Difference Wiki

Nat vs. Nit: What's the Difference?

By Harlon Moss || Updated on May 23, 2024
Nat refers to a small, biting fly often found around decomposing material, while nit refers to the egg or young form of a louse, typically found in hair.

Key Differences

Nat, a variant of gnat, refers to tiny, flying insects often found in swarms near moist or decaying organic matter. These insects are known for their biting behavior and can be a nuisance in homes and gardens. On the other hand, nit refers specifically to the egg or immature form of a louse, a small parasitic insect that infests hair and skin, particularly in humans and animals.
Nats are generally associated with environments like damp soil, compost piles, and decaying plant matter. They thrive in moist conditions and are often seen in large numbers. Whereas, nits are found in the hair of their hosts, usually attached to the base of hair shafts. They are a common problem in schools and childcare settings due to their ease of transmission through close contact.
Nats can cause minor irritation through their bites, which may result in itching and swelling. Their presence can also indicate poor hygiene or sanitation. In contrast, nits are a sign of an active louse infestation, which can cause significant discomfort due to itching and potential secondary infections from scratching.
Nats are generally easier to control through environmental management and use of insect repellents. Removing nits requires a more targeted approach, often involving medicated shampoos and careful combing to remove both nits and lice.
Nats, as a group, include various species such as fungus gnats, black flies, and midges. Each species has specific characteristics and habitats. Nits specifically refer to the eggs or young of lice, making them a more narrowly defined term.
Nats are usually considered a minor nuisance, whereas nits and the lice they represent are considered a public health concern due to their impact on hygiene and comfort.

Comparison Chart


Small, flying insect often found near decay
Egg or young form of a louse


Moist, decaying organic matter
Hair of humans or animals


Minor irritation from bites
Significant discomfort from lice infestation

Control Methods

Environmental management, insect repellents
Medicated shampoos, careful combing


Various species like fungus gnats, midges
Specifically refers to lice eggs

Public Health

Generally a minor nuisance
Considered a public health concern

Nat and Nit Definitions


A small, biting fly often found in moist environments.
A nat bit me while I was gardening.


Egg or young form of a louse, usually found in hair.
She found a nit on her child's scalp.


Tiny flying insect, typically in swarms.
Nats swarmed around the compost heap.


Sign of lice infestation.
Nits are often seen attached to hair shafts.


Species including gnats, midges, and black flies.
The picnic was disrupted by a swarm of nats.


Indication of active lice presence.
Frequent scratching can be a sign of nits.


Insect thriving in decaying organic material.
Nats can be a nuisance in damp basements.


Common issue in schools and childcare.
The school nurse checked for nits during the inspection.


Common pest in homes and gardens.
Nats were attracted to the overwatered plants.


The egg of certain parasitic insects, especially a head louse.


A spirit in Burmese mythology, whose cult is followed alongside Buddhism.


A unit of luminance equal to one candela per square meter, measured perpendicular to the rays of the source.


A logarithmic unit of information or entropy, based on natural logarithms.


The egg of a louse.


(obsolete) Not.


A young louse.




A head louse regardless of its age.


Not at; nor at.


A fool, a nitwit.


A nitpicker.


A minor shortcoming.


A candela per square metre.
This brightness of this LCD screen is between 900 and 1000 nits.


(MLE) To have the modus vivendi of a drug addict, to live the life of a nitty.


The egg of a louse or other small insect.


A luminance unit equal to 1 candle per square meter measured perpendicular to the rays from the source


Egg or young of an insect parasitic on mammals especially a sucking louse; often attached to a hair or item of clothing


Small, parasitic insect's egg.
Treating nits requires special shampoos.


What is a nat?

A nat is a small, flying insect often found around moist, decaying matter.

Do nits cause discomfort?

Yes, nits cause discomfort due to the itching and irritation from lice infestation.

Where are nats commonly found?

Nats are commonly found near damp soil, compost piles, and decaying organic material.

Do nats bite?

Yes, nats can bite and cause minor irritation and itching.

How do you remove nits?

Nits are removed using medicated shampoos and careful combing to eliminate lice and their eggs.

Can nats infest homes?

Yes, nats can infest homes, especially in damp areas like basements and bathrooms.

Do nits indicate an active infestation?

Yes, finding nits indicates an active lice infestation.

What is a nit?

A nit is the egg or young form of a louse, usually found in hair.

Where are nits found?

Nits are found in the hair of humans or animals, attached to hair shafts.

How do you control nats?

Nats can be controlled through environmental management and use of insect repellents.

Are nits visible to the naked eye?

Yes, nits are visible as tiny white or yellowish specks in the hair.

Are nats related to gnats?

Yes, nats are another term for gnats, a group of small flying insects.

Do nats spread diseases?

Nats can spread some diseases, but they are generally more of a nuisance.

Are nats a health concern?

Nats are generally a minor nuisance rather than a serious health concern.

Are nits a health concern?

Yes, nits are a public health concern due to the lice they indicate, which can cause significant discomfort.

Do nits cause itching?

Nits themselves do not cause itching, but the lice that hatch from them do.

Are nits easy to remove?

Nits can be challenging to remove due to their strong attachment to hair shafts.

Can nits be found on pets?

Yes, nits can be found on pets if they have lice infestations.

Do nats prefer specific environments?

Yes, nats prefer moist, decaying organic matter.

Are nats seasonal pests?

Yes, nats are often more prevalent in warm, damp seasons.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons