SPENDING more time outside seems like a brilliant idea at the start of the summer – before you remember the bugs are out for blood.
But there's a $1.50 hack that will keep mosquitos away from your deck or patio, and any home gardener can take advantage of it.
Plus, the super cheap solution smells great, unlike most widely-available bug sprays and repellent candles.
The brilliant solution comes from the home team at . Here's what you need for a natural repellent that lasts hours.
First, gather up some herbs from your garden. Rosemary is your best bet, and it will smell delicious, but you could also use lemon balm, mint, or lavender.
If you don't have home-grown herbs, a bundle of rosemary from your local farmer's market or grocery store will do fine. Just wash and dry it first.
Grab a heat-proof bowl, and make sure it's large enough to hold a Sterno can, the hero of this hack.
You've probably seen Sterno cans, or similar products labeled "gel ethanol" or "chafing fuel," at outdoor events where food was served.
The small cans are full of a gel that burns for hours, keeping food warm – or in this case, keeping your food bug-free.
Place the Sterno can in your large bowl and light it following the directions on the can.
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Next, grab your bundle of herbs, and place them on top of the flame. The sprigs should begin to burn slowly, and fill the air with aromatic smoke.
"The gentle smoke and scent of the rosemary (nice to humans) is really awful for flies," the pros at Apartment Therapy explained.
"Biting insects, like mosquitos and black flies, are also repelled by slow-burning herbs like this."
As you eat, you'll have the lovely smell of culinary herbs in the background, instead of the harsh, synthetic smell of a spray.
The bugs won't find it nearly as pleasant.
"They simply disappear," the experts wrote.
Once your meal is done and the herbs have burned, safely dispose of any ashes and the Sterno can.
You can keep a designated, decorative bowl on the patio to use this hack all summer long.
Since the heat cans cost $1.50 each, or less if you buy in bulk, you'll have no excuse not to sit outside and enjoy your meals, bug-free.