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6 Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away This Summer

Imagine you just spent a lot of time and effort planning an outdoor event.  At the last minute, it occurs to you that you hadn’t thought about the mosquitoes who will be hunting you and your guests.  You panic for a moment, but a brief Internet search reveals there are some things that you can still do to resolve the issue. Be careful, though! Common solutions may not be quite as effective as you might think.

Here are five of the most popular options, and some considerations regarding their effectiveness and use. Overview:

  1. Citronella Candles
  2. DEET
  3. Propane Mosquito Traps
  4. Electric fans
  5. Mosquito Curtains
  6. Chemical Treatment

1. Citronella Candles

Candles add an element of elegance to your event; citronella lends a wonderful scent to the surrounding atmosphere. Put together, though, citronella candles do little to ward off bugs. While the oil of citronella does repel mosquitoes to some degree, “in the amount and concentration that is put out via candles, it’s not very effective,” says Joseph Conlon, a technical adviser for the American Mosquito Control Association. “As a matter of fact, it’s really not significantly more effective than any other candle would be.”


Experts agree that the most effective repellent is still DEET, available in lotions and sprays for topical application.  A can of repellent containing 20-30% DEET at each table will give your guests the chance to escape annoying mosquito bites. Check out the EPA guidelines on using DEET safely.

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3. Propane Mosquito Traps

Traps are not advisable for an event full of people, as they are intended to attract mosquitoes before killing them. If you happen to own a trap, DON’T place the device anywhere near your guests. Place your trap downwind and hope to curtail half the mosquito population in your vicinity.

4. Electric Fans

Mosquitoes are terrible at flying and tend to avoid feeding in wind speeds as low as 8 mph.  They are physically unable to fly in wind speeds above 15.6 mph.  Strategic placement of electric fans as a wind barrier can be very effective for keeping mosquitoes away.  Additionally, electric fans can be relatively inexpensive and repurposed for other uses after the event.

5. Mosquito Curtains

Mosquito Netting curtains create a very effective physical barrier to keep mosquitoes out.  In addition, they add a touch of elegance to your event that will impress your guests.  Solutions range from inexpensively rigging raw netting for the event or a custom, fabricated solution that will protect your space for 4 to 8 years. While purchasing and installing curtains may be slightly more expensive than the other solutions listed here, doing so will have a longer-lasting, more permanent impact on your enjoyment of the outdoors in that space.

6. Chemical Treatment

Chemical treatments are very effective temporary solution and cost about half as much as mosquito netting curtains. The treatment, completed by your local exterminator, lasts about 60 days. Be sure to research the pesticides used prior to calling your exterminator to ensure there is minimal impact to your guests and surrounding environment.

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