There are a lot of endearing and enjoyable qualities about the Summer and Fall months. The weather allows for time spent outdoors before the Kansas City winter chill arrives. Many of your favorite produce items start to come into season and grace the marketplace stalls and your kitchen counters. However, it’s these positives that make the pests that come with them even more irritating, and no pests represent this better than gnats and mosquitoes. Let’s get rid of gnats and mosquitoes.
Each is annoying in a unique way, but together they represent a swath (should be swath) of troubles that come about in some of our favorite times of the year. Today, we’ll break down each of these pests, what draws them in, how to prevent their presence, and how to rid yourself of them definitively.
What Are Gnats?
Gnats are not exactly an exact species or taxonomic group. Rather there are many species of insects that resemble and behave like what we’ve come to refer to as gnats. Generally, gnats are a type of two-winged fly that is small in size.
Another recognizable trait is that they can often be observed in large swarms.
These swarms are how gnats mate with one another, occurring fairly frequently given gnats’ short lifespans. You’ll likely find yourself flustered after walking through such a swarm around sunset.
Regionally, you can find variations of gnats that may bite or not bite, live in water or congregate in marshland, or trouble farmland.
What Are Gnats Attracted To?
The consensus surrounding what attracts gnats is that they are drawn to decaying organic matter. This can span a wide range of items including your household garbage, or even dying plants. Here’s a list of common items found in and around the home that could attract gnats:
- Fruits and vegetables, especially when overripe.
- Sugary liquids like sweet tea or soda.
- Mild acids like vinegar or wine.
- Dead garden plants.
- Sewage or sewage access pipes.
- Overly watered plants that have developed fungus.
- Dead rodents.
How To Prevent A Gnat Infestation
Preventing a gnat infestation is a practice of superb cleanliness. Gnats breed in standing water or even soil that has an above-average moisture content. So while there may not be much you can do to prevent the weather, there are steps you can take to ward off a swarm before it takes root and unleashes its wrath of annoyance in your home or business.
Gnat Prevention Quick Tips
- Make sure to eliminate areas where water can easily pool after a rain shower, or where a consistent leak is creating unnecessary moisture. This will limit the availability of breeding grounds for gnats.
- Stay vigilant in keeping your home clear of food waste, overripe produce, or houseplants that have one foot in the grave. Your dining room bowl of fruit might be aesthetically pleasing and an easy snack receptacle, but gnats find it just as alluring.
- Be sure to clean bathrooms, laundry spaces, and any other areas where your own connects to the sewage system. Keep an especially close eye on drains and consider using a mild drain cleaner from time to time as some species of gnats tend to nest in sewage drains.
How To Get Rid Of Gnats
First, identify where the biggest areas of activity are. Do you seem to be pestered most in the kitchen or the bathroom? Do you have trouble sleeping because of gnats or wake up with bites? When you’ve found what the biggest pockets of activity are you can start to lure them in.
Picking a lure for your household infestation solution is a bit up in the air. Many people promote and support various substances that are a sure way to grab gnats attention. For instance, one solution is to place a small bowl or glass out in the area filled with soda, juice, or wine. Place plastic wrap over the container and then poke a small hole in the plastic with a toothpick. The gnats should be attracted in, but not be able to leave.
Others support this method, but with a mixture of liquids and chemicals including dish soap which helps drown the gnats.
Other individuals may use flypaper or other store-bought traps, but the only definitive way to remove a serious gnat infestation and to prevent any further development is to call on the knowledge of your local pest control professionals.
At Gunter Pest & Lawn, we’ve been handling these tiny pests for decades, and have perfected our approach to addressing each home and business owner’s needs for gnat and fly control.
What Are Mosquitoes?
“Mosquito” is the term used to describe over 3000 varieties of flying insects, primarily which seek out nutrients by biting other animals and absorbing nutrients from their blood. While numerous species of mosquitoes don’t bite, the ones humans are most often concerned with do.
Mosquitoes use an extremely thin mouth organ called a proboscis to feed. Female mosquitoes are the only members of most species that pierce the skin of animals to drink blood. Most males can’t breakthrough as they are not looking for nutrients to foster the growth of their offspring. Instead, these bugs join with the female in consuming nectar through their proboscis.
Mosquitoes represent a major annoyance across the globe in the areas they occur, not just because of the reactions and irritation to their bites, but also because mosquitoes can serve as vectors, insects that carry diseases from one being to another. Some of the most prolific viruses and other diseases that have affected the developing world, like West Nile Virus and Malaria, have been carried by mosquitoes.
What Are Mosquitoes Attracted To?
Unlike gnats, which primarily seek out materials that they wish to feed on based on decay. Mosquitoes can be attracted to humans by a wide variety of attributes and activities. In general, mosquitoes will likely seek out any spaces where humans or animals live and congregate, but here are a few things that mosquitoes might consider before biting you:
- Your smell, whether it be especially fragrant, floral, or unpleasant.
- Certain foods you’ve consumed.
- The clothes you’re wearing. They prefer darker colors or shades that might resemble flowers (Remember they also feed on nectar).
- Your internal heat.
- Skin tone.
How To Prevent A Mosquito Infestation
Mosquitoes share one major commonality with gnats in that they both breed in standing pools of water. This is why you’ll often find a surge in mosquito activity the day after a heavy rain shower. Just like with gnats, it’s imperative to take whatever steps you can to eliminate pools of standing water and keep spaces dry.
It’s also important to take action when you first start to see mosquitoes. If you see one while working in the garage, take the extra time to dispose of it. You could save yourself a lot of future annoyance.
If you find yourself in a space where controlling the water content, cleanliness, or mosquito population isn’t practical like out on campgrounds, it might be in your best interest to invest in some mosquito repellent, candles, and even sleeping nets. These methods have been shown to help curb difficulties experienced by campers out in nature.
How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes
If you find that your home, business, lawn, or general area is being plagued by ever-growing levels of mosquitoes the best thing to do is to call a professional. Given the wide areas that mosquitoes can propagate from, addressing the issue individually may not prove to help.
As pest control professionals, our Gunter Technicians can employ a variety of treatment and repellant options designed to drastically lower mosquito activity and reclaim your spaces. We even offer all-natural mosquito treatments that help keep the environment and pets safe while we try and deal with nasty pest problems.
Don’t let gnats and mosquitoes ruin your Fall plans. Follow the prevention tips we’ve provided above or give us a call if you’re experiencing a particularly bad infestation. We can help get rid of these annoying little pests quickly and efficiently.