Runners’ World – Jon Bates owns Addicted to Fitness, a gym in Naples, Florida.
As a personal trainer, he ends his nights by running 3.5 to 4 miles for both mental therapy and as a way to get his workout in.
Bates said his friends give him a hard time about being outside in the humidity and heat when he has access to an air-conditioned gym, but he enjoys his outdoor runs, and the chance to sweat in the fresh air.
So last Monday, he set out for his usual run, but on a slightly different route. He told Runner’s World he kept coming across swarms of gnats that would just pop up.
“What do you do? You just gotta run,” he said. “I closed my eyes and mouth and blew through them and kept running.”
Bates said he didn’t think much about the swarms of pests until he got done running. Then, he looked down and realized he was covered with them.
“They didn’t bite, it’s just kind of an annoyance. I was literally covered in gnats,” he said. “It’s gross, you know.”
It’s definitely unpleasant, but could it be a health risk? We tapped some insect and infectious disease experts to find out.
“Gnats are certainly very annoying, but the ones that bite humans are not known to transmit infections,” Michelle Barron, M.D., an infectious disease physician at UCHealth in Colorado, told Runner’s World.
Additionally, most of the time, “gnats” are any number of small flies that swarm in “leks,” which are groups the flies use to find mates, Michael Skvarla, Ph.D., insect identifier and extension educator in the Department of Entomology at Penn State University explained to Runner’s World.
A variety of groups do this, including non-biting midges (likely what stuck to Bates’s sweat) and March flies, said Skvarla. They tend to swarm over distinctive objects in the landscape … Read more.