Why Do Gnats Fly In Your Face? How To Stop It From Happening

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Oct 06, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Oct 11, 2021
Flies insect and mosquito bites in spring and summer.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 12.1 Min

So many mini winged mites, very much alike to those fruit flies, can come into your home. 

Mostly moisture and salt attract a gnat, which is mostly found in sweat and tears. They further get attracted by bad breath and by the carbon dioxide that people exhale, which is the primary reason why gnats fly in your face. 

Gnats are tiny flies that can be found worldwide both indoors and outdoors. They get captivated by smell, luster, and moisture, and they make a high-pitched buzzing sound.

Their population generally remains higher in warmer climates, and they are hardly 1/8 in (0.31 cm) in size. These insects are much more irritating than harmful; however, they can spread disease and illness. Improving your daily hygiene routines can help you to keep gnats away from flooding your head.

Read on this article to find answers to why gnats fly in your face on a hot day. After reading these answers, you may also read about why fireflies glow and why flies exist.

How to get rid of gnats flying in your face?

The answer to the question of how to keep fungus gnats or other flying insects away from your face is quite simple. There are various ways to get rid of gnats flying in your face spontaneously.

These are through the use of Apple cider vinegar, drops of dish soap, cooking oil or cooking spray, vanilla extract, and herbs and spices powder.

When apple cider vinegar and soap are mixed together, it gives a very appealing smell to attract the gnats towards them.

Gnats fly automatically towards the mixture, instead of your face due to the strong, attractive smell of the vinegar and the soap. As soon as they sit on the surface of the liquid, they get trapped, and can no longer escape.

So, you can implement this technique no matter wherever you might go or travel, by keeping by your side some amount of apple cider vinegar and a few chunks of soap and mix them well in a bowl and set them near to the ground or a table.

Another one is cooking oil. Gnats are repulsive by the smell of cooking oil. Cooking oil can be olive oil or coconut oil or vegetable oil.

This is a great advantage to get rid of gnats flying in your face. You can use small amounts of cooking oil on your neck to your forehead and behind the ears, which repels the gnats. Moreover to prevent yourself from gnats' bite you can use this oil over your arms and legs as well.

The vanilla extract works likewise as the cooking oil does. Gnats repel the smell of vanilla, so you can dab a little amount of vanilla extract onto your neck, on your forehead, and towards the back of your ears. These gnats will vanish within a few minutes.

Another is sprinkling herbs or spices powder. It is a great way to keep away these gnats. Spices like pepper, cinnamon, garlic keep these gnats away from your face.

To get rid of gnats, you should always avoid using products such as lotions, perfumes, or any such body sprays that have a fruity smell.

The reason for this is that gnats are highly attracted to the sweet scents of fruity smell, and the rest can be managed with a hat, sunglasses, or a natural repellent, to avoid gnats from your face.

You should always try to avoid traveling during humid days, because, humid and warm climate with no breeze increases the chances of more gnats, the reason is these pesky insects hover over moisture, so always try to make trips or outing plans on a cloudy and windy day. 

Why do gnats always fly in your face?

Gnats are nothing but annoying tiny pests. These pests can be fungus gnats, buffalo gnats, or black gnats. No matter what you name them and will appear when you least expect them.

Gnats or flies are mostly attracted to fruity smells or sweet smells.

So, if you’re looking for the answer to, 'why do gnats fly around me? ', then most probably the answer is the soap, perfumes, lotions, shampoos, or any other kind of hair spray, the laundry detergent that you might be using.

These products contain flower-like smells or fruit-like smells, to which these pests are attracted.

Another major factor to attract these tiny flies around you can be your body heat, the smell of your mouth or it can be your tears from your eyes as well because these pests are in search of moisture and odor.

This is the reason why gnats fly up your nose, why because the carbon dioxide that you exhale attracts these little flies to hover around your nose.

These flies are also attracted towards the lacrimal secretions from the eyes, so, these tiny flies will keep flying around your eyes and can spread the bacteria that can cause conjunctivitis.

The gnats which have the tendency to get into your ears are basically classified as fungus gnats. Fungus gnats are minute black flies that tend to lay eggs in or around moist plant soil. These pesky insects are most likely to increase rapidly in heavily watered gardens and become a major reason for nuisance inside your homes. 

If you do not have a garden these tiny flies can still penetrate into your home, because all they need to multiply is a source of moisture, and it wouldn’t be hard to find sufficient moisture inside your home. 

Fungus gnats can also prefer to settle in areas having standing water, such as near sinks, toilets, showers, or beverage containers that might have few drops of liquid in them.

These gnats can also be found in abundance near sources of organic material, such as mulch, compost, that is why they can be evidently spotted in a cluster around trash cans or dumpsters.

Thus they can easily enter your house and can hover around your nose, mouth, head, or ears and it is a very common phenomenon.

Gnats are attracted to the carbon dioxide you exhale and to your facial orifices.

When the moisture level in and around your house (especially in your garden area) becomes relatively high, these fungus gnats increase rapidly and are attracted towards your facial orifices that are intolerable for them to handle, and therefore they can enter your ears or mouth or nose.

Thus you ca end up getting infections in your ears which can cause pain.

So, you should always try to avoid moist areas in and around your house and you should always clean your ears as well so that these pesky insects do not get attracted to your ears and can not cause you harm.

You can also use pest control to get rid of these gnats.

How can you prevent yourself from such bites?

Not every fly or insect can bite an animal or a human being, why? Because not every fungus gnat has the type of mouthparts that can allow them to bite you, they seldom have the ability to penetrate your skin.

Though not every fungus gnat can bite, there are gnats that can bite. Biting gnats are generally very small.

Female gnats are generally in need of blood because they grow their eggs from this sucked blood,  so, these female gnats generally have the ability to suck blood from any nearby human or animal.

