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.

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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There's also the old farmhouse fix for flies - you've likely seen it and not 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 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.

If you want to repel flies and blood-sucking mosquitos 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's full grown, it's about 2 feet wide and can grow three to five feet in height. It looks lovely, can be used in the kitchen and it offers the added benefit of  repelling flying insects like flies and mosquitos.

Lemongrass offers a citrusy flavor when used in the kitchen but the natural 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 although based on the same premise but natural citronella oil straight from the leaves of the lemongrass plant. If you don't have enough space in your yard to plant lemongrass, it also does well in containers. It is certainly a healthier option than using chemicals and sprays to enjoy the natural beauty of our backyards.

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.


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