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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!

  • Pete

    Try talcum powder. My Dad used it during WWII in Burma. Anytime I go camping or outside for any extended period of time, I powder all exposed skin with talcum powder. Try it; it really works. And you'll smell good too!

  • Grady

    Try Accudose system it is like the Xmosquito but better, 843-559-5959

  • marian

    rig up a fan. mosquitos are lighter than feathers and can not contend with a head wind of as little as 7 mph.

  • Skip

    Garlic pills, take two or three an hour or so before you go out. and 0ne every few hours from then.

  • Bubba

    Seriously, if you eat garlic every day, biting insects will leave you alone.

  • Jane

    I haven't found a great way not get bit by mosquitos but I have found that if the bite is itchy you to death then just grab a TUMS (any color, doesn't matter) out of your medician cabinet. Wet the TUMS and rub it on the bite until it makes a slight paste. The itch is gone and the TUMS can be saved and used over and over again for more bites. Kids like picking their own special color and think its fun rubbing into a slight paste on their bite. Hope this helps.

  • Michele

    We have had a Mosquito Magnet on our acre forested property for several years, after West Nile deaths in our neighborhood. We are on our second unit and with the new Asian Tiger mosquito bait, we catch thousands of mosquitoes almost every month, as we have very little in the way of extended freezes. I am extremely over-reactive to bites and have been able to enjoy our spa day or night!

  • kenny

    as for the dryer sheets ya gotta use bounce don't use the cheaper ones they don't work.. and as for the bat houses there a fantastic idea but i live upstate ny and they sprayed for gypsy moths and ended up killing almost all the bats so now i'm like a pin cushion.. gonna try b1 .. wish i could afford that mosquito killer that i wanted.

  • susan

    Tried the skin so soft and the mosquitoes went after me worst than before I put it on. I guess its just the smell of your skin and your natural body oder that attracts them. I will try the b1 and see how it works? Do you take it every day because we have a pool and we are outside every day .

  • Louise

    Greenbug All Natural Pest Control Products control mosquitoes using cedar as the active and completely natural ingredient Think of cedar chest and closets - never a bug because cedar is deadly to pests yet harmless to humans. Countless thankful users of Greenbug swear by it for mosquitoes a well as fleas, ticks chiggers, ants, no see-ems, bed bugs, termites, etc. Go to for testimonials and additional information.

  • Dennis Ostler

    I've been using LED's for my outdoor Porch Light for the last few weeks and have notice no Bugs! before, just tons of all kinds, shapes and sizes. Not the little path marker lights, but the porch light itself. I've read a few things online, that confirm this, they just can't "See" them. They cost a lot, but more than save in energy use of the long run, My 1.5 watt bulb puts out about the same as a 25 watt bulb, but lasts 10 to 20 times longer and uses only about 50 cents in electricity for the whole year if I keep it on 8 hours or more a night.

  • Jedrek

    I heard that if you spill Listerine around where you are or just put some on the mosquitoes wont get you but im not sure i havent tried it yet.....

  • mgrtec1

    Deet! It is the only substance that has been tested over and over and in each test ends up being the most effective mosquito repellent.

  • Melissa

    I would like a natural way to get rid of Chiggers in the yard. And repel snakes. Thank you.

  • Brian

    After years of camping with Boy Scouts, the only really effective repellent is deet 20-30%. Around the picnic table mosquito coils clear the area well.

  • Louis

    A person in the Amazon jungle at night and unprotected can literaly be eaten alive by mosquitos.

  • Freezo

    Smuj pot- metal pot with dead dry pine needles at the bottom and green plucked needles on top. Get the the bottom needles to smolder along w/green ones and wah- lah!

  • i

    Just because something is natural does not make it safe. That's important to remember if you are considering spraying pyrethrum into a space as an aerosol. Though it is derived from chrysanthemums, it is a toxic chemical to be used with caution. Certainly, spraying it into the air or on surfaces containing food or drink should be avoided. It is also somewhat absorbable by skin exposure. Check the LC and LD ratings (lethal dose for contact exposure listed for all chemicals on spec sheets) before you use it. Keep dogs and other pets away.

  • TOM

    My Mother used "Bug Spray" diluted with water, it works great. However, it is recommended that you bath everyuday, Mosquitos are also attracted to sweat and other oils on your skin which contain salts and other nutrients.

  • Louise

    DEET is poison to your nervous system and absorption is amplified if used with sunscreen - you can absorb more than 50%. Pyrethrins are synthetic - not natural and cause all kinds of problems like Gulf War Syndrome. Chemical pesticides are toxins that are bio-accumulating up the food chain, are a major cause of Colony Bee Collapse, and pests mutate to pesticide resistance with each application. Go natural!!! Visit for a safe and effective solution for mosquitoes and other pests.


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