Just because something is small, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a giant pain. Gnats are extremely small flying insects that gather in swarms. Gnats are often believed to be baby flies, but that is inaccurate. The word “gnat” can refer to any number of tiny flying insects, but all uses of the term describe full grown insects.
Gnats are attracted to moisture and sweet smelling things, so a big part of the fight to keep gnats out of your home is cleanliness. Taking out the trash. Cleaning up spilled juices. Throwing away uneaten food, especially fruit. All of these things can make your house a less appealing target for gnats. If you are noticing a few gnats around your house, bug lights are an effective trap for most flying insects. Bear in mind, however, that bug lights are non-discriminating and will also kill beneficial flying insects you might have otherwise left in peace.
Most varieties of gnats are entirely harmless to humans, and are more of a nuisance and source of disgust than a risk. Gnats eating one piece of rotten fruit in your pantry are likely to buzz around and land in other food items, ruining them. There are worse varieties of gnats though. Certain gnats that are attracted to moisture have been known to fly into human eyes. Even worse, some gnats bite humans. Although gnats are not currently a vector of any known diseases in the US, they do carry the capacity for it. Worse, because gnats almost exclusively swarm, a bite from one is likely to be followed by many others. These bites can be painful and itchy, although probably no worse than that unless you have a severe allergic reaction.
If you’re noticing swarms of gnats inside your home, it’s probably a good idea to bring in an expert. Treatments to eradicate fully grown gnats often miss the eggs and larvae that will prevent reinfestation. Gnats have been nicknamed “noseeums” in some parts of the country. Make sure that the reason you don’t see ‘em is that they’re gone for good.