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Katy Trail Rock Island Spur Comments
St. Charles Trailhead in St Charles

We ran into gnat swarms for several miles this evening near St. Charles. Is that an evening thing, or are they going to be out in the morning, too? Will we experience them in both directions from St. Charles?
posted Oct 13 2017 11:35PM - Christine Drews, Raymore, MO

Gnats know no time. They have no sense of time and can not differentiate between evening and morning hours. If for them they must socialize, they do.

Having sorted that out for you, gnats have a very distinct and keen sense of direction and abide by very strict 180 city directional rules. For the layman, this simply means that if you "run into gnat swarms" for example on the south side of a town/city/community, gnats will never swarm on the north side of said community. The same applies for the east and west directions. Rest assured if you "run into" gnats east of town, west of town will be very strictly gnat free. Gnats are both longitudinally and latitudenally asymmetrical.

This is pretty common gnat behavior that is well known to the noncity dweller. Steer to the left or right to avoid running into gnat swarms. Or apply the gnat principles of longitude/latitude symmetry to avoid gnats swarms. Your local university extension office may more information or perhaps they offer a class on gnat behavior that may be of benefit to you.
posted Oct 14 2017 10:47AM - Anonymous

Wow Anon, you should write an indepth research paper on gnats.

Christine, the key words in your post were "this evening." The only time I've encountered a bunch of gnats was when I was on the Katy Trail after 6 pm ish. Get to your destination by 4:30 pm or 5:00 pm and maybe you'll be ok. But no guarantees.
posted Oct 15 2017 12:27AM - Cathy, Jefferson City

This time of year, they are more likely to be black midges, not gnats. They are the same size, but jet black. Whereas gnats swarm in a column (mostly early morning), the black midges swarm more often in the evening and in areas where the setting sun shines through the trees. They have been quite populous this year, to the point where some bike riders are wearing netted face covers while riding.
posted Oct 15 2017 3:41PM - BikerBoy, Maryville, IL

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