Out of bug spray.

We stopped by a few stores on our way home yesterday. “Do you have any bug spray left, or After Bite?” I asked.

“No, we’ve been out for days and we’re not sure when more will be coming in. Everyone is out,” the woman I spoke with last yesterday said, shaking her head. She added, “I know a lot of the municipalities here, at least in the eastern part of South Dakota, are spraying right now to try and get it under control but nothing seems to be working. It’s just a really bad year.”

Arena Lights

It’s okay, I thought to myself. We had just stopped by the grocery store and I grabbed another bottle of vanilla.


A conversation about how bad the gnats are this year – not the flies or mosquitos – has temporarily replaced ‘how’s the weather’ it seems at just about every gas station, grocery store, softball game, pool visit or backyard party. At least for now. I’m not writing to complain about them or the fact I’m covered in bites and that the swelling still hasn’t gone down in my one eye after three gnats attacked a few days ago. Neither has the little neighbor girls who got bit in her eye yesterday too. (It seems the face and behind the ears is a delicacy for the little buggers.)

I’m simply writing to relay the two totally old school solutions everyone seems to swear by, because nothing else seems to be working.

1. Vanilla http://tinyurl.com/nr3j8dj

2. Dryer sheets http://tinyurl.com/cscayqo 

One of the neighbors says he knows quite a few famers in the area that put a dryer sheet under their hat each day before they hit the fields. Do either of them work? Far fewer bites last night after working for a few moments in the garden and being out all night with company and the horses. Our little neighbor said she loved it, no bites and she couldn’t believe how good it smelled. The smile on her face was priceless as she talked about it.

No guarantees, but perhaps the next time you’re under attack, one or the other might be worth a try.  And both seem to smell much better than the alternative.