Controlling Buffalo Gnats/Bull Gnats

  
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Brody

The best things- come in little- packages
 
 
Purred: Thu May 15, '08 1:23pm PST 
I've heard these been called either buffalo gnats or bull gnats. They are little gnats that bite - it hurts and itches afterwards.

This question is actually in regard to a community garden that we are trying to keep as organic as possible (though not certified). The problem in though, that the area is infested with these biting gnats, and it makes working in the garden miserable.

Does anyone have any idea how to control them? They fly around - kind of like mosquitos, but they are out like all the time. I don't think they are doing anything to the plants, but they are definitely chewing up the humans.

Brody

The best things- come in little- packages
 
 
Purred: Fri May 16, '08 10:55am PST 
I found some documents about them yesterday, and pretty much said that there is absolutely nothing you can do about them, and even bug spray with deet might not deter them from biting. They'll die off once river/stream temps reach 66 degrees.

So, I think I'm staying out of the garden for a while. These things made it into my friends' clothes and everything.

Kolbe

Where can I run- today?
 
 
Purred: Fri May 16, '08 11:43am PST 
Yikes - can you tell me what regions of the US these are found in? I don't remember anything like that in Maryland, and there's not a ton of bugs here in Western New York.


Brody

The best things- come in little- packages
 
 
Purred: Fri May 16, '08 7:17pm PST 
From the articles I read, I saw they were mentioned in Oklahoma (where I am), Texas, Illinois, Upstate New York, and in Canada. Not sure where else.

I didn't even know about them until last year. I sometimes work at a field site in a community about an hour from where I live, and that's where our community garden is. They aren't a huge problem where I live, but there is a river that runs through the area where I work, and they are rampant there.

In the articles I was reading, it was saying that it can cause deaths in animals, and can cause toxemia and anaphylactic shock in humans. Crazy huh?

Dutch

Hey, Big Dog!
 
 
Purred: Sat May 17, '08 4:20pm PST 
I really dug around on this one and here's what I've come up with. Black flies/Buffalo Gnats can not be controlled. They are born around flowing water, feed there and reproduce there. The only thing that people can do is use repellant on themselves. I'll keep digging though.

Kolbe

Where can I run- today?
 
 
Purred: Sun May 18, '08 4:22pm PST 
Oh!! As soon as Dutch said "black flies" I knew exactly what you were talking about (looked up pictures too). I had no idea they even bit!! We have them in MD and here too... annoying suckers. Last year we had an infestation of them in our garage - we save all of our beer and malt bottles to return to the store and I guess they were attracted to the little drops of alcohol still left in the bottles. Needless to say we thoroughly rinse them all now. Eugh.

Dutch

Hey, Big Dog!
 
 
Purred: Mon May 19, '08 8:08am PST 
I've seen a bit of information about how they are repelled by the smell of vanilla. Google "black fly vanilla" and you'll get quite a few links of people who swear by it and some recipes.

We have had biting type flies before, but I use 100% organic Rid-Max fly traps and now we're pretty fly free. Link. You would have to figure out what to use for bait.

Brody

The best things- come in little- packages
 
 
Purred: Mon May 19, '08 11:22am PST 
Hey - that's interesting about the vanilla Dutch! My friend is the one organizing the garden and she HAS to be there at least a few times a week. I feel so bad for her because she has been getting attacked. I'll tell her to try the vanilla.

I wonder if its an Oklahoma think to call them buffalo gnats?

Dutch

Hey, Big Dog!
 
 
Purred: Tue May 20, '08 3:22pm PST 
Isn't Oklahoma where the deer and the antelope play?

Brody

The best things- come in little- packages
 
 
Purred: Wed May 21, '08 8:54am PST 
Isn't that Home Home on the Range?

Oklahoma is where the wind comes sweeping down the plains big laughlaugh out loud

My friend was really excited about the vanilla possibilities. She actually got a full body suit that covers her head and her face (like a bee-keeping suit) so she can work in the garden. Isn't that sad? I feel sorry for her.

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