The black flies, or gnats, are absolutely terrible this spring in Minnesota. I first noticed it two weeks ago when I was doing some raking at our family cabin up north.

I was swarmed -- inhaling and swallowing them. It was bad. First a pandemic, now this.

Talking to my mom in Ham Lake last weekend she asked, "Have you noticed the gnats at your house?" I told her about my experience that the cabin, but I hadn't noticed them at home in Saint Cloud.

That all changed Monday when I was mowing my lawn. Cabin Experience 2.0. What's up with the damn gnats???

Officials say these are a different, larger variety than they usually deal with. They are continuing to do research to determine exactly what they are dealing with.

In the Twin Cities, folks from the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District say:

From what we know it sounds like a one-generation species that will hopefully last only 2-3 weeks. Protect yourselves from the biting flies by wearing EPA-approved bug spray (DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus are most effective), cover your head and neck, wear light colors, and avoid peak times.

The good news, gnats, mosquitos and ticks don't spread the coronavirus -- so there's that.

Pete Hanson is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:00.

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