Title:
Insect repellant structure
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A structure for repelling flying insects from a selected space is described. The structure includes a cover, extending over the space, a support means to position and support the cover, an insect repellant dispersal means, which in a preferred embodiment includes an air circulation device, positioned beneath the cover, and a source of insect repellant positioned relative to the insect repellant dispersal means. In a preferred embodiment, the source of insect repellant includes citronella, which is introduced in the space in vaporous form, and is dispersed throughout the space by the insect repellant dispersal means.



Inventors:
Watson, Michael Sheen (Fairdale, KY, US)
Watson, Melisa Gayle (Fairdale, KY, US)
Ahoor, Roy (Colorado Springs, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/431071
Publication Date:
11/11/2004
Filing Date:
05/06/2003
Assignee:
WATSON MICHAEL SHEEN
WATSON MELISA GAYLE
AHOOR ROY
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/15.1
International Classes:
A45B3/00; (IPC1-7): A45B3/00; A45B5/00
View Patent Images:
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20080223424Upper arm crutchSeptember, 2008Hollier
20050224107Tent support framework with the ability for quick assembling and foldingOctober, 2005Yang
20090020146COLLAPSIBLE TENTPOLEJanuary, 2009Bong
20090071520CANOPY LATCH SYSTEMMarch, 2009Sy-facunda
20070119490Hunting blindMay, 2007Reddick et al.
20070261728Umbrella for reliably adjusting dome orientationNovember, 2007Lin et al.



Primary Examiner:
GLESSNER, BRIAN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Susan D. Campbell, Esq. (Colorado Springs, CO, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A structure comprising: a cover defining a space thereunder; a support means positioned on a support surface and configured to extend upwardly to and through said space and attached to said cover to support said cover; a source of insect repellant positioned to introduce insect repellant into a portion of said space; and insect repellant dispersal means positioned relative to said source of insect repellant for dispersing said insect repellant within a second portion of said space.

2. The structure of claim 1, wherein said insect repellant dispersal means includes an air circulation device.

3. The structure of claim 1, wherein said insect repellant dispersal means includes an electric fan connected to an electrical power source.

4. The structure of claim 3, wherein said electric fan is positioned below said cover and above said source of insect repellant, and said fan is of sufficient size and is oriented and operable at a speed to urge a quantity of said insect repellant towards said cover and back into at least a portion of said space.

5. The structure of claim 4 wherein said electric fan is operable to urge said insect repellant in a toroidal air circulation pattern in said space.

6. The structure of claim 1, wherein said cover has a substantially concave shape as to said space.

7. The structure of claim 1, wherein said cover has a perimeter and a crown and wherein said perimeter is spaced away from said crown and toward said support surface.

8. The structure of claim 7, wherein said perimeter is spaced from said crown at an effective angle from about 5 degrees to about 30 degrees from a plane proximate to the crown and intersecting perpendicularly the support means.

9. The structure of claim 7, wherein said cover is arcuate in cross section.

10. The structure of claim 1, wherein said source of insect repellant includes a plant extract in vaporous form.

11. The structure of claim 1, wherein said source of insect repellant includes citronella oil in vaporous form.

12. The structure of claim 1 wherein said source of insect repellant is a citronella candle and wherein said dispersal means is a wick of said citronella candle.

13. The structure of claim 1, wherein said source of insect repellant includes a synthetic material.

14. The structure of claim 1, wherein said cover is a tent canopy.

15. The structure of claim 1, wherein said cover is a sunshade canopy.

16. The structure of claim 1 wherein said cover is a porch roof.

17. The structure of claim 1, wherein said cover is a gazebo roof.

18. The structure of claim 1, wherein said cover is an umbrella canopy.

19. The structure of claim 18, wherein said support means includes a pole, having a top end and a bottom end, a means for securing said pole in an alignment extending perpendicular relative to said support surface, and a frame connected to the top end of said pole to support said umbrella canopy.

