Bugs trying to kill me (not really)
June 8, 2007 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Gnats are attacking me while I'm in my garden and making it miserable to do anything! help! There must be a solution I can make to lure them away while I'm around.

Those little pin point sized flying creatures are swarming my head whenever I water my garden at night. I end up waving my arms around while i garden and I'm sure everyone thinks I'm out of my mind. They bite my legs, arms, neck and make it miserable to do anything outside. The family just got a new puppy, so I'd rather not throw down a chemical. Any ideas?

Please help me put the fun back into my garden!
posted by nonstopflights to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Believe it or not, all the fisherman in my family and all their fisherman friends use this when they go out fishing early in the morning, particularly in freshwater. And you know what? It keeps little critters like gnats away like a dream.

Avon figured out it was being used for this purpose some years back and started manufacturing an actual line of bug repellant, but there's nothing that compares to the original. Take it from the fishermen with the softest cheeks, earlobes, and ankles you've ever seen. :-)
posted by TryTheTilapia at 3:40 PM on June 8, 2007

Some golfers put vanilla on their necks and behind their ears to keep gnats away.
posted by rcavett at 3:52 PM on June 8, 2007

Wow, I came in here to say the same thing as TryTheTilapia! That thing really does work, unless the ingredients have changed since I was a kid growing up in MS way back when.
posted by misozaki at 4:14 PM on June 8, 2007

Gnats seem to be drawn to bright coloured (possibly just yellow) clothing, it could be that.
posted by iamcrispy at 4:33 PM on June 8, 2007

Garden in the early morning?
posted by devilsbrigade at 4:33 PM on June 8, 2007

misozaki, you are not alone! I grew up in Louisiana and all my family is still in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. And, yep, they're still using it.

And it's funny, because I thought there is no way in the world anybody's gonna believe this and then here you came!
posted by TryTheTilapia at 4:35 PM on June 8, 2007

nonstopflights, I want you to go out and get that stuff TryTheTilapia and misozaki recommend, and report back here whether it works, for the good of all AskMe. Gnats need beatings, and if this stuff does it, I gots to know!

(I'd try it myself, but right now I don't have gnat troubles, so it'd just be six bucks for nothin'.)
posted by cgc373 at 5:02 PM on June 8, 2007

Yeah, it was a word-of-mouth thing that my mom learned from her golfing buddies, and I remember being slathered with that stuff whenever I went outside and hating it because it was greasy and had this distinctive fragrance... But it worked!
I didn't know Avon tried to sell an actual line of bug repellant and that it didn't work out. I wonder what it is about the original that does the trick?
posted by misozaki at 5:39 PM on June 8, 2007

Check out the site. Avon offers a whole line of bug repellants now. nonstopflights, they claim that the main ingredient in those products is a safer version of DEET.

If you notice, though, the SSS sprayable body oil is on back-order (sorry, nonstopflights!), which tells me that my family fishing buddies and their ilk are probably ordering the crap out of the stuff, it being summer and prime bug weather and all. It still sort of cracks me up a little to think of all these burly, outdoorsy, sun-burnt MANLY MEN slathering themselves with a product called "Skin So Soft", but, hey, I guess you can't argue with success...
posted by TryTheTilapia at 5:48 PM on June 8, 2007

Yes, Skin So Soft works. There is also a SSS/SPF combo. If it is out of stock on the website your local Avon rep may have some on-hand.

A more funny option: Where a tall hat. Gnats are attracted to the tallest place, as far as I can tell. Try it - if you stick your hand up in the air, they will all cluster around your hand. If your hat is tall, they will stick around its top and stay out of your face. Make it a funny hat with a big brim to entertain me. Since you mention you are out at night, it might work even better (or maybe much worse) if you put a little light at the top of the hat. You can also wear pants (or bright red clown overalls to go with the hat) to stop the leg biting. Same goes for shirts and arms.
posted by Eringatang at 7:39 PM on June 8, 2007

Don't where a tall hat. Wear it.
posted by Eringatang at 7:39 PM on June 8, 2007

I haven't used this and I can't vouch that it will work for gnats, but I've been curious about these patches.
posted by sharkfu at 8:29 AM on June 9, 2007

SSS worked for me too.

Have you tried going out to the garden an hour earlier or later? I've found that the blood-sucking bugs have regular feeding times and generally I'm able to avoid peak activity.
posted by merelyglib at 5:57 AM on January 10, 2008

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