Buffalo Gnat Repellent


Buffalo gnats, also known as black flies and turkey gnats, become a nuisance as they swam around people. Some female buffalo flies also bite, causing minor bleeding, swelling, itching and irritation.


  • Buffalo gnats have 1/8-inch, blackish gray or yellow bodies. They have broad clear wings, large round eyes and a humpbacked appearance. They usually appear in large numbers in spring and early summer.

Chemical Repellent

  • Personal insect repellents that contain DEET, citronella oil, ethyl hexanediol or dimathyl phtalate provide protection against buffalo gnats for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Buffalo gnats sometimes still bite hosts who use insect repellents, however.

Other Methods

  • Unpainted aluminum attracts buffalo gnats, and smearing a thin film of fuel oil on the material traps the flies. A hat from unpainted aluminum would provide protection from buffalo gnats. A hat with fine mesh netting over a person's face and shoulders also helps prevent bites.

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