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Do Gnats Bite Humans?

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Gnats and Fruit Flies

The term “gnat” is a term that describes a wide variety of insects that are generally very small and always have the ability to fly. Some gnats bite, while other gnats do not have the type of mouthparts that would allow them to penetrate human skin. 

What Are Biting Gnats?

Biting gnats have six legs and two wings. The only gnats that bite people in order to feed on human blood are female. Male gnats typically feed on plant nectar and do not bite humans. Female gnats must have a blood meal in order to produce healthy, properly developed eggs. The most common biting gnats you might encounter are biting midges, which you might know as sand flies or no-see-ums.

What Are Gnat Bites Like?

Gnat bites are different from other bug bites you may be familiar with like mosquito or flea bites. The reason for this is that mosquitos and fleas pierce the skin while gnats use four specific mouthparts known as “cutters” to slice your skin open, giving them access to your blood. These bites are small and may look like a tiny pinprick. 

Gnat bites usually take place on any uncovered skin you might have. This means that you will most likely be bit on the head, neck, forearms, hands, face, legs and feet. You may or may not feel it when a gnat bites you. If you do, you will typically experience a burning sensation which quickly dissipates only to be replaced by redness and/or swelling. Gnats often fly in swarms, so you may find that you get many gnat bites at once. 

Gnat bites are usually unpleasant and uncomfortable, but do not commonly pose any kind of severe medical concern. You may want to wash any bite sites you can find to prevent infection and apply anti-itch creams to reduce any overall itchiness.  

Can You Be Allergic To Gnat Bites?

An allergic reaction to gnat bites is rare but possible. Allergic reactions to gnat bites include acute symptoms and extensive swelling at the site of the bite. If you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction to gnat bites, call your doctor or care provider. 

Protection from gnats can be difficult and dangerous if done improperly. To avoid any unintended exposure to insecticides and pesticides, consult with a pest control specialist trained in ridding your home and garden of biting gnats. 

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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