There are few things that will ruin your outdoor fun faster than mosquitos and flies. Whether you're grilling out or laying by the pool, those little winged insects are an instant mood killer.

Some Less Than Great Repellent Options

There are a number of ways to rid your yard of these flying pests. You could spend a bunch of money on those candles that smell terrible or those tiki torches that you have to fill with oil but if you're like me, those just scream, "hello fire hazard!" Not to mention they both give off soot and smoke that contains who knows what chemicals as they burn.

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You Could Try This Old Farmhouse Fix

There's also the old farmhouse fix for flies - you've likely seen it but may not have known what it was - the plastic bag of water with a few pennies in it. There are a few theories on why this works as a home remedy for flying pests. One theory involves the chemical reaction between the water and the copper in the pennies and suggests that the copper bonds with the oxygen in the water creating little molecules of copper-oxide which is toxic and will repel the flies. Another theory is that the light refracted through the water confuses the flies and yet another theory suggests that the pennies in the water look like the eyes of a larger insect that the flies don't want to tango with. Does this trick actually work? There are people who swear by it.

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A More Natural Option

If you want to repel flies and blood-sucking mosquitoes without hanging plastic bags of pennies and water all over your backyard, may we suggest one simple and totally natural option - Lemongrass. Often used in culinary dishes, this plant looks a lot like your standard, run-of-the-mill ornamental grass. When it is fully grown, it measures about 2 feet wide and can grow as tall as three to five feet in height. Not only does it look lovely in the yard or garden and can be used in the kitchen, but it also offers the added benefit of repelling flying insects like flies and mosquitos.

A Healthy, Chemical Free Pest Repellent

Lemongrass offers a citrusy flavor when used in the kitchen but the naturally occurring oil of the plant is what makes it excellent for keeping your lawn mosquito free. The natural oil I'm talking about is citronella. Not the stuff you buy in a candle or a tiki oil Those are processed with tons of other chemicals and compounds. They are however based on the same premise but of course, natural citronella oil straight from the leaves of the lemongrass plant is much more family and pet friendly. If you don't have enough space in your yard to plant lemongrass, it also grows well in containers and it is certainly a healthier option than using chemicals and sprays to enjoy the natural beauty of our backyards.

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