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Mosquitoes are a pest at the best of times, but when you’re trying to enjoy a summer BBQ with friends and family in your outdoor living space, they’re particularly annoying. Guidance suggests that several bug sprays brands are effective for 20 minutes or less, and electric bug zappers tend to kill greater numbers of friendly insects than mosquitoes.

That said, you might wonder if there’s anything you can do to stop these biting insects from crashing your party. Although it might be tempting to host an indoor dinner party instead, there are several steps you can take to stop mosquitoes in their tracks.

Prepare your pond

Standing water attracts mosquitoes, so if you have a pond in your backyard, you’ll need to take a few early precautions to avoid a full-on mosquito attack. Adding a fountain and waterfall to your pond will help enormously; mosquitoes will avoid running water as they’re unable to lay their eggs.

outdoor water feature pond pavers

You can also add mosquito fish, guppies, and goldfish to your pond – all of which think mosquito larva are delicious. Toads are also quite partial to the taste of mosquitoes, so you might also try to attract toads to your garden.

Let your plants take the strain

There are few things that bring joy like a beautifully planted garden, but plants aren’t just attractive to look at. Some of them pull double duty as lean, mean bug fighting machines. Adding a few bug-fighting plants won’t only repel mosquitoes but other bugs too.

Citronella Grass is the obvious choice, although you might also try fragrant lavender or catnip, the latter of which will undoubtedly please the family cat — and probably your neighbor’s cat, too.

Keep the fire going

Smoke is a known repellent against mosquitoes, so the problems might start it’s after you let your BBQ die out. Keeping your BBQ going all night is one option, but at some point you’ll probably tire of cooking burgers, so you might try throwing aromatic herbs such as rosemary on the grill instead.

Another option, if you have a little time before your event, is to build or buy a fire pit, which in itself is a great way to prepare your outdoor space for summer entertaining.

Use a mosquito net

If you’ve decided to throw a last-minute get together, you won’t have time to attract toads, buy new plants, or build a fire pit. A quick and easy way to protect yourself and your guests from bites is to use a mosquito net. Most nets are simply draped over a parasol, so they’re better suited for smaller gatherings. Although, larger varieties are also available.

Multi-pronged defense

A multi-pronged defense will yield the best results in the ongoing fight against mosquitoes, so allow yourself plenty of time to make these changes to your garden before your next summer BBQ. A little planning goes a long way, and your guests will thank you for it.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.