Gnats! How to cut their numbers? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Does anyone have any experience cutting down gnat populations? I've got a hold on most every bug and critter there is except gnats. Dad-gum buggers eat me up at times. Garlic, B vitamins, varying foods, nothing worked. Even tried sprays once, but it only drew them worse. Aside from being covered in a quarter inch of dust from head to toe, nothing seems to help much. Ivory soap does slow them down a tad, but not enough. I would sincerely appreciate personal experiences with controlling the little devils.

-- Larry Gowdy (, April 13, 2000


Hello, I have the same problem,, they are really bad this year. Nothing works!!

Sorry I could not be of help.

-- Bergere (, April 13, 2000.

I don't know specifically about gnats, but we try to encourage swallows and bats to nest around us. They eat any insect that flies. That's the only way I have found to discourage flying insect populations. Mosquitoes, of course, can be controlled somewhat at their source. Good luck...nothing like walking into a swarm of gnats to make your day!

-- sheepish (, April 13, 2000.

Thanks for the replies. Yea, gnats are annoying. I've watched as swarms of dragon flies came in and ate a lot of gnats, but its never often enough! My best insect traps will catch anything and everything, except gnats of course. We'll keep trying though!

-- Larry (, April 14, 2000.

Larry, I truly sympathize! Gnats are the only bug I just can't tolerate. I have given up trying and when I have to go outside I wear a bee net and long sleeves. Thank goodness they are only bad for about 3 weeks in the early spring, then subside.The bug sprays only work until you get a tiny bit of dirt on you or sweat a bit. Then you're a goner.

-- Peg (, April 14, 2000.

I have found great success with pennyroyal and lemon balm. I simple rub a handfull of leaves from each of these plants and then rub over face and neck. It keeps the little buggers off! You can also make a lotion of these leaves and spritz on before going out, and again after sweating. Works great for us!

-- sissy sylvester (, April 15, 2000.

Thanks Sissy! I'll see if the big city has pennyroyal and lemon balm plants the next time I venture out. I'll for sure give it a try! Thanks sincerely! Gnats are our only real pests, and if we can control them, we're in hog heaven!!!


-- Larry (, April 16, 2000.

Have been subscribing to Countryside for awhile and finally checked out their website. Great forum! Larry, don't know if this works, have never tried it, but saw on local news while they were covering a highscool sporting event, all the kids had Bounce fabric softening sheets either tied around their ponytails like a ribbon or the guys had them around their necks or shirt pockets. Seems this kept the gnats away from their faces. Might be worth a try. Don't think there is anything in them to harm a person.

-- Anne (, April 20, 2000.

Johnny's Selected Seeds Has a wonderful lemon balm variety that is a stronger lemon than most. (ok, this thing better work ; - ) Pennyroyal is also a wonderful thing, many of my friends make an extract with vodka, and spray it on for camping trips.

-- Connie (, April 20, 2000.

Thanks Anne and Connie, We tried dryer sheets once around the garden (supposed to ward off deer too), but all it did was smell up the area, maybe even drew a few extra critters! I found the lemon and pennyroyal plants a couple days ago, going to let them get a little bigger before pulling leaves. This Summer when the gnats get pestky I'll test it out. Might even test a little spearmint too just for fun (it grows great around here). Thanks for the input!


-- Larry (, April 21, 2000.

Larry, we use Avon's "Skin So Soft" or a little vanilla extract,for the gnats here in southwest Okla.

-- terrell (, June 15, 2000.

Here on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, gnats are a problem. When the weather is nice enough to venture out, the gnats eat you alive. The skin-so-soft works for a short time. I've even tried WD-40, works but is probably not good for you. I found that they are repelled by cigar smoke(people too) so I smoke a cigar while outside. I am searching for a more permanent solution.

-- Ron Seto (, February 05, 2001.

Crazy as it sounds, I tuck a fabric softner sheet (any brand) in my shirt pocket and hip pocket of my jeans, leaving enough sticking out. When out riding horses, do the same and tie one around the bridle to keep the insects off of your mount. Tack a sheet or two up on the top of your entrance doorways to keep the flies out of the house.

-- ~Rogo (, February 05, 2001.

Fine mesh netting around the head works for me.

-- action dude (, February 05, 2001.

I have found that the best means of keeping gnats at bay has been to wear Cutter insect repellent bands on my head. Yes, I look ridiculous, but the gnats stay about 1 foot away from my head. Its non-toxic and not messy.

-- Dan Osarchuk (, May 21, 2001.

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