Getting rid of gnats can be a daunting prospect; however, you can deal with them during the summer and spring. Do this by applying a natural gnat repellant, putting on sunglasses, or wearing a hat. When you observe these preventive measures, rest assured of a smooth picnic experience.
More often, gnats come in the form of a swarm during outdoor events. They are common in areas such as campgrounds, parks, near water bodies, and walking trails. It is also worth noting that gnats aren’t a specific species, but include various insects such as black flies, fruit flies, biting midges, and more. Some of these insects bite while some are harmless.
Why Are Gnats Attracted to Human Faces?
Gnats are prone to sweet smell, and as such, they will be attracted to your face upon wearing a sweet fruity-scented cologne. Outdoors, refrain from wearing sweet-scented lotions or sprays as gnats tend to land on the head or face. This is because they have receptors that attract them to the carbon dioxide we exhale, making your face the most prominent target.
Alternatively, use a variety of personal hygiene products to keep gnats away from your face. The scent of laundry detergent on your attires might also attract them. While most gnats are attracted to heat and moisture, body heat and moisture play a vital role. These may be as a result of sweat or mucous around your nose, and eyes.
7 Simple Ways to Keep Gnats Away From Your Face
It’s a no brainer that gnats are incredibly annoying. The constant buzzing alone is enough to cause distractions. Often, people resort to chemicals to get rid of gnats. Although chemicals are the ultimate solutions to gnats, they can be harmful to your household. Not to mention, chemicals aren’t eco-friendly. If you’re looking for natural remedies to eliminate gnats, below are the non-chemical ways you should check out.
1. Use Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is an essential oil that incorporates pepper and mint as the primary ingredients. It’s one of the best commercial gnats repellents.
It has a strong smell that’s often detested by many insects, making it an excellent repellant. And because raw peppermints are harsh to the skin, you may want to dilute it a little for safety reasons.
Using a double boiler, bring the shea butter into a boil until it’s liquified. Remove the pan from the heat and add the essential oils. Combine the ingredients by stirring the mixture adequately.
Transfer the liquid into a container to allow it cool. You may now apply the cream to exposed areas of the skin to keep away gnats.
2. Use Dryer Sheets
Fabric softener sheets have a smell similar to lavender, scented geranium, lemon balm, among other gnat repellent plants. Keep gnats away from your face by putting a dryer sheet inside your pocket before heading outdoors.
And because you’ll be walking around with a fabric softener sheet and not physical flower petals, birds and bees won’t be attracted to you, as they wouldn’t want to be around chemicals.
3. Get a Vanilla Repellent
Unsurprisingly, gnats can’t stand the sweet scent of vanilla. So, upon applying a vanilla concentrate to the exposed skin regions, you’ll be protecting your body from gnats attacks. Here’s how to extract vanilla repellent.
Combine the plain vanilla extract with water, and stir the mixture thoroughly to obtain a perfect blend. Immerse a clean cotton ball into the vanilla extract and use it as a repellent for your skin.
While some people are allergic to vanilla concentrates, consider testing it on a small section of your exposed skin to ensure that you won’t develop an allergic reaction.
4. Use Essential Oils
For decades, essential oils have been proven effective for gnats and other insects like bees. Essential oils are scientifically obtained by pressing or distilling plant material.
Essential oils are rich in potent aromatic elements that are great for repelling gnats. Also, they are effective for fruit flies, or any other annoying insect you may want to repel. The aromatic elements are the origin of the unique, natural scents each essential oil possess. While these scents are pleasing to humans, they are incredibly unpleasant to gnats.
5. Eucalyptus Oil
Not only will the natural scent of eucalyptus leave behind an aesthetic smell to your house, but it will also eliminate gnats. The pungent smell of eucalyptus is excellent for repelling a variety of insects, including gnats.
You can incorporate eucalyptus oil into your home diffuser, or even combine it with some other essential oils for a DIY gnat spray, or any other insects. Here’s how to prepare the eucalyptus repellent.
Into a plastic spray bottle, pour all the essential oils. Add vinegar and water into the spray bottle. Replace the lid and shake adequately to combine all the ingredients.
Your spray is ready. Use it to spray your surroundings to eliminate the gnats. When spraying, please avoid contact with the eyes as they might irritate.
6. Trap With Vinegar Soap
This is the most effective way of attracting and getting rid of gnats. This DIY gnat trap is simple and incorporates dishwashing liquid and apple cider vinegar.
The apple cider vinegar has an acidic scent that attracts the gnats naturally while getting trapped into the dishwashing liquid. Here are the simple steps to do so.
Into a small bowl or jar, pour the apple cider vinegar and add the dishwashing liquid to the vinegar. Combine the ingredients thoroughly to attain a perfect blend.
