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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!

  • Shilo

    Smother your body with peanut butter..
    It doesn't keep them away, but they have trouble biting when yeir wings are stuck together..
    Really works!

  • Heather

    Thanks for all the wonderful tips! I'm going to try several...especially the yard spray and the B1. I already use SSS and it works great for mosquitos, not as great for fleas. I needed some ideas to de-flea the pets.
    Also, dryer sheets work pretty good but it HAS to be Bounce Brand.

  • Argie

    Dry ice. Mosquitos find us by zeroing in on the carbon dioxide we exhale. Put a chunk of dry ice, which is solidified carbon dioxide, in a bucket 15 ft. or more away from the party area and they will flock to it and not to you. As the dry ice "melts" the carbon dioxide releases into a cloud of gas around the bucket, much denser than what you'll be exhaling so much more enticing to the mosquitos.

  • berry lee

    I killed 185 last year BY HAND ! I have a high outside balcony where they usually arrive one by one and if you give them about five seconds to bite they are easy to kill. DONT LET THEM GET AWAY WITH THAT BLOOD !!!! (they need it to reproduce)

  • Sarah W. Benson

    Taking B vitamins will make you "distasteful" to mosquitos. I find that the use of Avon "Skin-so-soft" bath oil keeps away mosquitos as well as other pesky insects such as chiggers.

  • jeff s

    dryer sheets do work , my wife will not venture outside without one, listerine works very well but it evaporates fast and the effectiveness wears off, b1 vitamines are the best especially with a few cold beers to num the body!:)

  • Evelyn Webb

    I have used B1 tablets over20yrs. At first thought it was old wives tale but it really works. In the worst months,rainey and July & August I take B1 twice daily and never get bit anymore, have even given grandchildren chewable B1 without ill effects and keeps them bite free.

  • Brenda

    AVEENO after shower body oil works wonders. My daughters home is mosquito heaven. They were all getting ate up but me. I use the oil. Finally I rubbed the gran angel down with it after her shower and voila, no more skeeter bumps on the little one's tender skin.

  • gemma

    Misquitos and many pesky critters hate Mint, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree Oil, Neem Oil, Coconut Oil, Lemongrass Oil, and other essential oils. You can do a search on the Internet for other oils they dislike.

    You can mix any of these Essential oils (even Peppermint Extract from the market) with any base oil such as coconut, olive, your skin lotion, etc. and then rub it on your skin.

    Many years ago, we would just pick Mint leaves in the yard, crumble them in our hand and rub them all over our skin. This would work even if we were perspiring. Then if you go swimming, it would be washed off and we would rub more leaves over our skin.

    Thank you for reminding us of the Vitamin B1 tablets.

    ALSO, there is a Flower Essence Combination Remedy called Flee Free, which helps with repelling pests and such. It is made by Green Hope Farm Flower Essences. at

  • brazztazz

    Try using Red Cedar mulch or chips, you find the big 25-50 pound bags at Lowe's or Home Depot. Spread it in the yard and it will keep them away. Make a tea out of the chips and put in a pump sprayer or bottle and spray it on the patio or walkways where you can't spread the chip because they will be tracked into the house. It really works and it's on the cheap side those big bags only cost $3-$6.

  • charlesharris53

    start taking a b 12 vitamin every day. not a complex b but straight b 12. a vet told me to give it to my dog for fleas and ticks. it worked on him so i tried it and it worked for me. it emits a very, very faint odor and when you sweat it makes the skin a little oily. bugs just do not like it.

  • bob

    they make mosquito spray you hook up to a water hose and spray your yard , ortho and a couple other brands that work great, i live in michigan woods best method i found, really works i have tried them all and this is the only thing i tried that really works

  • roger mitchell

    I have found a great way to eliminate those pesky mosquitoes. It's the best ever and has been utilized since the ages. It is very inexpensive too. All one has to have is a hand. When those moquitoes are biting your skin you simply slap at them and they will be eliminated.

  • Jane

    Put up bat houses. None of your readers had that idea. Bats will eat them!

  • jake

    Lots of herbs repel bugs FAST .. rosemary works .. put a shrub in yuor yard .. break off a few twigs crush it in your hand on your neck or legs .. smells great, not chemical pesticides.

  • SuzieQ

    Who taught you how to talk, write, or spell? Your comments were not too bright and uncalled for. Who ever gave you advice on the topic at hand was very misinformed. Go back to school and learn correct grammar and spelling.

  • Joyce

    Ok, I don't understand the bug light situation. I thought They're supposed to keep the bugs away from the lights and they are yellow bug lights. No way they are all over the lights. I came home one night and walked into a wall of nats and other bugs by my entrance. The yellow bug light was on the side by the door. They do not keep the bugs away. The citronella candles and the torches attract the bugs right to it. the next morning I'm sweeping hundred of thousands of nats and other flying insects off my outdoor table and cushions and ground. Their everywhere and I live smack in the middle of New York State.

  • Denise Crawford

    For years, people stand by the fact that SSS by Avon is one of the best products for the mosquitos. Avon also have a product called "Bug Guard", by SSS that is made especially for the bugs and mosquitos, where SSS is really a bath oil. The bug guard is available with deet and also "Deet-Free". We are now having a great sale on SSS bath oil and the SSS "Bug Guard. If you do not have an Avon Representative, you may visit my website and order online; usually, we offer free shipping with online orders. Stop by and take a look, all are welcomed! Direct delivery at your at your door!

  • De

    Basil crushed and rubed on your skin works too

  • Mikki

    Absorbine Jr. works really well, but has a strong odor for a bit. I really love what SSS- by Avon- does- softens my skin, is safe for grandchildren- not on their hands- and it does work....


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