Midge Bites: Symptoms, Treatment, and Home Remedies

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When it comes to insect bites, we often talk about the flea bites or how to treat spider bite but in recent months there seems to be a lot of talk about gnats, a type of fly that, although normally harmless, can be quite annoying if it bites us. We are now talking about Midge bites: symptoms, treatment and home remedies.


What are gnats?

The midges, which usually receive the name of black fly (because they are of this very intense color or also gray), are tiny insects ( barely 3mm ), they looked for them in places or natural environments where there is water nearby for example a stream, a river or a lake, since it is in these types of places that they lay their eggs.

Midges or black flies can live from a few weeks to a few months . They undergo a complete metamorphosis, going through 4 different life stages: from egg to larva, from nymph to adult. Their body when they are adults, is covered with hair and they also have a flight like that of any other insect (Phlebotomidae) of its characteristics, i.e. short parts.

The food of the midges is the same as that of the rest of the sandflies, that is to say that they feed on the nectar or the sugars of the plants, but also on the secretions of the aphids. In the case of females, they also need to feed on blood to produce their eggs, so similarly to mosquitoes, These are the female gnats that bite humans and animals to suck our blood.

Gnat Bites Symptoms Treatment Home Remedies

Midge bites: symptoms

The bite of midges, as usually happens with that of mosquitoes, is usually not noticed or in fact we do not realize it until we have been bitten. Depending on the depth of the sting, it is possible that we only notice that it stings us a little and that’s it without giving it more importance, but normally if we are in the field and we are approaching a stream it is quite possible that we will find some gnats, and that one of them will bite us deeply (even through the clothes), so that once it has bitten us we will notice how the area turns red and itches a lot and can even sting us.

Occasionally, it is possible that with the redness of the bite, it will inflame it is therefore advisable not to scratch at all because the inflammation and pain or itching will increase more and more.

In principle, the midge bite is not dangerous and has an easy treatment that we will see in the following points, but it should also be noted that Sometimes there have been bites from this insect that have caused something more serious and serious called leishmaniasis which are protozoan parasites that can cause three types of disease: leishmaniasis visceral (also known as kala-azar, which is the most severe form of the disease), leishmaniasis cutaneous (most common) and leishmaniasis mucocutaneous. In case of this type of disease, urgent medical attention is necessary.

Midge bites symptoms treatment remedies

Midge bites: treatment

However, for the mildest cases of midge bites, which are usually the most common, the treatment to follow is to relieve and disinfect the bite as soon as it is noticed. For it It is advisable to wash the wound with soap and water.

It is also advisable to go to the doctor to assess the sting and that it is normally necessary to apply a hydrocortisone or calamine lotion directly to help heal and reduce itching. The oatmeal baths and aloe vera can also relieve itching . For persistent sores or ulcers, the doctor can apply other, much more invasive remedies.

Midge bites symptoms treatment home remedies

Midge bites: home remedies

In addition to the treatment that the doctor tells us to follow, the midge bites can be relieved with a few home remedies which in most cases serve more to prevent than to cure. They are the best :

protect your skin

Gnats or black flies can be difficult to repel. The easiest way to avoid bites is protect our skin by wearing sleeves and pants anytime when we are outside. Because they are attracted to dark colors, it’s also a good idea to wear light-colored clothing, such as khaki or white.

protective caps

A particularly annoying habit of black flies is their tendency to invade the face. This happens because they are attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale. A good way to protect your face is to wear a hat with a net attached specially designed to protect the head and neck from gnats.

try pine

Some recommended natural repellents include vanilla extract, lavender, and pine branch extract; simply open a young branch and rub the moisture inside on your skin.

avoid sweets

Avoid wearing smelly perfumes fabric softeners and the consumption of candies or soft drinks outdoors can also help reduce the risk of attracting or being bitten by midges.

use a fan

If you want a truly chemical-free remedy to keep mosquitoes and gnats away, you can use a fan. It works in two ways: makes it difficult for insects to fly into the area and helps eliminate the carbon dioxide that is produced when we exhale.

Apple vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an age-old remedy that many believe helps against mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks. It will suffice apply a tablespoon of vinegar three or four times a day to help your skin protect itself from biting insects.


A clove of garlic a day can help keep insects away. Simply Eat a clove of garlic every day start several days before exposure to mosquitoes and midges is anticipated. For some people, eating garlic can cause the release of a sulfur compound in garlic called allicin. This is what causes the smell of garlic and when the smell is produced by your skin, it helps mask your natural smell. Sure, you’ll keep bugs away, but maybe people too.

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