Bites can occur on any exposed or uncovered skin area like on the head, neck portion, forearms, hands, legs, face, or feet. Since moist skin is most likely to remain exposed in these areas, female gnats can suck your blood from these exposed areas, without letting you know that an insect is biting you and sucking your blood.

On the other hand, male gnats feed themselves on plant nectar, therefore, these annoying insects do not bite. Symptoms of these pest bites are not quickly noticeable or can be known as it is felt when a mosquito bites you.

Symptoms of such gnats bites are visible after some time, and you can feel itchiness in your skin which afterward gives redness and swelling at the place on the skin where gnats bite.

You might be wondering now, 'why is it itching?

', the reason being the host’s reaction to Coumadin elements that enables gnats to take blood from your body without blood coagulating. If you rapidly keep on scratching your skin on the affected area, it leads to open sores that become susceptible to bacterial infections.

In some cases these bites get exposed to major bacterial infections, so to avoid getting it worse, sometimes it is required that you consult a dermatologist. These pest gnats are also known to spread the disease called River Blindness in some parts of Africa and to some tropical regions of the world.

These pesky flies can even transmit the bluetongue virus to sheep and cattle.

Seldom gnat bites can cause you great harm, otherwise, this bite's reaction can be managed by anti-itch creams, which are effective in reducing skin irritations. You could gently wash the place of the bite to prevent infection.

Infestation or fungus gnat swarms in your backyard can be difficult to control but you can control their spread in your house, which in turn can reduce the chances of fungus gnat bites.

By installing doors, window screens, by using mosquito repellent sprays you can actually reduce fruit gnats causing you harm.

You must also consider the clothes you are wearing outdoors for protection from gnat bites. Wearing full sleeves clothes and pants to avoid your body parts from getting exposed to fruit gnats or fruit flies or other related flying insects to bite you.

closeup with tiny midges or chironomidae fly.

Where do gnats come from?

Gnats are too fast in building up their population because these flying insects are fast in reproducing. If you don’t deal appropriately, fruit gnats can increase their population in a short period of time.

In some cases, you yourself might bring gnat eggs and larvae into your home.

Household items that you bring from the market, like the soil of potted plants or pieces of fruits, could unknowingly bring gnats into your home. The garbage that heaps in and around your house and the foul-smelling garbage increases these black gnats in large numbers, feeding them and letting them grow from the moisture present in garbage or waste.

When you overwater your potted plants, gnats start increasing because fruit gnats grow on overwatered soil. These flies lay eggs in the moist soil so that their larvae could get organic material from the various components of the soil which they need to survive and grow.

These tiny fruit flies are even present in your kitchen, they can be transmitted from the drain.

Most of the old pipes where organic material gets settled towards the inner walls of the pipe, where gnats love to dwell and lay eggs in those decaying organic materials and grow on them.

Another place from where these gnats come from is the leftover food since it decays rapidly and the foul smell from such decayed food attracts the gnats. Gnats can also enter your house through the window, which we often leave wide open.

Eye gnats are commonly found in relatively warmer and dry places. Eye gnats grow in light, sandy soils, and drained-out regions where there is an abundance of manure and sufficient amounts of moisture.

On average, eye gnats possess a life cycle of 21 days from an egg to an adult, or rather to say, 28 days from an egg to egg. So in such circumstances, these eye gnats are more likely to transmit acute bacterial infections such as conjunctivitis and yaws to humans and anaplasmosis to other animals.

Eye gnats do not bite but these annoying insects can cause severe bacterial infections in your eyes. Under proper medication, these infections can get cured.

So you should always try to cut their areas of breeding, keeping away weeds or grass clippings, flowers or leaves before they start decaying. This will keep away the moisture and will help in reducing the chances of gnats breeding.

By eliminating their breeding spots in the first place, you can get rid of the infestation effectively. Alternatively, you may seek pest control services to get rid of gnats.

Another way to get rid of their infestation is to keep a shallow dish outdoors and adding drops of dish soap mixed with wine as gnats are attracted to the smell. Once the gnats get attracted to this dish and sit on the liquid, the pest will drown due to lowered surface tension.

You may also use a non-toxic insect spray on the exposed parts of your body for better protection.

How to stop gnats from flying around you?

So, by now you must have an idea of how gnats get into your surroundings and what factors enhance their growth and population. So, what needs to be done? You need to do exactly the opposite of what allows the growth of gnats.

Firstly, whenever you water your plants, always remember not to overwater the soil as it prevents gnats from growing or sustaining over dry soil. Water only as much is required. Always re-pot houseplants. 

Regularly remove the trash that is in and around your living spaces. Try to avoid any kind of moisture settling around you.

Using dry sheets, using essential oil or cooking oil or coconut oil can take away the gnats from your space. Trap these gnats through apple cider vinegar. Since these gnats love the fragrance of apple cider vinegar, they will come and settle on the surface of the vinegar and will get trapped and won’t be able to fly back.

Making use of a chemical spray on the sides of windows, on the inside of pipelines, on the corner of the rooms can help in targeting these gnats and prevent their spreading.

Trying a diluted bleach solution can also help in preventing any kind of growth of such tiny flies. Keeping your hair clean and dry and using unscented shampoos or hair sprays can help in keeping the gnats at bay.

Regularly cleaning your sink areas and keeping the dish clean and dry can also help in getting rid of these gnats naturally.

Pest control is the final solution if gnats are really in abundance and have already caused you much nuisance. Pest control services can control all kinds of gnats that are in and around your house in one go.

But still, you need to remember that you always need to keep yourself and your surrounding areas clean and dry to get rid of these gnats.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do gnats fly in your face, then why not read about why flies like poop and glasswing butterfly facts?

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
Read full bio >