Illinois Extension’s Warning: Beware the Buffalo Gnats

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Champaign, IL – With spring’s arrival, the Illinois Extension has issued a seasonal advisory concerning buffalo gnats, urging the public to take preventive measures. 

According to the University of Illinois Extension, these pests are not just a nuisance but can also pose a health risk due to their painful bites. To mitigate encounters with buffalo gnats, they recommend wearing light-colored clothing, using fans outdoors, and applying insect repellents, specifically mentioning DEET and vanilla as effective deterrents.

Buffalo gnats, identified by their humpbacked appearance, have a life cycle that makes them particularly prevalent near water sources during certain times of the year. The Illinois Extension emphasizes the importance of personal protection over area-wide pesticide application, which is often impractical and can harm aquatic ecosystems. Their guidance aims to educate residents on both the behavior of buffalo gnats and the best practices for coexisting with them during their active seasons.

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