Bad year for gnats leads to run on bug spray

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Store director for the Edgewood Road Hy-Vee in Cedar Rapids Tracy Kading had to act fast when they ran out of Bug Soother. He says it wasn't just his Hy-vee that was out.

Kading says, “Normally if we run low on something, we'll call other stores, but I've noticed most all of the stores were out of it.”

So he got in his truck and drove an hour to the Bug Soother headquarters in Columbus Junction to pickup 300 cases. Kading says it's the first time he's had to make a bug run.

He adds, "I always say it's the right item, at the right time, at the right place. So when all the customers are looking for it, you got to have it.”

Entomologist Laura Isles with Iowa State University says those nasty gnats you're seeing are black flies. They don't carry any diseases for humans, ut the bites are still bothersome.

She says, “ It can certainly be very itchy for quite a long time, and just the fact that they're kinda swarming around our face.”

Bug spray may not be the best weapon to win the bug battle. She says, “The things that we use for mosquitoes are not as effective for black flies. So definitely try different products many things like vanilla or lemon grass will certainly work for some people, not all people."

Iles also says the early mornings and late evenings are when the bugs are buzzing the most. She also says people need to keep their poultry away from gnats. She says a bite can put them into shock.

She says, “People with poultry need to check with their veterinarian. There's insecticides that can be used on poultry. Keeping the birds enclosed, these flies don't like to move indoors so keeping them enclosed in the mornings and evenings.”

The good news, gnats will go away in a couple of weeks. The bad news, mosquitoes season comes right after.