The Ubiquitous Gnat

It is that time of the year again – gnat season.  The official definition of a gnat is “any of many species of tiny flying insects in the dipterid suborder Nematocera…They can be both biting and non-biting.” I was happy to learn they have a lifespan of 7 days, which if you have a cloud of them around can seem like a lifetime!

The challenge when past fifty is to ferret out a real gnat or is that merely a floater?

There are several strategies suggested to kill them.  I don’t feel the least bit of remorse.  I have gotten attached to certain fluorescent beetles or stick bugs and miss them for a moment when gone.  I must confess I feel joyful when I manage to hand capture one or I find one of my traps has been successful.

I have tried the commercial with red containers with promised Gnat Trap capacity.  These have not been lethal enough for me.  Too many fly around erratically and determine they are too smart to fall for the trap.  I also have used little bowls of sweet vermouth. While observing the gnats happily sucking up the liquid and sitting topsy turvy on the rim, few simply fall over dead or drown.  The mixture of cider vinegar and soap is somewhat more effective.  I actually count the dead bodies so I feel some sense of accomplishment.  The craziest thing is I think they crawl up the bathroom drains.  I live on the third floor, so it seems unlikely, but I find them around the shower drain and flying around the glass shower enclosure. To combat this possible entry, I use bleach or Drano on occasion.

The best strategy?  Wait until the first hard freeze which does come later each year! › wiki › Gnat

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