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Outdoor

Ways to Keep Mosquitos Out of Your Backyard

Candles on Patio Table

Mosquitos are just one of those things that can make being outside miserable. We all know that feeling of trying to enjoy a sunset drink in the backyard, sit through a BBQ, or spend some time outside with the kids when along comes a buzz and a pinch. Before you know, any exposed skin is speckled with bites and starting to itch. Mosquitos can ruin a perfectly good summer when they see your body as an all-you-can-eat buffet. While you can keep mosquitos off you by using bug sprays that generally work, that doesn’t fix the whole buzzing in your ear experience. Rather than simply relying on bug spray to keep mosquitos away, it’s best to keep mosquitos out of your backyard in the first place. Here are some of the best ways to keep the bugs out for good.


Citronella Candles

Citronella candles

Citronella is a natural oil that repels many insects, including mosquitos. Having a generous amount of citronella scented candles in your backyard can help repel even the most determined of mosquitos. When sitting in the backyard light up your citronella candles to be sure that there is a steady release of the citronella oil into the air. The oil and scent help to protect you from mosquitos by covering up the scent that attracts the mosquitos to you in the first place. These candles are great for keeping on and under a table, next to chairs, or near the grill to create an atmosphere that the mosquitos won’t want to enter. Perfect for smaller areas with little wind, such as a cozy backyard or a heavily wooded area.


Water Pellets

Mosquito Pellets and Dunks

Mosquito water pellets are a biological mosquito control that contains Bti, a natural mosquito larvacide. When plopped into water it kills mosquito larvae without harming birds, fish, pets, or other wildlife. Simply plop a mosquito pellet into any standing water to control mosquito proliferation and kill the larvae before they even hatch. One pellet typically lasts for up to 30 days, making it a low effort but high impact method of keeping mosquitos from populating your backyard.


Citronella Coils

Multi-color mosquito coils

Just as effective as citronella candles are citronella coils. These work like long coils of incense that you light to release the citronella oils and a little smoke into the surrounding area to throw mosquitos off your trail. These are ideal for placing and burning under tables so the mosquitos can’t find their way to nibble your legs and feet. They are also excellent for placing around patios, porches, decks, or near doorways to deter the mosquitos from hanging out where you want to be hanging out.


Foggers

Industrial Fogger

Mosquito foggers are an efficient way to keep mosquitos at bay for long periods. Foggers work very well for up to 72 hours, meaning your backyard can be blood-sucker-free for up to three days at a time. The fog acts to kill mosquitos who are in direct flight through the fog. It doesn’t affect larvae or mosquitos that are hiding under leaves or in shrubs but can be a great way to keep them from entering the main hub of your yard for days at a time. While fogging uses chemicals to control mosquitos in your yard, the chemicals used are considered to have minimal effect on humans and pets, making it safer than the common chemical agricultural pesticide. The chemicals inside the fog prevent mosquitos from entering the vicinity of the space sprayed, making it great for protecting a small part of your yard to be able to enjoy playing outside or having a get-together.


Torches

Tiki Torch

Torches look like cool tiki-style torches that you set on fire to keep away the mosquitos. Similar to the citronella candle and coil, the torch fuel often contains citronella oils that get released into the surrounding air when burning. This is a great way to keep mosquitos away in areas of limited air movement, such as a small backyard, patio, or wooded area. The added benefit is you get to decorate your yard with cool tiki-style torches for get-togethers and nights under the stars.


Certain Plants

Lavender plants

Certain plants can easily be cultivated in your backyard and are said to repel mosquitos. The potent fragrances of certain flowers and plants, such as lavender and marigolds, are natural repellents to mosquitos. If you like to spend a lot of time in the backyard or on the patio, plant or pot some of these plants and set them up around the perimeter of where you like to hang out to help repel mosquitos. The added perk is, of course, they also add a little extra beauty to your backyard. Some other plants that repel mosquitos are mint, lemongrass, rosemary, catnip, bee balm, peppermint, basil, and sage. You’ll also get the benefit of having fresh herbs on hand for your cooking.


Good Landscaping

Flower bed landscaping

One of the most important things you can do to keep mosquitos out of your backyard is good landscaping. This means removing places where water can sit and stagnate to prevent mosquitos from reproducing in the water. Also, you can remove excess shade-makers such as bushy shrubs, heavily branched trees, and other shade-making plants. Give your bushy trees and shrubs a good trim to be sure there isn’t too much extra shade in the backyard. Also, remove any spots in the backyard where mosquitos can hide. Consistently cut your grass, as mosquitos like to hide in tall grass, and be sure to clean up the clippings so they can’t hide under those either. Rake up debris and get rid of it and be sure there are no piles of leaves or clippings lying around. Maintaining a tidy backyard is key to making sure the mosquitos don’t have a place to relax in your yard while you’re trying to relax, too.

