There are few things in life worse than being bitten by these nasty pests. I'm talking about the truly awful blood-sucking gnats that are known by many names. They're returning to Missouri and Illinois just in time for the warmer weather.

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I've heard them called Buffalo Gnats and Black Flies. I saw someone ask the Missouri Department of Conservation a question about these vicious gnats not that long ago. They're an even bigger problem in Illinois as mentioned by the Department of Public Health.

What's the big deal about Buffalo Gnats?

The short answer is everything. First of all, their bites HURT. They do draw blood and did I mention they really hurt because these little bugs bite hard?

As they continue their trek to the north, they're already creating headlines in Arkansas as this recent story from a few days ago proves.

Do these gnats/flies really drink blood?

Yes, they do, but don't take my word for it. The state of Illinois says "black flies bite using their mouthparts like scissors to cut into skin and lap up the blood". In other words, scariest bugs imaginable.

How can you avoid black flies and/or get rid of them?

The Pest Rangers say that these gnats are attracted to dark clothing. They also apparently love perfume. In this case, not smelling good may be a valid strategy. You also want to make sure that you don't leave garbage laying around as that's an open invitation for these vile bugs.

7 Invasive Insects in Indiana You Should Kill Immediately If You See Them

In an effort to inform the public on the types of invasive species that are known to be found in their state, the USDA offers a "Pest Tracker" on their website, where you simply click the name of your state from the drop-down menu provided to see pictures of the different insects and weeds, along with descriptions of the type of plant life they target and the damage they can do if they're not dealt with.

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