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.