Return to Pest Identifier Return to Gnats

Gnat Facts

  • Gnats are not immature stages of flies, but rather tiny adult flying insects.
  • Most household gnats come from eggs deposited in damp soil, such as over-watered potted plants.
  • Gnats do not sting and only female gnats bite.

Gnat Bites & Treatment

In the small flying insect world of gnats, some gnats bite and some do not. Buffalo and sand gnats are known to bite people and animals, while fungus gnats and eye gnats do not bite. Contrary to what some people think, gnats do not sting and only female gnats bite; they need a good amount of protein to reproduce. Male gnats feed on flower nectar and flower juices.

Female gnats tear skin with scissor-like mouthparts
Also, female gnats have biting mouthparts whereas male gnats do not. Female gnats use their scissor-like mouthparts to cut victims’ skin and feed on their blood, releasing anticoagulants into their victims’ blood that can cause allergic reactions.

Gnat bites can be painful and itchy
Gnat bites can be painful and cause itching and swelling at the bite site for several days. Some victims may experience a slight fever, difficulty breathing and/or break out in hives.
Not all gnats transmit diseases but some do carry diseases. River blindness, Leishmania, Oraya, Carrison’s disease, plus Toscana and Punta Toro are attributed to gnat bites.

Additional Information

© 2019 Truly Nolen, Inc. All rights reserved. Toll-Free 800-GO-TRULY • Email