Living Outdoors in Mosquito Weather

Have you noticed that you don’t get bitten in a strong breeze when you’re outside in the summer in mosquito country?  Well, I often duplicate this experience for clients using outdoor fans.   While not one of my designs, the pergola, below, is a perfect example of what I mean.

Use Ceiling Fan to Deter Mosquitoes
Three Ceiling Fans Help Deter Mosquitoes

The pergola, above, was built by Artisan Specialties in Columbia, South Carolina, but it’s quite similar to ones I’ve designed for a clients.  The powerful ceiling fans, close together, will provide good coverage to provide cooling breezes and to keep mosquitoes and other biting insects at bay.

What conditions do you need for a fan to work?  You need a very strong stream of air — if you don’t like air blowing on you, this solution isn’t for you.  I like the design, above, because you’re getting wind from all sides of the table.  The fans need to have strong motors and large blades.  You also need fairly open conditions.  Ceiling fans won’t work as well on a front porch that’s surrounded by shrubbery or covered by vines.  The plants provide a place for the insects to hide and protect themselves from the breeze and have only a short flight to get to your skin — especially your feet and legs.  In this setting, an oscillating fan or box fan blowing across the sitting area — at about 30-36″ off the floor — will provide better protection.

I was intrigued to also see the stand-mounted “ceiling” fan that fits in most umbrella holes by Backyard America.

Stand-Mounted Fan
Stand-Mounted Fan

I can also recommend the OFF!® PowerPad® Lamp and Lantern.  I’ve found the product effective when I use 2 to 4 lamps — that fully bracket a sitting area on a porch, deck or patio.  I was convinced the first time when 3 of us were enjoying my patio without getting bitten.  One minute all was calm, then the repellant had burned off and all 3 of us started getting bitten.  As soon as the candles and pads were replaced, calm returned.

Mosquitos love me and I get huge welts with every bite and I live just outside buggy Washington, DC.  So I’ll keep looking for ideas that work.  If you have any to share, please contact me.

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