This Japanese mini mosquito pig makes patio consuming bearable

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I’m always ready for an outdoor cocktail on the terrace … in theory. To be honest, I’d much rather spend time (inside) at the bar or enjoy my Manhattan in the temperature-controlled comfort of my own home. One of the main reasons I was cautious about the outdoors, especially on the home front: mosquitos, which absolutely plague our northern Virginia yard.

This summer would be different. In the COVID era, visiting the local pub or a posh cocktail hangout is not an option for us. And when you spend a lot of time at home, you feel pretty trapped when you’re always inside. I swore I’d leave my house regularly to have a margarita on our terrace as long as the weather allowed. But all summer those pesky bugs continued to interfere with the desire to take my boulevardier outside.

Temperatures are starting to drop now, but I’m a couple of weeks away from admitting patio season is over. And while mosquitoes are becoming less of a problem, they still haven’t disappeared from our backyard. Fortunately, I have at least something that reduces the situation to a manageable level. Enter the mosquito pig.

My husband and I first got to know these cute little ceramic utensils when we watched an episode of Japanese Style Originator that discussed seasonal traditions in Japan. Known as Kayaributa, you will find the pigs who decorate many a house in this country (they are iconic enough that I’ve even seen candy made in the shape of them).

Here’s how they work: There’s a little hook inside that lets you hang a round incense coil that will ward off insects when burned (the aroma it gives off is also quite pleasant). My husband bought me one for a special occasion, and when I’m outside (usually with a cocktail in hand) my piggy friend and I are basically inseparable. I have significantly fewer bites every time the animal is in action and the little guy is totally adorable. Well, if I can keep these cold temperatures out for a few more weeks …

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