Bothered by bugs: swarms of gnats a common annoyance - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Bothered by bugs: swarms of gnats a common annoyance across state


If you're annoyed with swarms of bugs, you're not alone.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said gnats don't pose a serious health risk, but they can be annoying.

"You know, you're swatting with one hand, mowing with the other and you know, it can be distracting," said Larry Haurum of Waterloo.

Haurum spent Friday afternoon doing yard work, but said he was too busy to let the bugs get the best of him.

"I guess they'd bother me if I wasn't busy," he said.

Haurum's not alone.

Lori Eberhard, park manager at George Wyth State Park, said gnats and mosquitoes are bad this year, particularly because of all the flooding.

"Last year we didn't have them because we had relatively dry weather which that's a bonus, but it's nice to have water back in the lakes and everything. But along with that comes more bugs," she said.

Eberhard said gnats and mosquitoes are related, but gnats don't pose any serious health risks.

"Gnats are there and just pretty much are annoying is what happens where the mosquitoes will actually bite you and take a little bit of blood," said Eberhard.

She said the pests are prevalent in the morning and at dusk, and especially in warm weather.

"Be prepared to have little pests just kind of flying around your head and you swatting away the summer," she said.

Eberhard said gnats are attracted to sweet smells, so she recommends folks avoid sweet-smelling soaps, perfumes and lotions.

"There's all different things that people will try, but I can't say that there's an absolute solution. I think for some people it's just their body smell," she said.

She said some people are just more prone to getting bothered by the bugs.

Eberhard said birds and bats eat the mosquitoes and gnats, and that when the weather dries out, folks can anticipate fewer swarms of them.

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