Black flies and gnats are both small, flying insects that can be found in various parts of the world. While they may appear similar in appearance, there are distinct differences between the two species. Below is a detailed comparison of black flies and gnats.
Black flies are dark-colored, biting flies, which are often referred to as “buffalo gnats.” They are usually small, measuring about 1/8 inch in length, and have a characteristic humpback appearance. Males of this species do not bite and are attracted to swarms of females, while females feed on blood to obtain protein to reproduce.
Gnats, on the other hand, are small, non-biting insects that belong to the order Diptera. They are usually thin, measuring up to 3 mm long, and have transparent wings. Some species have a black or gray body, while others have a yellow or green hue.
Black flies and gnats prefer different habitats. Black flies thrive in fast-flowing, unpolluted streams, especially in wooded areas. They also breed in swamps, marshes, and other wetlands. Gnats, on the other hand, prefer damp environments like wet soil, decaying vegetation, and compost.
Black flies are known for their aggressive behavior and painful bites. They tend to swarm in large numbers, making it difficult to avoid them. They cause intense itching and can transmit diseases like river blindness (onchocerciasis).
Gnats, however, are not known to bite humans. They feed on nectar and plant sap and are mostly considered a nuisance due to their swarming behavior. Some species of gnats are beneficial because they pollinate plants and help with decomposition.
Controlling black flies and gnats requires different approaches. To control black flies, it is necessary to identify and eliminate their breeding sites. This can be done by cleaning up areas of stagnant water, removing any debris or organic matter, and using high-pressure water to disrupt black fly larvae. Insecticides can also be used to control adult black flies.
For gnats, reducing humidity levels, and removing any standing water around the home can help control their population. Homeowners can also use sticky traps or yellow sticky cards to attract and catch gnats. Insecticides can also be used to control adult gnats.
In conclusion, while black flies and gnats may appear similar, they are two different species with distinct characteristics. Black flies are biting flies that can cause painful bites and transmit diseases, while gnats are mostly a nuisance due to their swarming behavior. Control measures for Black flies and horse flies species require different approaches, and identifying their breeding sites is crucial for effective control.
Horse flies and gnats are two of the most common pests that can cause problems for horses and humans alike. While they share similar characteristics, such as being winged insects and living in large swarms, they have distinct differences that make them unique. In this essay, we will explore the differences between horse flies and gnats while also discussing how to manage these pesky insects.
Horse flies are larger and more robust compared to gnats. They can grow up to an inch in length and have a broad head, making them more visible to the naked eye. Horse flies are most active during the day and can be challenging to evade. They are also known as “stabbing flies” because they have a sharp, serrated proboscis that is used to pierce the skin and feed on blood. This can result in painful bites that cause discomfort and itchiness for both animals and humans.
Gnats, on the other hand, are smaller than horse flies, and many of them can fit on the head of a pin. They are also known as “black flies” or “no-see-ums” because they are challenging to spot due to their tiny size. Gnats are most active during dawn and dusk, and they often swarm in large groups to feed on blood. Their bites are not as painful as horse fly bites, but they can leave angry-looking welts that can also be itchy.
Both horse flies and gnats can cause significant problems for horses. Horse flies are responsible for spreading diseases such as equine infectious anemia, while gnats can transmit diseases such as Potomac horse fever. These pests can also cause horses to become restless and agitated, which can interfere with their training and performance.
Managing these pests can be challenging, but there are several strategies that horse owners can use to keep their horses comfortable. Some of these strategies include using fly traps, fly sheets, and fly spray. Fly traps can attract and capture both horse flies and gnats, while fly sheets provide a physical barrier against these insects. Fly spray, which contains insecticides, is also an effective way to repel these pests.
In conclusion, horse flies and gnats are common pests that can cause significant problems for horses and humans alike. While they share some similarities, such as living in swarms and feeding on blood, they have distinct differences in terms of size and behavior. Horse owners must take steps to manage these pests, such as using fly traps, fly sheets, and fly spray, to ensure their horses remain comfortable and healthy.
