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Summer in the southern United States is a time of sweetly smelling breezes, deeply hued sunsets, and clear skies filled with millions of twinkling stars. Unfortunately, the clouds of hovering, buzzing, and biting mosquitoes have a way of ruining those sultry summer nights. Here’s how to nix the nibbling pests from your summer festivities.

An Ounce of Prevention, a Pound of Cure
The first step in waging war on the tiny terrorists is to remove any standing water on the property. Mosquitoes breed in shallow pools of stagnant water. For this reason, it’s important to empty all bird baths, unused swimming pools or fountains. Mosquitoes aren’t particular about their breeding ground; even a spare tire or unused flower pot filled with rainwater will do. Get rid of the source of the mosquitoes and the number of biting bullies will drastically decrease.

Tried and True Citronella Sends Mosquitoes Packing
Think of citronella as mosquito Krytonite. There is nothing on earth that the enraging enemies hate more. Citronella is available in many forms. Tiki torches can be filled with a citronella mixture and placed in a ring around your yard. Citronella candles can be lit on the rails of the front porch or wherever people gather. A concentrated citronella spray is also commercially available, although reviews suggest it dissipates too quickly to be effective. Citronella is the first line of defense against the attacking armies of flying fiends.

Create an Anti-Mosquito Garden
Mosquitoes hate certain scents. Capitalize on this by filling your garden with catnip, rosemary, and marigolds. The fragrant herbs and blooms will delight guests and keep the mooching mosquitoes at bay.

Screen Yourself
Sitting on the front porch as the sun sets is a time honored tradition in the south. Mosquito netting placed strategically over the front porch can keep the mosquito minions on the outside looking in. Thin and lightweight, this netting can be utilized without sacrificing airflow or views.

These mosquito remedies are helpful when you choose to enjoy a southern summer from the comfort of your own home. However, there are too many exciting activities things to do out there! Here’s how to protect yourself when you’re out and about.

Perfume Yourself in Prevention
Certain fragrances are proven to repel biting bugs. Try using lavender, vanilla or eucalyptus body sprays as a preventative measure. Caught without your scents? A few spritzes of mouth freshening spray can keep mosquitoes away; however, your skin will be a bit sticky for the rest of the evening.

Double Up on Fabric Softener
Laundering your clothing with a heaping helping of fabric softener can keep you safe all evening long. The heavily scented dryer sheets work best. For extra protection, pin the sheets directly to your clothing or rub them on your skin just before venturing outside.

Eat a Heaping Helping of Garlic
Mosquitoes can smell the contents of your blood before they ever manage to bite. Those who eat plenty of garlic get bitten far less than their breath-conscious counterparts. Don’t like the spice? Over the counter garlic pills are available at your local pharmacy. As a bonus, garlic is also great for your heart!

A southern summer doesn’t have to be spent swatting and scratching. Utilizing some or all of these tips will send a clear message for the blood-sucking bugs to “Buzz off!”

Amanda loves the outdoors and finding fun things to do outside. Living in Charlotte NC, pest control can be a problem. The tips she trys tend to work the best to not let the bugs keep her from being outside.