Comfortable Patio Entertaining

Ah, summer will be here so very soon, and I can’t stop thinking about savouring outdoor meals, reading in the shade and entertaining guests in style.

Now is the ideal time to consider extending your indoor design style into your outdoor space. While planning, don’t forget about strategies to keep your backyard or patio free of annoying mosquitoes and other pests. (This blog is sponsored by Mega-Catch™.) It’s not just about comfortable entertaining — limiting your exposure to mosquitoes will reduce your risk of getting West Nile Virus, according to Health Canada.

Here are some outdoor living areas that will have you dreaming of sunshine, good company and fresh meals (without the company of mosquitoes).

Here, vines perfectly frame windows and doors, and turn an otherwise plain wall into a dramatic, green focal point. All that lush greenery can also attract bugs, though, so consider a solution that will avert them. Mega-Catch™ is a system that gets rid of mosquitoes and other pesky flies (including sand flies, black flies and midges) easily.

This May, Mega-Catch™ releases new and improved mosquito traps in Canada: the Pro 900 Series Ultra, Premier XC, Premier and Alpha, all with a wide range of features. The Premier XC, a new addition to the range, can attract mosquitoes and other biting insects from up to 120 feet away. Using unique energy and lighting displays known to attract mosquitoes, it draws them towards the machine and away from your party or dinner. You can enhance any of the systems by using fragrance strips which boost the capture rate. Plus, you can upgrade your Premier XC trap with a feature that replicates human breathing by releasing small doses of carbon dioxide to attract more bugs. That feature is not necessary, but if you have a real mosquito problem you may want to consider it — it increases the area covered by one machine from 1 acre to 1.5 acres, and the capture rates by as much as 300-400 per cent.

This backyard features an outdoor dining room and living room. Using different patio furniture for the two areas defines the spaces, and tall planters create a contemporary backdrop for the table. Position traps away from entertaining areas for effective control that doesn’t detract from the decorating. Regardless of which part of the world you reside in, you can still plug in the traps as they have a Universal Voltage system. The traps don’t consume a lot of energy, either — the Ultra XC and Premier traps use less power than a 40 watt lightbulb and the Alpha only 20 watts.

And for those concerned with set-up and repairs, all traps come ready to be plugged in, and can be easily fixed if necessary, simply with a screwdriver. Using a trap will turn any indoor-outdoor areas (like the garage above) into a usable entertaining area where you don’t have to deal with biting bugs. With a revamped online store, Canadians (and those elsewhere in the world) can purchase a Mega-Catch™ trap from anywhere in the country, just in time for the peak mosquito season from May to September, and the products come with both French and English labels and instructions. For more info on this product, visit the Mega-Catch™ website.

In addition to using traps, there are lots of things you can do to reduce the number of mosquitoes that bug you and your family. For example, every few days, empty or change water in anything that collects liquids, like bird baths, wading pools and potted plant saucers, says Health Canada. This poolside lounge looks like a luxury resort, but when the pool is covered, rain will collect on top, so draining is recommended. Frequently mowing your grass and trimming bushes will also help reduce bugs.

Visit the Mega-Catch™ website to find out how the Pro 900 Series Ultra, Premier XC, Premier and Alpha traps can work in your outdoor space.

For more outdoor living ideas, visit our Gardening & Outdoor Living section. Plus, enjoy these inspiring patio and backyard photos!

Photo credits:
1. House & Home July 2009 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
2. Mega-Catch™
3. House & Home May 2008 issue, photography by Michael Gradyon
4. House & Home June 2008 issue, photography by Donna Griffith
5. House & Home April 2009 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
6. House & Home April 2009 issue, photography by Michael Graydon