20. The structure of claim 19, wherein said frame includes a plurality of ribs, each of said ribs being connected to said pole at the top end of said pole and each of said ribs also being connected to said umbrella canopy, and for each rib of said plurality of ribs, a support arm, each support arm being connected at a first end to said insect repellant dispersal means and connected at a second end to a corresponding rib, and wherein said insect repellant dispersal means includes a sliding hub, which encircles said pole and is operable to advance said insect repellant dispersal means along said pole, urging said support arms and ribs outward to open said canopy, and also positioning said insect repellant dispersal means in a selected location.

21. The structure of claim 19, wherein said insect repellant dispersal means includes an electric fan, connected to a source of electrical power, and wherein said insect repellant dispersal means is connected to said pole and is positioned above said source of insect repellant, and said fan is operable to urge said insect repellant to disperse in said space beneath said umbrella canopy.

22. The structure of claim 21, wherein said umbrella canopy has a concave shape relative to said pole, said electric fan is positioned above said source of insect repellant in the space under said canopy, and said fan is operable to urge a quantity of said insect repellant to move in a toroidal air circulation pattern beneath said umbrella canopy and within said space.

23. The structure of claim 20, wherein said source of insect repellant is located on a platform connected to said pole.

24. The structure of claim 23, wherein said platform is a table surface connected to said pole.

25. The structure of claim 23 wherein said source of insect repellant is a citronella candle.

26. The structure of claim 1, wherein said source of insect repellant is an open container, containing a quantity of liquid insect repellant that produces said insect repellant in vaporous form.

27. The structure of claim 1 wherein said insect repellant source is a device producing an aerosol spray containing an insect repellant.

28. An umbrella for repelling insects from a space, comprising: a canopy extending above said space; a pole, having a top end and a bottom end, said bottom end positioned on a support surface and said pole aligned in a substantially vertical position perpendicular to said support surface; a frame for supporting said canopy, said frame being connected to said canopy and also connected to the top end of said pole; a source of insect repellent positioned to disperse said insect repellent into said space; and an insect repellant dispersal means, positioned relative to said source of insect repellent, to urge a quantity of insect repellant from said source of insect repellant and disperse said quantity of insect repellant within said space.

29. The umbrella of claim 28, wherein said insect repellent dispersal means includes an electric fan, connected to an electrical power source.

30. The umbrella of claim 29, wherein said electric fan is positioned beneath said canopy and above said source of insect repellent, and is operable to urge said quantity of insect repellent towards said canopy and in a toroidal air circulation pattern in said space.

31. The umbrella of claim 30, wherein said electric fan is attached to one of said pole or said frame, and is oriented to urge insect repellent upwards towards said canopy.

32. The umbrella of claim 30, wherein said source of insect repellent is a citronella candle positioned beneath said insect repellant dispersal means on a platform connected to said pole.

33. The umbrella of claim 32, wherein said insect repellant dispersal means includes a cylindrical hub positioned beneath said electric fan and oriented to channel air towards said electric fan.

34. The umbrella of claim 28, wherein said canopy is concave in shape relative to said pole.

Description:

BACKGROUND

[0001] 1. Field

[0002] The present structure relates to devices and methods for repelling insects.

[0003] 2. Related Art

[0004] A wide variety of devices and methods have been used by people to ward off mosquitoes, gnats, flies and other flying insects. Repellant sprays and mists have been applied to foliage, standing water, and other areas that harbor insects or that serve as breeding grounds for insects. Netting, mesh fabric and screens have been used to physically prevent insects from passing through from one area to another. Some insect repellants are applied directly to the skin, such as those containing DEET and permethrin, in an attempt to discourage insects from alighting and biting the individual wearing the repellant. Smoke from fires and smudge pots is thought to ward off mosquitoes and other flying insects. Some plants, and the chemicals they produce, such as eucalyptus, cinnamon oil, grape seed oil, basil, mint and cloves, and citronella oil, are thought to repel insects. Citronella oil may be included in candles, such that, when the candle is burned, the insect repellant substance in the citronella oil of the candles is thought to vaporize and become airborne.

