They are out there, somewhere, plaguing man and beast. They torment, torture, punish and persecute. They are tireless, unmerciful and totally devoid of feeling. And they are relentless. They never stop, not until they get your blood.
If you've never met them, get down on your knees and thank God, because He used them to break a nation. They humbled the world's greatest power, yet are tiny themselves. They are....GNATS!
In Exodus, the plague of gnats was the third in the series. If I had been Pharoah, I think it would have been "three strikes and you're out!"; gnats would have been enough. It's interesting that gnats were the first plague the Egyptian magicians could not duplicate, causing them to humbly proclaim "This is the finger of God". Yeah, gnats can do that.
You already know they are small and you may know they bite, but did you know their bite is much worse than that of the notorious Alaskan mosquito? They don't exploit a pore (like the mosquito); no, they chew a fresh hole through your skin. The resulting wound gets inflamed and swollen, hurts and itches, and can take weeks to heal. These are definitely the bad boys of the north.
Standard insect repellent doesn't work; since they prefer to work in secret they often bypass exposed skin. They land on your clothing, then begin their search for an opening. And they often find one. Typical wound sites are under your socks, around your waistband, in your hair, etc. They'll get under your watchband, around the collar, in your shoes. Many of the places you would think sacred and safe from mosquitoes are fair game for gnats. A gnat bite in the earcanal is a real bummer.
Yet the greater torment comes from the places where they don't bite. Two of them come to mind; in your eyes (during gnat season you have them swimming in your eyes all the time) and my personal favorite...up your nose! Seriously! Happens every day. If you spend much time outdoors in gnat season you get 'em there on a regular basis. I know, I know; "why don't you wear a headnet?" Sometimes I do, but rarely. Headnets are a real pain if you're trying to get some work done.
So you just live with them, and wait until the onset of cold weather. That's when they'll get what's coming. 'Till then, they must be endured, with great patience.
(I would have posted a picture, but as you know, they are tiny)
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