Gnat problem swarms San Diegans

Posted at 11:34 PM, Apr 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-20 02:34:42-04

If you've noticed them, you're not alone. Gnats and little bugs are taking over homes and offices in San Diego County this Spring. We even have them here at 10News...which lead us to ask, why?

10news anchor Brian Shlonsky went to the county to find out why they're here, and what you can do to keep them away.

The gnats and other small bugs love water and light - and the rains this winter provided a lot of water.

"Yea, we've actually seen more complaints," said Chris Conlan, with county vector control. "What I think a lot of folks are seeing this year in particular is the result of the good rains we got in the winter."

Conlan and his lab at county vector control specialize in insects. He says the moisture in the soil allows small bugs to grow at a greater rate.

"That provides wet conditions that are actually good for a lot of these little bugs to mature," Conlan said.

From crane flies to fungus gnats - there are many different kinds of little bugs. The good news is, most are harmless.

"Oftentimes they are attracted to light, so you'll see them," Conlan said. "They'll come in the house, they can fit through a window screen, you'll see them buzzing around the bathroom."

But the bad news is, there's not a lot you can do to keep them away.

Conlan recommends that people ease up on watering their lawns and turning off porch lights. Both will attract the insects.  

"These other types of gnats, and things that are growing in that moist soil, that's kind of hard to stop." Conlan said.