Demon Gnats & Sticky Traps

Help! The biting black buffalo gnats are driving me crazy! If you are reading this, then I probably have no need to explain the horrible little monster bugs that have invaded your space. Suffice it to say that the biting black gnats are a pest that will drive you indoors, crazy or both. They are exceedingly harmful to pets and livestock. Baby birds are particularly vulnerable. What works to stem the tide of tiny, blood thirsty, demonic, black buffalo gnats?


What to do? Vanilla flavoring works pretty good. The higher the quality of vanilla, the better. McCormick is the old reliable for me. I put vanilla extract in a spray bottle and spray myself before I go out and repeat as needed when I am out. The little glass bottles are my favorite because I can slip them into my pocket without crushing the bottle.

I imagine if you sniffed me, you would think I smelled like a cookie. The good news is, black gnats don’t like vanilla cookies. The bad news is that it doesn’t last very long and bees seem to find me more attractive when I wear it. Thankfully the bees weren’t angry. They flew off after discovering no flowers. For animals, though, length of time working is a problem.

I have put vanilla extract in their water containers. I am not sure how much good that does. For sure, it was not enough that I could stop trying to help my birds. My chickens have shown the most distress from the gnats. They hide in dark places to avoid gnats.

Yellow Sticky Traps

I bought yellow sticky traps from Amazon in an effort to help my eggplants with their bug problem. I try to stay away from poisons. Those yellow sticky traps work pretty good, not perfect. I will continue to buy them because they for sure trapped a lot of bugs! Since I saw good trapping with my eggplants, I decided to put near where my chickens hang out (they are completely free range).

The yellow sticky traps showed the first signs of real help with gnats.

After a day, the sticky trap was covered. The cool part? I could see a small difference in the number of gnats bothering me. Since the drop in gnats could have been because of a temperature or humidity difference, I was hopeful, but not positive. I ordered more yellow sticky traps, this time from eBay, hoping to save a few bucks. Seventeen days later, no traps and tracking says they are at my post office. I called the post office, no traps there. Of course, I have requested to cancel the order. Would you believe I was offered half my $ back on an order never received? I won’t be buying there again! The links I provide will be from Amazon for sticky traps. Maybe it will cost a dollar or two more, but you get something in return.

Tanglefoot® Tangle-Trap® Sticky Coatings

When I showed the trap to my son, he decided to order sticky trap glue.

After the results from the first can of Tanglefoot Tangle-Trap, we decided to buy two more cans.

The Tanglefoot Tangle-Trap Sticky Coating is the best I have found so far. When put upon the places where gnats swarm, you catch a significant number of gnats. There is a noticeable decline in the number of pests bugging you outdoors!

Roof from a quail cage. Everywhere the coating was, the gnats were trapped. Looks like millions. Happinesses.
This is the applicator from the can of Tanglefoot coating. We left it out overnight. Just look! All those little demon gnats can’t bite me anymore!
Door to quail cage. You can see extra screens we added to try to keep gnats out. Those little blood thirsty beasts will find any crack or crevice to enter in! We trapped a bunch of them. Don’t get this stuff on your clothes. It’s not easy to get off. I can only imagine the damage it could cause a washing machine. After trying multiple ways to remove it from my hands, I found lemon essential oil + vegetable oil and paper towels the best option. Next time I will be wearing disposable gloves.

DIY Sticky Glue Dud

So, ever the DIY person, I looked up how to make my own sticky glue. The internet had a recipe for making it out of corn syrup. I had some really old corn syrup, so why not try it? The good news is, it washes off really easy. The bad news? It’s a dud. I am not going to post the recipe because it didn’t work well. When I went by the recipe, it was so thin that it wouldn’t stay anywhere I put it. I cooked it more and it was thick enough, but the bugs were not as attracted to it. I only caught a few. The worst part? The next day it was almost totally gone. The Tangle Foot Glue was still there and still working. My homemade stuff was wasted time, except to be able to tell others to not waste their time.

Fans are Good

I put a fan in my hen house near the nest boxes. This helps some, but the sticky glue is a must. I will keep doing both.

Thanks for Reading

I hope this helps. You can find the products I talk about by clicking on the blue words in this article. That way I get a small commission as an affiliate and it doesn’t cost you any extra. It helps me be encouraged to continue sharing what I find. I appreciate you clicking, even if you don’t buy the products. I like telling people what works and what doesn’t.

Don’t click on the corn syrup unless you are planning to make candy with it 😉

Leave a Reply