How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Naturally and Reclaim Your Backyard (2023)

Ahhhh. The sounds of summer: the crash of ocean waves, the crackle and bang of Fourth of July fireworks, the chirrup of crickets.

Unfortunately, the sounds of summer also include the whine of pesky mosquitoes. But there's plenty you can do to quell that buzz so you can enjoy the lazy, hazy days of summer.

Learning how to get rid of mosquitoes naturally is important beyond ensuring a comfortable backyard cookout. Mosquitoes present a health risk to everyone in the family—and nobody loves the maddening itchy welts that mosquitoes leave behind.

So, it’s worth the effort to control mosquitoes around your house and to reduce your risk of getting bit. Here are some tips for backyard mosquito control:

Don't Give Mosquitoes a Nearby Place to Breed

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Naturally and Reclaim Your Backyard (1)

Most mosquitoes can fly no more than one to three miles, and some mosquitoes such as the Asian tiger mosquito have a flight range of around 100 yards. So they're always looking for a place to land or a place to lay eggs, and water is an attractive option.

(Video) 15 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Yard

Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed by emptying the saucers for plants, hauling off old tires, cleaning rain gutters, and frequently changing the water in birdbaths. Don't leave pet bowls filled with water outside when your pets are indoors. Look out for water that gathers in pool covers, buckets, and trash cans. Even discarded Frisbees, toys and lids can collect water after it rains and attract mosquitoes.

Walk around your property with an eye for puddles. Fix the problem, and mosquitoes won't have a place to lay eggs.

Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito fish that eat the larva or treat the water with larvicide mosquito rings sold at home and garden stores.

Like their fellow bloodsuckers, vampires, most adult mosquitoes rest during daylight. Mosquitoes spend daylight hours hiding among vegetation. Reduce mosquito shelter in your yard by trimming weeds and keeping the grass short.

Plant Some Natural Repellents

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You can grow a garden full of your own pest control by choosing plants that naturally keep insects at bay. There are all sorts of lovely herbs and flowers that look great but also have powerful repellent properties. An added plus: most of these plants also fight back against flies, gnats, no-see-ums and other pesky insects that make being outdoors not so fun in the summer.

Some herbs to consider: basil, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary and dill.

If flowers sound more appealing, try marigolds or common lantanas to create a mosquito-free yard.

(Video) How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Yard (4 EASY Steps)

Prevent Mosquito Larvae From Maturing

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You can stop mosquitoes from maturing by using products that contain Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), a naturally occurring soil bacteria that works as a larvicide. When the larvae of mosquitoes—as well as black flies and fungus gnats—consume Bti, it affects their stomachs making them no longer able to eat. Within several days, they die of starvation.

The bacteria is all-natural and doesn't harm other wildlife or the environment. Apply products that contain Bti to places where there is standing water, as well as muddy, shady areas.

Invite Bats to Your Yard

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You might also make a dent on that backyard mosquito population by attracting bats, one of their most feared predators. Some in-lab studies have shown that a single brown bat can scarf down 1,000 mosquitoes every hour!

To make that dinnertime feat easier, why not install a bat house? Typically made of wood, bat houses can take many forms and can be many sizes. They can be small, backyard boxes or freestanding towers on tall poles to support colonies. Place the house where it will get at least six hours of sunlight per day—facing south, east, or southeast in most climates—and paint the outside a dark color to absorb heat.

Then sit back and wait. The bats will come and the mosquitoes will become a meal.

Create Your Own Breeze

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(Video) Simple step to rid your backyard of mosquitoes

Strategically placed fans will keep a deck or porch free of mosquitoes, says Joseph Conlon of the American Mosquito Control Association. "Mosquitoes are weak flyers and will not be able to navigate properly against or within the air stream," Conlon says. "There is no set formula for how large a fan or how many you'll need. It's simply a matter of experimenting until you obtain the desired effect. It's simple, yet very effective."

