Every year around this time, those nasty black gnats seem to be everywhere. Some people use Absorbine Jr, vanilla extract or Skin So Soft. Those work a little--if at all.


The all time BEST product was something called McNess Formula 1046. However, it's no longer made. The active ingredient in this stuff was Chloroxylenol, which is an antimicrobial compound used to control bacteria, algae and fungi. It's also found in some antibacterial soaps. The product with the concentration of Chloroxylenol closest to the old McNess is a disinfectant called Dettol.

The bad news is it's pretty tough to find in any store around the Quad Cities. However, you can find it from a bunch of different sellers on Amazon.com. The right stuff is the yellow topical antiseptic, not the Dettol disinfectant or soap.


Your best bet is to mix the Dettol in a 50/50 solution with baby oil. You can use it straight out of the bottle, but in real small amounts because it can irritate your skin. It lasts for a couple hours then you have to reapply. Trust me, you won't be disappointed with the results. Here's what somebody wrote in a review on Amazon:

This stuff is a must for golfers, farmers, gardeners or anyone that gets tired of those pesky gnats. Rub a little bit on your neck, ears, ankles and the bill of your hat. You McNess lovers that know what I'm talking about and have used McNess for this purpose and have finally ran out then get this stuff, it's a direct replacement and smells the same. Smells like what the doctors office smelled like 30-40 years ago. I have also smelled something similar used around horses to help them with gnats and flies.