Gnat Graveyard

I’ve written before about one of the joys here in Hawaiʻi . . . bugs. 

By the way, THIS is a bit worrisome of an article. As much as I don’t like bugs (don’t hate them, either) I know they are of importance in a number of ways. 

As much as I worry about what that article implies, I’m actually a contributor to the decline of flying bugs, and specifically, gnats. The name “gnat” is not scientific and can refer to any number of small flying bugs. It also can be a qualifier preceding “brain” when speaking about politicians, although the joke is on us because one has to wonder what that makes us, the people who elect them. 

Anyway, I seem to attract gnats, probably because I’m fairly bright.

Whatever the reason, despite us being fairly conscientious about wrapping all manner of food scraps in plastic and making sure screens and doors are closed, there are certain times of the year — typically, from early January to late December — when gnats find their way into the condo. 

I’ve tried a number of schemes in vain attempts to control them, and only one works particularly well. Insect glue boards. I buy THESE. You can buy them fewer but at a higher price at Home Depot and the like. 

What you see above is one of the boards with a few gnats permanently affixed to the sticky surface. Here’s another shot. 

When I say sticky surface, I mean really sticky surface. These boards should be handled carefully because they have a habit of brushing up against stuff whenever you take your eyes off of them. Also, if you drop one, it does its darnest to land glue-side-down. 

I titled the post “gnat graveyard” because gnats don’t live all that long and these are — likely — dead. These are photos taken with the macro setting of the Nikon P900. The lens of the camera is probably no more than a few inches away and in most cases, less. 

These are hand-held and with my LED desk lamp providing the illumination. 

Let me speak a few moments about my method of deployment. I typically lay a few boards under a light that is far away from us to minimize our interaction with said gnats. In the case of my office, I have a box of tissues standing on its end and the board is placed atop it with its surface about two inches away from the LED light. 

The reason for that arrangement is that it keeps gnats away from my computer screen. 

I should say something else . . . my normal mode of dealing with insects, bugs, and critters that come into the condo (or, before that, the various houses we lived in and the offices I worked in) is to employ my Official Live Bug Transport System (two empty cups properly labeled for bug transportation and relocation use.)

The problem is that gnats (much like ghost ants) are too small to safely handle. Even if I were good enough to catch them using tweezers, the act of restraining them would precipitate their demise. 

My secondary mode of bug control when relocation doesn’t work is . . . death. But, even that is quite time-consuming (if satisfying) when one is dealing with many tens of gnats.

The boards work wonders as a passive control system. 

Doesn’t that look like it’s running across the surface? It’s not. 

These next two photos make it look like the gnats are hovering above the surface . . . they aren’t.

Even as I write this, I feel a bit bad about trapping them thus . . . they have a short life and it’s a bit sad that a big chunk of it is spent like this.

It sorts of reminds me of people willingly wasting a chunk of their lives watching cable news channels. Except, the people willingly waste large portions of their lives thus. Go figure. 

Those reddish gnats are especially frustrating because they don’t stand still for any length of time. There is no hope of catching them or squashing them and they would be a constant nuisance were it not for these boards. 

By the way, I occasionally use a hand vacuum cleaner, but that is really time-consuming and I only employ it if the gnats persist in roaming any of the rooms where I don’t have any boards deployed. But, because they are mostly out at night, there’s a limit to using the vacuum because it is noisy. Nope, the boards work best and work well. 

Actually, the best deployment is around one of the ceiling lights in the hallway. That keeps most gnats away from the living areas (except my office which requires it’s own board deployment as described above) and that location is remarkably well suited to catching a lot of gnats. 

I basically jam the edge of five boards around the periphery of the hall light fixture and that light is left on from sundown until I go to sleep (typically, around 1:00am). I have to change the boards every 3-4 days but, man, do them gnats love to hand around there . . . literally. 

Here’s the gallery with a few more photos:

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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Note: if you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.

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Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards
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Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

Finally, if you interpret anything on this blog as me asking or wanting pity, sympathy, or complaining about my life, or asking for help and advice, know you’re  likely missing my subtle mix of irony, sarcasm, and humor.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Macro Photography, Photography, Photography Stuff, Spiders and Insects and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Gnat Graveyard

    • disperser says:

      Not sure what that is . . . I went to the emoticon list (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emoticons)
      but couldn’t find it.

      Like

      • mvschulze says:

        I think it was just a knee-jerk expression of…”I don’t know what to say, how to respond”…. to the reality of a whole post on dead gnats! (And the fact that I was admittedly intrigued by it!) M :-) (Somtimes I feel inclinded to think outside the emoticon box!)

        Like

      • disperser says:

        That’s why I don’t like emoticons much? You could have quoted one of my favorite lines from “Joe Versus the Volcano”:

        I have no response to that.

        Instead, we had this whole emoticon mystery theater episode.

        . . . plus, had you used that line you would have scored mucho bigly points with me because I am a HUGE fan of the movie. Tremendous movie. There’s never been a greater movie than that one. I’ve said it, but everyone knows it too. People talk about it all the time in a bigly way.

        Like

  1. oneowner says:

    I think that the key to bug control is education. Obviously, these bugs have not learned that they should avoid the sticky boards. If their parents have taught them anything it should have been this. Also, they might have learned not to try to interact with us humans (and by “us humans” I mean anyone who is not Republican). However, I will discuss this with our current Secretary of Education about this as soon as she remedies the “bears in school” problem.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Alas, the current state of bug education is a sticky subject. Proper gnat behavior is difficult to teach because many don’t apply themselves but I hope more and more will stick around to learn it.

