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Old 20-11-2023, 08:12   #1
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Went down to the boat about a week ago and the boat was covered with these tiny black bugs (gnats?). Washed them off and the next day they were back. Boat is in Clear Lake, TX, and no other boats on the same dock seem to have that problem. Our boat is white fiberglass like all the others.
What could be attracting them to our boat but not the others?
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Old 20-11-2023, 11:16   #2
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Re: Gnats?

Wild guess, any sort of other maintenance product (wax, soap..) you use, which your neighbours don't?

Maybe they like the smell or taste of this?

Any lights which shine on your boat more than on the others at night.

As said, just some wild guess. We had our roof painted orange and flies liked that. But you say yours is white, so that's not it..
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Old 21-11-2023, 02:41   #3
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Re: Gnats?

“Gnats” includes numerous types of small, usually non-biting, flying insects, such as: Fruit Flies, Fungus Gnats, Black Gnats, Buffalo Gnats, and many others.
The most effective gnat repellent, and control methods, require positive identification of the specific target species.

According to “Orkin”:
Most gnats are smaller, with less robust bodies, than other species of flies. Ranging in length from 1 to 13 mm, gnats are delicate-looking insects with long wings and [6] spindly legs.
Like all insects, the body is divided into three distinct parts: head, thorax and abdomen.
The head has a pair of antennae that exceed the length of the head.
The pests generally appear black, grey, brown, or even yellow in colour. Fungus gnats have distinct elongated coxae, structures that connect the legs to the thorax.
The immature stages of gnats include eggs, grub-like larvae and cocoon-like pupae.

Fruit Flies, Gnats or Drain Flies
Gord May
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Old 21-11-2023, 05:24   #4
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Re: Gnats?

Many types of bugs are attracted to white light. Marinas often have yellow lights in the pedestals to lessen attraction to bugs. Next time you are there at night check out any dock lights that may be reflecting off you boat, make sure you have not left any on inside the boat of any kind.
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Old 21-11-2023, 10:11   #5
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Re: Gnats?

I guess the real question is, why only our boat? The pedestal lights are all the same up and down the dock. Only thing I can come up with is that we leave the A/C fans running. Maybe there is some hum or vibration that attract them bugs.
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Old 21-11-2023, 14:05   #6
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Re: Gnats?

We have had occasional intrusions of small black flies. No idea what kind they are. In our case, our AIS light is on at night, on low, and they are attracted to it. The spiders get some of them, but there will be blankets of them, usually dying as morning comes. No idea why they come here to die, either.

Life has mysteries.

Accept and move on. (I do get rid of the spider webs, beautiful engineering that they are.)

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 21-11-2023, 15:39   #7
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Re: Gnats?

This is interesting because I too have a boat at a Clear Lake marina and I have lots of these small "gnats" on the boat. And guess what- I leave a string of White LED lights on a dim setting on throughout the cockpit each night.

Hmmm... may have to stop that!
Sailing a Catalina 470; now retired
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Old 23-11-2023, 15:18   #8
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Re: Gnats?

Been in that marina for quite some time, just one dock over from the current location. Never had that issue before. Maybe payback for selling the sail boat and moving to the dark side?
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