In fact, a Michigan State University study discovered just how well an electric fan messes with a mosquito's flying ability. The university entomologists tested electric fans with mosquito traps set up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a Michigan wetland. They used carbon monoxide in the traps to lure the mosquitoes, but found that the winds from the fans "strongly reduced" the number of insects that were caught.

In addition, fans break the flow of carbon dioxide, throwing mosquitoes off guard when they're trying to figure out exactly where you are. And, as an extra bonus, a fan keeps you cool. When you're not sweating as much and giving off as much body heat, the mosquitoes also have a more difficult time finding you and biting you.

The researchers recommend setting the fans on medium or high to get the best results.

Use Insect Repellent If You Need to

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Not everyone is a fan of bug spray, but sometimes, you need it when dealing with mosquitoes. Just breathing will draw mosquitoes to you. Mosquitoes are attracted to, among other things, the heat from our bodies and the carbon dioxide in our breath.

Richard Pollack, a Senior Public Health Officer at the Harvard School of Public Health and advisor to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, tells ABC News that mosquitoes are able to determine where their target is by following exhale trails.

"If you were to exercise vigorously, you would produce more carbon dioxide for a brief period," Pollack says. "You might [then] perhaps be a little more attractive to mosquitoes."

(Video) 8 All-Natural Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away

If you're being bitten, your options are to stop breathing (not really an option) or to go inside. Or, you can just make yourself less attractive to the thirsty bloodsuckers.

There are a number of proven-effective insect repellants that provide hours of protection. There are four repellants that have been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535, an amino acid that interferes with mosquitoes' sense of smell. The EPA considers DEET and picaridin "conventional repellents" and oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 as "biopesticide repellents," which are made from natural materials.

The EPA offers these guidelines for the safe use of insect repellents:

  • Repellents should be applied only to exposed skin and/or clothing. Do not use under clothing.
  • Do not apply near eyes and mouth, and apply sparingly around ears.
  • When using sprays, do not spray directly into your face; spray on hands first and then apply to your face.
  • Never use repellents over cuts, wounds, or irritated skin.
  • After returning indoors, wash treated skin and clothes with soap and water.

DEET is considered the most effective insect repellent, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends DEET not be used on infants less than 2 months old. The label on products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus warns against use on children younger than age 3.

Don't waste your money on bug zappers. Mosquito traps that attract mosquitoes using carbon dioxide may kill bugs, but they may not be trapping the mosquitoes that are biting you.

If All Else Fails, Play This Song

It's always a surprise to know what scientists deem worthy of research, but when it results in useful answers, why not? Researchers knew mosquitoes responded to low-frequency vibrations, so they wondered what would happen if they introduced something noisier, specifically "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" by dubstep artist Skrillex. And it worked. Their research, published in the journal Acta Tropica, revealed that hungry female mosquitoes had less sex and attacked less often after listening to 10 minutes of the Skrillex song.

Of course, playing that tune nonstop on your patio might drive away friends and family as well.

FAQs

How do I get rid of mosquitoes in my backyard naturally? ›

GARDEN: How can you get rid of mosquitoes in the yard? Try these tips
  1. Eliminate standing water around your home. ...
  2. Move potted plants indoors. ...
  3. Place herbs and scented oils around your backyard. ...
  4. Scatter coffee grounds. ...
  5. Grow insect-repellent plants. ...
  6. Install a drain in planter boxes.

What kills mosquitoes the best naturally? ›

Kill Mosquitoes With These 10 Easy Home Remedies That Actually...
  • #1: Eliminate standing water.
  • #2: Candles, incense and essential oils.
  • #3: Pot the right plant.
  • #4: Lemon and clove.
  • #5: Garlic spray.
  • #6: Eucalyptus oil.
  • #7: Mosquito net.
  • #8: Camphor.
12 Aug 2021

Why is my yard so full of mosquitoes? ›

Excessive Overgrowth, Brush, Grasses, or Wood Piles

Mosquitoes love to hide and they'll often seek shelter in tall grasses, shrubbery, or even around wood piles. To get rid of mosquitoes, you must think about reducing their hang-out spots.

