Gnat bites are painful and cause swelling and irritation. The bite swells up and itches like a mosquito bite. A small drop of blood is left, marking the spot of the bite. Gnats are usually found in close proximity to water, so avoid spending long periods of time in moist, warm areas like streams or marshes. Places that accumulate standing water around the house like gutters and flower pots are prone to gnat infestation as well. If you are going to be exposed to areas that may have a large gnat population, there are some precautions you can take to avoid being bitten.
Apply a citronella lotion or DEET to any exposed skin areas. This will prevent any insects from getting on your skin.
Spray permethrin on your clothes to keep gnats from latching on. Permethrin is derived from Pyrethrum and is used to repel insects. The spray is the easiest to use on your clothes.
Wear a bug band to disguise your smell. Gnats are repelled by the odour it emits and are not able to detect that you are a potential snack. Bug bands are plastic bracelets with chemicals that repel gnats and other insect pests.
Attach a bite shield to your belt, or set it on a table if you are staying in one place for an extended period of time. This will repel gnats in a 7-foot radius around the device. The Geraniol in the unit is blown by a quiet battery-powered fan. The odour emitted is irritating to insects, but not to humans.
Light a citronella candle in areas where you will be spending a lot of time. Gnats are confused when they come in contact with the odour and are not able to find you.
If you are bitten, apply ice to relieve the swelling and pain. All of the gnat repellent products can be purchased in most outdoor supply stores, pharmacies or general stores with an outdoor supply department. They can also be purchased online from a number of sites.
Allergic reactions are possible from the application of lotions or DEET. Apply it the first time when you are able to get help if a bad reaction occurs.