Monday, June 15, 2009

Oh, Gnats!

I have a HUGE gnat problem! Well, the gnats aren't huge, there's just a lot of them and they all love me, or hate me -- however you want to look at it; they are all over me! I was out in the garden today trying to get a few pictures of what is blooming and they would not leave me alone! They were in my ears and hair, up my pant legs, shirt sleeves and even in my shirt! They leave big itchy welts and sometimes when they bite it feels like a tiny bear trap! UGH!!

I gave up and retreated to the house. But being the obsessive gardener that I am, I did not let it go. I hate using insect repellent because it it stings my skin, is sticky, smells bad and sometimes gets onto my lips or in my eyes - yuck! So, Google to the rescue!

In 30 seconds I found my answer - vanilla! Apparently gnats don't like it, and I have some so why not give it a try? I took about 1/8 a teaspoon real vanilla extract and rubbed it onto my neck, ears and forehead, grabbed the camera and went back outside. I was outside for the same amount of time I had been before - no gnats! And bonus, I smell like a cookie!


Roses and Lilacs said...

I learned something new today. I don't like insect repellent either and if vanilla works, I will certainly use it.

We had gnats a few weeks ago, the worst pests I've seen. I wish I would have known about your secret then.

Sylvana said...

Roses and Lilacs, our gnats seem to like it cool. When the warm weather starts up, then it is mosquitoes I have to battle!

After applying the vanilla extract, I was outside for over a half hour, 10 minutes in one spot without moving trying to get video of a bee, and NO GNATS!! :) I think we might have a winner.

Marissa's Blog said...

Yuck, gnats are annoying little buggers! Too bad the vanilla trick doesn't work on mosquitoes..they are starting to get pretty nasty again. Thanks for the tip!

Lynn said...

I wonder if vanilla would chase the flea beetles away? Looks like I might lose the eggplant :(

Sylvana said...

Marissa FP, I heard lemon grass (or other citrusy things) is supposed to work on mosquitoes. I haven't tried any yet, but if I find something that works I will be sure to tell the blogging world!

Primrozie, I've not encountered the flea beetle, but I just read that they respond to garlic and hot pepper sprays as well as Diatomaceous earth. Good luck!

Naturegirl said...

Sylvana! Thanks for the tip..gnats are a problem here too!!
I'll get that vanilla out!
Body Shop sells a cologne that is Vanilla scent!!I'll layer myself with it before I head for the garden!!

Sylvana said...

Nature Girl, let us know if the vanilla scented cologne works. I was wondering that myself!

Wendy said...

Good tip! I've got to try this! We get the large welts too with the gnats. If my kids get them on their knees or other joints, they'll swell and be unable to walk! it's horrible.

Sylvana said...

I've used it several times now and it has worked every time. It does not repel mosquitoes unfortunately. Hope it works for you.