Each year, when the warm weather begins, we are greeted with the urge to hit the outdoors. Unfortunately, the moment we set foot out our doors, it’s almost a guarantee that a swarm of gnats will be buzzing around our faces.

Every year the gnat problem seems to get exponentially worse. They are everywhere! In our backyards, on our walks, and sometimes inside our homes. Like many years before, it seems like 2020 is the worst year yet for these annoying flying insects.

Why are gnats so bad this year?

Why are gnats so annoying.

The Problem with Gnats

Gnats are tiny, flying insects that are more of a seasonal pest than a year-round nuisance. While they don’t do any damage to your home, their annoyance is far more of an issue. They can often swarm on your property, near bodies of water, or weasel their way into your home. If they do hang around, they can easily make your life miserable.

There are several different gnat species: fungus gnats, buffalo gnats, and black gnats. While they can all be irritating, the buffalo variety has been known to bite. They also swarm near points of moisture, which could lead to a bug in the eyes, nose, or mouth. Plus, there’s never just one gnat. Wherever they swarm, there will be a ton of these little pests. So, why are they a problem, and what can you do about them?

Gnats: The Return to Life

Every year, it seems like gnats are getting worse and worse. Mainly a springtime pest, these little insects emerge as the winter thaws, and they are attracted to moisture. Gnat population could simply be attributed to how moist an environment is. The more rain and precipitation, the more gnats you’re likely to have.

It doesn’t have to be just rain, either. They can be found by rivers or other forms of flowing water. Gnats are attracted to several other areas that accumulate moisture. Decaying wood, rotting fruit, over-watered plants and wet potting soil, damp sinks, and drains are all prime gnat spots.

What’s worse is that we aren’t the only ones that suffer from their yearly invasion. Birds and mammals also suffer the wraith and can sometimes die because of an overwhelming amount of gnat bites. Fortunately, they do have a short life cycle, and once temperatures rise over 80 degrees, they tend to disappear. So, how can you keep them at bay?

why are gnats so annoying this year

Protection against Gnats

While it can be difficult to stay indoors once the weather starts to warm up, that’s one sure-fire method of protecting yourself from annoying gnats. If you do head outside, wear long sleeves and pants to keep your skin protected. Make sure they are lightly colored; dark colors attract more gnats. Additionally, apply repellents with DEET, which could help deter other biting bugs as well.

Sweet smells draw gnats, so your perfume or shampoo can attract more attention from these flying pests. Try to select scents that repel insects, like citronella, or use unscented soaps and detergents.

Protecting your Yard

If you want to stop gnats from coming back or finding a cozy spot in your yard, there are few things you can do. Gnats are attracted to areas with high moisture, so areas with mold, fungus, or rotting debris are ideal environments for them. If you have wood or compost piles, make sure they are kept far from your home or areas you wish to spend time. Be mindful of any shady areas that accumulate rainwater.

After the winter, your lawn may be littered with dead tree branches, leaves, or rotting plant life. Before the gnats notice, it’s a good idea to clear your yard. During your clean up, if you have a garden, turn the soil so it will drain properly.


Protecting your yard by getting rid of moisture or rotting debris.

Be sure to tend to your yard regularly by raking and turning the dirt to dry it out. This is important if you have mulch close to your home, or in garden beds. Anywhere moisture can gather is a perfect gnat haven. Additionally, you don’t want to overwater your yard or garden. Give everything enough time to dry. Otherwise, the moisture will draw in a whole swarm. When you do water, give your yard ample time to dry; it’s best to water in the morning to avoid overwatering at night.

Much like mosquitoes, gnats thrive on still and standing water. Be mindful of any areas that gather water on your property, like driveways, birdbaths, gutters, and lawn equipment. Try to dry out any overexposed areas with sand or dry dirt.

Finally, if you have a garbage can, put a lid on it. Not only are gnats drawn to the smell of rotting food, but it can potentially attract worse unwanted pests to your backyard.

Concluding Thoughts

Don’t hide inside and wait until the temperatures rise. If you have a gnat problem, try to get on top of the problem with these simple prevention methods. If the issue is more significant than you can handle, contact a pest control expert to assess your property and get rid of these nasty flying insects for good. Take back your yard, and the warm weather.



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