Black flies are small insects that are found in various regions throughout the world, particularly in areas with clean, flowing water such as rivers and streams. While the bites of black flies are not dangerous themselves, they can cause significant discomfort and itching for several days after the bite. Fortunately, there are various medicines that can be used to alleviate the symptoms and prevent further complications.
The primary medicines for treating black fly bites are topical creams or ointments. These products usually contain antihistamines such as diphenhydramine or hydrocortisone, which help to reduce itching and inflammation. They work by blocking histamine, a substance produced by the body in response to insect bites, from binding to its receptor sites. This prevents the histamine from causing the classic symptoms of itching, redness, and swelling.
Another common ingredient found in topical creams for black fly bites is lidocaine. This is a local anesthetic that numbs the skin and reduces the sensation of pain and itching caused by the bites. Lidocaine works by blocking the transmission of pain signals from the nerves to the brain.
For those who prefer natural remedies, several essential oils have been found to be effective in reducing the discomfort caused by black fly bites. Tea tree oil, for instance, has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that can help to soothe the skin and prevent infections. Lavender oil is also commonly used for its calming and healing properties.
In addition to topical creams and oils, antihistamine pills can also be used to alleviate the symptoms of black fly bites. Products such as Benadryl or Claritin work by blocking the histamine produced by the body in response to the bites. They are particularly useful for those who experience severe itching or swelling from the bites.
Prevention is always better than treatment, and there are several measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of black fly bites. These include wearing long-sleeved clothes and pants, using insect repellents containing DEET or picaridin, and avoiding outdoor activities during peak black fly season. Additionally, removing breeding sites for black flies, such as stagnant water or decaying vegetation, can help to reduce their population.
In conclusion, black fly bites can be uncomfortable and itchy, but there are various medicines available that can alleviate the symptoms. Topical creams and ointments containing antihistamines or lidocaine, along with essential oils such as tea tree or lavender, are effective in reducing itching and inflammation. Antihistamine pills can also be used for more severe symptoms. However, prevention is always the best strategy when it comes to black fly bites, so taking measures to avoid them is highly recommended.
In a brief, Adult gnats are tiny flies that seen on the horizon prior to dawn and dusk and look like dust or clouds or rain, the size of full-grown adult gnats is 6.35 mm (1/4 inch), gnat body is long and slender with thin wings, some gnats have humpbacks, some gnats body have hairs and others have not, body colors include black or dark-brown in common, grey, yellow and green. No-See-Ums and Midges are other common names of gnats.
Now come to details, below is the first full guide for identification of biting gnats and non-biting gnats, how to know the difference and take your precautions.
Actual Size of a Gnat
Images of the real and actual size of gnats as showing how long is a gnat in the real world which make you wonder how much pain caused by such a very tiny bug like a gnat.
Close-up View of Gnats
Images to show Gnat’s mouth parts, eyes, wings, legs, and other body specs.
From the best illustrations that focus the gnat fly size I found this picture:
Gnats Vs Mosquitoes Vs Housefly Vs A stink bug
The colors and Body shape differs slightly from species to another, in the later sections of this guide, a full explanation of the specs and details of each gnat type.
Gnats are generally classified into two categories, the biting gnats or biting midges, and the non-biting gnats
What Do Biting Gnats Look Like?
Those the gnats you must be aware of them and should avoid their areas.
The species of Gnats that Can Bite
Mainly there is two biological insect families that consists of that tiny biting gnats, Ceratopogonidae and Psychodidae.
However, people around the world hate the biting flies and name them many different names, the common colloquial name is Sandflies or Black flies,
they may be of horse flies from the family Tabanidae as in US, also Florida people call it punky or sand gnat or sandflea, or may be of genus Austrosimulium in australia and call it the blackfly, Also insects from subfamily Phlebotominae and Biting midges (Ceratopogonidae) are known as sandflies or no-see-ums.
In the Caribbean, there is locations notorious of sandfly invasions such as Belize and Honduras
Biting Gnats are vectors of many diseases such as sandfly fever, common treatment is bug sprays containing high concentration of DEET.
