Methods to repel gnats include eliminating places where they gather, trapping them with a solution of vinegar and dish soap, drawing their attention away by wearing a hat and avoiding scented products. There are many chemical gnat repellents, but natural strategies are typically just as effective.
Gnats generally gather in areas that accumulate moisture and fungus, such as pantries or countertops that hold overripe fruits or vegetables. Cleaning up these areas can typically reduce the gnat population gathering there. Gnats also have a distinct smell, reminiscent of rotting fruit, which can help reveal where they might come from.
If gnats still remain after the origin points are eliminated, a solution of dish soap and vinegar in a small bowl is a natural gnat trap. The smell of the vinegar attracts the gnats, while the dish soap residue keeps them from escaping.
Natural gnat traps are less effective in the outdoors, where gnats are attracted to human bodies. Gnats are typically drawn to the highest point on the body, which is why they swarm around people’s heads. Wearing a hat creates an artificial high point, which can draw the gnats away from the head and face. Scented products, such as shampoo, makeup, lip gloss and facial creams, can also attract gnats, so switching to unscented versions of these products can help repel the insects.