MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – If you’re noticing more gnats than usual right now, you’re not alone.

Experts say the number of gnats in the air is unusually high due to conditions that make it hard to treat for them. Don’t worry – relief is on the way.

Workers from the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District put over 400 gallons of naturally-occurring soil bacteria into the Mississippi River Friday near the Coon Rapids Dam. The bacteria targets and kills gnat larvae.

(credit: CBS)

“The species that we’re treating today is a particularly nasty black fly that likes to take a chunk out of you and leaves a really nasty bite,” said Mike McLean of Metropolitan Mosquito Control District.

The high water levels on Minnesota rivers made it difficult for officials to treat the water at the time they normally do in early May. Even though treatment is starting late this year, it will likely cost more than usual.

“The material alone will cost upwards of $100,000,” McLean said.

Now that they’re treating, people will notice the difference almost immediately.

“They’re not going to stick around forever. The next week or so, you should start seeing those gnat numbers drop off,” McLean said.

Until that happens, remember:

“Wear light-colored clothes, a light-colored hat, wear mosquito repellant, but pay particular attention around your ears,” McLean said.

Mclean says gnats primarily target your head, neck and ears and are least active in the middle of the day.

Erin Hassanzadeh

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