Any way to repel gnats?

My husband and I love to play basketball after dinner, but lately the swarms of gnats around our faces are driving us inside after just a couple minutes.

Is there anything out there that truly works at keeping them away?

Napalm does the trick, but the side effects can be bad…

Iced tea with lemon works pretty well. :wink:

Did you try Skin-So-Soft or anything like that?

Some guy came in my store the other day with a dryer sheet hanging from the back of his collar. When I offered to remove it (thinking his friend had let the guy walk around with this attached to his shirt) he said he’d read that it keeps bugs away, or at least green flies. Worth a shot, I guess? You’ll be fabric-softener-fresh!

My grandmother used to wipe everything down with vinegar to keep the bugs off, and it worked for a while. For a higher-tech solution, there are any number of bug repellents for sale, just read the directions before you buy. Some of them say to spray the product onto a cloth and then apply carefully on the face, avoiding the eyes and mouth. I know that at least one product allows this, I was reading my husband’s insect repellent last week. He bought some fresh repellent after becoming the Chigger All-You-Can-Munch Buffet Special the week before THAT.

The old granny method used to be a drop of vanilla extract on the back of you neck for mosquitoes and gnats. Worth a try and the worst that happens is you end up with a bottle of vanilla for cooking and cleaning.

These wrist bands look interesting if you’re like me and hate sprays.

There’s a substance called Citronella, which you can daub on yourself or release by burning candles scented with it. It smells somewhat less enticing to people than the finest of scents but gnats absolutely hate the stuff.

I think Cecil did a column on them & when they are flying around like that they are having a big mating orgy (No info on what only one gnat means).

Did you try one of those bug zappers?

Skin-So-Soft works, as ** Super Gnat ** suggested. I remember when I first moved down to the lowcountry, which is plagued with sandgnats, I applied Skin-So-Soft to my legs before a road race. When the race was done, my legs were covered with dead gnats. Apparently they cannot penetrate this substance. Perhaps Vaseline [sup]tm[/sup] would also work, but everyone down here uses Skin-So-Soft, which does work. Whenever I play tennis in the evening when gnats are a problem, Skin-So-Soft is the solution.

Thanks so much for all the suggestions. I already have vanilla in the house, so I think that’ll be the first thing I try. I’ve heard Skin-So-Soft is great for mosquitos, but I didn’t know it was good for gnats, too. If I can find an “Avon Lady” in my area, I’m definitely going to order some.

Thanks again! :slight_smile:

Skin-So-Soft is not great for mosquitoes. Well, it’s great for them in the sense that it has no effect on them. It works only for gnats.

Years ago, Consumers Report ran an article on various pesticides and concluded that SSS had no effect on mosquitoes. I wrote to them then that it’s not supposed to work against mosquitoes, only against gnats. They wrote back and said they would test that later, but never did.

Now, in the latest issue of the Harvard Health Letter, various insect repellants were evaluated. It was again stated that SSS was worthless against mosquitoes.

Based on my own experience, I believe the reason that it works for gnats is that the are so small they cannot penetrate the emulsion of SSS; whereas, mosquitoes, being much bigger, have no problem.