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.