A Handy Guide to Natural Gnat Repellent

When the weather begins to warm and families begin flocking outdoors for barbecues and camping trips, an essential staple for any outdoor activity is gnat repellent. Gnats are small, annoying flies that have a nasty habit of swarming around and flying into your nose, ears, and in some cases eyes. While harmless to humans, they prove to be a great nuisance.

There are many gnat repellent products on the market, but often these contain toxins that many people don’t feel comfortable using. There are, however, several ways to make your own repellents and general tips to keep these pesky bugs away from you and your s’mores, hotdogs, and barbecue goodies.

Easy to Make Body Repellents

Although pleasing to humans, vanilla has proven to be a great natural gnat repellent. To make your own sweet smelling concoction, mix just one tablespoon of vanilla to a cup of water. Keep this repellent in a spray bottle or squeeze bottle. It will not sting your eyes, so you can easily dab some under your eyes and around your nose and ears as well. Also be sure to spray your entire person, clothing included. You and your family will smell great, and won’t be as apt to inadvertently swallow one of these bugs.

Spritzing citrus juices on your body is also an effective technique, as is making a spray from certain essential oils. Purchase oils such as eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint, or pine. It is very important to heavily dilute the oil, so only add a few drops to a spray bottle filled with water. Just a little oil will go a long way, and last you the whole season.

Additional Tips and Techniques

If you are planning on having a cook out or barbecue in your campground of yard and want the whole area to be relatively gnat-free, there are some steps that can be taken to help keep the swarms at bay.

One of the most important things you can do in your yard is to keep it clean. This is particularly true if you have compost stored. Cover it and remove any rotten food particles and fruits that might be lying around your yard as they will attract fruit flies.

Bugs tend to be attracted to bright lights. If you like a well-lit backyard, replace your light bulbs with sodium lights. These are less attractive to flying bugs that will normally flock to them.

Purchasing citronella candles is an inexpensive way to keep gnats and mosquitoes away from your food and add ambiance at the same time. Many are sold with pretty clay pots if you prefer that to the canned versions.

Standing water in your yard is another attractive feature to gnats and other insects. You can have standing water in gutters, old tires, flowerpots, and wading pools. Gnats will turn this standing water into a larva nursery, causing swarms to appear from seemingly nowhere. They can also breed in moist and sodden soils. Raking over any wet leaves can help to aerate and prevent any problems from happening in the first problem.

Continuing with the water theme, if you have an automatic sprinkling system, you may want to change the timer during gnat-happy months. Make sure that your yard has ample time to absorb the water, and that the sun can dry up any areas of standing water.

Following these tips will help ensure that you and your family are able to enjoy your time together to its fullest. No one enjoys having to constantly bat at their face and food when they are trying to have a good time.



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