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Area deals with small bug problem
If you have been outside at all this past week or the week before, chances are you had dealt with the newest neighborhood pest flying around in your eyes, ears, nose and mouth with vengeance: gnats.
Gnats are small black or dark-brownish insects that are tinnier than flies. Non-biting gnats are attracted to moisture and right now, we seem to have it bad. It doesn’t help that Wisconsin has seen its fourth wettest year on record. Gnats are mostly active during the summer months but they can be around during any time of year in the warm coastal areas. But their lifespan is short – usually mid-May until late June.
Mating occurs whenever the females enter the swarm of males around dusk time. The females lay their eggs over water. The hatching happens over several days. Adult gnats live about a week, in which they can produce up to 300 eggs. A female gnat could lay up to 1,000 eggs during her life cycle.
Even though gnats don’t cause any major damage to homes, they can be awfully annoying. But never fear, there are ways to prevent gnats in or around your home. Number one: try to control standing water. Since excessive moisture is the breeding ground for the buggers, try to keep pools drained or decorative fountains or birdbaths clean. Spraying agents and insecticides can be used but there is a caution against using chemicals. Try to dispose of decaying leaves or rotten fruit inside the home and keep houseplants well drained and sinks dry. Other ideas to keep them out of your home will be turning off lights at dusk and sealing vents.
If you know you will have to be outside and you want to prevent having to constantly flail your arms in front of your face, go to your local market to purchase bug spray. Make sure to read the label to make sure it will help keep away gnats and is safe for all your family needs. A nice homemade gnat trap consists of dish soap, water and vinegar.
So enjoy your time outdoors! Stay safe and remember…at least it isn’t snow!