After all that time you spend mowing the lawn, weeding the garden and setting up the perfect patio, the last thing you want is for your efforts to go to waste because no one wants to sit outside as mosquito bait. Dealing with annoying buzzing right by your ears, painful bites and itchy welts is no way to spend an evening. Then again, you probably don't want to spray chemicals in your backyard where your kids and pets play, or douse yourself with heavy-duty DEET. Instead, try these natural solutions to keep mosquitoes at bay and enjoy your nights spent outside.
Stock up on lavender
Lavender and lavender essential oil are must-haves this summer. While humans think it smells great, mosquitoes absolutely hate it. Plant some in your garden for a fragrant, pretty addition that'll do its bug-repelling duty without you having to fuss over it. Natural Living Ideas also recommended putting a few drops of lavender oil on ribbons and tying them near the entrances of your home so mosquitoes don't end up inside. The source also recommended making your own bug repellant by mixing a few drops of the essential oil in with your body lotion, coconut oil or olive oil. You'll have soft, clean-smelling skin and no mosquito bites!
Bring out a fan
Disturbances in the air make it tougher for mosquitoes to navigate, which is why you're much less likely to see any on windy nights. If there's no wind to be had when you're outside, fix the problem by bringing a fan out to your sitting area. You'll be keeping cool on those hot nights and marveling at how few mosquitoes are around to bother you.
Cut down on standing water
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant, shallow water, which can unfortunately collect in all kinds of places around your yard. Start out by getting rid of obvious breeding ground areas, like bird baths, buckets or pots. Then, once a week, ABC's KVUE recommended searching your property for smaller things like bottles, lids, plastic bags and cups, which can collect water if they're left outside. Getting rid of these potential breeding grounds will cut down on the mosquito population.
Citronella oil, which comes from a species of lemongrass, is a proven insect repellant that works by covering up the CO2 that humans exhale, according to Gizmodo. The CO2 is what makes mosquitoes attracted to us, so if they can't sense it, they'll be less likely to find us. Burn citronella candles or tiki torches, or use mosquito coils placed strategically throughout your yard.
Install bug lights
Gizmodo also suggested installing bug lights in your backyard. According to the source, these bulbs are opaque yellow and make your light sources invisible to bugs. This will cut down on the number of bugs swarming around your lights, since insects only tend to see shorter wavelengths of light from ultraviolet to blue. It might affect the ambiance of your yard a bit, but not having bugs flying around will probably make up for it.
Add garlic and rosemary to your barbecued meals
Natural Living Ideas noted that throwing a few sprigs of rosemary on the coals of your grill will not only add flavor to your foods, but the scent it gives off will repel mosquitoes. Garlic is also an effective mosquito repeller, since the oil they hate releases out of your pores after you eat it and acts as a barrier. You might not smell very appealing to humans, either, but having no bug bites might be worth it.