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.
It's smart to take refuge under a mosquito net. Photo: Getty Images
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.
Move Over, Citronella!
Invest In a Mosquito Net
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.
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
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!