Those voracious "bugs" that make outdoor work and play a challenge since the flood have resulted in a lot of comments and questions. The number is up this because of all the water and decaying vegetation, says Ed Borter, a veterinarian from Odon. He, like others locally, has recently treated a number of dogs that look like they have numerous gnat bites, especially around the ears.
The common offenders are "midges," also known as sandflies. They look like tiny flies that hover around your face and have a nasty bite.
Midges look like tiny flies, and are blood suckers, so they are attracted to warm-blooded animals (including us) by their respiration.
This is why they get sucked into the mouth and nose. The fungus gnats don't bite as much, but the numerous swarms are a pesky nuisance.
As things dry up, numbers should diminish, hopefully within two weeks.
Meanwhile, here are some tips that may be worth a try if you are spending time out of doors, though there are no guarantees!
* Use Avon Skin So Soft. Note - as this makes your hands greasy, wash after applying or blot on cloth or a nearby pet (this product is said to relieve annoyance on horses and dogs for the short term).
* Apply a thin layer of Vicks to the brim of a hat you are wearing. Remember not to apply to your forehead as sweat will make it run in your eyes. Be sure to wash hands after applying.
* Original Listerine may be sprayed on exposed skin. Do not swallow or spray in eyes.
* Construction crews in the area report using a mixture of vanilla extract and water in a similar way effectively.
* Stuff dryer sheets in your clothing. Some have good results rubbing these sheets on the skin.
Commercial repellants aren't working so well because the pests don't bite every time, as mosquitos do. Excluding them from touching you is the best way.
The most common example is to use netting covers over the hat to the collar. Outdoor foggers may help for a short time, but are like a drop in the bucket. Dry weather is our best hope for a big reduction in the number of flying foes.
Information provided by Purdue Extension