Apr 16, 2012 6:03 AM by AP
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - LSU AgCenter poultry specialist Theresia Lavergne says turkey gnats have begun swarming, so poultry should be kept in barns or sheds during the day.
She says the tiny black flies are likely to be a problem until early May. Lavergne says they can disturb poultry, causing them to injure themselves or pile up on each other, sometimes suffocating those on the bottom.
Lavergne says the gnats are not a problem in barns or enclosures, and where no barn or shed is available people should screen coops to keep out the gnats.
The gnats live in bayous and flooded areas.
AgCenter entomologist Lane Foil says the first reports of gnats attacking caged birds came in about the second week of April. That's about two weeks earlier than in 2011 or 2010.