These Are the Only Two Ways to Ward Off Mosquitoes.

People hate mosquitoes, which is why companies make a variety of mosquito repellents: candles, bracelets, chemical and herbal sprays – even electronic devices. But if you want to keep mosquitoes away from your skin this summer, you really need two things: a bug spray and a fan.

Many alternatives either don’t work or aren’t worth your time. Citronella candles are not much more effective than regular candles, which, as you might guess, do not protect against mosquitoes. These glowing insect lightning bolts are useless because mosquitoes don’t care about light. Wristbands only keep mosquitoes on your wrists, so if you don’t weave them into a full body jumpsuit, they won’t help much. You get the idea. We explore these disappointing truths in more detail here .

So what does work? Two things, one chemical and the other not.

The only kind of insect spray that really works on mosquitoes

First, the insect spray. I know you’re shocked. DEET does work, as does picaridin and lemon eucalyptus oil . If a mosquito spray (especially a “natural” one) does not contain one of these ingredients, it is probably useless. The easiest way to find out which foods are legal without having to memorize a list? Check the back of the label for an EPA registration number.

Keep away from mosquitoes without using chemicals

Second, a fan. If you are hanging on the porch and do not want to spray anything about yourself or if you actually used the spray, but they still fly around you and get on your nerves, just install the fan box. You can buy one for about $ 20 at a hardware store, which is less than you would spend on four useless citronella candles? Mosquitoes are weak flyers, so they surround you when the air stagnates and becomes humid. Install a fan – or take advantage of the natural breeze – and you keep them at bay.

Aside from these effective strategies, there are a couple more that I didn’t mention because they are simple: wear long sleeves and pants if you can stand them, and stay inside if you don’t have to go outside. I know this is not fun. So if you want to enjoy your porch beer in shorts and a tank top, buy yourself some bug spray and plug in a fan. This article was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated on June 24, 2021 to bring its content in line with the current Lifehacker style.

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