It’s always good to have bug spray on hand as one last defense against mosquitos. Try these effective ways of keeping mosquitos out of your backyard in the first place as a good first line of defense. Here’s to a happy, relaxing, mosquito-free summer!

While do-it-yourself projects can be fun and fulfilling, there is always a potential for personal injury or property damage. We strongly suggest that any project beyond your abilities be left to licensed professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. Any action you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk, and we assume no responsibility or liability for the contents of this article.

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Transform your outdoor space with patio lights!

Outdoor Patio Lighting Ideas

Nothing says summer like an outdoor gathering, but what if you want to take your hosting skills up a notch? The answer… patio lights! Whether you know them as patio lights, string lights, or simply outdoor lighting, you’ve definitely heard of this growing trend. It’s growing quickly because patio lights automatically transform an outdoor space and give off a certain ambience that’s sure to make your space envy-worthy.
Before you get started, there are a few things to consider when you hang your lights including:

  • Where to hang patio lights
  • Types of patio lights
  • Patio lights that don’t attract bugs
  • How to hang patio lights

Where to Hang Patio Lights

Couple talking at sunset on a rooftop patio with lights

First, it’s best to decide where you want your patio lights. You’ll want lights in areas that are already dark, and you’ll want to avoid putting lights that break up the flow of traffic throughout your gathering area. In addition, deciding where you want your lights will help you determine the brightness of the bulb. You don’t want your brightest bulbs at eye-level blinding everyone at your party. That will definitely get your guests talking about your outdoor space, but not in the way that you want.
If you remember only one thing about where to position your patio lights, remember this! Low-voltage lights should be positioned lower than two feet above the ground and standard-voltage lights higher than seven feet. Also, try to position lights downward to light up walking areas.


Types of Patio Lights

string light

The type of patio light that you choose will determine the layout of your lighting scheme, so keep that layout in mind as you pick your style. Try to find a style that fits you, but also fits your space. If you have a farmhouse, try something with a rustic or vintage style. If you’re lighting your balcony for your downtown apartment, try something more trendy.


Patio Lights That Don’t Attract Bugs

Yellow String Lights

It’s true! Certain types of lights can attract bugs more than others. While looking for patio lighting ideas, keep in mind a few tips to keep bugs at bay!

  • Opt for lights that are LED
  • Try yellow, warm white, or ultra warm white lights
  • Stay away from UV, incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL), and halogen lights

LED lights emit very little heat while burning and very little UV light, both of which attract bugs. Most UV lights are blue in color, once again enticing bugs to join your party. However, yellow or warm-hued lights tend to be less visible to flying insects helping to keep them away. Incandescent, CFL, and halogen lights all waste as much as 90% of the energy they burn, so they tend to give off more heat. The more heat they give off, the more bugs they will attract.


How to Hang Patio Lights

String Lights in a V-pattern

Installing patio lights is really a job for two or more people, so find a friend before you get started. Next, think about how you want your space to look. Do you want the light to make your area bright enough to be seen from space, or would you rather have a space that has just a hint of light to set the mood for your social gathering? Spacing is key! There are a few traditional ways to hang patio lights:

  • V-pattern
  • Z-pattern
  • Criss-cross
  • Parallel

V-patterns and z-patterns are easy. You simply make that letter with your lights all the way across your space. Criss-cross patio lights use the v-pattern and you simply double your lights. You’ll start your v-pattern on the left side of your patio, and once complete, you’ll add a second layer of lights starting on the right side. Both sides will be a mirror of each other and criss-cross, hence the name. Lastly, a parallel pattern is the most traditional and the easiest to do. You’ll string your lights from one side to the other in straight lines that are parallel to each other. The width between each row depends how bright you want your final outcome to be.


Where Can I Buy String Lights?

Colorful String Lights

Patio lights, also known as string lights, can be purchased at doitbest.com or at your local Do it Best store. With a variety of patio lights to choose from, you’re sure to find the right fit for your outdoor space!


While do-it-yourself projects can be fun and fulfilling, there is always a potential for personal injury or property damage. We strongly suggest that any project beyond your abilities be left to licensed professionals such as electricians, plumbers, and carpenters. Any action you take upon the information on this website is strictly at your own risk, and we assume no responsibility or liability for the contents of this article.