Easy Way to Keep the Rest of Your Summer Parties Mosquito

My husband and I are the proud, newish owners of a house with a
postage-stamp-size back deck, so we’ve definitely spent a lot more of
our summer nights outdoors than we did when we were NYC apartment
dwellers. We’re also the proud owners of two small kids, so at the start
of the summer I started a desperate search for a way to kill mosquitos
that didn’t involve a chemical bath.

Here’s what I ended up with:

chemical-free-bug-repellent

Amazon Lights New All-Natural Insect Repellent Outdoor Garden Incense Sticks, $16.99 for 12.


If you can’t tell from the picture, they’re basically enormous sticks
of incense—like, two feet long. They’re all-natural and made with
essential oils (andiroba, citronella, rosemary, and thyme), and they do a
bang-up job of keeping bugs at bay. You light them just like regular
incense {
brought me back to my college dorm-room days },
letting them burn for just a second, then blowing out the flame ’till
they smolder. You’re supposed to place them in a pot of sand or directly
in the ground around the perimeter of your party, but like I said, our
deck is teeny, so if I can position one right (so the smoke blows over
the deck) that’s usually sufficient. I also use these citronella tea lights, but I feel like the incense is doing most of the work. And it’s not so smoky that I feel weird having the kids hang out in it.

I definitely looked into buying a Mosquito Magnet, which my parents have and love, but we weren’t ready to invest more than $300 in our battle against the bugs this summer.

Have you tried mosquito-repelling incense? How do you keep bugs away in the summer?

I also use Honest Buy Spray and California Baby Bug Repellent Spray if we’re going to be running around the back yard—not just on the
deck—since the incense can’t cover the whole yard. (Or, I guess it
could, but I’m guessing I’d need, like, nine sticks around the
perimeter.) The two sprays combined seems to work better than either
alone, but you definitely want to shower after using them. They’re oily
and they
really smell.

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