Gnats are small, winged insects. They are part of the Culicoidea family. There are many different kinds of gnats. Some feed on insects or dead animals. Others rely heavily on their sense of smell.
Biting gnats are most common in areas where water is plentiful. Although biting gnats are not known to carry many diseases, there are some that can. One of these is onchocerciasis, a parasitic nematode worm. When biting gnats bite humans, the bite can cause infection if the person scratches the wound. It’s best to let a doctor know if you have been bitten, especially if you experience any symptoms. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics or a special medicine to help treat the infection.
While biting gnats do not carry diseases, some gnats can pass bacteria from dead animals or rotten food onto humans. For this reason, if you are traveling abroad, it is best to wear long pants, cover your arms, and don’t let any animal live near you. Other precautions include using bug spray and wearing clothing that covers your skin.
The type of gnat that you get bitten by can affect the type of symptoms you develop. Some gnats can be painful, while others are mild. Symptoms can include itching, swelling, and redness. If your gnat bite causes pain, you may want to use ice packs. You can also ask a doctor to prescribe anti-itch medicines.
In some cases, a gnat may be allergic to a specific person, making him or her extremely uncomfortable. It’s important to tell your adult caretaker if you have any of these symptoms. If you feel your symptoms are severe, go to the emergency room. Many times, the reaction will subside over a few days. However, if you have an intense reaction, it may turn into a blister filled with pus. Whether you have an allergic reaction or not, a gnat bite can be very painful.
In addition to itching, gnat bites can cause inflammation. Your body produces a chemical called histamine that triggers the inflammation. Using an insect repellent can reduce gnat bites, though you can’t completely avoid them. Wearing a hat can help protect your face from gnats. Also, make sure you don’t eat rotten foods. Even if the bite isn’t painful, you can still become infected with bacteria from the gnat’s saliva.
Several gnats, like the biting gnat, can spread conjunctivitis to humans and livestock. This disease is commonly associated with the eye gnat. These gnats have four cutters inside their mouths, which they use to cut open skin. They then suck blood from the affected area. Because it takes a lot of blood to form viable eggs, female gnats need a substantial meal before they lay their eggs.
Biting gnats are not commonly carried by other types of flies. However, some species are known to be vectors for certain viruses in Europe and North Africa. Additionally, the sandfly is a concern for leishmaniasis in South and Central Asia.