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Explosion of aggressive gnats is causing misery in southern Twin Cities

A local daycare has issued a warning to parents.

A swarm of biting gnats is wreaking havoc in south metro suburbs, where  multiple children have been suffering from horrific bites.

Pictures of bites on the back of one child's neck were posted on Facebook by the Kids Will Be Kids daycare in Hastings and has gone viral, sharing more than 15,000 times.

"We have a horrible problem with gnats right now in Hastings MN," Holly Fick, who runs the daycare, wrote. "Multiple kids have ended up with bites like this. The problem is the kids don't feel them biting, and they don't itch until later."

The daycare notes that the gnats seem to be attracted to the back of the neck/behind the ear area where sweat tends to form.

The issue isn't just exclusive to Hastings, with the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District telling KARE 11 reports have been coming in from cities along the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, from Hastings to Savage.

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They said it's a "bumper crop" of gnats, which they MMCD were unable to treat for ahead of time because of the spring snow last month.

A local veterinary clinic told KSTP they've had more than 20 calls from people worried about gnat bite marks on their pets.

The good news is that gnats don't hang around for long, so should be gone within a few days.

Wikihow has a number of suggestions on how to prevent gnat bites, including using DEET or Picardin-based repellents, natural oils like lemon eucalyptus, or even wearing netted hats.

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