How do I get a mosquito free back yard? ›

5 Tips You Can Use To Keep Mosquitoes Out Of Your Yard
  1. Grow Insect Repelling Plants. Growing insect repelling plants like horsemint, citronella, marigolds, and ageratum can make all the difference in protecting your home (when used with other mosquito control methods). ...
  2. Weed Whack. ...
  3. Dress For Success. ...
  4. Go Fluorescent. ...
  5. Fan it.
29 Jul 2020

How do I get rid of thousands of mosquitoes in my yard? ›

Insecticides – These are applied throughout a yard where they instantly kill mosquitoes, as well as the eggs and larvae living in water. Depending on the area treated, it can take several hours to apply mosquito treatments throughout a yard, as well as find each of the areas where they need to be applied.

Can you treat backyard for mosquitoes? ›

In the warmer months, mosquitoes can begin to invade your yard to bite you and your family. Using an insecticide spray on your yard can help get rid of existing mosquitoes and continue to keep these pests out.

How do you burn coffee grounds to get rid of mosquitoes? ›

Insect Repellent

Since coffee grounds are very potent, it's a perfect repellent to fight off those pests. According to the EPA, coffee grounds are most potent when they are burned. All you need to do is place the coffee grounds in a bowl on a flat surface outside, and burn the grounds like you would incense.

What smell do mosquitoes hate? ›

Certain Natural Scents

Mosquitoes are turned off by several natural scents: cinnamon, peppermint, cedar, citronella, lemongrass, patchouli, catnip, lavender, and more. Find a favorite, and use it when you want to spend time outside.

What smell kills mosquitoes? ›

Use Citronella

Citronella oil is a natural mosquito repellent that will kill mosquitoes and drive them out of your house. Look for citronella candles or use citronella essential oil in your vaporizer or oil diffuser.

What is the thing mosquitoes hate the most? ›

Mosquitoes hate peppermint much like wasps and other common pests. Lavender – Lavender is not only an effective mosquito repellent, it's also touted as a powerful ointment to relieve itchy mosquito bites. This oil has a pleasant floral scent and is the safest choice for children.

What is the best mosquito control for a yard? ›

Our top pick is the Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller because it's portable, sleek, and highly effective. The heat-activated device uses cartridges and repellent mats to keep mosquitoes away from your patio or outdoor area for up to 12 hours.

Does coffee grounds keep mosquitoes away? ›

You can control them with coffee grounds, a safe and effective way to keep pests away. Not only do they repel mosquitoes, but also other insects such as wasps and bees. Coffee grounds are the bee's knees when it comes to staying bug bite free.

How does vinegar get rid of mosquitoes? ›

Apple cider vinegar: It's a truly multipurpose remedy that can help with so many things, including mosquitoes. Add equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Use it on areas where mosquitoes tend to hang out. You can even spray it on yourself to keep them away.

What to burn to get rid of mosquitoes? ›

The most famous contender for keeping your fire mozzie-free is citronella. The oil from this plant is what you'll see used in candles and incense-based products designed for burning in your garden during the summer.

Do mosquitoes hate smell of coffee? ›

#4: Smoke Some Coffee Grounds

Sounds crazy, right? But mosquitoes hate the smell of caffeine. Take your used coffee grounds, and put them in a small bowl to dry out. Once they're dry, singe them with a lighter.

Do mosquitoes hate caffeine? ›

HOW COFFEE KILLS MOSQUITOES. In 2003, a study showed that used coffee grounds and caffeine could kill off the larvae of Aedes aegypti by blocking their development from becoming adult mosquitoes. The insects also couldn't develop a resistance to the coffee.

