Gnats. That’s pretty much all I thought about all day.
Yesterday, they were hovering around us as we wondered the property. I kept telling the girls not to worry about them, they weren’t biting us, they were just a nuisance.
At dinner time I noticed red dots along my sock line, but they weren’t raised or causing any discomfort. By 2 am I was convinced I was having an allergic reaction to my socks and was popping Benadryl in the bathroom hoping I’d get a few more hours of sleep.
This morning was our day to sleep in, but I had been up for hours by the time the rest of the family woke. They too were all itchy. It then dawned on me that I was not allergic to the socks I’ve owned for years, but we were reacting to those damn gnats from yesterday. The shower helped sooth the itchiness that was now covering the vast majority of my body. That relief was short lived and the first stop after checking out of the hotel was a Walgreens. I loaded my arms with as many itch relief ointments I could carry and hoped that one would work. Spoiler, they didn’t.
We headed to COhome, with intentions of a low-key day, reading on the porch, sipping wine, and enjoying a sneak peek when work wasn’t being done and we knew we wouldn’t be in the way. The first thing I did was walk all the rooms, picturing furniture, art, and bookcases. You guys!! This is going to be a home soon!
We set up the camping chairs we picked up yesterday at the big box store we haven’t shopped at for just under two decades, but the only store that had camp chairs available. I read on the porch, enjoying the breeze, the views, the sound of bickering from what must have been an intense game of go fish from the girls.
Then the wind died down and the damn gnats were back. I reluctantly put in a layer of bug spray, hoping it would be worth it knowing I wouldn’t be able to wash it off for until Monday, the next time we’re in a hotel. As I settled back into my chair and flipped through a few month pages, I realized the spray did nothing to deter the gnats and the bites from yesterday were more severe that I would have thought possible. I tried not to complain as we ate our pbj&c, but this is not the type of situation I handle well. I know the rest of the family are just as uncomfortable as I am, and I privately confirmed that with each of them.
I spent the next hour doing research on gnats, gnat bites, gnat prevention, gnat bite healing, gnat habitats and habits, all while applying way more than recommended antihistamine ointments.
We escaped gnat-ville and headed to the Mancos Brewery for an afternoon of playing Monopoly Deal and trying to leave the thoughts of itchiness in each sip of beer. This is the most relief I’ve felt all day. Maybe it’s the beer, maybe the friendly folks, maybe the first live music we’ve heard since covid started on the patio.
So, do you have advice? What are your best antiitch remedies that we can pull off while camping? Any prevention techniques you can share? Have you ever been in the position of seeing the positive of being covered in itchy, swollen, bites and have a good advice to pass along? I’ll do just about anything at this point.
“Fun” gnat facts:
- They only live a week.
- A female can lay 200 eggs in that week.
- They eat fruits, vegetables, and Knotts.
- They bite with four knife like cuts.
- Males don’t bite.
- Females are attracted to the color black. I’ve worn all black the past two days.
- They require blood to reproduce. I have blood. They got some.
- They won’t lay eggs in your hair. (Thank goodness.)
- They are less active at night.
- There are five varieties of gnats that bite.
- I estimate we have 140 bites currently.