I remember when we had what was a rather heavy snowfall for this area. I had cabin fever, even at work. I left the office and trekked through the snow to my car to eat my lunch.
Heck, I thought gnats 'died out' or went dormant in the winter. I learned differently. Peeping through a small space in the windshield not yet covered with snow, I saw a multitude of gnats. All were swarming erratically as if trying to break through the glass to get to me. I felt as though I was a cast member in Alfred Hitchcock's film 'The Birds'.
I went back inside and to the cafeteria, for coffee. There, the gnats began gnawing at my temples and ears. Three people who saw me swatting feverishly, inquired of my strange behavior. I said "These gnats are driving me crazy". "What gnats? I don't see any gnats. Probably your imagination. Maybe your hair is tickling your ears. I don't see any gnats".
After finishing my coffee, I went to the waste bin to toss in my paper cup. Upon lifting the lid, out swarmed a hoard of gnats. To those standing by, I said, "Look, gnats. Do you see all these gnats"? One replied, "Yeah. So?"
Every time I shop at Walmart, I feel like a pariah. It seems I'm the only one among 2-3 hundred shoppers with this vile affliction. While mid-store, I see a throng before me. All have rather complacent smiles on their faces. But not me. If there is just one gnat in Walmart, it will seek out and find me. It happens every time. No complacent smile for me. Just a grimace and a swat, swat, swat. Though in pain, I try my best to subdue the swatting, lest other shoppers think me quite spastic.
I have indoor plants. Gnats dwell in the soil of these plants. While I do what I can to keep the population down, it takes just one gnat to cause pain and extreme irritability. I have been 'bitten' so many times, my ears have become sore. I will not give up my house plants because of these insects. If my home was void of plants, gnats would still enter every time I open a door. I have resorted to wearing a fusible hair net to cover my ears. Not to be outdone, the gnats then head for my face, relishing my eyebrows. A thick layer of solid deodorant on the brows repels them to a degree.
I realize the ear area, particularly the temple, is a 'pulse point'. Even so, I doubt the heat emitted from this area is the sole attractant to the gnat. I think there's more. But what?
Our bodies contain remnant information of a time when we were quite different from what we are today. These remnants have the necessary information to cause our skin to grow scale like formations, not unlike a fish. Fortunately, for the vast majority of us, this information never turns into a 'playable' program. When it does, it's called ichthyosis vulgaris.
The same with tails. Actually, it is not an extremely rare incident when a baby is born with extra spinal segments. In most cases, the baby is quite healthy and the extra vertebrae are surgically removed. Again, we are fortunate. The program could play to it's fullest extent, and we all could be walking around with, or swinging from a limb by, a tail.
What keeps the program for us to grow tails, suppressed, is a mystery. I can deal with that. But, with some of the gruesome forms of body modification to be seen on the web; I'm sure there are those who would love to parade around with a six foot appendage permanently posited midpoint of their posterior.
Here's the connection:
The bull elephant has glands in the temporal region. They emit a substance called 'must/musth'. This substance is emitted during the rutting season. I've often wondered if there is a remnant of something like the 'must gland program' in our bodies. There could be, and it could be more pronounced in some.
My temporal region is emitting something which attracts gnats. It is not heat. The area is the gnats first choice. They will go to other, warmer parts of my body only if they can't get to the temples. Maybe I emit a pheromone like substance detectable only by gnats.
What would it take to find what is being emitted from my temples that attracts gnats to a ridiculous degree? Swab/culture? Gas spectrometer? Other? Maybe the procedure or analytic equipment is so sophisticated, it hasn't been invented, yet.
Oh, but when it is! If whatever that substance is, could be synthesized and bottled, I would gain patent rights and do quite well for myself. But then, with my luck, it's probably not a 'substance' at all. Our bodies also emit 'frequencies' of different levels. Perhaps, radiating from my temples is a frequency that says to the gnat, 'Here is what you want. Here is what you need. Come. Feast. Show no mercy. Eat the man alive'. I doubt I could patent a frequency, though. Maybe I could invent a device to 'scramble' the frequency. (I jest).
I'm not ignorant enough to believe I'm the only one with this problem. Others just haven't spoken up. Or, maybe some have. In any case, the best I can offer as a tip is protecting the temporal area with a fusible hair net. They are extremely light weight, and breathe. I got a hundred from Amazon (maybe eBay, I forgot), for about $6.00.
When they then attack the eyebrows, I apply a thick layer of solid deodorant. This should work unless your brow area is sensitive to the deodorant.
Not to be outdone, if the gnat can't access your temples or brows, it then will go for the eyes. Sadly, in this case, my only recourse has been to take the net from my head and place it on my face, making sure the ears are covered, as well. Granted, this drastic measure is rather immobilizing. You can see through the net, but everything is a blur. I've tried cutting out some eye holes, but haven't yet figured out how to keep the holes positioned over my eyes. I'm working on it. I will succeed.
Years ago, I did get a little tube of repellent from Avon. It helped some, but you shouldn't put it near your eyes. When the 'Avon lady' told me the small tube would be $8.00, I screamed, EIGHT DOLLARS! She replied with a smile "Yes, just eight dollars. The regular price is twelve. We're giving you a discount because you're a first time customer". Twenty years later, I hate to think what that little tube would cost, now.
