Chatting by the Garden Gate…


Are mosquitoes taking a bite out of your summertime fun?

Hi Friends!

Just taking a few moments to stop and chat over the garden gate on a warm, sunny afternoon…

We have had another cool, rainy week here in our Midwest cottage garden. In the afternoon sun, several Red Admiral butterflies have been darting around. It’s such fun to watch their quick, erratic flight patterns while working in the garden!

Red Admiral butterfly  {Photo Credit}

Our perennials have grown taller than ever before during the past rainy weeks. The weeds are thriving, too! Last week, the mosquitoes hatched in great numbers, making my time in the garden oh-so uncomfortable. On our recent walk through the garden, hungry mosquitoes forced me inside, covered with itchy bites. When I appealed to our blog friends, they offered several suggestions to keep the mosquitoes at bay. I am ever-so grateful for all of the wonderful ideas!

Girl Scout badges bring back such happy memories for me!

Today, I bravely tried this suggestion, from my friend, Jo…

Jo in Western Springs, IL said:

“Dawn, your gardens are so very lovely! As regards the mosquitoes, when I had a Girl Scout troop and we would go on hikes, the girls would tie a clothes dryer sheet in a buttonhole and this would deter the pesky little biters (mosquitoes, not girls). Give it a whirl! Happy summer days to you!”

My sweet memories of Girl Scout days encouraged me to try Jo’s idea first! Since we always have clothes dryer sheets in the laundry area, this morning I took out a Bounce dryer sheet, with high hopes. While wearing long sleeves and long pants for added mosquito protection, I quickly rubbed the Bounce dryer sheet over my clothing and then tucked it into my shirt pocket. Off I went to cut the grass and pull weeds. I’m thrilled to report that after four hours in the garden, I had no mosquito bites at all! I could see the mosquitoes flying nearby, but they left me alone today! What a difference from last week!! (Jo, you are such a blessing!! It feels like your idea has given me back the joy of gardening during our terrible mosquito invasion!! ) ♡

I couldn’t wait to share the happy news! I spotted my neighbor, a mother of newborn twin daughters, in her garden and went over to tell her the surprising news. She was so thrilled to have a solution that didn’t involve repellent sprays!! We rubbed her clothing with my Bounce dryer sheet, and then she ran inside to get a dryer sheet for her pocket, too. Tucking the dryer sheet through a button hole would also work great! My neighbor is planning to attach a dryer sheet to each hood of her double stroller every time she takes the twins for a walk. We are both feeling very hopeful that we will be able to enjoy our summer days again!

I wanted to share Jo’s wonderful  suggestion, just in time for your weekend activities!

If you do try the dyer sheet method to repel mosquitoes, be sure to check back and let us know if it works for you.

The Chicago area will have the second highest mosquito population in the U.S. this summer. {WGN news}

Our blog friends offered so many helpful suggestions to repel mosquitoes on last week’s post.

I’m so grateful for all of their ideas…

Jayne told us about purchasing a hat infused with mosquito repellent, trying the natural repellent Swamp Gator,

and using products containing Deet, then showering immediately after gardening work.

Penny has tried B-1/Thiamine, but only found success with a strong repellent.

Martha Ellen shared her husband’s success applying SKIN SO SOFT by Avon to all exposed skin.

In last week’s post, I suggested planting Citronella, Marigolds, Lavender, Catnip,

Basil, and Lemon Balm as natural mosquito repellents.

As always, our kind readers continue to share great ideas!

June shared her wonderful idea in the comments below. Scroll through the comments to see how

she uses white vinegar to prevent mosquitoes from biting! What a great tip!


Do let us know if you try any of our suggestions with success!

We all want to enjoy our time in the garden

throughout mosquito season!!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always enjoy our visits here.

Wishing you a pleasant weekend filled with your favorite summertime activities!

Enjoy today!


33 thoughts on “Chatting by the Garden Gate…

  1. Oh Dawn, I enjoyed chatting with you by your lovely garden gate! Your picket fence garden is beautiful. I know you love it! That’s wonderful that the dryer sheet idea is working for you! It would be a shame if you weren’t able to enjoy your lovely garden. The red admiral butterfly is lovely. I usually see many butterflies in our yard, but none so far. The butterfly bushes are blooming and we’ve seen hummingbirds visit. We’ve had a pretty hot and humid week. That has kept me from enjoying the garden except the early morning or evening. Have a lovely weekend, sweetie. ♥

