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Do Gnats Bite?

Swarm of gnats by a tree.

Ew, nasty gnats. Does it ever feel like they’re out to ruin your day? These airborne irritants always seem to find their way into our personal space—sometimes our eyes, ears, and noses. But here’s the important question: do these tiny terrors bite? 

While not all gnats have the mouthparts required to bite into your skin, some species of gnats do.

Most species of gnats are attracted to moisture and decaying organic matter, so they aren’t really looking for you. However, while some of them are after your overripe fruit basket, biting gnats may want to snack on you instead.

Bug Soother Spray

Arm yourself with some trusty bug spray to prevent bug bites this summer.

Identifying biting gnats from their (mostly) harmless non-biting brothers is key. Biting gnats—like sand flies or black flies—usually are extremely small, have two wings, and have six legs. Bites are most common on your exposed skin, such as your head, neck, arms, hands, and legs.

To avoid becoming a gnat feast, regularly use insect repellent. It also helps to wear clothing that covers your skin since this limits areas where a biting gnat can snack. As a last resort, you can avoid going to places where these insects infest, such as ponds, streams, and swamps.

Keep in mind that while they’re irritating, most gnats do not possess the ability to bite you. If you find yourself caught in their swarm of mischief, it’s annoying…but most of them are unlikely to leave itchy bug bites behind. 

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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