And here are some natural repellents, courtesy of authors Joan and Lydia Wilen, who wrote "Chicken Soup & Other Folk Remedies."
  • Eat foods rich in vitamin B-1, like sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts and fish. Or, you can also take a B-1 supplement three times a day. But for it to work, you have to do this two weeks before you expect to be exposed to mosquitoes. The vitamin changes your body chemistry so you're not as attractive to the skeeters.
  • You can also plant marigolds and geraniums all around your yard and pool area. Mosquitoes hate them and stay away.
Or you could use a bug zapper. But then at your next bar-b-q someone might ask, "Hey, what's that wing doing in the relish?" With zappers you have to beware of flying insect particles and the host of bacteria they carry. That's according to Kansas State University microbiologists who say zappers and food should be kept apart, because when the insects are zapped, the devices can spread bacteria and viruses up to six feet. A better choice might be to spread catnip oil around the picnic area. Catnip oil repels mosquitoes 10 times more effectively than commercial insect sprays do. Most pet stores carry spray bottles of catnip oil. Just spray the mixture around picnic tables and on screens, bedding, tents, and clothing. But keep it off your body, the studies didn't include what happens to skin when catnip oil is sprayed on it. Not to mention what to do with all the cats that suddenly show up in your backyard.