So what do I recommend? For small outdoor spaces, a reciprocating fan works perfectly. Mosquitoes are weak flyers and the fan pushes them away while cooling you. For a hike in the woods, there are several repellents that work well but that do not contain DEET. I like products that contain picaridin. The feel of picaridin spray on my skin is much less oily than DEET. For a picnic out of the reach of electricity, self-heating mosquito repellent devices work nicely if there is not a breeze. These do emit a tiny amount of insecticide, but they are MUCH more effective than essential oils, citronella candles, mosquito coils, or mosquito repellent plants. You can read my resources at bit.ly/GAmosquito.
Q: I had an old farmer tell me that evergreens, such as Leyland cypress, produce small cones which open and let spores into the air which would hurt hard fruits. Have you heard of this? Calvin Cain, email
A: I have never heard this, but I love hearing gardening folk tales. Many evergreen trees have cones that emit dustlike pollen, but the pollen does not cause disease.
Walter’s email address is email@example.com. Listen to his comments at 6:35 a.m. on “Green and Growing with Ashley Frasca” Saturday mornings on 95.5 WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, or join his Facebook Page at bit.ly/georgiagardener, for the latest tips.