Blood-thirsty, West Nile-infecting mosquitoes have a way of killing the mood, and dusk can be some of the worst hours to be outside if you're trying to avoid becoming a target. What can you do? Well, there's the go-to DEET-containing products. But if you're trying to go chemical-free, there are other options. Try burning citronella candles, oils (such as in a few strategically placed Tiki torches), or incense, for instance. If you're planning regular movie nights, consider landscaping your backyard to fit your bug-free movie-watching needs. For example, some plants are natural mosquito repellents and planting them around the yard will keep those flying pests under control 24/7. Some common kitchen herbs -- rosemary, basil, and lavender, specifically -- are good at controlling mosquitoes, and a study at Iowa State University found that the primary ingredient in catnip oil, nepetalactone, is a natural mosquito repellant 10 times more powerful than DEET (as an added bonus, it also repels cockroaches) [source: ScienceDaily].
Be sure you don't allow standing water in your yard, whether that's in your clogged gutters or empty planters; mosquitoes breed in standing water.