      Like

  2. AnnMarie says:

    It’s obvious some “things” are definitely bugging you! And this is yet another good reason for me to appreciate my current “bug-less” indoor environment!

    P.S. I guess the bug population in my area must still be relatively healthy since my windshield is often still the graveyard for many bugs.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Yeah, the environment is definitely bug-friendly. And by environment, I mean the whole island chain, not just my condo. My condo is unfriendly to bugs, but they seem undeterred.

      Like

  3. Egad! Gnatty! Buggy! Ha!

    You photographed more bugs than I’ve seen all year. We live in a rural area, but don’t see any gnats…just a few flies, moths, praying mantises and misquitos outside. (It might be because it’s kinda’ dry here). Mostly we see crickets and a few spiders outside. I’ve only seen 1 cricket and 2 spiders indoors this past summer. Of course, I don’t know how many I didn’t see. Ha.

    I thought the “sound bite” might be the buzzin’ of the bugs! So when I played it, I laughed. Yes, you are bright! Do they call you “Sunny”?!?!

    HUGS and Happy Whee-kend!!! :-)

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Gnats are soundless and well that they are otherwise we would likely lose our minds.
      I actually has a couple of jokes relating to bright and sunny, but opted for only one so that I could use the soundbite in the most opportune place.

      Thank you, diem3, and have yourself a nice weekend in your mostly dry and relatively bug-free place.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Eddy Winko says:

    You could of course use them for target practice.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      There’s a little problem with that. Last year, I suffered a problem with my eye that causes me to have floaters. Specifically, little black dots at the periphery of my vision that appear remarkably like a bug flying around. A small bug. Like a gnat.

      . . . I’d be shooting at nothing all the time. No. The boards work fine, and also let me know that at least some of the black spots I see moving around are actual bugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Emily Scott says:

    You might be interested in this article by an ecologist, analysing the methods of the insect study you mentioned: https://ecologyisnotadirtyword.com/2017/10/20/insects-in-decline-why-we-need-more-studies-like-this/

    I do feel sad for the gnats in your photos :(

    Like

    • disperser says:

      I didn’t bother researching it a whole lot, but that post makes sense. I know that eleven years in Colorado I saw little variation in the amount of bug splatter when we went on long drives, and if anything, it got worse. I also know that global warming is (at least here in the US) resulting in new bugs making their way North as the winters are getting less severe or as the freezes are shorter.

      Oddly enough, as much as we have a lot of bugs here, I seldom have to clean bug splatter from my windshield or the front of the car. And, we do go on a lot of drives. I noted that right away when we moved here. My best guess is that there are fewer flying insects even as there are many more crawling insects.

      Regardless, after reading the original article, I had done casual searches for supporting data and — at least for news organizations — they all seem to be citing the German study and extrapolating to the US and other parts of the world. Annoyingly, they support those claims based on the decline of bees and butterflies. But, that I could find, there is no comprehensive and long-term study of insect population here in the US. It could very well be that insects are in decline, but they are citing the German study as the only basis for the claim. The occasionally mention other studies, but they don’t link to the data.

      Note, I’m not doubting the claims. At best, I question the scope, but I’m reasonably convinced that as humans keep multiplying like . . . well, like insects, we’ll be affecting more and more of the ecosystem and eventually that bill will come due. I’m hoping that will be after I’ve become nothing more than insect food.

      Like

      • Emily Scott says:

        There may well be no comprehensive long-term US study. These things are hard to get funding for. You would probably get more data results by searching in academic databases – not that I’m suggesting you should! My husband has a theory that windscreens are more curved nowadays and so bugs are more likely to get pushed away by air currents and less likely to be splattered – not sure about this.

        Like

      • disperser says:

        There’s an argument to be made for the windshield, but the front bumper and grille should still catch a lot of bugs.

        Driving in Colorado had me wash the front of the car after every trip because the front would get plastered with bugs much more than the windshield. On some of my cars, I would install an air deflector on the hood and that would help, but when there are lots of insects, it didn’t make much difference, especially if they are larger.

        Like I said, I’m not sure why here in Hawaii I hardly ever get bugs on the car, but then, there are few places where the limit is above 45mph. That’s a big contrast from doing 75mph on the open highways on the mainland.

        I’m driving the same car I had in Colorado, so I don’t think the car itself is a factor, as was evident when we drove from Colorado to California last year.

        It could be that here in Hawaii all the bugs are at the beach, relaxing and enjoying the views.

        Like

  6. Are they miniature mozzies?
    I recall growing up in England back in the 40’s in summer we would have “fly paper” dangling from the ceiling lights they were similar sort of thing I suppose, lots of glue to catch lots of flies that all finished up dead, Don’t know if they attracted the “gnats’ though, we did speak of gnats but where we lived they weren’t that common

    Like

    • disperser says:

      No, these don’t bite . . . well, the majority of them don’t. Some will nip you.

      I also have fly paper (the dangling twisted glue strip that comes in a little tube, but it ends up looking kind of bad. There’s also a negative visual connotation with seeing fly paper ribbons hanging about the house.

      Like

  7. renxkyoko says:

    I kind of shivered..

    Like

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