IOWA CITY, Iowa - An Iowa State University associate professor of Entomology says he’s receiving an elevated number of calls about gnats this year, which suggests the season could be a bit buggier than normal.
“This year calls are up to entomologists,” said Dr. Ken Holscher. “They’ll be out in full force the next couple of weeks.”
Holscher said there are a variety of gnats, but said black flies, or buffalo gnats, often cause the most concern.
“They do bite,” Holscher said of the buffalo gnats. “There’s not much you can do about it.”
Buffalo gnats are attracted to fresh running water like creeks, rivers and streams. They typically hit peak season around late May into early June.
“The females are the ones who feed on you because they need to feed on warm blooded creatures before they can go lay their eggs,” said Cody Mason, owner of “Alias The Bugman Pest Control.”
Mason said he has dealt with a number of calls for gnats. Pest Controllers can spray for gnats if they get particularly bad around a home, Mason said. There is also a more simple solution.
“If you’re at a ballgame or whatever, any vanilla body splash you use for fragrance will deter a lot of gnats,” he said.
Buffalo gnat bites typically present swelling and itching, but are not overly harmful to humans.