Gnat is the common name for many small, winged insects in the fly grouping. Depending on species, gnats can be biting or nonbiting and will feed on plants, other insects or blood. Females of some species, such as the black gnat or black fly, feed on blood. These gnats have been known to carry parasites and spread diseases to humans and livestock. For some species, males assemble in large mating swarms known as ghosts, which occur most commonly at dusk in large fields and above streets. Depending on the species, gnat eggs are laid on land or water, and the larvae may be immobile or capable of movement by way of rocks and water plants.
• Gnats typically are small and long-legged insects, though some tiny flying insects that many people call “gnats” could really be fruit flies or fungus gnats.
• Gnats often are weak fliers.
• Contrary to popular belief, these insects are not “babies,” they are adults.