VIDEO: Does Maui Have a Gnat Problem?

January 29, 2018, 2:06 PM HST · Updated January 29, 2:06 PM
Meteorologist Malika Dudley · 0 Comments


Maui Now’s Malika Dudley interviewed Hawaii State Department of Agriculture Entomologist, Mach Fukada recently. The topic today is gnats. Why they come around, what they are, and how to get rid of them.

The phenomenon is weather-related. Heavy rain causes fungus to grow on dried-out plants and gnats feed on the fungus. The tiny flies can easily get through window screens or follow you into the house.


Fukada gave a few recommendations for controlling the infestation. One possible solution is to clear decaying plant matter from your yard. You can also put a bright light near where the gnats seem to be entering the house with a pan of soapy water under the light. The gnats will be attracted and fall into the soapy water. Fukada also recommends turning off lights in your house and “enjoying Hawaii”, if you remain in the home, try changing the setting on your iPhone to put it into the red spectrum or “night mode”. Getting rid of potted plants inside the home can also be effective as this moist environment can become a breeding site for gnats. If all else fails, sticky fly traps can also do the job.

Although the gnats are a nuisance, Fukada says they do not pose a health risk. View the video above for the full interview.

Meteorologist Malika Dudley
Malika was born and raised in Hilo. She began her career in news at KGMB9 in 2007. As a part of the Hawaii News Now weather team, Malika was nominated for two Emmy Awards for excellence in weather reporting and won the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Journalism Award for her reporting on Hawaii’s tsunami damage in 2011. In 2019, Malika was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter in the category of Science Reporting for her Big Island Now news report on what was happening beneath the sea surface at the ocean entry of the Puna lava flow.  

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