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Swarm of gnats(?) in Garden

Hi everyone,

First post here so if there’s a thread already discussing this please feel free to point in that direction. 

I’ve recently moved into a new house with a new lawn laid and noticed these swarms of gnats in the garden. Well, a quick Google has suggested that’s what they are anyway.

My concern is whether they are crane flies that will end up eating the grass root thus killing the garden. I’ve seen the devastation these things can cause on a golf course.

So, a few questions I guess. 

What are they?
Are they a risk to the grass?
How do I get rid of them?

Hopefully they are just a seasonal issue where the grass is quite damp at the moment. With the weather at the moment the garden is not in use but obviously don’t want these still swarming about when trying to use the garden in a couple months.



  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,391
    Winter Gnats, food for birds and Bats.

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 7,544
    They're likely to be Winter Gnats  Entirely beneficial and non-biting. Good food for the birds and the larvae help break down decaying material in the garden and make better soil for you.
    A great library has something in it to offend everybody.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,553
    I get clouds of them frequently in my garden too - even in the depths of a cold winter if the sun is out.
    They're not crane flies (daddy-long-legs) - they're much bigger and don't appear until much later in the year.
    Whatever they are I don't think they will cause any damage to plants.
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • harry.huntharry.hunt Posts: 15
    Perfect, thank you! 
  • Jenny_AsterJenny_Aster Posts: 433
    Crane flies are what's called daddy longlegs (I think). I've just spread some mature manure on a flower bed, now with the sun shining it looks like all sorts of bugs from miles around are attracted to my garden.  :#

    It's the only time I love to see gnats, they appear to herald springtime.
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 
  • harry.huntharry.hunt Posts: 15
    Also, (may as well use this thread rather than starting a new one!) the lawn was freshly laid 2 months ago and grass is probably 10cm at present. Am I right in thinking waiting as long as possible to give it its first cut will be most beneficial? 
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 8,553
    You may be better off starting a new thread Harry.
    The title refers to gnats, so our lawn experts may not see it.

    My guess would be to just take about 1-2" off the top on a day when the grass is dry and the soil not too wet. Then reduce the height of the grass little by little over the coming weeks.
    But one glimpse of my lawn would prove I'm no lawn expert :)
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • harry.huntharry.hunt Posts: 15
    Haha thanks Pete!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,353
    If the grass is that length - you can start cutting. Try and pick a dry day if you can. @Pete.8 is right, just don't take too much off, especially the first time. You can gradually take a little more depending on how well it grows, but little and often is better for the grass.  :)

    I looked in here and was going to mention about crane flies, but it's already been answered about them being later etc.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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