Now that the weather has warmed up from our seemingly endless winter, and extremely wet spring, I think we all want to get outdoors, but it seems to be rather unpleasant with these biting pests buzzing around. It was less than a week ago that Southern Minnesota had a run-away buffalo roaming around. Now if you are heading outdoors you'll still have to keep an eye out for buffalo...gnats. 

According to the Illinois Department of Health website, the Buffalo Gnat a form of black fly, that "are small dark flies that typically appear in late spring and early summer when they swarm and bite birds and mammals, including domestic animals and people."

Like mosquitos, these flying bloodsuckers are attracted to the carbon dioxide that we exhale, also to "perspiration, fragrances and dark, moving objects" according to the department of health. 

Due to the longer than normal winter, and extremely wet and cool spring the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District got behind in treating the black fly larvae and because of that we now have a larger adult people biting Buffalo Gnat population.

Want to avoid the bites? It's recommended that you:

  • Wear dark clothes with long sleeves and secure your pants at the ankles.
  • Wear a hat with mosquito netting that protects the face.
  • Use insect repellent with DEET or...
  • Natural repellents that contain vanilla, lavender, pine branch, and lemon extracts work for some.