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It's smart to take refuge under a mosquito net. Photo: Getty Images

Memorial day has come and gone, and you know what that means -- summertime is (unofficially) here! And with the mid-afternoon storms and intense heat, do you know what else has arrived? Yep, those pesky mosquitoes.

If you're a mosquito magnet, you can spray yourself down with mosquito repellent (there are natural mosquito repellents too), but that won't keep the sneaky critters from bugging you at your picnic table.

So how can you keep these uninvited guests from crashing your outdoor get-togethers? We're rounding up some tips, ideas and gadgets beyond bug zappers and citronella candles that may help steer those menacing mosquitoes far away from your backyard barbecue.

(But before you read on -- Show off your garden! Upload photos of your blooming flowers on our sister site,

Prevention Is the Best Medicine
If your property has poor drainage, puddles or wet piles of leaves, you could be creating the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, which multiply quickly. To prevent these pests from taking up residence in your yard, remove standing water -- empty flower pots, buckets, watering cans and other vessels; sweep away puddles; get rid of standing water on your pool cover; keep your gutters dry and clean; and re-slope problem areas so that the water drains properly. Trim any overgrown grasses or foliage on your property so that the mosquitoes have no place to hide.

outdoor candleGetty Images

Move Over, Citronella!
Although citronella has been synonymous with bug control for a long time, the jury is still out on its effectiveness. If you're looking for an alternative scent with great mosquito-repelling properties, try lemon eucalyptus oil. Even the Center for Disease Control has listed it as a helpful repellent. Lemon eucalyptus candles exist but can be hard to come by. If you can't find one, try making your own. Beyond lemon eucalyptus, other scents that are thought to repel mosquitoes are garlic, pennyroyal, thyme, and rosemary.

Invest In a Mosquito Net
Mosquito nets aren't just for the tropics -- you can purchase various types to set up on the lawn, around a porch or gazebo -- or even a mosquito umbrella cover for your patio set. It's easy to install and you can remove it in a jiffy. It's also waterproof.

Yellow Bug Lights
Bugs are attracted to light (which is why those bug zappers are so darn bright). Yellow bug lights are basically yellow light bulbs -- similar to your regular light bulbs. The yellow color doesn't actually repel mosquitoes or other bugs, but it becomes almost invisible to them. If they can't see the light, mosquitoes are not attracted to it and they won't gather around it. Makes sense, right? Replace exterior bulbs with yellow lights -- which are available as compact fluorescent bulbs too.

Xmosquito is a home mosquito prevention system that uses pyrethrum, a natural insecticide taken from dried chrysanthemums. The system consists of a device that sprays a fine mist of pyrethrum in a defined area. You can choose to set it on a timer, control it manually, activate it via remote control or just set it to automatic mode. I have not used this particular product, but it sounds like an interesting approach to pest control. The device even has a rain, wind and motion sensor.

Tip: Want to know how active mosquitoes are in your area? The Weather Channel has a nifty mosquito activity monitor -- simply plug in your zip code.

Do you have a surefire way to rid your space of mosquitoes? Tell us in the comments below!

  • Bitboy

    I think those who recommend dryer sheets either haven't really tried them out for themselves or live in areas where the mosquitos are exceptionally wimpy. I tried it last week. What a joke! Up there with using WD-40 for joint pain and moth balls for keeping mice out of the shed.

  • GENE

    i live in Texas and believe me, we HAVE MEQUITOS! i'm sorry the dryer sheets didn't work for you, but that doesn't mean it won't work for everyone. everyone has a different chemical make-up. for me and my friends, we've used dryer sheets for years and they work very well. as i said in my post, if you want something stronger, just wet them and wipe exposed areas with it, but in your pocket or on your belt is an easier way to go without the danger of toxins.
    it is a suggestion. please don't discount it for everyone simply because it didn't work for you.

  • maverick8901

    for those who think dryer sheets are non-toxic THINK AGAIN! The chemicals used in those sheets are very poisonous! They're poisonous to HUMANS! (not just the mosquitos) So even if they "did" work...I wouldn't touch them at all! (or use them in the dryer...YUCKY chemicals!!!)

  • De

    Eucalyptus does repel mice. A friend gave us a bunch from her trees. We had a major mice problem. I really did work.

  • Paula

    Take a b1 vitamin about 45 minutes before you go outside. I have been using this method for 10 years and it works for me. Before that I was breakfast, lunch and dinner for mosquitos.

  • Karen Lodinger

    Encourage the birds that eat mosquitos, such as the martins. Also put up bat houses.

  • Paula

    I take a b1 vitamin about 45 minutes before going outside. Ten years ago a friend told me to try it and it works for me. We both are mosquito magnets, and not bothered at all.

  • jayne

    I have geranium plants on front and back porch and haven't seen mosquitos in years.

  • Arleta

    Use original Listerine in a spray bottle for your patio, around doors, and the lawn. Of course, if it rains, you have to repeat the process. It also helps when you have been bitten. Just dab it on the bite and it takes away the itch.

  • Lavender

    Spray yourself with generic Listerine. Works like a charm!

  • v

    Listerine Works.........I put it in a spray bottle and I also put a little in bathroom cups and place them in the window sills

  • caleb

    Get a Mosquito Magnet. I live in Sweden, near a lake and that machine is incredible in making backyard activities enjoyable. Fika on the porch anyone?

  • cc

    stay inside :)

  • Charlie

    ThermaCELL Portable Mosquito Repellent Appliance. Available in Home Depot or Lowes.

  • jodyekg

    The B1 Vitamin works for all kind of critters. Did not take any this year in the Cayman Islands, where there is a lot of "no see um's" and got bit up a storm by everything. The years before not a single bite

  • Angela

    Use dry ice! Mosquitoes will go to the ice and possibly leave you alone.

  • Judy

    Where do you put the dry ice?

  • Ashley

    How do you get dry ice?

    Also, mosquito season is up. I might work up the courage to fight those little buggers off LOL :)

  • De

    Publix grocery store sells dry ice.

  • Sam

    The new off blue plastic battery operated clip on device really works well. Especially if you are staying in one place for awhile sitting by picnic table or tanning etc. The cost at first is close to 10$ but the replacements are cheap and they last a long time. Really worth it.


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