Attack of the Killer Gnats

Yes, I know they’re midges. If I would have used that word instead, everyone would think this had something to do with teenage girls from the early 60s named Midge that have run amok.

Everyone hates gnats though. My wife and her family call them pecker gnats.

I’ve never asked, nor do I want to know, why.

The gnats from hell started appearing about a week earlier, but for some reason they were only on the north side of the Fox River. Hovering over the fallow fields of corn and soybeans, drifting over the grasses of fields never sown, a day of warming had them appearing out of nowhere it seems.

It took a few more days for this to start happening on the south side of the Fox River. No clue why something like that would happen. The first day they appeared in the neighborhood was no big deal. They looked like puffs of smoke hovering over spots on a few lawns. The next day it was like a plague description right out of the bible. The things were everywhere. Huge swarms of them appeared to want to get into my house.

Luckily storm windows were still down and windows shut tight. It was bad enough to have to walk under them.

A walk around the neighborhood showed that they were everywhere. Breathing was difficult, they would get sucked in with every breath. I’m sure they weren’t burrowing into my skull, but my immediate reaction was to keep scratching my scalp. It was interesting to stop and watch them against the cloudless sky. Wave after wave were dancing in the wind.

The reaction to the gnats on all things social media was fascinating to read. Some residents of Yorkville were in panic mode. Apparently something easy to achieve when residents are clueless about the workings of nature.

Some wanted Yorkville to come out and spray them like they do for mosquitoes. Others were going to run to Menard’s to buy what they could to kill them off. Techniques for spraying around houses to protect themselves were described.

I believe my comment was pretty simple…this happens every year, they’ll be gone in a day or two.

And that they were. The next day they were all pretty much gone. There were a few stragglers floating around, but nothing like the waves of the previous day. A few days later you can see the occasional dozen drifting on the wind, but it’s rare.

The benefit of the hatching of all these gnats is that they brought a big influx of birds into the area. Saw the first robins of the year. Quite a few new songs being sung up in the trees and for some reason the hatch really got the woodpeckers going.

Now that the gnats have been gone for a couple of days I’m sure this bug hatch is pretty much forgotten by people. For some reason you don’t find their little bug bodies covering the ground. Next year the gnats will be back on the first warm days of the year and next year people will panic and freak out about all those horrible bugs.

I have a feeling it might be an even bigger event than this year.

I caught a couple of those hideous creatures already making plans.

12 thoughts on “Attack of the Killer Gnats

    1. Ken G Post author

      It was mentioned it might be the river, but when I first saw them a week ago the river was a good quarter mile away and it was one of those days with 25 mph winds. The north side of the river was better protected. The fields were loaded with them.

  1. Nina G

    Remind me not to stop at your house on the way home/back from spring break. I hate those things and I’d have a mini panic attack. For being such an outdoorsy girl, I really hate those stupid things. Especially that many at once…ew.

    1. Ken G Post author

      They’re just midges, totally harmless. Besides, they’re pretty much gone. Next comes the caddis hatch. I should get you out there sight fishing for carp when that happens.

      Toughen up girl, I didn’t raise you to be no bug sissy.

  2. walt franklin

    We don’t see those things till later in the season, but ours are vicious biters, probably a different species. Call ’em Gnat-zees. Insecta of the Holocaust.

    1. Ken G Post author

      The absolute worse are the deer fly that used to plague us when we’d spend time in Virginia. Damn things drew blood. Thank god we don’t get those.

    1. Ken G Post author

      I got a bunch of them in my eyes. Burned like hell for a few hours. Being just midges, they’re pretty harmless, though annoying.

  3. bob

    The reaction to the gnats on all things social media was fascinating to read. Some residents of Yorkville were in panic mode.

    “Apparently something easy to achieve when residents are clueless about the workings of nature. ”

    LOL LOL LOL great line

    1. Ken G Post author

      Ran into another big hatch of them today, but only on the north side of the river. Seems to be happening in waves. Odd indeed.

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