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Extension Entomology

Biting Gnats

–by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Davis

We have received a few calls about “biting gnats”.  These are most likely small black flies, commonly called black flies or buffalo gnats.  These appear every year, usually near moving water, and they can be very persistent at getting a blood meal, which the females require in order to produce viable eggs.  While they can be aggressive biters for 7-10 days, they do not transmit pathogens.  Management is difficult because the females deposit their eggs in slow moving creeks and streams.  Larval populations typically decline considerably once water temperatures reach 75-80°F.

 

For more information, please refer to Household Pests of Kansas (page 65): https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF3291.pdf

 

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