Here in the Rockford area, we've had plenty of wet weather leading up to summer. While that's been great for crops and landscaping, it brings with it an unpleasant side-effect. More mosquitoes.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, mosquitoes are the most dangerous creatures on Earth:

Mosquitoes and the diseases they spread have been responsible for killing more people than all the wars in history. Even today, mosquitoes transmitting malaria kill 2 million to 3 million people and infect another 200 million or more every year. Tens of millions more are killed and debilitated by a host of other mosquito-borne diseases, including filariasis, yellow fever, dengue and encephalitis. Today, however, the threat of developing encephalitis from mosquitoes is far greater than the threat of malaria in the United States. Encephalitis, meningitis and other diseases can develop from the bites of mosquitoes infected with certain viruses. These include the viruses of West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis, LaCrosse (California) encephalitis, and Eastern equine and Western equine encephalitis, along with the Zika virus.

Around our house, we've had a modicum of success with the half-acre Dynatrap (two weeks after putting it up, we've caught a few mosquitoes, but more moths), we've also used repelling coils, incense sticks, and citronella candles, but their effectiveness remains limited.

The most fun way to handle all the bugs that summer throws your way has got to be (for my family, anyway) the electronic bug swatter. Granted, you can only get one or two bugs at a time with it, but they arc, spark, and crackle real good.

Still, it seems the best way to keep those biting beasties off of you is to go old school, and use repellent spray. For some, the problem is the smell. For others, it's the chemicals. Well, if you've got a few simple ingredients around, you can whip up your own:


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