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Battling the buffalo gnat



(Source: MSU Extension)

Like many of you, I have had my battles with the dreaded buffalo gnat and lost. These pests make you look like you lost a fight because their bites produce knot-like welts.

For the past few days social media has been packed with various remedies that will make you smell interesting if nothing else. If you can’t find it one on your Facebook feed, Google DIY gnat repellent, and you’ll find recipes using everything from vanilla and peppermint oil to vodka.

For a more tested solution, I reached out to Warren County Extension Service Agent Sandy Havard who was kind enough to provide some guidance from Mississippi State University.

According to the fact sheet she sent, there are a few bright spots. First, buffalo gnats don’t like hot weather, so you can expect these little marauders to disappear within a few weeks.

“People being tormented by buffalo gnats should be encouraged by the fact that the adult flies generally only live 4 to 5 weeks and should go away in hot summer,” the fact sheet states.

Second, they don’t like the indoors, so the easiest way to avoid them is to get inside.

If you must be outside, MSU recommends repellents containing DEET, which have been reported to be effective for humans, but may need to be reapplied frequently. Also, wearing light-colored clothing may help keep the gnats away, as they are attracted to dark-colored clothing.

The fact sheet also provides information on how to protect animals from the biting hoards.

For more information, visit the Extension Service website or call 601-636-5442. Contact them for a wealth of information and services on all kinds of gardening, food, veterinary, health and farm topics. We promise you’ll learn something new.

Ronni Mott contributed to this story.


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