You may have heard me whine/talk about how I spent a week of summer vacation staining the outside of my wood-sided home in 90-degree heat. I spent 5-6 hours a day for six straight days last week toiling in the summer sweat. When I got back to the radio station for work on Monday, I started itching. In a few places I drew blood and thought that was weird, thought it might be because I’d gotten a lot of sun last week. One co-worker thought I’d drawn on my face with a Sharpie, but it turned out I’d scratched my face and blood has run down it on to my neck and dried.
I guess I was the victim of of gnats during my staining project, though I never felt I’d gotten bit – other than a wasp that stung me on the back of my neck – and never saw or noticed bugs flying around me while outside working.
I asked my daughter who’s a nurse to check it out. She’d heard people in the hospital say that the gnats – tiny little insects that often aren’t big enough to be seen – were worse than ever this year. One of my hockey teammates who owns a landscaping company and works outside said the same thing – worst he’s ever seen them. He uses a vanilla-scented spray to combat the pests.
I Googled gnats and buffalo gnats and found out some info from the IDPH. With the excess of rain this spring and early summer leading to more standing water, the gnats have had a longer productive run than usual. Usually by late June, they’re about done as the sustained heat is supposed to be their demise. And we can blame the ladies for the bites. The female gnat is the one that bites, needing blood to produce eggs.
Have you noticed these annoying and painful gnats more this year than before?