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Are There More Gnats Outside Than Last Year?

TAMAQUA -- It seems just about impossible to go outside without getting swarmed by gnats.

Newswatch 16 stopped in at the farmers market in Tamaqua where we found farmer Liz Leiby selling her produce. She knows better than anyone just how annoying gnats can be.

"Going out to pick in the morning, they're just everywhere in the field, in the sweet corn, tomatoes, everything," Leiby said. "They've just been terrible, testy and rather annoying."

She, like many other people we spoke with, believe this year's gnats seem worse than years past.

"The gnats this year have been absolutely horrid," Linda Yulanavage of Tamaqua said. "It's difficult to go out to take care of a garden sometimes. It's even difficult to go to outdoor concerts here at our train station."

We wanted to know whether the gnats really are worse this year, so Newswatch 16 contacted the PA Department of Environmental Protection. The agency said weather conditions and water temperatures play role in the amount gnats we see at a given time, but said there is no way of knowing whether there are more gnats flying around this year than any other year."

Whether there is more or less of them, many people in Tamaqua said they have their own tricks to try to combat the gnats.

"My grandfather used to say about putting a dryer sheet -- or a hat -- put a dryer sheet to keep them away, but I don't know if I've had much success," Leiby said.

The Department of Environmental Protection does have a program to monitor and control the gnat population. To learn more, visit their website.

4 comments

  • BARRIOS

    Great story! Tamaqua is full of blight and meth labs and they are worried about gnats. I see why the coal region of PA is in its great demise. I mean from school off when its 85 degrees to hazleton becoming a sanctuary city. blight, pedos, corruption and drugs thats all it is here. What the heck is going on here!

  • Help me!

    WNEP believes gnats are a news worthy item. Not only that, they also assign their African American reporters to do these stories. The past two years WNEP had gnat stories and the in-the-field reporters were both black. Apparently this looks like a hazing assignment for the reporters. I sure hope there isn’t anything more to this than just cooincidence.

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