How to Control Mosquitoes for an Outside Party

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Barbeques and outdoor parties are staples of the summer entertainment season. Food, drinks and conversation are welcome additions to any backyard gathering. What is not welcome, however, are flying, biting insects, such as mosquitoes. These uninvited pests can become a literal pain to your guests and ruin any outdoor party. Fortunately, there are a number of steps that can be taken to control mosquitoes at your party, both prior to and during the event.

Water Control

Mosquitoes love standing water, where their eggs are laid and their larvae develop into pupa and eventually into an adult mosquito. So, the best way to control mosquitoes for your outdoor party is to remove any places where they could develop. Look for containers, such as plant pots and pet bowls, where water can collect. Fill in any spots in your garden or lawn with dirt and sod to eliminate standing water. If you have a pond that supports live fish, consider adding mosquito fish or koi, which are surface-dwelling fish that eat mosquito eggs, larvae and pupa.

Natural Pest Control

For standing water that cannot be eliminated, such as ponds that cannot support live fish, birdbaths or fountains, add bacillus thuringiensis to the water. This natural substance is harmless to animals but deadly to insect larvae. Use a mixture of neem oil and water to spray bushes and plants. Neem oil is a natural pesticide that will drive mosquitoes from any area where it is sprayed. Burn citronella, either in candle form or in tiki torches filled with citronella oil. Grow catnip, which has natural insect-repelling properties -- and smells nice as well -- in portable pots and place them in strategic locations where your guests will gather.

Chemical Pest Control

Chemical pest control is a sure way to effectively remove your mosquito problem if you are unable to do so naturally. A number of commercial pest control products, both water-based and oil-based, can be sprayed on the grounds, such as grassy areas and bushes, ahead of your guests' arrival. Other products, such as coils, lamps, and no-pest strips can be placed and hung strategically around your outside area. Personal application of DEET-based products can be made available to your guests as well.

Other Mosquito-Controlling Tips

Depending on the size of your outside area, a fan can be set away from where your guests will congregate and the breeze created by the fan should make it difficult for mosquitoes to remain in the area. Bug zappers, as long as you don't mind the occasional noise they make, can be placed outside to attract mosquitoes. Certain fluorescent lights can be installed in your outside light sockets that have certain insect-repelling properties.