Biting Gnats? Help!! | Taste of Home Community

Biting Gnats? Help!!

Last post Jun 01, 2008 2:04 AM by sugarbug . 3 replies.

Forum Jump
Forum Jump:
Page 1 of 1 (4 items)
NOTE: You must join this group before you can participate in its forum.
  • Biting Gnats? Help!!

     Hi all. I am literally scratching myself raw. My Bf and I go up to the cabin every weekend to get away from... everything basically. Anywho > it seems like every time I am up there, i am getting bit up badly. I've stopped wearing perfume, or any kind of dark clothing, stopped using deoderant soaps and shampoos in the shower, and even sun tan lotion, but I am still getting bit up. I have even resorted to wearing long sleeves and pants but when it's 80 degrees out, i have to go inside since I'm sweating and the bugs are biting my hands and head. Funny part is, it's the gnats that are doing all the biting.

     I've tried bug sprays but maybe I'm not using the right stuff. Right now I am smearing cortisone on like it's body lotion and taking Benadryl Allergy... all to alleviate the nasty itching. I don't want to spend my whole summer doing this routine every weekend.


  • Re: Biting Gnats? Help!!

    Yep!  I deal with those pesky bugs every summer.  The solution?  Well, if you don't mind smelling like Vanilla....go to any Ethnic store and buy yourself some REAL Mexican Vanilla.  Put a generous amount on a paper towel and dab it where ever they like to bite.  That is the only way that I could work in our garden or flower beds. 


    Hope this helps you, too!





  • Re: Biting Gnats? Help!!

    I really feel for you! Now are we talking real gnats or those pain in the neck little black flies? 

    Dee, I didn't know about the MV but will sure give that a try...When those things attack and bite, it is like chiggers or whatever they are called. I get big welts and it will bruise me! It leaves black and blue marks and they itch like crazy. I have a cheap help for the itch~at least it is handy and helps, but it isn't a cure as you have to keep applying it~and it isn't pretty! lol

    I use toothpaste~after the initial bites. Sometimes when they swell up real big, I will put a little PrepH on it to sooth the pain part. When I have multiple bites, it sound awful but I will break the bite open and just get as much out of it as I can, but then I have to switch back to the toothpaste. I figure if I can put it in my mouth, it is okay! It also works for mosquito bites. Calamine really doesn't seem to help them much but maybe I am sensitive to those bites! Of course if I go someplace, I have to wear jeans because the white spots are visible...but I would rather wear jeans than itch like crazy! Right now I have one bite on my leg and I put the toothpaste in my purse so I can apply it as needed. For me, they one bite can  go on for weeks!

    I sure hope you find some relief soon! I was reading this on the internet about the black flies~and since we live surrounded by lakes, this must be why we have so many! I sure feel for you~it must take me some 20+ bites before I build up an immunity..they just hurt me! HUGS, Linda

    on another site, I found this info~


    Individuals should not try to control black fly larvae. Treating a small area, or part of a single stream will do little to alleviate a black fly pest problem. The State of New Hampshire requires a special permit to apply pesticides to surface waters, but because black fly nuisance problems are rarely confined to one location, state regulators are not likely to grant permits to individuals for black fly control. A commercial license to apply pesticides is also required before a permit is issued.

    Control of black files in the adult state is usually not practical, unless you wish to obtain temporary relief (hours) on local property. Fogging to control black flies in the adult stage may provide a brief period of relief, but because adults are strong fliers, relief usually is only temporary. Sustained control is not possible using this method.

    Proper clothing offers good protection against black fly bites. Keep shirt sleeves and front closely fastened and tuck trousers inside socks or high boots. Zippered front shirts will keep flies out better than button shirts. Light colors such as orange, yellow and light blue are less attractive to black flies than dark ones such as green, brown and red. Shoulder-length head nets are sometimes useful. These can also be impregnated with repellents.

    Black flies are active only during the day. They do not bite at night. Depending on weather, black flies tend to be more active at certain times of day. Activity peaks tend to occur around 9:00 to 11:00 AM and again from 4:00 to 7:00 in the late afternoon and early evening, or until the suns falls below the horizon. They tend to be most active on humid, cloudy days and just before storms. If possible, avoid activity during times when black flies are most active. Early morning, midday and late evenings are the best times to work outside.

    Chemical Repellents:
    The same repellents used for mosquitoes are effective against black flies, but apparently do not last as long against black files. Since black files tend to crawl up sleeves and under socks and trousers repellent applied around the wrists, ankles and belt line will prevent files from crawling under clothing and biting. Repellents should be applied as needed for alleviating black fly attacks. Garments impregnated with repellents may also be effective in preventing black fly attacks. Currently the most effective ingredient is N,N-diethyl-meta-tolumide, or DEET. This material is not recommended for use on infants. Some people, especially, young children, can be sensitive to DEET, so use it with caution. Skin reactions, eye irritation, slurred speech, confusion and seizures have been reported.

  • Re: Biting Gnats? Help!!

    Hi Linda!


    I know exactly what you're talking about!  Those buggers leave huge bites on me, too.  When my parents traveled the winters down in Texas, some friends of theirs told them about the Vanilla.  It really works!!  It doesn't seem to help with mosquitoes, tho...but a Vet. friend of mine told me that if you take a dryer fabric softener sheet and rub it on yourself, that will keep the mosquitoes away.  So far so good...I was out planting flowers and bulbs most of the day today while DH was mowing and not one bug bite to report!  We live beside a huge field of Alfalfa, you wouldn't believe the bugs that live in there...LOL!  It's worse when the farmers mow it.  I stay in the house....bugs flying every where!!  YUK!!  Good luck with the black flies, we don't see much of them until later in the summer.