An old-fashioned summer staple in the Napa Valley where I live is a plastic bag filled with water and hung from farmhouse back doors. It took me a while to realize that this not-so-glamorous device is an effective way to keep flies and other summer insects at bay (alas, mosquitoes are not deterred).
Leave it to the chaps at Kaufmann Mercantile to source a good-looking equivalent: the Anti-Fly Glass Sphere by Mexico City designer José de la O of Studio José de la O. No excuse now not to give it a go.
Above: The Anti-Fly Glass Sphere hangs from a leather rope and is $99.
Above: It is the refraction of light against the water that confuses insects, especially flies, and keeps them away.
Above: De la O worked with a family-run glass-blowing business in Mexico City to create these mouth-blown vessels. Just fill with water and suspend near food.
Looking to add to your insect arsenal? See Gardenista's Five Favorite Fly Swatters and consider making a batch of Alexa's DIY: Bug Repellent Balm. And if the bugs still bite, have a look at Erin's Natural Mosquito Bite Remedies (used tea bags are one of the seven solutions).
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on July 2, 2014, as part of our Block Party issue.