    • Hi, Martha Ellen! The dryer sheet idea was the first suggestion I tried, since we always have them on hand. It really surprised me how well it worked today! It truly saved my day in the garden! The Red Admiral butterflies have fluttering around the past few days. You are so lucky to have hummingbirds in your garden! I haven’t seen one here in a few years. Hope you will have some cooler, less humid days ahead. Enjoy your weekend, too! ♡

  2. Thanks for such a nice chat by your garden gate, Dawn. i will admit it was nice chatting inside with the air conditioner on and no mosquitoes. 🙂 I’ve heard about the dryer sheets and now need to remember it. I should just keep a box by the door. I did want to mention that I have used those clip on Off repellents that are battery operated and they do help. The down side is that you have to have a place to clip it on, and it doesn’t seem to cover my ankles, which are like magnets to mosquitoes.
    I saw another Monarch today, Dawn, and several more caterpillars. Hope is in the air. The Red Admirals are a delight to see, aren’t they? We’ve had hummingbirds on an annual salvia on the deck. It is a thrill to have them so close.
    Enjoy your weekend. Fingers crossed here that the storms pass us by on Sunday.

    • I always enjoy our chats and learn interesting, new things from you, Penny! So happy that you have seen so many Monarchs. Has your garden been named as a Monarch Way Station? It should be! I haven’t seen any hummingbirds here for a few years. I will miss the Garden Walk this year. We are having a special family gathering here that day. Remember to pack your dryer sheets for a comfortable day!! Can’t wait to hear all about the Garden Walk! Hugs ♡

  3. GOOD MORNING DAWN! This is a great post because here in Minnesota, well you know, our state bird (tongue and cheek) is THE MOSQUITO! Even though there have been some recent past years where they were not as big of an issue, they are back again! I have been using a “green” product that seems to work then I shower immediately after gardening. HOWEVER, I got a whopper of a bite guess where?IN BED! I woke up yesterday with a welt on my leg that I did not have when I went to sleep!

    I LOVE this idea of the dryer sheets. I think I’ll try it!

    Have a fabulous summer day, sweet Dawn! Anita

    • Oh, Anita! I’m so grateful that our friend, Jo, shared this tip on our blog last week. It was new to me… and it really worked! No mosquito bites or static cling! Your garden must be so beautiful this summer, Anita. Wishing you a wonderful weekend! ♡

    • Thanks, Jodi! It’s something so simple! I’m so grateful that Jo shared this great tip with all of us! Have a great weekend, Jodi!

  4. Ah, the weeds will always thrive so it is best to embrace them! After all, they may be favourite flowers in someone else’s garden ~~~ thankfully mozzies are not quite the problem in the UK as they are for you, but when in certain parts of Iceland we actually wore protective nets over our faces {a most fetching look} Smoke is an amazing inhibitor, I never found mozzies buzzing around a camp fire, but this is not always practical, to carry a camp fire around with you. I have it on excellent authority that Argan Oil is a great repellent, and incredibly good for the skin too!

    • So happy to see you, sweet Deb! Yes, the ‘mozzies’ keep us swatting… especially after so much rain! We are doing our best to co-exist with the little guys. So far, dryer sheets are helping quite a bit. I’m so surprised to learn that mozzies are a problem in Iceland, too! Thanks for sharing the Argan Oil tip, Deb! Camp fires would be a festive way to stay mosquito-free. Maybe we should plan a neighborhood party!! Thanks so much for stopping to visit!! Many hugs! ♡

    • Oh, Karen! I do hope it will help your family in Austin, too! Today we had a family gathering here. While we were sitting on the front porch, we passed around a dryer sheet, rubbing it on our clothes, to chase the mosquitoes away. It has been working like a charm! Wishing you and Mr. B. a good week ahead! ♡

  5. What a great idea! I have never tried this, but I am going to from now on. Luckily we haven’t had a ton of mosquitoes here this year so far, but I’m always wary of them. I hope all is well with you and your garden, Dawn! I just picked my first veggie haul—a ton of tomatoes of all sizes, and two green peppers 🙂 Be well ❤

    • Hi Chris! What a wonderful veggie haul! You definitely have a green thumb! Enjoy the taste of homegrown goodness in your new apartment. All is well in the garden here.There is so much color… with much more still to come! Namaste. ♡

  6. White vinegar sprayed on any exposed skin, and even lightly on my hair, is my deterrent and it works without fail. If bitten, when not using white vinegar, I soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and hold it against the bite for a few seconds, instantly relieving the sting and itch, with the bite shrinks away to nothingness within about an hour. I purchased an empty spray bottle at the store and filled it with white vinegar for this use. Fragrances bother me tremendously, so Skin so Soft was not an option, nor are dryer sheets. But the fragrance of white vinegar is not a problem for me.

