If you ever find yourself driving though Elkton, Florida and see someone in their yard with their arms flailing above their head, they’re not only being neighborly. They are trying to stop the incessant buzzing in their ears. While lovingly called ‘The Elkton Wave,’ it’s not a gesture of friendliness; it’s the one motion that keeps gnats from droning in their ears.
Gnats! The very word makes most people in run inside to get away from the swarming pests. But thankfully this year I have found some products that make going outside somewhat bearable between April and whenever it is they disappear. According to a very reliable source (a vendor at the Flea Market), August is the end of gnat season. That’s only 3 days away, we’ll see!
Anyway, living indoors is not an option at the Triple H Ranch. Les started asking local farmers what they use. The first, and my favorite, is called No Natz. It’s all natural and leaves you smelling lemony fresh. Also recommended was Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus by Avon. Les and I have tried both (sometimes at the same time). We both prefer No Natz since it comes in a pump sprayer, leaves a fresh scent, and seems to work the best. Bug Guard Plus isn’t too bad though. My biggest issue with it is that it comes in an aerosol can, and if you aren’t careful you’ll get an earful of the bug spray. It also doesn’t smell as fresh or last as long.
Now that we can go outside again I have to be sure Kobi, with his gnat allergies, is protected as well. I had a vet last year recommend a mixture of equal parts of:
- Skin So Soft (by Avon)
- Adam’s Flea and Tick Spray (in the blue bottle for dogs and cats)
- Permethrin (active ingredient in almost all fly sprays)
- Vinegar (either white or apple cider)
- top it off with water
It was stinky but worked…last year. I think our gnats became immune to it. Another horse person recommended Wipe (Farnam). It’s pricey, but also works well. I try to alternate products based on if I have time to wipe the horses down, or just need to quickly spray them, hoping the gnats won’t develop immunity to either. One word of caution against Wipe: it’s oil based, so the horses become very dirty and dusty.
If you know of any other products, human or equine, PLEASE let me know. And if you drive by and see someone giving ‘The Elkton Wave,’ be neighborly, wave back, and make sure your windows are rolled up tight!