There are several species of a most handsome, tiny bird, the Gnatcatcher. Cuter than a canary, more charming than a chickadee. Perhaps I could learn their lifestyles and make my home and surrounding area attractive to them. Yes, that's it! I could raise huge flocks of them. I can just see them now. Hundreds darting everywhere, gulping down every gnat in sight. Peace at last. Thank you, my sweet feathered friends.
Doug, you're dreaming. Finish this post and submit it while you still have a scruple of sanity. A tiny scruple the gnats will steal away, given half a chance.
Ouch! They've started.
Electrifying my body with a tens unit had no effect on the gnats. I think they got a 'buzz' off the juice.
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Where do I start? Your comment is very very long and referring to our evolutionary traits might have lost most of us as readers. Gnats are not attracted to ears and temples...just food.
If you are seeing gnats and no one else is, I urge you to seek some kind of professional help. You may have a chemical imbalance that causes some sort of mild hallucinations.
While I am no doctor, your post gives me some clues that you may be overthinking this a bit...or a lot. I hope you see someone. Good luck.
When you don't want to tell a lie, but are required to give an answer, tell the truth in such a way it sounds like a lie. Then, when the stuff hits the fan you can say 'I told you the truth and you didn't believe me.
Most readers know me and my style, by now. We do have a bit of fun. Then, there are the slower ones.
What is interesting or noteworthy about being 'bitten' on the ear by a gnat? 'Nothing' is correct'. So, I dramatized the content of this post. Understand... I dramatized the truth, I did not exaggerate it.
If a gnat is in close proximity to your eyes, you just might see it, while others at a short distance probably wont. That's why millions of people refer to them as no- see-ums.
I know a lady who is being eaten alive by gnats. They have caused large sores all over her legs. I live in the same building. Not a single gnat bite.
Why is it some people are "targeted?" I have no idea. It's the same with mosquitos. Some will walk through a cloud and come out with a bite or two. Others will not have any unbitten skin left showing. Is it in the blood? A pheromone?
I wish I could answer you questions. All I can tell you for now is, while a lot of research has been done and is being done, at present, we don't know for sure humans don't emit pheromones.
We do know the female fungus gnat emits a pheromone attractive to the male gnat. From an abstract published by The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (Nov. 19, 2015), in short: 'A single, behaviorally-active pheromone component was isolated and characterized by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry'.
I think one could safely assume gnats are not only attracted to food, but to the gnat pheromone, as well. Do I emit a substance similar to the fungus gnat pheromone? For now, I will not rule out that possibility.
I believe you. If mosquitoes can have preferences, so can gnats. I have a suggestion. Repellent that you can make yourself. I've made repellent many times over the years and they do work. Not just on myself but friends and family. I'm giving you a simple recipe and if that doesn't work, a stronger one. And no. you can't spray around the eyes but hopefully they won't come that close.
small spray bottle, dark glass if possible
½ cup distilled water
1 tablespoon alcohol
6-10 drops essential oil: use any of these alone or any combination lemongrass, any mint, lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, tea tree, neem, geranium, and litsea cubeba. A favorite is a mixture of lavender and litsea cubeba. It smells like lemon and bugs hate it! Pour the alcohol into the spray bottle. Add the essential oils and shake well. Add water, leaving enough room at the top so it will mix when you shake it. If you use a large spray bottle, ingredients can be doubled or tripled. Shake well before each use. Spray lightly on body
Bigger, Better Spray:
2 tablespoons of one or a combination of the following: witch hazel or grain alcohol
2 tablespoons of one or a combination of the following: grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, or neem oil (which contains natural insecticidal compounds)
½ teaspoon grain alcohol as preservative
100-110 drops essential oils:
55 drops lemon eucalyptus (reported by the CDC to be a good natural substitution for DEET in repelling insects, but not recommended for use on children under 3 yrs.)
15 drops cedarwood
15 drops lavender
15 drops rosemary
Add carrier liquids to small spray bottle (3 or 4 oz. works well so there is room for shaking). Add essential oils. Shake well before each use. Natural bug repellent will need to be reapplied every few hours for maximum effectiveness.
Other Bug-Repelling Essential Oils:
I personally have found that lemon eucalyptus works best and it's easy to find. You don't have to use the exact recipe - mix and match. See what works for you. You can find essential oils at Mountain Rose Herbs, Amazon, or your local health store like Super Supplements or whatever is near you.
Doug, I do hope this helps.
I can totally relate and unfortunately can offer no help other than safety glasses that completely surround your eyes. They make them but not sure how common they are. They also sell a net that goes over your entire head. Walmart sells them for no-seems ums in camping section.
To the guy saying see a shrink... Its jerks like you who are lucky enough to not be bothered by insects but who ruin any chance of us getting help because your mind is so closed off that you assume we are crazy and can't see past that. Just because you can't relate, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. In the future, just read and move on without commenting please. I pray that someday a doctor or someone who can relate, will take the time and come up with a cure so to speak. That would be life changing for many people afraid to speak up in fear of being labeled crazy by close minded judgemental snobs. We deserve a life outdoors too!
Anyway, thanks for the article.
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