Larry and I enjoy working in our yard and gardens, but I don’t tolerate the gnats very well. A few up my nose, in my eyes, and in my ears will chase me right back inside on the double. Their abundance this summer is daunting, to say the least. The grandchildren are visiting, and living above the gnat line, they are even less tolerant than I of these pests.
“Grandma,” Jakey told me Saturday, “I didn’t know you lived in Gnat City. Let’s go inside.”
So we did-immediately, slamming the door quickly so the gnats couldn’t follow us in. Every day I hope for wind to chase the gnats so the boys can play outside and dig in the garden. We did get out for awhile on Saturday, but there seems to be no solution to the huge problem of these tiny pests.
Earlier when that nice Spring weather suddenly turned to cruel, vicious Summer, I Googled the gnat problem. How could we co-exist? I found many answers. For example, one source suggested one part vanilla extract to two parts water. I mixed up a batch and walked around the yard smelling like cookies. The gnats loved the scent and swarmed to my face for a closer smell and a taste. I didn’t really care too much for smelling like vanilla anyway, so back to Google I went.
The next suggestion was a solution of one part vinegar, one part water, and one part dish detergent. That one worked a bit better, but is far from perfect. Larry wasn’t too happy with it. When he was hoeing the garden wearing eau de vinegar, rivers of sweat carried the dish detergent into his eyes. He came in spitting and sputtering and swiping at his eyes. He suggested substituting baby shampoo for the dish detergent, but we haven’t tried that yet. My kitchen is starting to resemble a mad scientist’s lab.
I remember applying Skin-so-Soft for the problem years ago in our Cub Scout days. It seemed to work. Nothing attracts gnats like a crew of dirty, sweaty Cub Scouts, but either the gnats weren’t as bad back then or the Skin-so-Soft worked. Recently I hopefully bought some Avon products for repelling bugs, but I couldn’t wear them and breathe at the same time. Plus the gnats seemed to like it almost as well as they like me.
I’ve purchased the new “all green” natural products, the old standbys like Deep Woods Off, the repellants that are supposed to keep at bay any kind of flying insect. Is a gnat an insect? If so, then the products do not work-not on these mutant Gnat City gnats anyway.
About a week ago I was in a big farm supply store in another town and told the owner about my problem. He handed me a small spray bottle and said, “This contains pure Deet. If this don’t work, nothing will.”
I handed over the exorbitant price and left feeling good about my purchase. In my back yard later, I just felt like a sucker as the gnats filled my ears and nose. It didn’t work any better than the vanilla concoction.
Is there no help for my problem? I’ve exhausted Google’s suggestions to no avail. A couple of years back I asked my readers for advice about repelling yellow flies and got some good answers. Lemon dish detergent works like a charm against yellow flies. Many products on the market will keep the mosquitoes away. These gnats, however, are Satanic. My Atlanta boys and I will be vacationing in the house if we don’t find help immediately. Somebody please help me. I’m a desperate woman who’s about to be cooped up in the house with three rowdy boys for two weeks if I can’t find a solution.