Does anything actually keep mosquitoes away? ›

Study authors concluded that, “DEET and PMD [are] the most effective and longest lasting mosquito repellents currently available.” PMD is found in products containing C. Citriodora (oil of lemon eucalyptus) and the tradenames Citrosynthol, Citrepel and Citriodiol. It is also effective against ticks.

Does Pine Sol keep mosquitoes away? ›

Fortunately, I have learned two things that keep these critters away and you only need 4 simple items: 2 Spray Bottles, a bottle of Listerine Mint Mouthwash, and bottle of Pine-sol (or eucalyptus oil for a more natural spray). For starters, mosquitoes HATE mint! Pour the Listerine into a spray bottle and spray away!

Do mosquitoes hate vinegar? ›

Acetic acid makes vinegar an excellent tool for pest control, repelling some of the most common backyard nuisances and even killing weaker insects. It's most effective against ants, spiders, and mosquitos.

Do mosquitoes hate lemon? ›

Do lemons repel flies and mosquitoes? YES! Citrus is a natural pest repellent and citrus essential oils are used in most homemade pest sprays.

What essential do mosquitoes hate? ›

Many natural scents that are appealing to humans actually repel mosquitoes, including lavender, peppermint, basil, and eucalyptus. Many of these scents can be worn as an essential oil on your skin to help keep these pesky pests from biting you.

What oil do mosquitoes hate? ›

Citronella (Cymobopogon nardus) is an ingredient in many repellents. This oil is also high in citronellal and geraniol, both of which repel bugs. Products that have the right amount of citronella can be as effective as DEET when properly combined with other essential oils.

What are 3 common methods to control mosquitoes? ›

Methods can include eliminating mosquito larval habitats, applying larvicides to kill mosquito larvae, or spraying insecticides from trucks or aircraft to kill adult mosquitoes.

What are the 3 ways to prevent mosquitoes? ›

Take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors

Use screens on windows and doors. Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors. Use air conditioning, if available. Stop mosquitoes from laying eggs in or near water.

How long does spraying your yard for mosquitoes last? ›

For the most part, mosquito treatments last for 4–8 weeks. There are a number of factors at play that determine how long a mosquito treatment will remain effective, including the weather, region, and the size of the mosquito population.

Can we completely eliminate mosquitoes? ›

With that being the case, it is nearly impossible to completely destroy mosquito breeding grounds. However, reducing standing water is still an effective way of weakening and reducing local mosquito populations. The second way of eliminating mosquitoes from a local area is with insecticides.

How do you get rid of mosquitoes once and for all? ›

Remove standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs

Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out any items that hold water like tires, buckets, planters, toys, pools, birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, or trash containers. Mosquitoes lay eggs near water.

Can I spray my own yard for mosquitoes? ›

Spraying can harm you, your kids, pets and your neighbors. The chemicals can also harm birds and insects that help eat mosquitos and pollinate your yard.

What would happen if we wiped out mosquitoes? ›

Without mosquitoes, plant growth could be affected. Wiping out mosquitoes would also wipe out a group of pollinators. Only some species feed on the blood of humans and animals, and even in those species, the females are the only ones sucking blood.

What plant gets rid of mosquitoes? ›

Marigolds emit a scent that helps to deter mosquitoes. They are a great addition to a garden because they are easy to grow and also prevent aphids, whiteflies, and other pests. Rosemary, thyme, & basil. Similar to lavender and marigolds, these fragrant herbs emit a smell on their own that works to keep mosquitoes away.

How are scientists getting rid of mosquitoes? ›

The researchers plan to genetically modify mosquitoes using the new CRISPR gene-editing technology, infusing a handful of mosquito larvae with targeted genetic mutations.

What smells dont mosquitoes like? ›

Certain Natural Scents

Mosquitoes are turned off by several natural scents: cinnamon, peppermint, cedar, citronella, lemongrass, patchouli, catnip, lavender, and more. Find a favorite, and use it when you want to spend time outside.

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4. How to Avoid Mosquitos in Your Backyard - With Gary Sullivan
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