I have had it with these motherf*cking mosquitoes at these motherf*cking outdoor dinner parties. To prevent the little blood suckers from ruining the 4th of July—the biggest picnicking day of the summer—drastic measures are necessary. Here are some of the most effective (or, at least, most satisfying) methods for your upcoming insect genocide.
The first method of controlling the mosquito population in your yard, the use of repellents, is the least violent—gently persuading the marauding insects to hunt for blood elsewhere.
Spray-on repellents like Off, Jungle Juice, or Repel, all of which utilize the chemical DEET, are very effective—so long as you don’t minds smelling like a camp site. If you’re going for a dinner party with less of a backwoods feel, try a mosquito coil instead.
Mosquito coils burn Citronella oil. This yellow liquid is derived from a species of lemongrass, is a proven insect repellent—it’s been listed by the FDA as a Generally Recognized as Safe biofungicide since 1948. It works because the smell of citronella masks the CO2 we exhale that mosquitoes find attractive. Mosquito coils, however, are generally not as effective as sprays and dissipate quickly if there is any amount of wind. The Thermacell system, which uses a butane cartridge to vaporize allethrin, a synthetic version of the biorepellent found in chrysanthemum flowers, are also quite popular.
The CDC also recommends any product containing Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, p-Mentane-3,8-diol (a synthetic form of Lemon Eucalyptus oil), and IR3535 (a biopesticide used in Europe for the last two decades) if you insist on going the spray route.
Another option is to install bug lights. These opaque, yellow bulbs work because humans and insects perceive different wavelengths of light—humans see longer wavelengths from blue to red, while insects tend to see shorter the wavelengths from ultraviolet to blue. This is why bugs congregate around both conventional light sources and black lights as well. By coating a bulb in an opaque yellow finish, the light it emits is essentially invisible to insects. And if they can’t see a light source, they can’t swarm there. The problem of course is that everything in your yard is now tinted yellow.
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