Beautiful bug busters

The Stuart family invented an attractive bug repellant.
Photo by Can Türkyilmaz

Who doesn’t enjoy sitting on the porch on a mild summer evening? Anyone whose sweet skin is tasty to mosquitos, that’s who. Even if you can get past the heat (shade and misters usually will do the trick), the bugs often prove too much to handle. And aside from heat and flying creepies, nothing spoils an al fresco dinner party more than the scent and stick of bug spray. Eww. Fortunately a Forest Hills family possessing long-proven olfactory prowess came up with the perfect solution in their Skeeter Screen line of mildly scented pest deterrents. In the early ’70s, Mark Stuart’s family had a little retail shop in Old Town shopping center. He worked the register when he was 10, went to Bishop Lynch High School, moved away, went to college and started a family before moving back to Forest Hills, next door to his parents’ (his childhood) home. “I didn’t realize how much I loved that neighborhood until I moved away,” he says. Stuart’s parents John and Jean, both schooled scientists, turned the business into a perfumery. They eventually moved their store, Scent Shop, to Garland. Now it’s all things fragrance — candles, sprays, oils, soaps, you name it — and Stuart, his two brothers and his parents, now in their 80s, run the store. The Skeeter Screen products are so popular that many neighborhood stores — Tee Hee Greetings, Sample House and the Dallas Arboretum gift shop, for example — also sell them. Skeeter Screen items are made with the Stuart family’s blend of all-natural essential oils from cedar, rosemary, peppermint, clove and thyme. The mix emits a scent that is pleasant to humans yet unbearable to mosquitos. The line includes candles, sprays, reed diffusers and, most recently, the popular patio egg. “It’s a ceramic egg, a universal symbol,” Stuart notes. He says his mom’s decorative ostrich egg inspired the idea. The small aesthetic egg eliminates most bugs within 200-300 square feet and works for months.

Visit or call 800.527.4190 for more information about the Scent Shop and Stuart family products.

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  • edm

    Your Skeeter Screen egg gave us the use of our covered patio back this summer in Austin. We are now trying it in more places to cover our pool area. Guests come over and ask where the mosquitoes are. I just tell them they went next door. It also is working well on the back deck for my Mom in Georgetown and also her front porch.

  • Amber

    It has always worked very well for me. I perfer the patio egg over the diffuser. I have one hanging at my front door and back door. The spray works really well too. I use it on my daughter a lot since the mosquitos love her. Try it again, maybe you got a bad one.

  • Melissa

    I bought the Skeeter reed diffuser last summer and it didn’t work. I could stand right next to it and was still visibly covered in mosquitos, one hour, one week, and one month after having it on my patio. Very disappointed. I did not purchase again for this summer.

  • Jacciwebbtipton

    These Skeeter products work great.  I wouldn’t be without them in my backyard!

  • Jacciwebbtipton

    These Skeeter products work great.  I wouldn’t be without them in my backyard!