One of the more unusual features of living in a coastal area is that we have our very own mosquito commission. (And you thought your job was boring.) I'm not sure if it's doing us any favors, as it seems that the pests have already come out in full-force, thanks to weeks of rainy conditions. So, what can a desperate target do? Especially one with a general distaste for commercially-produced bug repellents, right down to their weird citronella scents?
Last year, we asked those very questions and went out to test a few common alternative "remedies" that promised to get rid of mosquitoes. What we found was that those anti-bug apps do little to keep pests away, while the best repellent was found in the laundry room. Click through the slideshow to review our findings, then tell us: How do you keep mosquitoes away?
Turns out that mosquitoes are attracted to those who drink <a href="http://bodyinmind.com.au/dont-drink-in-the-dark/" target="_hplink">beer</a>. So, we thought that placing cups filled with cheap-o lager around our patio would make great bait for the pests. A glance at the buggy victims proved this to be true. There's a catch though. Mosquitoes will still seek you out if you're drinking the stuff. Bottom line: This somewhat works, but if you're also imbibing, expect to be bitten. Photo from Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinnerseries/6141494744/" target="_hplink">Dinner Series</a>.
The thinking here is that colors somehow make you more attractive to mosquitoes. But this is just a bunch of wishful thinking -- the bugs will still bite, no matter how much white you wear. Bottom line: Does not work. Photo from Flickr user<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ir0cko/3474891922/" target="_hplink"> ir0cko.</a>
Garlic is used in many mosquito repellants used in landscaping. So, why wouldn't it work for us? After eating a garlicky meal, we waited. The mosquitoes didn't bother us. But really, is this practical? Bottom line: Works, if you'd like to down garlic cloves on a daily basis. Photo from Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenorton/2212742541/" target="_hplink">lowjumpingfrog.</a>
This involves exactly what you think it does: Vacuuming up any mosquito you see in the air. It's more like a reflex test than a viable means of pest control. The bottom line: Not surprisingly, does not work. Photo from Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/williac/1255534528/" target="_hplink">williac</a>.
When diluted with water and spritzed on the skin, this promised to rid of us mosquitoes for a full night. Sadly, it just made us smell minty fresh. We were still bitten at the end of the night. Bottom line: Does not work. Photo from Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/theimpulsivebuy/6486119439/" target="_hplink">theimpulsivebuy</a>.
This <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/anti-mosquito-sonic-repeller/id385921289?mt=8 " target="_hplink">sonic repellant </a>promises to rid your life of mosquitoes with a touch of a button. Easy, right? So we were disappointed when all this did was drain our iPhone's battery. Bottom line: Does not work. Photo from Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/bfishadow/5077249243/" target="_hplink">bfishadow.</a>
Like garlic, mosquitoes dislike chives. We simply placed a few snippets in a centerpiece and hoped for results. Though we did experience less bites, we were still bitten. Bottom line: Might work, but probably should be applied to the skin in order to see results. Photo from Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremyosborne/2344185525/" target="_hplink">jeremy_w_osborne. </a>
Fabric Softener Sheets
Rubbed onto the skin, this method did leave us mosquito bite-free for the evening. But, it did irritate the skin of one of our testers. So, use caution. Bottom line: This works. Photo from <a href="http://www.downy.com/en-US/index.jspx" target="_hplink">Downy.com </a>
A few squirts of dish soap, left in a saucer, did a nice job of keeping mosquitos occupied...and away from us. The results were comparable to citronella candle. Bottom line: This works. Photo from <a href="http://www.glwholesale.com/" target="_hplink">GLWholesale</a>.
Particularly, Mountain Dew, which was suggested by a reader, with a dash of dish soap. While the traps did attract mosquitoes, this might have also been because of the dish soap. Bottom line: This works, but probably not because of the soda. Photo from Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathankpeck/5839205741/" target="_hplink">NathanPeck</a>.
Silly, but it did prove effective. Again, soap might be the factor here. Bottom line: It works. Photo from Flickr user <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/77682540@N00/2790186786/" target="_hplink">Ali Smiles :)</a>.