Nothing can sour an evening spent in your backyard gazebo quite like mosquitoes. Known as Culicidae in Latin—and a bothersome pest in any language—mosquitoes have risen beyond mere annoyance to pose genuine health risks, giving you even more reason to want to banish them from your favorite outdoor leisure spot.
An ounce of this is always worth a pound of cure, right? In this case, prevention starts in the yard, because, let’s face it, if your yard is mosquito-proof, your gazebo will be, too. Prevention in your outdoor spaces can include:
- getting rid of places where mosquitos like to breed: standing water in planters, buckets, kids’ toys, clogged gutters, and compost piles
- using mosquito dunks or methoprene granules or briquettes to treat water in bird baths and catchment basins
- sprinkling an all-natural granular insecticide containing lemon grass, mint, and garlic on your lawn
- trimming back shrubs and trees and keeping your lawn in shape to cut down the places bugs like to hangout
- treating your yard and shrubbery with insect-repellant fog
Gazebo screens or curtains
This is probably one of the most effective ways to keep out mosquitoes and just about any other pest you can name. If you opt for frameless gazebo curtains, you won’t have to make any structural changes to your gazebo, which will save you time and money. Fixed attachment screens, probably the most popular and least expensive option, wrap your gazebo in see-through black mesh, with a magnetic opening for a doorway.
Personal repellents and protective clothing
You can, of course, go with the tried and true personal methods. Cover exposed skin from neck to toe. You can spray friends and family down with insect repellent, or encourage them to wear clothes made of fabric that’s been treated with it. Although these are probably the most effective mosquito deterrents, there are other ways to keep your gazebo mosquito-free.
Fans and air curtains
Mosquitoes (and flies, by the way) hate wind. Ergo, running a fan or air curtain—like the ones businesses run in customer entrances—in your gazebo is a terrific way to keep them out. Fans are also one of the simplest, least expensive ways to accomplish the goal.
Citronella is an oldie but goodie for a reason. Used in small areas—like, say, your gazebo—citronella candles or oil-filled torches offer first-class protection against mosquitoes. And like fans, citronella is an easily doable, low-cost option.
Mosquito repellent lanterns are a nice choice for a number of reasons: they’re attractive, they last for hours, they’re refillable, and they’re effective against all manner of outdoor pests. They also cover a wide area and work on AA batteries.
Battery-powered mosquito traps that burn methane to make carbon dioxide are another workable solution. Mosquitoes are lured in, but they can’t get out. To get the best results these traps should be run 24/7. Unfortunately, commercially made traps can be expensive. Fortunately, you can make your own traps and do it without using harmful chemicals!
- Cut a soda bottle in half.
- Fill the bottom half with hot water, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 gram of yeast.
- Turn the top half of the bottle upside down, so the spout rests in the bottom half.
- Place/hang the traps away from your gazebo.
Most misting systems are either tankless or drum-based. Using either chemical or natural insecticides with a low toxicity to pets and people, these sprinkler-like systems can be turned on by remote control or set on timers to mix a solution that will keep your yard, and thus your gazebo, pest free. While most folks have these systems professionally installed, the Do-It-Yourself type can find DYI systems and instructions online.