Black fly

Black fly/biting gnat

Photo credit: Metropolitan Mosquito Control District

According to the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District (MMCD), a new, aggressive species of gnats has been found in areas of Minnesota this spring.

The MMCD crews have been out conducting surveillance and data collection along the Minnesota River over the past week to gather information on the new species and to find out where they are most prevalent.  

The MMCD offers 5 ways to reduce the risk of black fly/gnat bites.

1. Wear light colored clothing. Black flies are attracted to darker colors.

2. Cover as much skin as possible. Wear long sleeves, pants and a hat. Cover head and neck. Black flies do not bite through clothes.

3. Avoid peak feeding times. Black flies are most active during the day especially mid-morning and afternoon.

4. Use insect repellent. Use EPA approved repellents with DEET, picaridin, or lemon oil of eucalyptus.

5. Avoid artificial scents, such as scented shampoos, perfumes, and deodorants. The gnats appear to be attracted to some body and chemical makeups and not others.

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