What Smell Do Gnats Hate? Repelling Gnats


Gnats are more than just a minor annoyance. These tiny insects can quickly become a major problem, especially during the warmer months. They are attracted to the scent of humans and pets, and their bites can cause skin irritation. Fortunately, natural methods and commercial products can help repel gnats and reclaim your outdoor spaces.

Understanding Gnats

Gnats are small flying insects often mistaken for mosquitoes due to their similar appearance. However, gnats are typically smaller and can be recognized by their long legs and short wings. They also have a Y-shaped vein on their wings, a distinguishing feature. Unlike mosquitoes, most gnats are not blood-suckers, but they can still bite and cause skin irritation.

Gnats are attracted to moisture, organic material, and the scent of humans and pets. They reproduce quickly, which means a small gnat problem can quickly become a large infestation. One of the reasons gnats are such a nuisance is because they are attracted to the scent of human sweat, which means they often fly around our faces and bodies.

While both gnats and mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and moisture, which humans and animals exhale, their behavior has some differences. Mosquitoes are notorious for their blood-sucking habits, which is how they transmit diseases. On the other hand, gnats are more of a nuisance due to their swarming behavior, and only a few species bite.

Understanding these differences can help implement the most effective strategies to repel them.

Natural Ways to Repel Gnats

Several natural methods can help repel gnats. One of the most effective is using strong scents, such as essential oils. Many gnats are repelled by strong scents, so using these oils can help keep them away. Additionally, certain plants are known to repel gnats, so planting these in your yard can help reduce the number of gnats. It’s also important to place these repellents in strategic locations, such as near doors and windows, to prevent gnats from entering your home.

List of Scents That Repel Gnats

Several scents are known to repel gnats. These include:

  • Lemon essential oil
  • Lemongrass essential oil
  • Eucalyptus essential oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Cedarwood essential oil
  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Tea tree essential oil
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon thyme
  • Vanilla
  • Citronella
  • Mint
  • Mexican Marigold
  • Geranium
  • Garlic
  • Neem oil
  • No Natz
  • DEET
  • Softener sheets

DIY Natural Gnat Repellent Recipes

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, you can create your own natural gnat repellents using essential oils. Here are three recipes you can try:

Recipe 1: Essential Oil Spray Combine several drops of your chosen essential oil (such as lemon, lemongrass, or eucalyptus) with water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray in areas where gnats are a problem.

Recipe 2: Vanilla and Citronella Spray Mix a few drops of vanilla and citronella essential oils with water in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray around your outdoor spaces to repel gnats.

Recipe 3: Garlic and Water Spray Crush a few garlic cloves and mix with water in a spray bottle. This strong-smelling mixture can be sprayed in your yard to keep gnats away.

Commercial Products to Repel Gnats

While natural methods can be effective, several commercial products can also help repel gnats. Here are a few options:

How to Use These Scents and Products to Repel Gnats

Whether using natural scents or commercial products, it’s important to use them correctly to repel gnats effectively. Here are some tips:

  • You can create mixtures and sprays for natural scents to apply around your home and yard. You can also clean surfaces with these scents to deter gnats.
  • Plant certain plants in your yard known to repel gnats, such as marigolds or citronella.
  • Apply essential oils in strategic places, such as near doors and windows, to prevent gnats from entering your home.
  • When using commercial products, always follow the instructions on the label for the best results.
  • Always take precautions when using certain scents and products, especially around children, pets, and those with allergies or sensitivities.


Gnats can be a nuisance, but with the right strategies, you can effectively repel them and reclaim your outdoor spaces. Whether you choose to use natural repellents like essential oils and plants, or commercial products available on the market, the key is finding the best solution for you. You can enjoy a gnat-free environment with a bit of effort and experimentation.

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