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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

WTF is up with all the “gnasty” gnats?

The recent, puzzling infestation of gnats on campus has caused annoyance for nearly anyone hoping to make their way across Mac field, Cleveland beach—or basically anywhere—without finding themselves covered in small, moving insects.

The seemingly sudden onset of the gnats, which have thoroughly taken over all outdoor areas, residence halls, and the dining hall dish room, has led many to ask—more out of desperation that curiosity—WTF is up with the gnats!?
“I think it’s terrible that when I come back from a run, I’ll find bugs sticking to all parts of my face and in my eyes,” Sara Galenbeck’13 said.

For students who ride their bikes, the gnat problem is even more dire, as they are blinded and choked by endless clouds of miniscule bugs, sometimes leading to gnat-induced accidents. “Bike with your mouth closed,” Sam Peterson ’11 said.

Scientifically, the gnats most likely appeared in such great number because of the recent rains. Gnats breed in wet or soggy organic material, thus making a damp Mac field and the soon-to-be-composted mush in the dish room gnat heaven.

Peterson is one of few students who takes pleasure in the addition of gnats to campus. “Sometimes when I’m bored in class, one will land on my arm and I’ll watch the little guy crawl around over my arm hairs,” he said. “They’re actually sort of interesting. They have a greenish hue if you look at them closely and they’re sort of metallic. They’re cute.”

With October winds blowing in, the gnats are not likely to stick around for much longer, much to the joy of most of us. Speaking from experience, however, Peterson warns that the bugs will most likely return next year. “As far as I can recall, it’s pretty much a perennial thing,” he said. “Sorry for the bad news.”

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