To avoid gnat bites, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors, especially in areas with lakes, rivers and streams nearby, according to KidsHealth. Spray an insect repellent that contains DEET to arms, legs, feet and neck to prevent insect bites, as suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Protection.
Gnats cannot bite through fabric, and tucking in long-sleeved shirts into pants helps prevent gnats from getting underneath shirts, waistbands and belts, reports KidsHealth. Permethrin-treated clothing also helps keep gnats and other insects away, according to the CDC.
Gnats and other insects such as mosquitoes, ticks and flies require blood from warm-blooded animals to live. Gnats feast on dead animals, and they transfer harmful bacteria to people and other animals, as explained by KidsHealth. While most people do not develop serious medical issues from gnat bites, some may develop a bacterial infection.
Treat gnat bites with soap and water, and then apply an over-the-counter antiseptic medication, as recommended by KidsHealth. Monitor the gnat bites until they heal, and seek medical treatment if the bites become swollen or infected. Physicians may prescribe an antibacterial medication to prevent the bacteria from spreading. Excessive scratching of gnat bites may also cause an infection. Apply an ice pack to gnat bites to reduce swelling and itchiness, as KidsHealth suggests.