Also known as biting midges and sand flies, they’re found everywhere around the world, attracted to human blood to enrich their eggs and growth otherwise they feed on nectar and prey on other insects.
The main biological family is Ceratopogonidae, subfamilies examples are Culicoides, Leptoconops, Forcipomyia sp, Palpomyiini, and Atrichopogon sp.
Noseeum name is because you can’t see them, or hardly seen, noseeum size is 1–3 mm, color is black, short wings, and long legs.
Culicoides (highland midge)
Biting Gnats from Phlebotominae and Lutzomyia species
Both are from the same family “Psychodidae” and their bites can transmit many of sand fly-borne diseases. feed on blood from humans, cats, dogs, poultry, and horses, and some pigs. Sandflies from species of Phlebotominae and Lutzomyia are about 3 mm in length with hairy yellowish back; hairy body and short wings
Other Types of ceratopogonidae midges
West Coast Blackflies, Austrosimulium species
Horse flies, Biting Gnats of Tabanidae family
Non-Biting Gnats Species
Fungus Gnats are insects from the super-family “Sciaroidea” which consists of more than 16 subfamilies that looks a bit different from one to another. Fungus gnats are pests of crops, household plants pots and pests of mushroom farms but don’t bite human or pets.
Fungus gnats are very tiny that you can hardly identify however, they may be seen in swarms like clouds, also they’re lazy flyers.
Most of fungus gnats are 1 to 7 mm long, slender dark colored body and wings, many females of fungus gnat types are wingless, typical long legs and antennae in most of them.
The below galleries show you how to identify each insect of the fungus gnat families.
List of most common Fungus Gnat species
Fungus Gnats of the Family Cecidomyiidae
Also called gall midges and wood midges, they look super thin fragile minutes flies, size 0.5–3.0 mm, many are less than 1 mm, have long hairy antenna and reduced wings, reduced mouth-parts, most are black in color.
Fungus Gnats of the Family Keroplatidae
They’re the predatory fungus gnats, very small dark gnats with bigger wings and long legs, the larvae are known as “glowworms” in Australia and New Zealand, They’re forest dwellers, live in the damp areas feed on fungi.
Fungus Gnats of the FamilyLygistorrhinidae
The long-beaked fungus gnats
Mycetophilidae Fungus Gnats Family
The Commonly known as fungus gnats, actual size pictures show average wings, long legs and antenna on the thin dark brownish body.
Sciaridae Fungus Gnats Family
The most seen dark-winged fungus gnats
The Lake Flies, chironomidae Gnats Family
Also know by other names such as chironomids or non-biting midges, lake flies resembles mosquitoes but they don’t have wing scales and elongated mouth-parts like mosquitos, so that people may call it the blind mosquitoes, lake flies superficially looks like sandflies but don’t bite humans. Identify from the images below,
The gnats of the family Chloropidae, also have other names including frit flies or grass flies, eye gnat size is minute (1-4mm), eye gnats body looks shiny with many colors including gray, yellow, green, black, or having golden strips, they posses short and soft proboscis (sucking mouthpart) and shortened reduced wings.
Eye gnats are pests of cereals and grasses but don’t bite humans, although they can feed and attracted to fluid secretions from eyes and body fluids of humans and animals, that’s why people call it eye fly.
A lot of shapes for the eye gnat species in the below gallery
How to identify the bull gnats and bull gnat bites? and what is the best treatment available for bull gnats bites?
What Are Bull Gnats?
A kind of hunchbacked dark body flies that belongs to the family “Simuliidae”. Yes, they commonly known with other names such as Black flies and Buffalo Gnats. Others may mistaken bull nats with sand gnats.
A bull gnat has male and female and only female who needs blood to lay eggs, while males usually feed on nectar.
Bull gnats or buffalo gnat are of biting midges, gnats that can bite if you were asking, can gnats bite?
Who’s under risk?
Domestic animals, poultry, exotic birds and human people.
What Do Bull Gnats Look Like?
Here’s how to identify bull gnats from the appearance and specs of the insect body, and habitats also can help in the identification of the pests.
Appearance: Humpbacked, hence its name.
Size: Up to one-eighth of an inch long
Colors: Dark and Black.
