Home » free advice » Mosquito-palooza


 photo E7E19A17-C739-48E9-9DC9-8D6017EEF6E8_zpsg0ecbbtt.jpg Pros about shifting from city apartment living to a house:

  • Don’t have to think ahead and get out any clothes from our closet before Mary Tobin goes to bed or takes a nap (her nursery was a closet).
  • Our bedroom seems extra roomy without Inez’ bassinet on my side of the bed and a laundry cart on the other.
  • Laundry. Don’t need to roll a laundry cart down to the basement; don’t need to keep half a paycheck’s worth of quarters around for laundry and parking.
  • Parking. It’s easy.
  • Outdoor space! Wherever we move in the future I can never go back to being yard-less. Actually, more than the yard, we’re using the patios—front and back—to eat dinner and host friends.


  • Mosquitoes.

[Shannon and Rebekah (neighbors in our building in DC): there are so many cons in terms of what we miss, but I just wanted a way to lead into crowd-sourcing some mosquito advice.]

Our family has taken an “all of the above” approach to combatting mosquitoes, including, but not limited to:

  • Traditional bug spray: Israel uses the serious stuff, because bugs love his sweet Aztec blood and he’s not messing around.
  • “Green” bug spray: both the commercial and home-made variety, which seem to be pretty much the same. Our homemade is avocado oil plus eucalyptus and lavender essential oils. This is another recipe that seems like it would be good to try (h/t LMLD).
  • Citronella candle: alright, but certainly smells and can affect the taste of dinner. My brother’s trick with this is to put it under your table, particularly if it’s a glass top, so that the citronella stuff kind of billows around the people sitting there, instead of up and away.
  • ThermaCELL lantern: our favorite! It works, and it doesn’t smell. It’s not supposed to be toxic, and I’m betting it’s less toxic that covering my baby’s skin with DEET. We are forever committed to buying the little refills.

To make our environment less hospitable to the skeeters:

  • Dump out any standing water, clean gutters, get brush under control.
  • Mosquito repelling plants. (Who knows?)
  • Dump out coffee grounds or leftover coffee around your patio. I don’t know if this is effective, but can’t hurt. The new neighbors likely have spotted me on my bizarre nightly dash outside with a red french press during dishwashing time, but they haven’t said anything.
  • An oscillating fan to make it tougher for mosquitoes to land. (I guess that would be the budget version of a porch like this.)
  • To make you yourself less tasty, take B complex vitamins. (No source; hearsay from Mama Rote.)

Do mosquitoes love you and yours? If so, what do you do about it?

 photo A54FA5AB-9973-40F4-BC19-04288CDFDAA2_zpsydb9mn6s.jpgGratuitous pic of us hanging out on the front steps.
Mary Tobin says, direct quote: “Get out of here, bugs. This is not your house!” 


9 thoughts on “Mosquito-palooza

  1. Okay, so while I fear potential internet condemnation, I’m going to admit that we invested in a mosquito company. Last year, we tried EVERYTHING!! We mulched the perimeter of our yard, pulled out small shrubs and any weeds, got rid of any standing water, put dunks in the rain barrels and gutters, tried organic plants and plant/essential oil based yard sprays, box fans…nothing worked. Our sweet little one welts up do badly with each bite. We avoided the yard completely :( So this year, we meant business. While my research made the decision a bit more tough, we created boundaries that we felt comfortable with (no spraying the deck, any furniture or kid playhouse area) we finally have our yard back! No more bites! While we won’t do this forever, we are glad we did it this year. Best of luck!!

    • Thanks, Joanna. I won’t tell anyone. :) I agree, it would be a shame never to use that yard space!

  2. I got the vitamin tip from Aunt Jeaneine years ago, and I learned years ago not to question the Aunties! And I also almost never get mosquito bites.
    Mojoeddy, did you have the perimeter of the yard sprayed? Front and back? Or did you get one of those automatic misting thingies?

  3. Found your blog through a friend of a friend! When we lived in a mosquito infested area we used to use Avon’s Skin So Soft which worked moderately well, despite making you feel like a greased up pig. They have a bug line which I haven’t tried and I’m not sure about chemicals, etc. but figured I would share. Our neighbors used to use a spray on their yard which they attached to the hose, too. Good luck!

    • Meredith, thanks for commenting! I’ve heard about Skin So Soft. I guess it’s all about the give and take— is it better to feel greasy, smell weird, get bitten, stay inside?

  4. I read on the internet that you can spray listerine around to keep mosquitos away. I’m not sure if it really helps, but it makes your yard smell minty ;).

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