SUMMARY

[0005] The present description involves a structure for repelling insects from a desired space. The structure includes a cover that extends above and partially defines the space. The cover is positioned above the space by a support means, attached to the cover. In a preferred embodiment, the cover is generally concave in shape relative to the space. A source of insect repellant is positioned for introducing insect repellant into the space. An insect repellant dispersal means is positioned to disperse the insect repellant from the source in the space.

[0006] In a preferred embodiment, the structure is an umbrella, such as a backyard or patio umbrella. The umbrella has a canopy, extending over a desired space, with a generally concave shape relative to the space. In a preferred embodiment, the canopy has a crown, or high point, relative to the space and the ground below it. The umbrella has a support means that includes a central pole and frame connected to the pole. The canopy is attached to the pole at its top end and to the frame. The pole is attached at its bottom end to a table, base or stand, which positions and supports it, or is otherwise connected to the ground or another surface, such as a deck platform, patio or porch floor. A source of insect repellant is positioned beneath the canopy. A preferred source of insect repellant is a citronella candle which, when ignited, introduces a vaporous substance thought to have insect repellant qualities in the air above the candle. In a preferred embodiment, the candle is placed on a platform attached to the umbrella pole, in a position approximately one-third of the distance from the bottom of the pole. In other embodiments, the platform and candle are positioned in other locations, such as closer to the canopy, and suspended from the frame or attached to the pole.

[0007] The umbrella also includes an insect repellant dispersal means. In a preferred embodiment, this is an air circulation device including one or more fans connected to an electric power source. The air circulation device is positioned beneath the canopy and above the citronella candle. In a preferred configuration, the air circulation device is attached to the frame beneath the crown of the concave canopy, with the source of insect repellant directly below it. Where the umbrella has a central pole, the source of insect repellant and air circulation devices are positioned in the area beneath the canopy and proximate to the central pole. In another embodiment, the air circulation device and candle are connected in a single assembly that is positioned beneath the frame.

[0008] When the present system is in operation, the candle is ignited, and the air circulation device is activated. The air circulation device urges insect repellant from the ignited candle up to the canopy. The concave shape of the canopy assists in direction of the airflow out towards the perimeter of the canopy, and downward towards the ground. The air circulation device draws air and insect repellant flowing down from the perimeter of the canopy into an updraft movement flowing up again towards the canopy. In a preferred embodiment, an air circulation pattern having a torus or toroidal characteristic is developed under the canopy, involving central updraft and outer down draft movement, dispersing insect repellant in a substantial portion of the desired space. Other air circulation patterns may develop as a function of the configuration of the canopy and frame, the power and position of the air circulation device, and the location of the source of insect repellant, and this description is not intended to limit the structure to a specific configuration or air circulation pattern.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is a side view of the umbrella embodiment of the structure, with canopy.

[0010] FIG. 2 is a side cross-sectional view of the umbrella embodiment of FIG. 1.

[0011] FIG. 3 is a side cross-sectional view of the insect repellant dispersal means depicted in FIG. 1.

[0012] FIG. 4 is a top view of the insect repellant dispersal means of FIG. 3.

[0013] FIG. 5 depicts an alternate orientation of the insect repellant dispersal means and source of insect repellant in the umbrella embodiment depicted in FIG. 2.

[0014] FIG. 6 depicts a side view of an air circulation pattern created by the structure of FIG. 1, while in operation.

[0015] FIG. 7 depicts another embodiment of the invention, including a tent structure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0016] The present structure involves the distribution of an insect repelling substance, or insect repellant, within a desired space, by application of an air circulation mechanism. The configuration of the structure aids in directing the circulation of air. This structure also serves to define the upper limit of the space, while a surface, such as the ground, or a floor, platform, or deck surface, defines the lower limit of the space. The structure, in a preferred embodiment, creates an air circulation pattern within the space, that serves to distribute insect repellant in the space.

