Just Blow Those Pesky Mosquitoes Away

A simple fan may blow weak-winged mosquitoes out of your yard

Instead of setting up bug zappers or spraying, place fans strategically around your deck or backyard to keep mosquitoes from crashing your  BBQ.  So says a Mount-Laurel based non-profit that offers educational advice on how to beat the pest.   

It sounds much too simple.  Too low-tech.  Over the years I have tried a slew of natural remedies, different types of citronella candles, torches, and expensive gadgets to keep the pest off my back and off my guests. 

But last weekend, I reclaimed my backyard merely by interfering with the flight patterns of the weak-winged menace.

Kudos to the sages at the American Mosquito Control Association.  Who knew? 

At a BBQ I hosted Sunday, a dozen guests stayed outside almost the whole afternoon and marvelled at how effective this method was.  No one was bitten.  I positioned two 18" oscillating fans at either end of my deck.  The gentle breezes re-routed the mosquitoes elsewhere.

What a relief. 

The AMCA says the secret to the success of the fans is mosquitos can only fly about 1 mph.  The breezes send them off course.  The fans also mess with human odors that attract the insect. 

Any fan will do, even a stationary one sitting on a table. 

But when fans aren't practical, the AMCA recommends repellents like DEET, or loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts and long pants.  The non-profit's latest warning is to protect yourself against West Nile Disease, which is borne by mosquitoes.  The unusually hot and wet summer could lead to an increase in cases, the AMCA warns.