DEET-Free Bug Repellents: How To Keep Insects Away From Your Garden Party

A very happy day, MNN readers, and welcome to the fourth installment of "The garden party," a special new weekly series of product-centric geared towards all of you al fresco entertainers, patio partiers and backyard BBQ'ers out there. The emphasis, as you may have gathered, is on outdoor entertaining paraphernalia that boast one or more of the following eco-friendly attributes: a. handmade b. made from sustainable or recycled materials c. domestically manufactured or d. durable/made-to-last so in that they’ll be used not just this summer but for many more summers to come.

While this week's installment may not be as fun as past ones — it doesn't involve booze, BBQs or cool gadgets — it's quite important as no backyard party-thrower in their right mind wants pesky — and potentially dangerous — uninvited guests crashing their fiesta. And no, I'm not talking about Michaela Salahi.

Below, you'll find a handful of items geared to effectively keep mosquitoes, wasps and other winged nuisances at bay (some trap the offending insects) so that you don't have to resort to DEET-based sprays, unfashionable headgear, and gruesome zappers that end up killing beneficial bugs alongside biting and stinging interlopers. Also, you don't want anyone leaving your backyard looking like the poor soul pictured above. While some of these choices may be familiar, others may be a bit unexpected (CFL bulbs and incense, anyone?). And one option is extremely effective when it comes to mosquito mitigation but not a great choice if you plan on inviting anyone suffering from a severe case of chiroptoph​obia over for a sundown cocktail on the patio.

​How do you deter mosquitos and the like when you're throwing an outdoor get-together? Have any tips or tricks you'd like to share? Have you tried out any DIY insect repellents that don't stink to high heaven? Please do share in the comments section.

Uninvited Guest Deterrents