[0017] The structure includes a cover, such as an umbrella or tent canopy, or a roof structure, extending over and defining the upper limit of a space where it is desired to repel flying insects. The cover is suspended and positioned by a support means, which is attached to the cover and supports it. The support means is positioned on a support surface, such as the ground, a floor, a platform, or deck or patio, and is configured to extend upwardly therefrom to support the cover. A source of insect repellant is then positioned to introduce insect repellant into the space between the cover and the support surface. In a preferred embodiment, the source of insect repellant is attached to the support means. The structure also includes an insect repellant dispersal means positioned relative to the source of insect repellant such that, when operable, the insect repellant dispersal means disperses insect repellant in the space between the cover and the support surface. In a preferred embodiment, the insect repellant dispersal means includes an air circulation device that promotes an air circulation pattern beneath the cover, aiding the distribution of insect repellant in the space beneath the cover.

[0018] A preferred embodiment of the structure is illustrated in FIG. 1. In this embodiment, the structure is an umbrella 10, including a canopy 12, a support means 14 that includes a pole 16 and a frame 18, a source of insect repellant 20, and an insect repellant dispersal means 22. The canopy 12 is formed of flexible fabric material, such as nylon, polyethylene or treated canvas. Other materials can be substituted, including plastic sheeting, metallic sheets, various synthetic fabric blends, natural materials, such as fiber, thatch, wood, or straw matting, and laminated materials, and this description is not intended to limit the device to a specific canopy material. The canopy extends above and defines the upper limit of a space where it is desired to repel insects.

[0019] The pole 16 has a top end 24 and a bottom end 26. The bottom end 26 is supported by a table 28 into which the bottom end 26 is inserted. In other embodiments, other means for supporting or positioning the pole 16 can be utilized and substituted for the table 28, such as a base or stand, guy wires, or a slot in the ground. The table 28 is positioned on the support surface 29, which in this embodiment is the ground, although in other embodiments the support surface 29 can be a deck platform, tent floor, or porch floor or other similar surface. The top end 24 is connected to the umbrella canopy 12. In this embodiment, the top end 24 is inserted through an opening in canopy 12 at its crown 30, or high point.

[0020] The frame 18 is attached to the pole 16 and to the canopy 12. In this embodiment, the frame 18 includes a plurality of ribs 32 attached to the top end 24 of the pole 16. Each rib 32 is connected to the canopy 12, and is capable of pivoting up and down at the end of the rib 32 connected to the pole 16. The canopy 12 is connected to the top side of each rib 32. In other embodiments, the canopy 12 is suspended from the bottom side of each rib 32. When the umbrella 10 is in an open position, the canopy 12 is supported by the frame 18, and the ribs 32 extend away from the pole 16. In the present embodiment, the ribs 32 extend away from the top end 24 of the pole 16 in a downward direction, such that the canopy 12 supported by the ribs 32 has a generally concave shape in relation to the insect repellant dispersal means 22 and the support surface 29. In one embodiment, the perimeter 33 of the canopy 12 is spaced from the crown 30 at an angle from about 5 to about 30 degrees from a plane proximate to the crown 30 and intersecting the pole 16 perpendicular to the pole 16 at the point of the canopy crown 30. In other embodiments, the ribs 32 can be positioned to extend the canopy 12 outward in an orientation forming an angle of approximately 90° in relation to the pole 16. Also, in other embodiments, a different frame configuration can be used in place of a plurality of ribs.

[0021] In the present embodiment, when the umbrella 10 is in a closed position, the ribs 32 and umbrella canopy 12 are positioned alongside the pole 16.

