Gnats: FAQs in Repelling These Tiny Insects in the Fall

Gnats are swarming insects. They annoy residents and even pets. These insects are often in the garden, but they can enter the house through holes, cracks, doors, or windows. Gnats like to be in and around rotten fruits, trash cans, and other moist, decomposing matter.

Why do gnats enter your home?

A gnat in the garden
A gnat in the garden

Gnats like musty and warm environments. They also like to stay near stagnant water, over-ripe fruits, and plants. Moist soil is ideal for them. Drains and faulty pipes cause wastes to collect in the drains and soil. These are good breeding areas for these insects. If you leave vegetables and fruits uncovered, they will congregate there as well.

What do gnat bites look like?

Bites from gnats look like mosquito bites
Bites from gnats look like mosquito bites

The bites from these insects look like mosquito bites. The traits of gnat bites are brought about by the insect’s saliva. The small bumps are red, swollen, itchy, red, and small. In some people, there is bleeding in the bite area. The bumps will eventually turn into fluid-filled blisters.

What are the home treatments for gnat bites?

You can treat your gnat bites in the comfort of your own home. You should feel better after a few days of treatment.

Cold compress

This helps ease swelling and irritation. You can:

  • Soak a towel or cloth soaked in cold water
  • Get a bag of frozen vegetables. Just wrap a moist cloth around it before applying it to the affected area.
  • Get an ice pack and wrap it in a moist towel.
  • Get some ice cubes and place them in a plastic bag. You can then wrap the bag in a moist towel.

Applying the cold compress for 10 minutes at a time many times a day will give the most optimal results. Do not apply ice on your skin directly.

Clean, cool water and soap

These bites are red, itchy, and sometimes painful
These bites are red, itchy, and sometimes painful

Washing the bites with cool water and mild soap will help relieve the bite. It also helps clean and soothe the area. Pat the areas to dry them. Rubbing the bites can worsen the symptoms.

Anti-itch creams

You can apply some hydrocortisone ointment or cream. This topical medication contains corticosteroids. Read the directions carefully.


Placing antihistamine cream on a gnat bite
Placing antihistamine cream on a gnat bite

These medications treat allergic areas. It reduces swelling and irritation. You can buy them over-the-counter.

Elevation of the affected area

Getting bit by gnats on the legs or arms will swell up. Elevating the area will move the blood away from the area. This decreases the swelling.

How do I know if I need medical attention?

Sometimes, gnats can leave you with more than just a bite. You should see a doctor if you experience the following:

  • The symptoms do not go away in two weeks
  • The bites are around the eyes and mouth
  • The bite is infected (pus)
Infected gnat bites
Infected gnat bites

The doctor may recommend cream or ointment depending on your symptoms. In rare cases, gnat bites can trigger life-threatening allergic reactions (anaphylaxis). This needs emergency attention. Call 911 if you experience the following;

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen eyelids, throat or lips
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness

How do I prevent gnats from biting me?

The following tips will reduce your risk of getting bitten by gnats:

Stay away from bodies of water

Limits or avoid spending too much time in these areas. Gnats thrive near streams, marshes, ponds, and swamps,

Cover your exposed skin

Gnats often target the face. But they can still bite exposed skin. Wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outside is helpful.

Wear light clothing

Dark colors can attract some gnats. Light blue somehow repels them.

Spray or apply insect repellent

Spraying DEET-based repellent
Spraying DEET-based repellent

If you are outside, apply sunscreen and then a DEET-based insect repellent to your exposed skin. You can also choose lemon eucalyptus instead of DEET-based repellent.

Wear closed shoes

Closed shoes can protect your feet from gnat bites.

Refrain from using scented products

Scented shampoo and even perfume can attract gnats and other insects.

Install window screens

Mesh screens can help protect your home from gnats. Install them in your doors and windows. Floor and ceiling fans can help keep them away.

Woman installing a window screen to repell gnats
Woman installing a window screen to repel gnats

Dealing with gnats can be tedious, but it is always possible to repel them. Even if the fall, it is important to repel these biting insects. Gnat bites often lead to infection if not treated immediately. Small changes in the home and in wardrobe choices can help make you undesirable to these insects.