Gnats may be small and harmless, but they can be annoying pests, too. It can be difficult to enjoy sitting outside with friends if the gnats want to hang out, too. There are cheap, easy ways to keep them off you without spending money on chemical repellents.
Prevention and Trapping
The easiest way to keep gnats off your body is to keep them out of your environment. There are several ways to deter them from hanging around your home. Keep your house clean and do not allow food or drinks to sit out. Keep your garbage cans covered and clean them regularly. Standing water is a friendly invitation for gnats to breed, so keep your sinks drained, do not overwater your plants, and look for other areas around your house that may have standing water. Pay special attention to your sink drains, and make sure they stay clean.
You can also set up traps if you notice that gnats are already present. Gnats are attracted to vinegar, so you can easily make a trap with what you have at home. You can put a few holes in a bottle that are just large enough for the gnats to get in, and then put vinegar in the bottle; they'll find their way in but will have trouble getting back out. You can also mix vinegar with dish soap and leave it out in a bowl. The gnats will go for the vinegar, but the soap is slippery and they will often get stuck in it.
You might still have trouble with gnats even after doing your best to prevent them from coming around. If they are still bugging you, try making a homemade repellent. If you have any vanilla extract, try dabbing it on yourself to deter the gnats from coming near you. Apply it the same way you might put on perfume: a little behind your ears, on your neck, and on your wrists.
A mixture of witch hazel along with a few drops of tea tree oil can also work well at repelling gnats and other insects. You can even put this solution in a spray bottle to easily mist yourself.
A combination of prevention, trapping, and repelling can help keep those gnats away. Many of the things you can use you probably have at home already, or can be bought cheaply at your local drugs or grocery store.