It’s Not Just You — Those Tiny Bugs You Know As ‘Gnats’ Are Out In Full Force


If you think clouds of gnats are a bigger nuisance than usual this year, you’d be right – and wrong.

That’s because what we call gnats are just one type of a species of small, flying bugs called blackflies. But no matter what you call them, University of Wisconsin entomologist Phil Pellitteri says you’re right – they’re worse than usual this year. That’s because different types of blackflies are hatching in staggered waves. But experts are at a loss as to why

“They’re hard to predict,” says Pellitteri. “The only way you can really predict them is if you go and sample the streams and look for the presence of their larvae.”

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Wisconsin’s most common blackflies bite birds, and can make birds sick or die; other than being a nuisance, they’re not a concern for most people. Bug repellents should do the trick, and the hatchings should eventually run their course.