San Diego County Residents Deal with Large Swarms of Gnats

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 4 (UPI) — Residents of San Diego County are in a pitched battle with gnats — an enemy that makes up for its small size with sheer numbers, authorities say.

The problem began in Jacumba, a small town on the U.S.-Mexico border, where swarming gnats have irritated residents for years. They put the blame on an organic lettuce farm near the town, and a county study confirmed it.

The problem has spread to other towns in the county. Farms and the presence of rivers and lakes in the areas are the suspected causes, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Wednesday.

“It may be associated with the drought or a type of agriculture, but there are more gnats this year in general in all areas,” Jim Bethke, a University of California researcher said.

A new $50,000 study by the country will attempt to pinpoint the origins of the gnats and seek a remedy, the Union-Tribune said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Animals, Causes, Drought, Other
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