    • So happy that you stopped to visit today, June! White vinegar is a wonderful idea for deterring mosquitoes!! I have never heard this idea before, but I will definitely try it in the garden. What a great idea to relieve the pain and itch of mosquito bites, too! In my family, several of us have bad reactions to the bites. The natural fragrance of white vinegar is a great option. I am ever so grateful that you commented today! I will pass along your tip to our blog readers and friends all summer long! Wishing you happy summer days, June! ♡

    • Hi, Judy! Our passion for being in amongst our plants encourages gardeners to unearth some great mosquito deterrents! We really need to find a way to co-exist with those little critters! (My friend in Wales calls them ‘mozzies.’ They sound much friendlier than mosquitoes!) Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could help us with the weeding? ♡

  7. Dawn, what a wonderful garden you have! I adore that little gate, just ajar. It invites you in.

    What great news on the mosquito deterrent! I don’t mean to brag here, but mosquitoes “love” me! Ha! I’m really excited to try this idea, though with our current drought, they’ve not been around that much. Sadly, they are up the peninsula from us and they’ve detected West Nile Virus. Ugh. Are you seeing that where you are?

    • Hi, Alys! I’m so happy that you stopped to visit! The garden gate leads into my Herb Garden. It’s my very favorite part of our garden! I hope some of the mosquito deterrents will work out for you, too. Some mosquitoes in nearby suburbs have tested positive for West Nile Virus. So, we are trying to protect ourselves. Our rainy spring and summer have caused a real mosquito invasion in Chicagoland. If only we could send some of our rain water to our friends in California! As I write, it is pouring again. Reports are coming in about devastating tornadoes in downstate Illinois. So many weather extremes! Wishing you long, gentle rain showers to help your garden and trees, Alys! ♡

      • I love herb gardens! I’ll have to follow along and see what you get up to over the year.

        I’m sorry to read about the constant rain (and mosquito blight as a result) and tornadoes as well downstate. I find tornadoes both fascinating and frightening. They form quickly and can leave devastation in their wake.

        Thanks for your good wishes!

      • Oh, Alys! I’m so happy to know another Herb Garden lover! On your next visit, check out the slide-out sidebar. You can search for “The Heart of My Garden…Built with Love” to learn the story behind my Herb Garden. 🙂 Hope you will visit often! ♡

      • I’ve just spent some time on your blog, but can’t seem to locate the slide out bar. I’ll try again tomorrow when I’m not so tired. It’s probably something obvious and I’m just not seeing it. Thank you!

      • Alys, the slide-out side bar is kind of hidden to keep the old-fashioned look that I love. At the top of the blog, click on the dark orange stripe. The side bar should slide out, revealing the search box, archives, tag cloud, etc. There is also a place to follow via email. Hope this helps! If not, just let me know, and I’ll email some links to earlier posts about my Herb Garden. Wishing you a lovely week, Alys! ♡

      • Thanks, Alys! I’m very happy that we have connected through blogging. It’s so lovely to meet new kindred spirits! ♡

  8. Dawn, I love your picket fence and I love chatting by the garden gate! We haven’t had any problem with mosquitos yet. But let me tell you, they love me! Hubby and I can be together and they won’t touch him, but they’ll eat me alive. lol! I have heard that about the dryer sheet. Will surely try it if I need to. I bet your neighbor loved the tip!

    • Thanks,, Jann! The picket fence surrounds my Herb & Tea Garden. It’s really the ‘heart’ of my garden! The same thing happens to us ~ the mosquitoes don’t bother my husband, but just LOVE me. I’ve been using the dryer sheet method for about three weeks, with 100% success! Now I even tuck a dryer sheet between the cushions on our front porch wicker furniture. So, I’m ready if the mosquitoes come to join us on the porch! I’m so grateful that our blog friend, Jo, shared her great Girl Scout tip!! Thanks so much for following, Jann. 🙂 I’m so glad you’re here! ♡

  9. I found the post with the mosquito repellent. Thank you. I’d used the skin so soft years ago with the sun block but forgot about it. Hadn’t spent a lot of time outside in the last few years. Makes you wonder what they put in the dryer sheets that keep the mosquitoes away. I’ll give it a try. I’m going to have to wander through your blog to see what other treasures are here.

    • Hope it works for you, too, Marlene! It was nice to rub the dryer sheet on my clothing, rather than apply something to my skin. I used Jo’s dryer sheet method all last summer with wonderful results! Happy wandering, Marlene! I hope you will find lots of little gems that warm your heart! ♡

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