Ah, warm weather. It’s time for t-shirts, backyard barbecues, pool parties, and madly swatting at mosquitoes as the biting insects come out from hiding to make our outdoor experiences miserable.
There are some traditional ways of fighting off the flying pests. You can slather on insect-repellent sprays and lotions, light citronella candles, or just keep smacking the bugs when they land on you. Or you can try out some newer methods, including interesting gadgets that take on the problem.
You may even have heard about smartphone apps that are designed to deter mosquitoes, but there’s something you need to know about those.
Can an app really fight off the bites?
You’ve heard the phrase “There’s an app for that.” And, yes, there are apps that promise to repel mosquitoes by using high-frequency sounds. These apps are available for both iOS and Android and have names like Anti Mosquito-Sonic Repeller or Mosquito Repellent Ultrasounds.
There are many variations on the same concept, but they all have one thing in common: a lack of scientific evidence that they actually work.
There are even multiple anti-mosquito apps that include the word “prank” in the name, though they suggest you can still try the apps out for yourself. You’re certainly welcome to test out these apps, but you will probably have better luck fighting off mosquitoes with the right gadgets or insect-repellent sprays than you will with your smartphone.
You still don’t want to get bit by a bug, so try out these options instead:
Flowtron Electronic Insect Killer
Not many anti-mosquito gadgets have achieved a 4-star rating on Amazon, but the Flowtron BK-40D is one of them. This insect zapper uses UV light to attract bugs and an electrified grid to take them out.
Flowtron says this model offers one acre of coverage, though the company also makes larger and smaller sizes of the same device. Just be sure to follow the setup advice and not place it right next to where you’re hanging out outside. The light is very bright and it can attract flying bugs like a siren calls to sailors.
Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent
Joining the Flowtron in the 4-star-rating club on Amazon is the Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent, an interesting little gadget that is popular with outdoor enthusiasts. Thermacell runs on a rechargeable battery and uses heat to disperse repellent from replaceable cartridges.
Thermacell claims to repel mosquitoes for up to 110 square feet around the device. Its portability is a big selling point, so you can take it out to your backyard or pack it along on an overnight camping trip.
The Henslow All Natural Plant-Based Mosquito Sticks sound a little like a Simon & Garfunkel song. The sticks combine citronella, Brazilian andiroba, rosemary, and thyme into a potent plant-based incense that can help deter mosquitoes from getting near. Reviewers had success with using these sticks in small spaces, or by setting up multiple sticks to create a perimeter around an outdoor area.
Ouch. You’ve been bitten. Don’t start scratching, instead reach for the Therapik Mosquito Bite Reliever. This small gadget runs on a 9-volt battery and works on the notion that heating the bite area can break down the compounds that make it so itchy.
There are plenty of converts among Amazon reviewers, though some people found the heat uncomfortable. Therapik says you can also use it for stings from bees, ants, and even jellyfish.
Your best move in the battle against mosquitoes may be to take a multi-pronged approach. Put insect repellent on exposed parts of your body and spray it on your clothing, use citronella as a deterrent, and set up a zapping gadget to take care of the rest. Then you can enjoy the outdoors in peace.