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Summertime means long days and evenings outdoors to enjoy the gorgeous weather. However, it also means bugs and mosquitoes are out in full force too—and being covered in itchy bites is no fun! We’ve got all the advice you need to keep the mosquitos and bugs away, so you can play.

Eliminate breeding sites

Take a look around your property to find any areas of still water and get rid of them if possible.  Mosquitoes breed in still or very slow-moving water–even things like old buckets and clogged gutters can become host to a bunch of the pesky critters!  Birdbaths can also potentially become breeding sites, so make sure you change the water at least once a week.

Have a still pond? Get fish

Natural predators like goldfish love to chow down on mosquito larvae, and are easy to introduce to non-natural bodies of water like backyard ponds.  Just make sure not to introduce non-native fish to natural bodies of water, as they can crowd out natives!

Avoid the outdoors at dusk and dawn

Prime time for most bugs, including mosquitoes, is around dusk and dawn, so stay indoors if possible.

Wear long-sleeved clothing

The less skin you have exposed, the less places the bugs have to bite!

Citronella candles

If you’re planning to be outdoors in a relatively small area, such as a deck, Citronella candles can be a great way to ward off mosquitoes.

Choose and use repellents with care

If you choose to use a repellent, make sure you select one that lists all ingredients, not just the “active” ingredient. Consider newer products containing lemon eucalyptus or soybean and geranium oils, which are more effective than other alternative repellents. Care should be taken with any product, especially noting any restrictions for use on children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women.