Gnats continue to bug South Georgians

Gnats continue to bug South Georgians
Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 7:23 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 19, 2022 at 7:28 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -Now that it’s summertime, the heat has been annoying, but just as bothersome this time of year can be gnats.

Nancy Hinkle, Entomologist at the University of Georgia, said they are bothersome because they are generally gravitated toward parts of the body that produce odors.

“They’ll try to get in your ears. They like the smell of warm wax. They’ll try to get up your nose, they like the mucus coming from your nose. And they’ll to get in your mouth if you open your mouth,” Hinkle said.

The ones in South Georgia are called “eye-gnats” because they are attracted to eyes too.

Hinkle said it’s almost impossible to avoid them.

“There is nothing you can do to get away from eye gnats and still live in Georgia,” Hinkle said.

Hinkle added that sprays can help at moments, but are useless. She said one way is having a fan with a steady flow of air. For example, a fan or A/C.

Airflow is something that boaters know first hand.

Boaters enjoy a Sunday on the water.
Boaters enjoy a Sunday on the water.(WALB)

“The breeze on the boat washed away all the gnats. I’d rather be on the boat with gnats than on land with the gnats,” Alex Davis, an Albany boater said.

Davis said she doesn’t let the gnats stop her from enjoying her Sunday even when she’s not boating.

“I’ve lived with them all my life and I’m 30 years old,” Davis added.

Boaters enjoy a Sunday on the water.
Boaters enjoy a Sunday on the water.(WALB)

On Sunday, the gnats weren’t that bad. From a combination of lower humidity and wind, gnats were tamer. WALB First Alert Weather team is not expecting that to last much longer.

Nancy Hinkle said there is a distinct “gnat line” that translates to gnats south of a line from Columbus through Macon to about Augusta.

She said gnats are never worse one year compared to the next. They just may come early because of a warmer or wetter winter.

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