[0022] In the present embodiment, the frame 18 also includes a plurality of support arms 34 that support the ribs 32 and the canopy 12 when the umbrella 10 is open. Referring to FIG. 2, which depicts a cross-sectional view of the umbrella frame 18 and pole 16, each support arm 34 is attached at a pivoting first end 36 to the insect repellant dispersal means 22, and at a second end 38 to a rib 32. In this embodiment, when the insect repellant dispersal means 22 is advanced along the pole 16 towards the top end 24 of the pole 16, the support arms 34 urge the ribs 32 upwards to extend away from the pole 16, opening the canopy 12. In other embodiments, the mechanism for opening the umbrella 10 is independent of the insect repellant dispersal means 22. For example, it is envisioned that the insect repellant dispersal means 22 can be an assembly or device attached to or suspended from the canopy 12 or cover, frame 18 or pole 16 after the umbrella 10 or other structure is opened. The present embodiment provides however a convenient structure wherein opening the umbrella canopy 12 positions the insect repellant dispersal means 22 in a preferred location, while at the same time positioning the canopy 12 in a selected configuration. Various other umbrella frame configurations and mechanisms for positioning the insect repellant dispersal means can be contemplated, as one familiar with the field will appreciate, and the present description is not intended to limit the present structure to the embodiment described herein.

[0023] Referring to FIG. 3, which is a side cross-sectional view of the insect repellant dispersal means 22 of the present embodiment, the insect repellant dispersal means 22 includes a sliding hub 40, which encircles the pole 16. The sliding hub 40 may be advanced along the pole 16, positioned as desired, and locked in place by a sliding catch mechanism 42 or other such device as will be known to those familiar with the field. Attached to the sliding hub 40 are a plurality of spokes 44 that radiate out from the sliding hub 40 and are connected to a cylindrical inner wall 46 of the insect repellant dispersal means 22. In the present embodiment, the insect repellant dispersal means 22 also includes a plurality of fans 48, each spoke 44 supporting a fan 48. The fans 48 operate as an air circulation device. In another embodiment, a single fan or other air circulation device can be substituted for the plurality of fans 48 of the present embodiment.

[0024] The insect repellant dispersal means 22 includes also a cylindrical outer wall 50, having a diameter greater than the inner wall 46. The inner wall 46 is connected to the outer wall 50 by a spoke structure 52 or other similar connector as will be appreciated. The inner wall 46 is a cylinder open at its top end 54 and also at its bottom end 56, such that air can flow through the space formed by the cylindrical inner surface 58 of the inner wall 46 and the pole 16 and sliding hub 40, when the fans 48 are in operation. In the present embodiment, the fans 48 are oriented to create an updraft, drawing air into the bottom end 56 and urging air out the top end 54, towards the umbrella canopy 12 above the insect repellant dispersal means 22. Screens 60 through which air can pass may be placed over the bottom end 56 and the top end 54, as a safety measure, to prevent fingers or other objects from being caught in the fans 48.

[0025] In the present embodiment, the insect repellant dispersal means 22 includes also a cylindrical lower hub 62. It is contemplated that another embodiment can include only the inner wall/outer wall structure that encloses the fans, as described above, without a lower hub 62. In the present embodiment, the lower hub 62 has a larger diameter than the outer wall 50. The lower hub 62 is connected to the outer wall 50 by a frame structure 64 or other connector as will be appreciated by those familiar with the field. The lower hub 62 is open at its top and bottom, permitting air to flow through it towards the fans 48, and serving also to channel air towards the fans 48 above it from the space beneath the insect repellant dispersal means 22. The lower hub 62 also can serve as a means for covering the source of insect repellant 20 when the umbrella 10 is in a closed position. In a preferred embodiment, the frame structure 64 includes an inner wall 65, which forms with the hub inner surface 67 and the top 69 of the lower hub 62, a space that can be lowered over the source of insect repellant 20, to store and protect insect repellant material such as citronella candles, and to extinguish them, after they have been lit and used.

[0026] As also depicted in FIG. 3, a plurality of linkages 66 are connected to the insect repellant dispersal means 22, and each of the linkages 66 is connected in turn to a support arm 34 at its bottom end 36. The bottom end 36 of each support arm 34 pivots up and down at the linkage 66, as the insect repellant dispersal means 22 and its sliding hub 40 are advanced up and down along the pole 16.

