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Bugs are great for the ecosystem and even for the health of your garden, but they're not necessarily welcome guests when you're trying to enjoy dinner outside. There are plenty of tried and true methods for keeping them away, and this list extends beyond body sprays and bug zappers. Bug repellents can actually be rather chic and blend in with the rest of your outdoor decor—and are still actually effective.
Nowadays, there are unassuming cozy throws that double as bug-repelling blankets. Incense sticks and coils with specific fragrance combos can lazily burn away, warding off bugs, too. Even the classic citronella candle has come a long way from its original look.
In efforts to prevent painful stings, annoying bites, or plates invaded with six-legged critters, these products are worthy of a spot in your outdoor arsenal (and don't look too shabby either).
Winbattle Citronella Candles in Coarse Pottery Container
No basic tin container here—this citronella candle is as pretty as any indoor option on the market. The soy wax is laden with citronella oil and its three-wick construction gives it a longer burn time than smaller options. It comes with a ceramic lid that neatly closes it off, which is a convenient touch as outdoor candles can get plenty of gunk and grime in them when they're not properly covered. Place two or three of these candles on your outdoor dining table and you'll be good to go.
Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller
Anyone sensitive to strong scents may be scoping out bug repellent alternatives that aren't has heavily fragranced. So the Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller perfectly fits the bill. Its cartridges shoo away bugs but won't offend humans, as it's scentless. With 19 different colors to choose from it won't be hard to find one that matches with the rest of your outdoor furniture and decor either.
DEARTAGNON Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks 50 Pieces per Box
Citronella candles are a fan-favorite way of tackling outdoor bug problems, but incense sticks are another useful format. Like with incense burned indoors, place one of these in a holder and it'll burn for roughly 40 minutes, giving bugs the message that they're definitely not invited to the party. Buyers can strategically place a few of these around the yard 10 minutes prior to heading outside to start clearing out bugs early.
Treva Chemical-Free Table Top Bug Repellent/Deterrent Fan with Holographic Blades
Rather than coating your skin in sticky sprays or burning a strong candle while you eat, this battery-powered fan is a nice alternative. Equipped with holographic blades, bugs shy away from the disorienting reflections it produces. It can be set in the center of the table or near a grill to cut down on winged intruders.
Outer Bug Shield Throw Blanket - Pinstripe
Stay warm on cooler summer nights with a blanket that works to fight off bugs at the same time. Mosquitos, ticks, ants, fleas, and other bugs won't go near this outdoor textile thanks to its special coating (that can't be seen or smelled by you). You won't have to worry about throwing it in the washing machine either—it retains its shield over and over again even after washing.
Fredericks & Mae Small Citronella Incense
Like the insect-repelling incense idea? For something a little more fun than the standard sticks, opt for something in a fun spiral shape like this bug-repellent coil. It can burn for up to 36 hours, which covers a good chunk of BBQs and nighttime s'mores roasting. Citronella is included in the scent, but it's combined with a few other fragrant notes that gives it more of a floral aroma.
Coos Bay 10' x 10' Slant Leg Pop Up Canopy Tent w/ Mosquito Netting
Physical repellents are the safest bet against bugs as it fully blocks them from even getting close to you. A canopy like this one can easily be set up and placed in the yard to enjoy a meal without stinging and biting bugs weaseling their way in. The mesh still allows for welcome breezes to pass through, and the doors can be clipped back for full access to the great outdoors when fewer insects are out.
TIKI Brand Tiedye Outdoor Torch, Blue, Pack of 3
Adorned with pretty tie-dye patterns, it's hard to believe that these tabletop torches can scare off bugs, but it's true. When filled with the TIKI Brand Bightfighter Torch Fuel, you can relax for several hours without worrying about mosquitos interrupting your evening.