It can generally go without saying that nobody likes gnats. They are distracting, annoying little bugs that can be just as annoying as mosquitos when it comes to their bites.
While they are bad enough for people to deal with, it can be tough to watch your dog struggle with gnats and gnat bites. If you notice that gnats seem to love your dog, you might want to consider ways to keep the gnats away.
There are a few different methods that you can try, but before you can get to removing the gnats from your dog, you will have to first know where the gnats are coming from, where they like to stay, and what areas you should avoid while you are walking your dog. When you know where not to go, it will be much easier to keep the gnat management at an acceptable level.
What Attracts Gnats?
Even if you do not have gnats that occur naturally because you live near an area where they breed, certain environmental factors can bring gnats to your property, where they can pester you and your dog. Because these bugs prefer still, standing water, they will also prefer warm and moist places in your home as well.
Rotting fruits, vegetables, plants, and moldy foods can attract gnats as well, which means you will want to keep a close eye on your fridge, pantry, and garden areas to ensure that the gnats are coming from there.
Besides, making sure that you don’t have any rotting plants in your house is a good idea. You should also make sure that your dog isn’t rolling around in compost or in your garden, as this can make your dog smell wonderful to a gnat.
During the night, gnats are much like mosquitos in the sense that they prefer to fly toward bright lights. This means that you should try replacing the bulbs in your house and on your porch with sodium light bulbs to try and dissuade the gnats from flying near your property.
When the gnats aren’t even near your property in the first place, it will be a lot easier to manage the few that might stray toward it.
Where Do Gnats Hide?
First things first, you should know where gnats like to live so that you can avoid those areas. The first step to getting rid of gnats is to make sure they never come into contact with your dogs in the first place.
Generally, gnats will lay their eggs in still waters, meaning that they will be prevalent in these areas. Much like mosquitos, you can find gnats near lakes and streams where they raise their young. If you can help it, you should try and avoid these areas when you are on a walk with your dog.
On your own property, you should make sure that you remove things with standing water in them, as this is a potential breeding ground for gnats. If it is possible, you should aim to remove as many water sources in your yard as you can to reduce the chances that gnats will want to breed there. For instance, if you have a bird bath or a water bowl, you should be changing the water in it twice a week.
Knowing How to Deter the Gnats
If you simply cannot remove the water sources from your yard, if you have a pool or pond, then you might want to consider getting a gnat repellent to put on your grass. There are granular gnat repellents that are designed for households with dogs, meaning that they will be all-natural and safe if your dog becomes just a little bit too curious. You should use this kind of repellent on the grass every three weeks to keep the gnats away.
Another option for people who enjoy gardening is planting marigold flowers along the perimeter of the yard, or at least in the main area where your dog hangs out. Gnats, interestingly enough, do not appreciate the scent of the flower and will stay far away from these plants, thus keeping them out of your dog’s fur as well.
Knowing How to Protect Your Dog
When it comes to making sure that your dog is protected each time you go out for a walk, you have two options. You can consider making your own gnat repellent with essential oils and other ingredients that are safe for dogs, or you can consider purchasing a gnat repellent from the store if you don’t want to make your own.
If you are planning to make your own gnat repellent, there are a few ingredients that you are going to want to collect beforehand. You will generally be using witch hazel or olive oil as the base for the repellent. You can either use cedarwood or neem oil for the other part of the repellent, depending on which one smells better and which one your dog tolerates more.
Once you have these ingredients, you will use about 10 parts witch hazel or olive oil to make the base of the repellent. Next, you will want to add about one part cedarwood or neem oil, depending on which you prefer, and you will mix them all together. After everything is properly mixed together, you can empty it into a spray bottle and spray it onto your dog’s fur to keep the gnats from wanting to get to your dog.
If you choose to purchase the gnat repellent, there are a few things to remember and look for. You will want to aim for the natural repellents, as these have the least chance of aggravating your dog. You will also want to look for products that last for eight hours, giving you as much coverage as possible for a good portion of the day. You can always reapply as needed though.