I was outside in the yard yesterday afternoon talking with our visiting carillonneur who was here to play for the annual June carillon concerts. He mentioned that where he lives (Springfield) they are having a big problem with what he called Rambo Gnats which are everywhere and bite. He called them Rambo Gnats which I think is a Springfield kind of joke. I was so glad to hear this because we are having the same issue with these almost invisible gnats which bite and cause an intense itch at the bite site. The itch lasts about 24 hours, gets red and sometimes swells.
Sometimes I'll hear a mosquito like sound just before I feel the bite. We can't enjoy sitting outside at any time of day because we're constantly waving away these tiny things. Unlike normal gnats, these guys really bite. I have tried pots of citronella candles but they don't bother the gnats. The carillonneur told me what he found to work the best was vanilla scent in a spray form which can be purchased at General Dollar and just sprayed all over yourself. He said this works so well the last time he was in General Dollar this spray was sold out.
I didn't get the chance to ask him if this Vanilla spray was a room freshener type or a general body spray, but I hope to find some at the Collinsville General Dollar today. There was a second name after Vanilla and I've forgotten it. It's Vanilla something spray. If nothing else I'll try any Vanilla at all because these things make being outside just no fun.
There is advice online which recommends filling a bowl with one quarter cup of dish soap and a cup of brown cider vinegar and setting outside where you'll be. The gnats are drawn to the bowl, fall in and can't get out. I'll try that too when we want to sit outside.