Cover the container using a plastic wrap and make small holes that are about ½cm in diameter. Place the container where the gnats are more vulnerable. This DIY solution is also effective for trapping fruit flies.
7. Yellow Sticky Traps
Yellow sticky traps are excellent traps for gnats. You can purchase them from your local home improvement store or even DIY. Use a thin layer of honey to cover the front of a yellow index card. Yellow cards are the most preferred because gnats are susceptible to yellow color.
Next, mask the honey-coated, yellow card to a popsicle stick or straw, attaching it to the non-sticky region. Place the stick in the ground near the infested area, with the honey-covered side facing out. The gnats will eventually get trapped into the honey. Discard the card once it’s full of gnats and replace it with a new one.
How to Get Rid of Gnats in the House?
1. Use a Wine Trap
You must be wondering why you should sacrifice your wine at the expense of these annoying gnats. Don’t worry because you can utilize the expired wine rather than disposing of it in the trash.
Use the apple cider vinegar trick to effect the wine trap. Into a little container, pour the expired wine and add a few drops of dishwashing solution. Place the mixture in the infested areas and wait for the gnats to get trapped.
2. Set a Candle Trap
Into a small pan filled with water, place a tall candle into a candlestick. Make sure that the lights are off for effective trapping. More often, the gnats will either fall into the water beneath the candle or even hit the flames. Meanwhile, don’t leave the burning candle unattended for your safety.
3. Use a Rotten Fruit
Gnats are often attracted to rotten fruits, so why not utilize them as traps? Using a large bowl, incorporate a few pieces of rotten fruits then cover it using a plastic wrap. Use a rubber band to secure it in place. Poke a few holes at the top using a toothpick and wait for the gnats to make their way through the trap.
4. A Diluted Bleach Solution Will Do for Drain Flies
Like mentioned before, chemicals are the ultimate solutions to gnats; however, not safe for your household. Drain flies are common to the sink drains, which makes diluted bleach a good bet.
Make sure to wear a mask when diluting the bleach, as they can be harmful to your lungs. Use one gallon of water to dilute half a cup of bleach before letting it down your sink drain.
5. Eliminate Their Food Source
Fruit flies won’t hang around if they have nothing to feed on. In the meantime, stock all your food produced in the fridge or inside trash cans. Also, embrace the culture of rising fruits and vegetables as soon as you’re back from the store, according to Orkin entomologist.
How to Get Rid of Gnats Outdoors?
1. Cultural Changes
Changing the thriving conditions for gnats goes a long way toward eliminating gnats from your yard. Allow your garden beds and lawns to dry entirely after watering to reduce the chances of moisture that accommodates gnats. Most importantly, your outdoor surroundings should be free of decaying organic matter. Clean up any grass clippings, leaves, or dead weight from the yard.
Please refrain from using peat moss beds in the yard because fungus gnats are more vulnerable to it. Use flypaper strips in gnat-filled areas, and occasionally replace the strips. Sadly, developed gnats may exhaust the water in plants and soil. Even worse, inhabit the places they use for breeding.
2. Biological Options
Using other animals is an excellent way of eliminating gnats naturally. Nematodes and Steirnernema, for example, have been proven effective at reducing fungus gnats. Because nematodes are live, add lukewarm or cooled water as the package prompts.
Once it’s ready, apply them to the irrigated ground and use it as a soil drench. Meanwhile, avoid using vast amounts of pesticides along with nematodes to protect them from being infested by gnats.
3. Chemical Options
Under circumstances when the gnats have become severe, you may want to use chemicals to eliminate them forcefully. Insecticides with pyrethrins act way faster than other insecticides you can think of.
Once you have purchased your insecticide with pyrethrin, you can spray the chemical directly into the soil where gnats would always congregate. Even better, pyrethrin can break down quickly, and therefore pose little to no risk to both humans and animals.
4. Plant Geraniums
Geraniums in pots can be very helpful in the control of gnats in your compound. You can either grow geraniums or put them in the ground – it’s your prerequisite. This plant features flowers containing citronella, which gnats don’t like.
It is also important to note that citronella is one of the scents found in commercial candles and sprays. So this plant would help you keep gnats away from your compound.
5. Plant Lemon Thyme and Lavender
Lemon thyme is another plant that can keep away gnats. These plants feature both yellow and green scented leaves. If you need to keep gnats away from your home, you’ll need to plant the Lemon Thyme plant where it can get some amount of sunlight. The best of all is that you can use this plant in the kitchen to bring the lemon sensation to your delicacies.
You can also use the lavender plant to keep away gnats from your compound. The scent of this plant will repel gnats, thus keeping them away. This plant features flowers of different colors from white to lavender to purple. The smell of these flowers is no doubt pleasing to humans, but they are not to the gnats. Like the Lemon Thyme, you will need to place your lavender plant at a point it can receive some amount of sunlight.