The 5 Best Gnat Repellents

Gnats can be frustrating. I know.

You’re trying to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends, but these tiny little insects get in the way.

Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of the best gnat repellent available in the market today.

If you’re looking for ways to keep gnats away, I wrote this blog just for you.

Let’s dive in!

1. Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent – Best Overall


✅Protects against gnats for up to eight hours

✅Highly effective

✅Non-greasy and sweat proof

✅Virtually odorless

✅Safe to use on skin

✅Does not damage plastic and fabrics

✅ Comes in spray and lotion 


🚫Quite expensive

🚫Contains toxic ingredients and must be handled with care

Key Details

  • Type: Lotion / Spray 
  • Active Ingredients: Picaridin – 1-Methylpropyl-2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-piperidine carboxylate 20%.
  • How Long Does It Last: 14 hours  

How Does It Work?

The Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent is an insect repellent derived from piperine in pepper plants.

Piperin repels a variety of pests, including flies, gnats, mosquitoes, and ticks.

What I Like

Non-Greasy and Virtually Odorless

Unlike DEET products, Picaridin is not greasy and virtually odorless on the skin.

The lotion evaporates when dry, making it feel seamless on the skin.

Won’t Damage Plastic and Fabric

This repellant will not damage sunglasses, watches, clothing backpacks, and other synthetic fabrics.

Effective and Long Lasting

The Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent is one of the most effective in the market.

It repels a wide range of insects, including mosquitoes, gnats, and ticks.

It’s also long-lasting and protects against mosquitoes for up to eight hours.

What I Dislike

Too Thick

Because the product is too thick, you’ll have to use plenty to cover a small area of your skin.

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2. Sawyer Products Ultra 30% DEET – Best Gnat Repellet With Deet


✅Great for outdoors

✅Effective against many types of pests, including gnats, mosquitoes, and ticks

✅Stain-proof and sweat-proof


✅Long-lasting  – Up to 11 hours of protection


🚫Can damage plastic and some fabrics

🚫Only comes in lotion form

🚫Not waterproof


🚫Contains less DEET (30%) than other similar products

🚫May diminish the effectiveness of sunscreen

🚫Can be harmful if not handled with care

Key Details

  • Active / Main Ingredients: Deet (30%
  • How Long Does It Last: 11 hours
  • Spray or Lotion: Lotion

How Does It Work?

The Sawyer’s Ultra 30 Insect Repellent protects against common pests using DEET.

It also uses liposomes as a control release system. The Liposomes slowly release DEET, making the product long-lasting.

What I Like


Thanks to its controlled release system, this product will protect you against gnats, mosquitoes, and ticks for up to 11 hours.

Outdoor Friendly

Because this product is sweat proof, you can use it for fun activities outdoors such as hiking or biking.

You can also use it on top of sunscreen, making it ideal if you plan to stay outdoors during the day.


The products’ active ingredient, DEET, is one of the most trusted components in insect repellents for decades.

What I Dislike

Low DEET Concentration

This product has only 30% DEET, which is low compared to other similar products on the market.

Other commercially available products come with concentration as high as 90%. 


Like most lotion with DEET, this product is greasy. It also leaves an oily sheen on your skin.

Only Comes in Lotion

Lotions tend to be heavier than sprays when it comes to application. 

You’ll typically need to apply more per unit area for coverage.

You also cannot apply lotion to clothing. But you can spray on your clothes.

That said, lotion tends to last longer on the skin than sprays. So, this may not be a disadvantage to you if that’s what you’re looking for.

Can Damage Plastic and Fabrics

DEET is known to damage plastic and fabrics.

In particular, it tends to be damaging on watches, sunglasses, leather, rayon, and Spandex.

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3. Nuvan Pro Strips – Best Outdoor Gnat Repellent


✅Highly effective

✅Works on various pests, including gnats, ants, bed bugs, wasps, flies, mosquitoes, and spiders

✅Can be used in confined spaces (closets, airtight containers) as well as large rooms



🚫The active ingredient can be harmful if you do not practice safety precautions

🚫Prolonged exposure to the product can be dangerous

🚫Cannot be used in areas where people frequent

Key Details

Type of Killer: Fumigant

Active Ingredient: DDVP 18.6%

How Fast Does It Work: takes up to 48 to 72 hours to contain bed bug nymphs and adults

How Does It Work?

Nuvan pro strips repel and kill pests by releasing vapors. Its active ingredient, DDVO, paralyzes the pests’ nervous system causing death.

The strip lasts for four months, and the result is noticeable within 72 hours.

What I Like

Easy to Use

The Nuvan Pro Strips are easy to use.

All you have to do is remove the strip from the sealed packet, place it in the cartridge and hang.

Once the strip is out of vapor, you can easily discard and replace it.


The strip contains the active ingredient DDVO, which is a highly effective insecticide.


The strip is not messy and virtually odorless. 

What I Dislike

Active Ingredient Can Be toxic

The Nuvan Pro Strip’s active ingredient, DDVA, can be toxic to humans and pets if not handled properly.

When handling the strip, I recommend using hand gloves.

You Cannot Use It to Treat Certain Areas

Do not place the strip in your kitchen, as food and utensils can become contaminated.

Also, avoid placing the strips where you and your family stay for prolonged periods.


This product is more costly than other products in the market.

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4. Babyganics DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent – Best Gnat Repellent For Kids


✅Safe for babies

✅Effective repellent against mosquitoes, gnats, and flies

✅Soften the skin when applied

✅All-natural ingredients

✅Smells good

✅Not tested on animals



🚫 Small bottle 

🚫 Only for babies 

Key Details

  • Active / Main Ingredients: Soybean Oil (95.25%), Rosemary Oil (1.50%), Citronella Oil (0.95%), Geranium Oil (0.75%), Cedarwood Oil (0.70%), Peppermint Oil (0.60%), Lemongrass Oil (0.25%)
  • How Long Does It Last: Reapply every 90 minutes
  • Spray or Lotion: Spray

How Does It Work?

The Babyganics DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent uses all-natural ingredients to protect against insects

It uses aromatic oils, including peppermint, lemongrass, rosemary, geranium, and citronella, to repel bugs such as gnats, flies, and mosquitoes.

What I Like

All Natural Ingredients

This product is free of DEET, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and other chemicals usually found in insect repellents.

Softens Skin

It comes with jojoba oil to soften skin when applied.


This product uses some of the best essential oils used to repel insects.

What I Dislike


This product tends to leave a greasy feel on the skin. It also has a strong scent of citronella.

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5. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent – Best Natural Gnat Repellent


✅Smells good


✅Not greasy on the skin

✅Long-lasting (up to six hours)

✅DEET free

✅Easy to Apply



🚫Can cause an allergic reaction to some

🚫Not as effective as other similar brands

Key Details

  • Active / Main Ingredients: Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (30%) & Other ingredients (70%)
  • How Long Does It Last: Repels mosquitoes for up to six hours
  • Spray or Lotion: Spray

How Does It Work?

The Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent contains 30% oil of lemon eucalyptus.

The spray repels mosquitoes for up to six hours.

What I Like


The Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent only costs $5 per bottle. That’s cheaper than most insect repellent in the market.

Smells Good

The spray has a refreshing smell.

Not Greasy

Unlike many of its competitors, this repellent does not feel greasy on the skin.

Easy to Apply

The pump design is commendable. It sprays easily, even when the bottle is upside down.


The CDC recognizes this product as the only effective natural mosquito repellent.

What I Dislike


While I have not experienced it myself, this product tends to give some people irritation.

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