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Last edited 11 Jan 2021
Gnats in the built environment
While we frequently use the word “gnats” to refer to small winged bugs (such as stinging midges, punkies, and no see ums), true infection gnats are small non-biting bugs that are attracted to wet, spoiled organic matter where they lay their eggs. In general, they are relatively safe animals, but their constant crowding is frustrating enough to drive gardeners into the house.
Gnats can be difficult to control, because the problem may go beyond property lines and may travel from a nearby pond, and some parts of the world seem to be flooded with gnats during the hotter months.
However, there are a number of ways to make your garden less welcoming to gnats:
- Keep your lawn free of infection and decaying plant waste. Pay particular attention to places with poor air flow. Put your garden rich compost as far from the house as you can, cover waste containers, and clear up any dropped waste.
- Change the ground to improve water flow and drainage.
- Rake or turn compost to allow sodden, mouldy layers to dry out.
- Do not over water, and allow enough time between watering for the top part of ground to dry out.
- Water in the morning to prevent over-night fungus growth.
- Make sure there is no standing water in gutters, drainage or low areas.
- Keep birdbaths and other features clean.
- If lawns still have naturally wet places, top dress the ground with fine sand, to prevent gnats looking for wet ground.
- Use salt lights at night.
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