7. Mosquito Mayhem
The problem: Your back yard is as mosquito-friendly as the Everglades.
Solve it: You probably already know that effective mosquito control around the home involves removing things that harbor stagnant water—things like unused kiddie pools or old tires. You can also plop bacteria-based mosquito dunks in birdbaths and decorative ponds to keep the skeeter population at bay.
To keep the bloodsuckers off of you, avoid bug spray loaded with toxic chemicals, including DEET, which has been shown to damage the nervous system. Instead, look for repellants containing picaridin, a compound derived from black pepper, or plant-based geraniol or oil of lemon eucalyptus. (You may have to apply them more frequently because they tend to wear out in a couple of hours.) Of course, there are other methods of controlling mosquitoes, too. Wearing long sleeves and pants reduces bodily blood-sucking real estate. Since mosquitoes don’t like gusts of wind, you could also sit near a fan set on high. The moving air also helps clear out the carbon dioxide people exhale, which is another mosquito attractant.