How to Treat Gnat Bites

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The insects that we commonly refer to as “gnats” come in many varieties. Some gnats do not bite humans. Others bite and suck our blood. These biting gnats, also known as black flies and midges, have anticoagulants in their saliva that stop our blood from clotting. For some individuals, these gnat bites are only mildly irritating. Others, however, experience severe swelling and itching.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Antiseptic
  • Cotton balls
  • Anti-itch cream

Avoid scratching the bite, even if it itches a lot. Scratching the bite increases your chance of developing an infection.

Wash the affected area with warm, soapy water.

Soak a cotton ball in antiseptic and swab the bite. Although rare, gnats can transmit bacteria, especially in areas outside of North America.

Apply an anti-itch cream to the bite. Follow the instructions on the product’s label.

Tips & Warnings

  • Prevent gnat bites by applying an insect repellent and by avoiding gnat-infested areas.
  • See a doctor immediately if you experience difficulty breathing, if you feel nauseated or if you develop hives. These are signs of an allergic reaction and must be treated promptly.
  • See a doctor immediately if the bite area becomes pus-filled or if you develop a fever. These are signs of infection, and you may require antibiotics.

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