Beat The Bugs

Don’t let pesky insects ruin your outdoor experience.

By Shannon Craig
Photography courtesy of Broadview Screen


Your work is finally done. The garden is planned and planted, the weeds are pulled, the deck is set and your patio furniture is beckoning. You pour a glass of something lovely and pour yourself into an Adirondack chair. It is, at last, time to enjoy a summer sunset that makes your weeks of toil worth it. But that’s when you hear the all-too-familiar buzz, feel the all-too-familiar bite and face your necessary but limited options: slather on the smelly sprays or retreat.

Not this summer, sources say. From screens and drapes to preventative sprays, St. Louis’ mosquito specialists have a variety of solutions for this summer bummer. “Screens are actually called ‘insect mesh,’ did you know that?” asks Debbie Hogue of Broadview Screen, the makers of custom and replacement screens for contractors across the area. “The term ‘insect’ refers to the flying variety—think grasshoppers, wasps, and of course, mosquitoes,” she says. If you’re looking to bring the outdoors in, or, bring an indoor-like space outside with a screened room, Broadview offers both fiberglass and aluminum screens for the form and function your space requires. “Some people like the old school aluminum, but depending on where you live, you might need it!” Debbie says.

Country dwellers take note: when dew forms on your taut and perfect screens, grasshoppers and wasps will chew through the screen to collect the moisture, leaving just enough space for pesky mosquitoes. “Aluminum is your ideal option,” she warns.

For something with less permanence and more elegance, Vicki Dreste of Maplewood-based Design & Detail suggests drapes to keep mosquitoes at bay. “Some of our beautiful outdoor fabrics block UV rays, don’t mildew or fade and also discourage insects,” she explains. “If you have a terrace or an overhang with columns, these wide-width synthetic fabrics can also help to add shade or block cold drafts in cooler months. And aesthetically, they’re just gorgeous.” 

If you prefer a less-than-immersive outdoor experience — but still want to enjoy the evening summer breezes with cinematic flair — the free-flowing beauty of a drape may be just what you need to fend off mosquitoes. But if your only way to go is the patio, you might need to get proactive.

“There are five Ts of mosquito control,” Martha Baur of Bloom Garden Design explains. “Tip, toss, turn, tarps and take care.” Beyond landscape architecture, Baur also owns a Mosquito Squad franchise, or “the founding fathers of mosquito control,” as she calls it. “Our program is preventative, protecting your outdoor area for 21 days against mosquitoes. But it also eliminates them on contact. When females, which are the only ones that bite people in order to get protein to lay eggs, feed on plants for their nutrition, our barrier takes care of them.” 

With both an EPA registered product as well as an all-natural version, Baur’s Mosquito Squad provides peace of mind throughout the season while requiring no extra work from you, the homeowner. No hassle, no buzz, no bites.

There’s more than one way to beat the bugs, and with so many customizable options there’s bound to be one that works for you and your outdoor ambitions. So pull up your chair, pour your drink and take in the best of what summer has to offer—right in your own back yard.

Broadview Screen, 314-842-8888
Design & Detail, 314-781-3336
Mosquito Squad, 314-569-2483