10 Best Bull Gnat Bites Treatment with Identification Pics

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.

humpbacked appearance of bull buffalo gnats
Humpbacked appearance of bull buffalo gnats, Close-up image
  • 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.

Stages of wound healing after buffalo gnat bites (magnified, close up pics)
Stages of wound healing after buffalo gnat bites (magnified, close up pics)
  • 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.
  • Local redness.
  • 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.

Don’t miss this explanation: gnat bites pictures

Available treatment options for Bull Gnat Bites

The First Aids for bull gnat bites are:

  1. Do’t scratch the bite site and bearing the pain as possible, scratching will widening the wound and prone it to bacteria infection.
  2. 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.
  3. Don’t use irritants to heal bull gnat bites such as soap, hydrogen peroxide or iodine.
  4. If the bull gnat left a dirt above the bite it using a tweezers cleaned with alcohol or anything like that.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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