[0027] Each fan 48 is connected by a wiring system 68 to an electrical power supply 70. In the present embodiment, the electrical power supply 70 is a household electrical outlet. In another embodiment, the power supply 70 is a battery pack 72, with a power supply conditioning unit 73, positioned above the lower hub 62 and outside the outer wall 50, or at another convenient location within or connected to the insect repellant dispersal means 22. The insect repellant dispersal means 22 is activated by a switch 74, connected to the wiring system 68. In the present embodiment, the switch 74 is at least a two-way mechanism, having an “on” position activating the fans 48 to create an updraft airflow, and an “off” position in which the fans 48 do not operate. The switch 74 can also be a three-way switch, in which the fans can additionally be activated to create a downdraft air movement. The fans are of a power and size commonly used for household purposes. In one embodiment, for example, a single 60 watt, 3-speed fan, approximately 10 inches in diameter with a height of approximately 7 inches (manufacturer Duracraft, Massachusetts) is utilized to create an appropriate air flow.

[0028] FIG. 4 provides a top view of the insect repellant dispersal means of FIG. 3.

[0029] In the present embodiment, the insect repellant dispersal means 22 is positioned, when the umbrella 10 is open, below the support arms 34, and in a central location proximate to the pole 16. The insect repellant dispersal means 22, in other embodiments, can be attached to the support arms 34 only, or to the ribs 32, or to the top end 24 of the pole 16 above the support arms 34. In other embodiments, it can be positioned towards the mid-section of the pole 16, or lower. FIG. 5 depicts one such alternate configuration, in which the insect repellant dispersal means 22 is suspended from a rib 32 and the insect repellant source 20 is positioned higher up the pole 16. The present embodiment is not intended to limit the insect repellant dispersal means 22 to a specific location, although in the present embodiment the preferred location is proximate the pole 16, positioned a distance of about one-third the length of the pole 16 from the top end 24 of the pole 16. The insect repellant dispersal means 22 can also involve other approaches to circulating insect repellant, including spray, smoke, or misting devices and the present description is not limited to a fan system.

[0030] Referring again to FIG. 2, in the present embodiment, the electric fans 48 (not shown) of the insect repellant dispersal means 22 are activated to urge air in the space beneath the insect repellant dispersal means 22 upwards towards the underside 76 of the canopy 12. The insect repellant dispersal means 22 urges air along the underside 76 of the canopy 12 toward the outer perimeter 33 of the canopy 12. In the present embodiment, the canopy 12 has a concave shape, which helps to direct the air which has been urged upward and along the underside 76 downward at the perimeter 33 of the canopy 12. Air moving downward from the perimeter 33 of the canopy 12 towards the ground 29 is then drawn upward by the fans 48, through the insect repellant dispersal means 22 and back to and along the underside 76 of the canopy 12. In a preferred embodiment, the operation of the fans 48 under the concave canopy 12 urges air in the space underneath the canopy 12 in an air circulation pattern. The air circulation pattern, and the movement of air within the pattern, draw insect repellant from the source of insect repellant 20, dispersing it within a substantial portion of the space. The pattern can assume a toroidal characteristic, although other patterns are contemplated, that distributes insect repellant in the space. In a preferred embodiment, the source of insect repellant 20 is positioned on a platform 80 attached to the pole 16, beneath the insect repellant dispersal means 22. The source of insect repellant 20 is located beneath the insect repellant dispersal means 22, approximately one-third of the distance from the bottom end 26 of the pole 16. The present description is not intended to limit the location of the source of insect repellant 20. In other embodiments, the source 20 can be detached from the pole 16, and positioned on a freestanding structure, such as a stand. It also can be hung from the canopy 12 or frame 18, or suspended in other ways beneath the insect repellant dispersal means 22, or in the space beneath the canopy 12. In one embodiment, the source of insect repellant 20 is an oil lantern, having a container for combustible fuel oil, the fuel oil containing citronella, a wick, and a glass chimney surrounding and above the wick. An advantage of this embodiment is that the glass chimney serves to direct the flow of vaporous citronella when the lantern is lit. The lantern includes a wire handle, which is used to suspend the lantern below the canopy 12 and below the insect repellant dispersal means 22. Or, alternatively, the lantern can be positioned on a table or platform beneath the canopy 12. In another embodiment, the source of insect repellant 20 is a dispenser of insect repellant material, which produces vaporous insect repellant, attached to the lower hub 62 of the insect repellant dispersal means 22. In another embodiment, the insect repellant dispersal means 22 and source 20 are both included in an assembly, in which assembly the fans 48 are positioned above the insect repellant source 20, and the assembly can then be hung or otherwise suspended from the canopy 12 or cover, or from the pole 16 or frame 18.

