Are mosquitoes putting a damper on your backyard barbecue? Tired of slapping yourself silly every time you hit the deck? The American Mosquito Control Association suggests a simple electric fan mounted behind your outdoor relaxation spot repels mosquitoes better than most chemical, UV or ultrasonic bug repellents.

We're Big Fans of this Low-Tech Mosquito Deterrent

That's right, an unmodified electric fan has more than enough power to bow those pesky bugs away before they can turn your summer leisure break into a literal vortex of suck. “Mosquitoes are relatively weak fliers,” advises the AMCA, “so placing a large fan on your deck can provide a low-tech solution.”

Mosquitoes fly at relatively slow speeds – approximately 1 to 1.5 mph – and they can't make headway against air blown at 15 mph by an average electric fan. Not to channel Billy Mays here BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE: mosquitoes find their food sources (aka you, your family, friends and pets) by following the plumes of carbon dioxide all oxygen-breathers exhale. A fan will efficiently disperse those CO2 plumes and leave the skeeters with nothing to home in on.

We're Big Fans of this Low-Tech Mosquito Deterrent

Scientists from the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the U.S. National Library of Medicine have actually tested this theory, using a variable-speed fan and CO2 traps. In a 2003 study titled “Reassessment of the role and utility of wind in suppression of mosquito” published in The Journal of Medical Entomology, researchers stated unequivocally that “Electric fan-generated wind strongly reduced mosquito catches.” The report's conclusion was even more to the point: “We recommend that fan-generated wind should be pursued as a practical means of protecting humans or pets from mosquitoes in the backyard setting.”

So next time you decide to host a backyard BBQ or just want to enjoy twilight's last gleaming without feeding the airborne wildlife, bring a fan out with you and turn that mechanical sucker loose... it's a proven way to turn those organic suckers into losers! (via NYT and Houston CultureMap, images via Nat'l Library of Medicine and Max Pixel)

*** UPDATED on February 9th, 2019 ***

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