Biting mouthparts: twin cutters like scissors to cut into skin then lap the blood up.
Larvae appearance: worm-like, less than half an inch long when hatching from the egg, bull gnat larvae looks like an hourglass, mouthparts looks like fan, and feed on bacteria.
Season of biting: typically bull gnats start biting mammals, humans and birds in late spring and early summer.
Active time to bite: on a calm day, bull gnats active just after sunrise and before sunset.
Globally Infested Areas: All the world
Habitat: Bull gnat are aquatic insects, it means they prefer clean, fast-running water, find bull gnats near river rapids, waterfalls, however water residues around you is enough to attract them.
What attracts them? Carbon dioxide exhaled by animals and humans, perspiration or sweating, perfumes and dark moving objects.
What Do Bull Gnat Bites Look Like?
Now, how to identify bites from bull gnats to know them and treat them properly, also you can be able to distinguish bull gnat bites from other bug bites.
Affected area size: 2 to 5 mm
Swelling size: up to 10 mm
Center of the bite: appear and obvious
Life threatening: For birds, poultry, pets, not for humans
Transmit disease to humans: No, but some deaths reported outside USA.
Bite through: can’t because they don’t bite with needles.
Bull Gnat Bite Symptoms
Little bleeding patches (but obvious) looks like tiny minor cuts and scrapes.
Painful itching with tingling sensation.
Medium localized swelling,
Low to medium allergic reaction.
Annoyance and discomfort when buzzing inside noses, mouths and ears.
Bleeding after bull bites are the best prove that the biting pest is a bull gnat that’s due to their method of biting by cutting the skin and leave wound-like bites.
Do’t scratch the bite site and bearing the pain as possible, scratching will widening the wound and prone it to bacteria infection.
The bull gnat bites leave a small superficial cut that doesn’t reach the blood stream, although you must clean the bite immediately using antiseptics or just rinse with running water.
Don’t use irritants to heal bull gnat bites such as soap, hydrogen peroxide or iodine.
If the bull gnat left a dirt above the bite it using a tweezers cleaned with alcohol or anything like that.
Cover the bite by applying a clean bandage or rolled gauze, it can work to let the bull gnat bite heal on its own in addition to protection against germs.
For prolonged bites that get infected and show balloon cells or puss sacks, get a tetanus shot and use antibiotics from nearby pharmacy, call the doctor if you don’t know how or just leave a reply to help you.
How To get Rid Of Bull Gnats?
Avoid commonly infested areas.
Don’t be outside at active times of bull nat swarms.
When you in forest, jungle, seashore garden or patio, you may keep flies off the head and neck by wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants.
Netting with a special protecting head like construction hard-hats.
Prevent bull gnas from landing on the fly net by smear with petroleum jelly, or oil.
Stop bull gnats in patio and garden by operating large fans, yes they work to deter bull knats.
On window screens use very fine mesh netting because the bull gnats can pass through.
What Do not Work To Repel and Kill Bull Gnats?
Ineffective methods to repel bull nats include:
DEET-containing repellents: unlikely, they can attract them.
Using Permethrin-containing repellents are limited on protection clothing and can’t used widely to deter bull nats, despite of the effectiveness on mosquitoes.
Pesticides, the pests killing chemicals, they work to kill bull gnat but only liquid pesticides sprinkled on the gnat landing surfaces.
Larvicides containing “Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti)” only work if you already know where the bull gnat larvae, and the effective doses, I think it’s for experts as well as they usually use it for mosquito larvae control.
Fogging the ultra-low volume (ULV) treatments work temporarily against bull gnats.
Home remedies such as vanilla extract doesn’t reliably work against bull gnats.
Bull Gnats are the same of Buffalo gnats and black flies, they prevented by getting away from their areas and wear protective clothing, bull nat bites looks like wound and treatment depend on severity, simple water and antiseptic can work and antibiotics for inflamed bites.
After get bitten, typically, a gnat bite on human skin looks like a small wounds; or tiny simple pinprick; or narrow red spot locally at the site of the bite along with immediate swelling around the center of the bite, wound-like bites of gnats are due to using their mouth parts that look like scissors to cut our skin and suck blood.
