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Do Gnats Bite?

Picture of Biting Gnats Flying

Do Gnats Bite Humans?

Several flying, biting insects are commonly called gnats. Biting midges, also known as sand flies or no see ums, are the most frequent offenders. Since females need blood to develop their eggs, they will drink from any nearby humans or animals. No larger than the tip of a pen in length, the pests have gray bodies that turn red after feeding.

Symptoms of Gnat Bites

There are a few no see um bite symptoms. You may notice a burning feeling when gnats bite your skin. This initial irritation will fade but eventually results in an itchy bump. You might not see redness or swelling from a no see um bite until minutes or hours later. Because the pests fly in swarms, people often receive many gnat bites at once.

Why Do Gnats Bite

Both male and female gnats feed on plant nectar. In some species, the females also need blood meal to make eggs. That’s why they bite mammals such as livestock, poultry, pets, and humans. When a gnat bites, it uses scissor-like mouth structures to cut the skin.

What Do Gnat Bites Look Like

Gnat bites usually cause tiny, red bumps that are itchy and irritating. Although it’s uncommon, there are some instances where gnat bites may cause a severe allergic reaction. How long do gnat bites last? Gnat bites can be annoying, but the good news is, your symptoms should get better within a few days.  Want to know what to do for gnat bites? That’s an easy one. Apply a cold compress or hydrocortisone cream to soothe any itching. You can also take an antihistamine to reduce irritation.


While it’s unpleasant, a gnat bite isn’t usually a severe medical concern. Anti-itch creams are effective in reducing skin irritation. To prevent infection, gently wash the site of the bite. Seek medical attention if you notice effects more serious than minor itching. Allergic reactions are a rare symptom of no seem um bites, but they can happen.


Gnat swarms on your property or in your backyard can be hard to control. However, there are some simple steps to keep midges out of your house or business and lessen the chance of gnat bites.

  • Install door, patio, and window screens with a smaller-than-average mesh size
  • Use mosquito repellent spray
  • Wear light-colored clothes when outdoors

If you are experiencing an infestation of biting gnats, contact Western Pest Services to consult a professional.

Get gnat control today

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