Springtime gnats bugging people in Eastern Iowa

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - This spring, you'll likely notice all of the gnats lingering, and while they're a nuisance for people, they're also a problem for poultry.

Laura Illes, an entomologist, said bug spray doesn't work on gnats. Instead, experts suggest using things like bug soother, vanilla or lemongrass.

The gnats are actually black flies. They come out every spring for about a month and live near bodies of water.

They are annoying for people who spend time outside, but while their bites aren't harmful to humans, it's a different story for birds.

"For birds, it can be really serious,” said Illes. “Especially for enclosed chickens and things like that, when we have large populations that can actually kill birds. So it is important if there is a large outbreak in your area and you have birds and things to check them frequently."

Early mornings and late evenings are when gnats are the peskiest. The good news is the gnats should be gone in about a month. The bad news: mosquito and tick season starts right after.