Sitting outside

Is it just us or… watching a documentary on Netflix about food and inevitably the end shots are of the family sitting in the garden, orchard, terrace with a large table heaving with food and drink and not one of them is swatting a fly or dodging a hornet or wasp or mossie. I’m thinking they must all live in our garden, we have the Citronella things but not very pleasant to have burning so how do people do it.

Don’t have a table heaving with food and drink?

When not being served, we keep most food on a separate table under cloches. Bread basket has a cloth on it.

And I eat fast!

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A Portuguese friend taught us this tip the first time they ate at our home. Works a treat!

To keep flies at bay put a decent amount of (cheap) dried coffee in something that can withstand heat, and then set fire to it. We use an old house brick.

It takes a while to light so I use one of those lighters with an extended bit where the flame comes out to avoid burning my fingers. Eventually it’ll take, and start to smoulder.

Flies don’t like the smell of coffee so you’ll not be bothered by them until it burns out. Unfortunately it doesn’t keep the mosquitos away though.


I wonder if used coffee grounds could be dried out and re-used for this.


yes… I have a jarfull ready for next summer… they must be fully dried before storing…

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Coffee is an interesting concept - I shall give it a go. However, do you think it’s possible that the documentaries @Paddywack is referring to could be taken in front of a green screen showing the bucolic background but the people and food are in a studio? Perhaps not, but it’s a though! …

However, what about the mosquitos then? Apart from completely plastering myself in something noxious, then always come straight for me.

Dusk until Dawn… is when they’re actively munching on us as they don’t like the heat/sun which dehydrates them…
Thus… lunch outside should be fine… with the coffee smouldering nearby…

You’re right, of course - it’s when we have our evening meal outside that I get eaten by mosquitos :frowning:

I had lunch at a rural French restaurant in July and they burnt coffee to keep the wasps away


There would be a general mozzie alert… around 4pm… when we took the cubs camping in Kielder Forest… the buzzing insects would zoom from the lakeside… straight to our campsite… as they searched for fresh meat to chew on… aaargh.
Someone would bellow and we’d all rush for our anti-moz creams/lotions…

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If I could afford it, I’d like to buy one of these… Apparently they are extremely effective against the mozzies


I would agree with you in a normal year - this year they have been around all day.

I’ve mentioned elsewhere, but will say again: for mosquitoes, smouldering citronella coil under the table where they love to hide; lit citronella candle(s) on the table; long sleeves, long trousers and socks (even in the heat); repellent on any bit of skin not covered.
We don’t have flies around the table but do have the occasional wasp or hornet. The suggestion to have a “wasp’s buffet” somewhere away from the table (thanks @Stella and others) certainly helps. Wasps also don’t seem to like citronella.
I’m also trying a new experiment - bits of copper in the water butts. I bought some slug/snail copper tape for pots and I’ve cut it into bits and dropped into the butts. The implication seems to be that mosqitoes don’t like copper and won’t lay eggs - we’ll see. My only concern is that I’m not sure plants like copper either, so I’m hoping my water butt water hasn’t become noxious. I won’t use tea tree oil (or similar) on the surface because we have the occasional lizard or frog around.

I change/refresh regularly…the water in various trays dotted about for birds, lizards, snails, toads, hedgehogs… whatever.

Thus, there is never enough undisturbed water for mozzies to lay their eggs.
Water butts/buckets etc are tightly sealed.

Perhaps you could have a rethink about your water butts and garden visitors

Impossible, unfortunately

What we’ve been doing this year on our little raised terasse is to put a (now very large) number of drosera plants in pots around the edge of the terasse, interspersed with some newly acquired sarracenias. I talked about what we were planning with the chap who sold us the plants (and told us how to propagate them so we don’t need to buy more!) He said that they would be fine outdoors although would die back to the ground in a hard winter.

So far this has worked well as the droseras got the mosquitos and the sarracenias got the flies and wasps. I think the garden itself would be more of a challenge for this approach though as the terasse is wooden and I often get bitten around the ankle in open areas, so assume the little nasties linger in grass.

fair enough… the mozzies need somewhere to breed… :roll_eyes: and it’s only the females which bite… ouch

I realize it’s a darned nuisance for you … and there might not be a complete answer/repellent for your situation…

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I had a look at the site and some of the attached videos. There was also, on YouTube an instruction video for making a DIY version. I wonder if that might be feasible for you? Certainly more affordable!

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I shall get one for next year, having spent a Kings ransom on our outdoor kitchen I don’t relish the idea of sitting there dressed like I’m going on safari. Flies have been a real nuisance this year more than others. Burning citronella under a table where I’m eating isn’t an option either.

No green screen used, genuinely shot outdoors.
I remember Monarch of the Glen being a problem with Horseflies and Mozzies and it being shot outdoors in tiny takes.

I imagine that must have been very frustrating!