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We all know how the story goes. You are outside, enjoying the backyard barbecue and having So lots of fun. But then comes twilight. Doubtless, at least one person in the group is eaten alive by mosquitoes, while some are largely safe from the bloodthirsty little acorns. In my family, my husband is relatively unaffected, but my daughter and I are attacked relentlessly. It’s annoying, frustrating and itchy† And we have to go in long before we want to.
We’ve tried just about everything. After exhausting several remedies—bug sprays, essential oils, and citronella—we almost gave up hope. Because these unfortunately do almost nothing to curb the appetite of the female mosquito. Last year we even had our garden sprayed with insecticides by professionals. But this year I want to avoid adding unnecessary chemicals to our backyard.
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Recently we learned a technique that can help deter mosquitoes and we are so embarrassed that we didn’t think of it sooner.
Dine alfresco without being the main course
Misting or watering your backyard can kill mosquitoes (and other insects), but only temporarily. Citronella candles may add some ambiance to the outdoor setting, but according to a 2017 study, that’s about all they’ll do. And DEET has some worrisome side effects. Irritation, redness, rashes and swelling are all common side effects of the common ingredient in bug spray.
The solution is surprisingly simple. According to the American Mosquito Control Association, adding a large fan to your outdoor areas can provide some relief. It is definitely a low-tech solution to such a common problem.
The simple solution
If you’re observant, you’ve probably noticed that you don’t have that many mosquito bites after a windy day. Because mosquitoes are relatively weak fliers, they cannot fly in the gust of wind or the wind of a fan. Especially when the wind is above 10 km/h. A 2003 study found that fan-driven wind was a practical way to protect humans and animals from mosquitoes.
Whichever fan you choose, make sure you remove the plug from the socket and take it inside after use. Below are some of our favorite fans. Some have an additional fog function, some can be mounted and others oscillate. Some are high speed fans with added LED lighting. But they will all help you stay cool while also keeping the mosquitoes at bay. And now I’m definitely adding some to my cart.