[0031] The insect repellant utilized in the umbrella structure 10 can be any of a number of substances that are thought to ward off, confuse, or otherwise hinder or discourage flying insects. Various plant extracts, including citronella oil, eucalyptus, cinnamon oil, grade seed oil, basil, mint and cloves are thought to display insect-repelling properties. Various synthetic materials also are believed to repel insects. In the present embodiment, citronella candles are preferred, because, when ignited by lighting their wicks, the heat of the candle flame causes an insect repellant substance in the citronella oil of the candle to become vaporous and airborne. Aerosol spray devices, liquid evaporation and other methods of causing the repellant to become airborne, can be substituted. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 6, the user ignites the citronella candles 82 and activates the insect repellant dispersal means 22, the insect repellant substance of the candles 82 becomes dispersed, and mosquitoes and other flying insects are discouraged by the substance from entering the space beneath the canopy 12 and above the ground 29. The air circulation pattern 84 is depicted with directional arrows.

[0032] It is contemplated that variation in the number and strength of the fans 48, their orientation and position, the shape of the canopy 12, and the position of the source of insect repellant 20 can affect the air circulation pattern and distribution of insect repellant in the space beneath the canopy 12. FIG. 6 depicts only one possible air circulation pattern. It is contemplated that other air circulation patterns may occur with different configurations of this structure, and this description is not intended to limit the structure to a specific air circulation pattern.

[0033] Other embodiments of the structure are contemplated, including applications in a tent, a sunshade, a gazebo or porch, or in indoor rooms. The structure can be utilized in a variety of tents, ranging from a simple miner's tent (canvas sheet on a pole), to hoop or dome tents, or to “house” tents used for camping, or circus style or other large event tents, such as those used for outdoor parties or theatrical productions. As noted above, the insect repellant dispersal means can be connected to or suspended from a support means or the canopy or roof structure, and it can be separate from or connected to the insect repellant source. As depicted in FIG. 7, one embodiment of a simple tent structure 100 includes a canopy 102, a support pole 104 attached to support the canopy 102, and guy wires 106 attached to the canopy 102 to secure it in an open position, a source of insect repellant in the form of one or more citronella candles 108 in candle lanterns 109 suspended from the pole 104, and an insect repellant dispersal means 110 attached to the pole 104 underneath the canopy 102. Each citronella candle 108 is supported in a container such as a candle lantern device 109 commonly used by campers and backpackers, hung from the tent pole, or tent framework. Similarly, the insect repellant dispersal means 110 is a device having one or more electric fans, connected to an electric power source 112, such as an electrical outlet, or a battery pack. The dispersal means 110 is suspended above the citronella candle lanterns 109, and below the canopy 102, and is oriented to urge air from beneath the dispersal means 110 upwards towards the canopy 102. In another embodiment, the dispersal means 110 and citronella candles 108 are both included in a single assembly, which can be hung or suspended from the tent pole. In a preferred embodiment, the tent canopy 102 is generally concave in shape, having an elevated crown 114, with the canopy 102 sloping downward towards the ground at its perimeter, although it is envisioned that a canopy with little or no slope also can be utilized. Various tent canopy styles can be utilized with a variety of support frameworks, and the description is not intended to limit the structure to the simple one-pole tent structure described.

[0034] As will be appreciated by those familiar with the field, various other applications and embodiments of the structure described above are possible and the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the versions contained herein.