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Homemade Repellent Uses Vanilla to Keep Those Pesky Bugs Away

Flying Insect

Gnats driving you crazy while you’re trying to enjoy a nice day outside? Keep those little buggers away by mixing a few ingredients you more than likely have laying around the house.

Not only did have a great time hanging out with friends and relaxing on my family’s camping trip Memorial Day Weekend, I learned a couple of things too. I learned out to keep people entertained for hours for between $10 to $20, and I learned of a far more pleasant-smelling way to keep the irritating hordes of gnats at bay then your standard bug spray. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 1/3 cup imitation vanilla
  • 1/3 regular Listerine mouthwash
  • 1/3 water
  • 1 small, plastic spray bottle


  1. Mix all ingredients and fill spray bottle.
  2. Spray liberally over body.

I’m not sure if it’s the vanilla or the alcohol in the Listerine that makes it effective, but I can tell you it works. However, like any other bug spray, it does require re-application from time to time as it will eventually evaporate on your skin and the gnats, flies, whatever will return.

What it is not effective at is keeping mosquitos and ticks away. You’ll still need to apply your choice of bug spray (with DEET) to keep those nasty little things away.

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