Swelling will be seen directly after you feel the bite. if you scratch hard the gnat bite will be infected, thus it may swell larger and contain pus, infected gnat bites looks like a sac filled of pus or water.
Almost gnat species that do bite leave the same bite shape and size, some nats are predacious than others, and thus show more nasty bites, but this is another story, be tuned. Biting gnats Pictures
Gnats don’t leave any mouth-parts after biting like bees do, bees leave its stinger immersed in the skin.
Just look to the images below and compare with the bites your received to know if it was a gnat bite or another insect bite, of course images will not match 100% but at least they will help you identify the looking of knat bites well.
Here’s what do swollen gnat bites look like
Here’s what do infected gnat bites look like
Infection after gnat bites are common, as biting gnat species leave a wound that is prone to microbial invasion, it looks like balloon or blisters which formed due to bacterial infection after gnat bites.
Hidden and Unnoticed Gnat Bites
Gnats are smaller that they can bite and hide, you can’t know what bit your skin, some gnats on the rear side resembles mosquito bites, some bites on the legs looks like fleas bites, you need a good attention next time to notice the tiny fliers that bite and don’t see them. Look like small patches of blood due to opening of the skin by the gnats mouth.
Gnat Bites on Equine Skin
Biting gnats can bite human and livestock animals as well, however, stable gnats can do dangerous wounds after biting, thus they cause harmful anemia to the equine and other farm animals like cows and broilers.
If you feel a sharp painful sting on scruff of your neck; around ears; on exposed arm or leg, and the feeling sounds like a sharp cut of a razor blade, it’s a gnat bite. so that, identifying such small flyer depends on both the shape of its bite and the strong feeling, thus you can differentiate gnat bites from other insect bites.
Like Mosquitoes do, some of gnats live on the warm-blooded animals and human-being, for the seeking to the purposes of feeding and laying eggs, the typical answer is YES, some of gnats do bite human skin and dogs. scientists call them “Biting Gnats” or “Biting Midges”, while other gnats prefer to get their food from flowers like bees do. Getting away from the gnats areas is the best way to stop gnat bites.
Gnats are those small or tiny insects the look like dust on the sky especially close to dawn time or during sunset, farmers and people near of coasts know them better than people live on large cities.
Farmers see them land on and take off the water lakes and streams, however, if you have an outdoor yard you probably notice swarms like if you sprinkled salt on the page of the sky.
Adult humans may not feel when a gnat bites them because they may get immunized over the time against repeated bites from biting midges, scientifically, because their body learned how to ignore them.
Who get a vacation near sea coasts will bothered with cutting pierces of those pesky little creatures.
Do Gnats Bite Dogs?
Dogs live outside the house and near the preferable gnats areas will probably get bitten by hungry biting gnats every moment. Off course, gnats can bite dogs through the hair of the dog, which you can’t notice unless your puppy become ill.
The reason behind gnat bites on dogs is the food, the blood is the main meal of some nasty gnats to grow their eggs. Gnats don’t bite because they are scared or felt a danger.
Sleeping dogs inside house may be immune to get bitten by such hungry insects.
Do Fungus Gnats Bite Dogs?
Fungus gnats and larvae don’t need blood, they aim on the roots and leaves of houseplants and seedlings to get food, so that, No, Fungus gnats do not bite human, dogs, or cats. However fungus gnat don’t proven to be vectors to transmit diseases to humans or animals.
However, dogs inside the bedroom can be bitten by biting gnats that the dog brought gnats eggs within the hair, from the fact that gnats can lay eggs deep inside the hairy dogs and cats, and thus the gnat bites become chronic illness for longer time.
Puppies, kittens, children, and even adult humans and animals are prune to gnat bites if they still standing inside the gnat areas, however, it’s a scientific fact that not all of gnats have to bite people or animals.
To know if do fruit gnats bite or they don’t, just follow us on blog, Facebook, or Youtube.
Later, list of gnats that do bite? and how to treat gnat bites perfectly.