How To Keep Bugs Away From Your Summer Parties

From scientifically proven repellents to old wives' tales, follow these steps to never let pests ruin another outdoor party.



Hamiza Bakirci / Shutterstock

Scents

There are some smells that just drive bugs crazy—and far away from your party. The most well known is the ubiquitous pungent scent of citronella oil. According to the EPA, the scent will drive away pests including mosquitoes, black flies, fleas, and ticks. Other less common insect repellents recommended by the Farmer’s Almanac include sage or rosemary (burned over coals), vanilla extract, and cider vinegar (applied to skin, furniture, or lawn decorations). You can use a search tool on the EPA’s website to find a repellent that is right for you.

Watch an eHow video on using herbal scents to repel insects below

 

You guys were having a party without me?

According to the American Chemical Society, oil from the Nepeta cataria plant—more commonly known as catnip—can potentially be more repellent to mosquitos than the chemical DEET, one of the most common active ingredients in insect repellents. Of course, you might attract a different kind of pest to your party with this method.

Make Insect Repelling A Breeze

If you can’t get past sticky bug sprays, citronella candles, and other odor-based defenses, bug relief is just a fan breeze away. That’s right—just position an oscillating fan outdoors near the action. Mosquitos  and other pests can’t fight the current and are simply blown away!

Fake Outs

If you want a more conciliatory approach, you can simply give the bugs what they want—food! A bowl of sugar water or open jar of jelly set up on the opposite side of your property can divert some bugs away from your partygoers.

Another water-based approach that supposedly works on flies is to hang plastic bags of water (adding pennies or a piece of tin foil is also supposed to help) around your party perimeter. Snopes.com, famous for busting or confirming popular myths and urban legends, ruled this one as “undetermined,” but people still swear by it.

Watch a video from Expert Village on how to set up the water bags.

 
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