1. Dress for success. Keep a layer of clothing between you and these blood-sucking pests by wearing long pants and long sleeves.
2. Destroy mosquito breeding grounds. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water so keep your yard free of potential breeding sources. Empty water from buckets, toys, sandbox tarps, kiddie pools and flower pots regularly. Replace water in pet dishes and birdbaths daily. Keep trash cans and rain barrels covered. Keep gutters clean and check outdoor faucets and air conditioners for leaks. Keep your yard free of litter and garden clippings.
3. Rid your yard of mosquito magnets. Mosquitoes harbor in dense shrubbery and long grass so mow your lawn frequently, keep shrubs and bushes trimmed and weed gardens regularly.
4. Decorate with plants. Add marigolds to patio planters and decorate tables with festive pots of these bright red, orange and yellow flowers. Your guests won’t find their slightly pungent scent unpleasant but mosquitoes hate it. To keep mosquitoes at bay all summer, add lemongrass to your backyard plantings. It drives mosquitoes away and its spiky green leaves and fresh lemony perfume make lemongrass an attractive garden plant.
5. Use scent to send mosquitoes packing. Place citronella torches around your cookout area to deter mosquitoes after dark. Citronella candles add a pretty glow to backyard tables and their citrus scent repels mosquitoes. If you have a backyard fire pit, add a bundle of mosquito-deterring sage to the fire.