Proven methods to keep the bugs at bay.

By Stephanie Sisco
Updated May 30, 2018
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Outdoor Dinner Party
Credit: Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images

Planning to spend as much time outdoors as possible this summer, hosting cookouts and patio dinner parties? Then you're going to need a top-notch bug repelling plan. From bug repellant sprays that really work, to modern mosquito bracelets, these six pro-approved tips are proven to keep the bugs at bay. Once you've turned your backyard into a bug-free zone, the outdoor dinner parties will last late into the night.

Related Items

Jar Citronella Candle
Credit: Amazon

1 Use Mosquito-Repelling Scents

Place jarred citronella candles ($11 for 3, or insect-repelling incense under the dining table to help keep feet and ankles bite-free.—Colin Cowie, event planner

colorful Mosquito-Repelling Bracelets
Credit: Home Depot

2 Buy Some Bug-Repelling Bracelets

I first spotted mosquito-repellent bracelets ($17 for 6; making the rounds at my son’s soccer tournaments. They’re sweat-proof and kid-safe.—Elizabeth Demos, Savannah-based designer and prop stylist

Burt's Bees Insect Repelling Spray
Credit: Bed Bath and Beyond

3 Turn to a Family-Safe Formula

I’m a big fan of Burt’s Bees’ herbal insect repellent ($8; It’s safe for the whole family and smells like yummy lemons.—Nicole Gibbons, interior designer

Bug Repelling Sunscreen
Credit: Amazon

4 Slather on Bug-Repelling Sunscreen

Sunscreen bug repellent ($14 for 2, It’s not the highest SPF at 15, but it’s a great option for when you don’t feel like slathering on sunscreen AND bug spray.—Elizabeth Demos, Savannah-based designer and prop stylist

Citronella Candle Pots
Credit: Amazon

5 Light Some Citronella Candles

With their soft firelight, Tiki citronella candles ($12 for 3, create great ambiance without a smoky fire, and are easy to light and put out.

Thermacell Patio Shield
Credit: Thermacell

6 Invest in a Patio Shield

The Thermacell Patio Shield ($25; creates a barrier against mosquitoes without any scent or flame.—Tara Guérard, event planner