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Entomologist: We might have more gnats this summer

Gnats 07-23-2020

Eau Claire (WQOW) - These higher temperatures may leave you swatting away more gnats this summer.

A UW-Eau Claire entomologist said with the warmer weather and moisture from recent storms, we could be seeing more gnats in our area.

The word "gnat" describes a number of small flies, including fungus gnats, eye gnats, and no-see-ums.

The insect expert says most gnats are non-biting, but the ones that do are female. She also added that gnats around the Chippewa Valley do not carry any disease, but if you find them annoying, there are ways to keep them away.

"One would be having screens on your doors and windows or enjoying a screen porch or a screen tent. Or you can wear long-sleeve shirts and pants, a hat, and glasses. Then probably the last resort that most of us think of would be using repellents," said Professor Paula Kleintjes Neff, an entomologist and the chair of biology at UW-Eau Claire

Entomologists are reminding folks that even though gnats can be bothersome to humans, they play a beneficial role in the environment.

They serve as food for other animals, pollinators and decomposers of organic matter.

Katrina Lim

Katrina Lim joined the News 18 team in August 2019 as a multimedia journalist. She was born and raised in Jersey City, New Jersey but has lived in all time zones of the contiguous U.S.A.

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