What are dog pecker gnats?

These gnats are also referred to as horse flies. They are known to bite humans and feed on human and animal blood.

They live near marshy areas and other areas containing water. They are attracted to mammals, especially dogs.

Their bite leads to pain and irritation. Although gnats are not known to bite or suck blood, these gnats do both.

Moreover, dog pecker gnats can also transmit diseases. Therefore, it is necessary to eliminate them.

What kills pecker gnats?

Pecker gnats are also known as wood gnats because they eat wood structures and infest furniture at home.

If you are tired of them and want to get rid of them, there are several effective ways to kill them.

One of the most effective methods is to use insecticides. As the name suggests, insecticides eliminate all kinds of insects and are specifically designed to kill pecker gnats.

They are easily available at stores. The insecticides must be handled carefully. Keep your dogs or cats away from insecticides because they are harmful.

Another effective method to kill pecker gnats is to make a mixture of water and dish soap. It is then used to suffocate gnats.

How to keep gnats away from your face?

You can use different strategies to keep gnats away from your face. It is well-known that gnats cannot fly well when faced with windy conditions.

Hence, it is a good strategy to use fans. They create a breeze that keeps gnats from flying. In this way, you can keep gnats away from your face.

Insect repellents are also good for keeping gnats away. Apply the repellent to your face and other exposed areas of the body.

If you live in an area where gnats are abundant, you should use sleeping nets to keep them away.

How to get rid of gnats in the car?

One can make use of different strategies to get rid of gnats in a car. As it is known that gnats are attracted to the scent of humans, animals, food, and garbage, one should close all car windows.

It is better to use air conditioning in the car. You can also use gnat-repellent sprays in the car. It will keep gnats away.

A vacuum cleaner is also a feasible option to suck up all the gnats inside the car. Professional help can also be called upon to eliminate gnats in the car.

What keeps gnats away from dogs?

Although it is difficult to keep gnats away from dogs, there are multifarious ways of doing this. One of the most effective methods to keep gnats away from dogs is to apply essential oils to their coats.

Essential oils such as peppermint oil and eucalyptus have very strong scents disliked by gnats. Natural repellents such as apple cider vinegar also keep gnats away from dogs.

Mixing the repellents with water and spraying them on a dog’s coat can help keep gnats away.

Does neem oil kill gnats?

If you believe in natural remedies against gnats, then neem oil must be on your list because it is very effective to keep away and kill gnats.

Our ancestors have been using this oil for thousands of years in traditional medicine as a natural pesticide to kill a wide range of pests, including gnats.

Die surprising fact is neem oil affects the ability to reproduce miraculously when they come in contact with it.

You can use neem oil in a spray after mixing it with water and apply it directly on the targeted spot. All in all, neem oil can be your go-to weapon against gnats and other insects.

Does dish soap kill gnats?

Dish soap does not kill gnats directly. However, it can be used to create an organic trap when combined with liquids such as vinegar.

The dish soap breaks the surface tension. Resultantly, the gnats drown in the solution and die. The solution contains a fruity smell that attracts the gnats.

They get trapped in the solution and die. Hence, we can say that dish soap has no first-hand role in killing gnats, but it can be used to create organic solutions to trap and kill gnats.

Endgültiges Urteil

To conclude, gnats are interesting organisms despite appearing to be small and unimportant insects.

When it comes to comprehending the world of entomology, gnats have a lot to offer, from their unusual mating rituals to their varied diet and habitat preferences.

These 18 fascinating gnat facts will increase your curiosity whether you are a bug fan or are just interested in these small insects.

Gnats are frequent troublemakers when it comes to animals and humans. For example, dogs are particularly at risk of being bitten.

Despite all this, it is important to appreciate a gnat’s distinct qualities and the significant part it plays in the ecology the next time you see one flying around.

Therefore, remember these details about gnats and educate your family and friends about them. They are sure to like and appreciate your newfound knowledge about gnats. Happy adventuring!

Benutzerbild von Martin Miller