What Are Hackberry Gnats And How Are They Relevant To Window Cleaning?

Pachypsylla IMG_5877_smSource: http://insectsinthecity.blogspot.com/2013/11/hackberry-nipplewhat.html

Winter in Austin brings some harsh elements with it. We’re all feeling the icy winds, high cedar, and hazy mornings… but some of winter’s annoyances can only be seen. For instance, those little black insects getting stuck in your window screens. What ARE they even? Why do they love leaving their little corpses on your previously clean windows?

Hackeberry Gnats Arrive In The Winter And Are Attracted To The Heat From Your Windows

They are called Hackberry Gnats and every winter they arrive in the winter just when you thought bugs were the last things you had to worry about. Known by the scientific name Pachypsylla celtidismamma as well as the more common “Hackberry nipplegall maker,” these tiny flying insects are not actually flies or gnats. Rather they belong to the same Order as leafhoppers and those noisy cicadas. They get their name from the Hackberry leaves they lay their eggs on. Eventually, a gall forms around the eggs and the developing larva. The gall has a very distinctive shape—which the insect gets its common name from—and the larva feeds on the tissue all summer before emerging in the fall fully formed. As the weather cools off, the Hackberry Gnat is attracted to the warmth of your home’s windows. It’s small enough to crawl through the cracks of your window screens, where it either dies getting stuck or just naturally—Hackberry Gnats have very short life spans. Either way, these tiny little insects tend to muck up your windows and can even find their way inside your home.

Pachypsylla galls_smallSource: http://insectsinthecity.blogspot.com/2013/11/hackberry-nipplewhat.html

Hackberry Gnats Are Harmless But Can Be Annoying

Other than being an annoyance, Hackberry Gnats are harmless. They don’t bite and they don’t eat fibers or wood. Therefore there’s no reason to treat Hackberry Gnats as a pest control issue—meaning leave the poisons out of this. The best way to take care of Hackberry Gnats is prevention. Replace any Hackberry trees on your property and replacing with another plant can help reduce their occurrence, but these little buggers can fly miles in any direction. Getting rid of the trees is not a guaranteed solution.

The next best solution is to accept that Mother Nature is a complex woman that we should work with, not against. If she sends a swarm of Hackberry Gnats your way, let them run their course. If they clog your home’s window screens or even get inside your home, clean them up. If you find a few in the foyer, keep a hand vacuum nearby for quick pickup. If your windows are looking worse-for-wear because of Hackberry Gnats, contact a professional window cleaning service like Gwyndow’s.

Gwyndow’s Can Make It More Manageable If It Becomes A Problem In Your Home

Whether your home or business needs a thorough winter’s window cleaning, Gwyndow’s is prepared to help. With an expertly trained staff that specializes in cleaning Texas windows in Texas weather, we know how to properly (and safely) clean Hackberry Gnats out of your window screens with minimal environmental impact.

If Hackberry Gnats are leaving you in need of a professional window wash this season, you’re in luck. Window-cleaning appointments booked in January and February receive 15% off—so it’s a great time to get your home or business’s windows sparkling before the spring sun emerges. Contact Gwyndows today and let’s book your winter window cleaning -we’ll give you a free custom estimate.