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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,
ShelterPop.)

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
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!



  • TheBoogieman

    Keep some pet bats around.They love misquitoes.

    Reply
  • TonyMac

    Here's some advice from a professional woodsman; i got this when I worked as a landing rat in a timber operation. Mosquitoes are attracted by smell, which is how DEET works, by blocking their smellers. Vitamin B1, thiamin, changes your odor, ever so slightly, to make them think you're not worthy of a bite. You may notice the smell of it in your unrine, it sheds quite quickly. Also, quit eating bananas during mosquito season. Bananas put a smell in your sweat that attracts mosquitoes.

    PS. Only female mosquitoes bite -- go figure...

    Reply
  • Eric

    I understand your p.s. isn't that always the truth!!! LOL


  • MYRON HOLLEY

    PUT UP BAT HOUSES. the nastys are getting use to the dope we put on to repele them. Each bat eats 2 to 5 pounds of them each day. Thats a lot of bugs. There fast and easy to put up. Plus helps reduce west nile. bird flu, lime and other blood sucker sickness's . Yep I have been making them for over 20 years now and folks love them. Mike

    Reply
  • John F.C. Taylor

    Here's one for you. Change the way you eat. Seems that what you eat influences whether you become a mosquito magnet or not.

    Reply
  • jeannette

    what are you suppose to eate or not eate.?????????????


  • Carol

    I use the OFF clip on the belt repellant that is battery powered with a fan. I live in Florida where the Mosquitos are the size of Texas! I don''t like putting anything on my skin - everything you spray or rub on, goes right in your pores! That little blue Off clip-on really works without putting anything on my skin to clog my pores.

    Reply
  • John Kessler

    I live in urban S. Fla., the capitol for mosquitoes. A few years ago I bought the (not cheap) SkeeterVac machine and have turned it on in the hot seasons. Many times it just sits there using propane, but many times it has captured/killed over 500 a day. The system uses CO2, heat, moisture, a chemical attractant, flashing lights, a suction fan, and a visual sticky sheet. Oddly, it never really worked until the lights failed. These days it seems to capture less, but I get thousands of dead bodies on the sticky sheet. And they are ALL mosquitoes.

    The attractant blocks and the sticky sheets are expensive but I can't complain about the effectiveness. Also the location in the yard seems to be a factor. As an aside, the neighbors have mentioned a decline in their mosquito populations and I theorize that the Skeetervac has depopulated the entire neighborhood. Something has to give when you are harvesting 500 a day. Overall, impressive. There are several similar machines on the market.

    Reply
  • DENNIS   I.

    Listerine only slows the devils down, but it gives you time to hide indoors.
    Lemon grass really works, plus you can use some to cook with.
    100% satisfaction for preventing mosquitoes? Stay indoors & drink in front of a strong A/C.
    If you keep the doors & windows shut I garantee it will work.

    Reply
  • Julia

    Well, if you do get bitten, i have remedy for the itch.Dab some vineigar on the offending bite(sure doesn't smell very good but it works).Baking soda and lemon juice works for both funtions i have been told but i've only ever used it for a remedy.Have a great summer!!

    Reply
  • DENNIS   I.

    BATS! LOTS & LOTS OF BATS! They work on the mosqitoes & keep your neighbors away as well.
    An added bonus; the will frighten your in-laws & keep them away as well.

    Reply
  • dove

    we live in South East GA. The mosquitos here are the Biggest I have ever seen. They feel like they stick a nail in you when they bite...

    Reply
  • tennwilliams

    the most effective thing I have done is putting water on a white paper plate, then adding a few drops on lemon Joy on either side of the place I'm sitting. The mosquitos are drawn to the Joy, not you. Something kills or repels them.

    Reply
  • kenny

    Put used coffee grounds in standing water. When the larvae hatches they float to the surface of the water and get covered by the oils from the grounds and kills them. I think it cuts off their oxygen . Plus its safe for the environment.

    Reply
  • Linda

    |My most successful way to rid my life of hoards of mosquitos is to move away from Michigan!

    Reply
  • Rick L

    Thanks Darrell, now if we all only knew what the hell "BI TABS" are(lol) I have a chimminea on my pation and when i do a campfire, i throw in a few chunks of "pinion wood"(found at walmart) it works like a charm keeping the skeeters away.



    Reply
  • Cliff

    Hey Rick L.....

    The tablets they are talking about are Vitamin B One tablets...not "B I" tablets!


  • Sharon

    I was wondering what B1 was too. From what I figured out it means B-1 vitamin tablets.
    I have heard that this works well.


  • Marie

    Fans absolutely work the best if you are just sitting around having cocktails or dinner on the deck or patio. They seem to magically disappear! Also, when doing yard work, I keep a fan going in the garage not just to keep the mosquitos away but also to cool off on hot days!

    Reply
  • Ken

    I fished up in Canada for years. For misquitos we used skin so soft in a spray bottle. The nice thing is when you take a bath or shower. No stings and you smell good. For black flies the only thing that worked was head netting or Deet. The way we handled the deet was to wear a Greek type fisherman's hat and spray coat the bill of the hat as well as the back of the hat. Worked on a baseball style hat but not as good. I think it was because my fisherman hat was wool.

    Reply
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