5 Brilliant Products That Can Help Keep Your Backyard Less Buggy All Summer

Ward off mosquitos and other pesky insects with these cool tools — no bug sprays required!

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composite image of citronella coils, bug-repelling lantern, and fly-repelling fans
Photo: Allrecipes

Despise bug spray, but also determined to steer clear of mosquitos, flies, and other picnic pests? We're right there with you. So we scoured online stores, combed through reviews and selected bug spray alternatives that really work, according to thousands of people who have put them through the paces.

Whether you're hosting neighbors for a backyard movie festival cookout, or picnic, have kids who invited their pals for al fresco ice cream cones and lemonade, or are enjoying a backyard staycation, these are among the best no-spray bug-repellants you can buy online and have delivered to your door.

Citronella Hanging Coil

two citronella hanging coils
Courtesy of Food52

Never have we ever seen a bug repellant quite this chic! Designed with both style and function in mind, this citronella coil burns silently overhead as you enjoy your summer soiree. It looks like a lantern yet works like citronella incense; all while emanating a citrusy aroma that will mask any human scents from the pests. A small set of two 36-hour burning coils comes in natural or black. One five-star reviewer says, "​​Living here in Florida sometimes the mosquitoes win and you don't. So happy I found this to keep those famous pests at bay. Easy to use and it lasts all evening long, giving the family plenty of time to enjoy the outside without discomfort."

BUY IT: $36; FOOD52

Skeeter Screen Patio Egg

Skeeter screen patio egg mosquito deterrent diffuser
Courtesy of Amazon

Yes, we know the name of this sounds a bit silly, but if you've yet to try this oil diffuser, more than 460 five-star reviewers declare that it's time to get cracking. "I am in LOVE with this product. We have tried so many mosquito repellents; this is the first that lasts and is so easy. I don't have to light it and forget to blow it out...This works all the time and covers our entire back deck area." The kit comes with one 4-ounce bottle of DEET-free nature oil, a "patio egg" diffuser and a plant fiber netting hanger to hang at any height around your yard. Try it in patios, greenhouses and garden sheds, too, along with on your patio and deck. It promises bug protection for up to 200-square feet.


Thermacell Cambridge Mosquito Repellent Lantern

thermacell cambridge mosquito repellent lantern
Courtesy of Amazon

Set the mood with this beautiful lantern that not only lights up your table after the sun sets, but also keeps bugs at bay. The fuel that lights the lantern warms up the repellant in the mat at the base of the lantern, which then flows out into the environment to build a 15-foot bug-free "bubble" around it. Since this light is powered by a fuel cartridge, it's easy to transport and requires zero cords or outlets. A fan raves that this "worked so well I ordered a second one. We have a large deck with two patio tables so I put one on each table and there are ZERO bugs anywhere on the deck," he says. "This is with a full-course dinner being eaten by all and even ice cream bars for the kids after. I recommend it to all my friends and neighbors."


Treva Bug Repellent Battery-Powered Fan

set of two treva bug repellent battery powered fans
Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

If flies are what's bugging you (sorry!), consider this compact, battery-powered fan is lightweight and chemical-free. Its reflective holographic pattern on the fan blades is invented to disrupt light and cause flying insects to stay away. The consistent blade speed (which stops when they come into contact with an object, say, a serving spoon) keeps the bugs out of range too. "I was skeptical, but WOW. These actually keep the flies away! Smart product, love that I don't have to use chemicals near my kids and food," one five-star reviewer says.


9-Foot to 10-Foot Outdoor Screen Bug Insect Mosquito Net

casainc outdoor screen mosquito net
Courtesy of The Home Depot

For the ultimate bug protection, simply cast a wide net. A mosquito net, that is. This adjustable-top netting can attach to any 9- to 10-foot umbrella so you can enjoy the fresh air while keeping all the bugs "outside." It's lightweight and compact to pack and take along to the neighbors or to your Airbnb for summer vacation, too. "This netting works well. The water base keeps the netting in place, even in high winds," one user confirms.


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