If you're wondering how to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard, you're not alone. Nothing ruins spending time in your yard quite like coming back inside and finding yourself covered in mosquito bites. Not only are these annoying insects a major nuisance, but they're also a common carrier of mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, Zika, dengue, yellow fever, and more.
Below, we've rounded up the best ways to repel mosquitoes and prevent mosquito breeding in your yard. So say goodbye to pesky mosquito bites and hello to a bug-free backyard.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
Wondering how to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard? While there are countless DEET-filled products and professional treatments on the market today, there's also a number of effective ways to get rid of mosquitoes that don't involve chemical repellents and expensive services. The following methods not only keep the mosquitoes away, prevent mosquitoes, but some can be the keys to controlling mosquitoes in your garden.
Mosquito Repellent or Bug Spray
Mosquito repellent sprays are one of the most effective ways to prevent bug bites. While most bug sprays and creams are made with a chemical repellent like DEET or picaridin, there are also chemical-free bug sprays that rely on essential oils and other natural repellents.
To use, simply spray your clothing and exposed skin with a few quick spritzes before you head outdoors. Don't forget to reapply every few hours!
Mosquito netting is an effective way to keep mosquitoes out of your porch, gazebo, or outdoor daybed. But remember, for your mosquito net to be effective, it needs to stay closed and well-maintained. Mosquitoes can still get in through holes, cracks, and other openings.
Home-owners can purchase mosquito nets of all shapes and sizes at most home improvement and outdoor recreation stores. Or, if you're feeling particularly crafty, try sewing one yourself from mosquito netting fabric.
Due to their small size, mosquitoes have difficulty flying in strong winds. Simply turning on your overhead outdoor fan or using a freestanding oscillating fan can help repel mosquitoes from your deck, porch, or patio. Not to mention, they'll help keep you nice and cool on a hot summer day!
Eliminate Standing Water
One of the best ways to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard is to eliminate the stagnant water that attracts them in the first place. Adult mosquitoes tend to lay eggs in standing water, where they'll eventually hatch as mosquito larvae.
To prevent mosquito breeding, empty any water that collects in buckets, gutters, ditches, and puddles around your property. Change the water frequently in your birdbath and pet bowls to kill mosquito larvae before it hatches.
Maintain Swimming Pools and Water Features
Standing water in swimming pools, ponds, and other outdoor water features can quickly become a breeding ground for mosquitoes— and, more importantly, the dangerous infectious diseases they may be carrying. Keeping them clean and well-maintained deters mosquitoes from laying eggs and kills mosquito larvae before the larvae hatch.
Cover your pool when not in use or use a skimmer or vacuum to remove dirt, leaves, and other debris on the surface. While chlorine alone won't kill mosquitos, it will help to keep your pool water clean and reduce mosquito larvae growth. Run the filter and clean the walls regularly to keep your pool looking its best.
You'll also need to do some regular upkeep to get rid of mosquitoes around your pond, fountain, or water feature. Cut back vegetation, change the water frequently, and treat water with the proper chemicals to prevent adult mosquitoes from laying eggs and kill mosquito larvae before it hatches.
Installing LED lights around your front porch, back deck, and garden paths can also help repel mosquitos. Unlike incandescent light bulbs, LED lights don't emit heat and wavelengths that attract mosquitos and other bugs. Most home improvement stores have a few LED products labeled "bug lights" on their outdoor light bulb aisle.
Bug zappers can help kill mosquitoes and other annoying insects like bees, flies, and moths. These effective devices work by emitting a strong UV light that entices mosquitoes and other flying insects to land on the panels that electrocute them on contact. Skip handheld swatters and opt for an automatic tabletop model instead. They're a great choice for yards dealing with lots of bugs, not just mosquitoes.
A heat and carbon dioxide is another great device for indoor and outdoor use, as it will attract and kill mosquitoes.
Like fly or bee traps, mosquito traps are designed to attract mosquitoes and trap or kill them. Most products rely on sticky surfaces or suctioning fans. And while there are a number of effective mosquito traps on the market, you can also make your own using a 2-liter bottle full of water, sugar, and a packet of yeast.
Professional Pest Control
If you're dealing with a serious mosquito infestation, you may want to consider consulting a professional mosquito control service. They can spray your yard using a chemical mosquito repellent that offers widespread coverage and long-term protection.
But experts agree that these chemical treatments may potentially be harmful to your health and the environment. Consider using a natural pest control company to lessen your environmental impact and exposure to dangerous chemicals.
Essential Oil Bug Spray
Looking for a natural alternative to conventional chemical mosquito repellents? Grab a spray bottle and mix up a batch of homemade essential oil spray! These popular essential oils naturally repel mosquitoes, and mosquitoes hate the smell of these scents:
- Lavender oil
- Tea tree oil
Just mix a few drops into a spray bottle full of water and spritz on your skin, clothes, pets, and outdoor fabrics. You can also use it as a room spray in your car, tent, RV, or trailer.
Sage Smudge Sticks
Sage smudge sticks get rid of more than bad energy. They repel mosquitoes too! These dried herb bundles have been used for centuries to cleanse spaces from unwanted energy, evil spirits, and pesky bugs. Burn one before your backyard BBQ, or toss one into your campfire or fire pit. The ancient cleansing ritual will leave you relaxed, restored, and mosquito bite-free.
Similarly, you can burn a stick or cone of repelling mosquitoes' incense or insect repellent on your outdoor table or picnic bench to keep mosquitos at bay during your meal. These all-natural sticks are made using mosquito-repelling essential oils like citronella, peppermint, and sage. But heads up, you'll need to burn a new stick every 20 to 30 minutes for continuous coverage.
Get Plants to Repel Mosquitoes
Wondering how to get rid of mosquitoes without all the harmful chemicals? Try planting these naturally mosquito-repellent plants around your yard or the entrance of your home to stop mosquitoes from entering:
- Lemon balm
Create an herb garden on your back patio, fill in a few empty spots in your flower beds, or add a few potted plants to your front porch. Placing them on windowsills and near doorways can help keep mosquitoes from coming inside your home.
If there's one thing mosquitoes really hate, it's citronella candles. While these mosquito-repelling candles smell light and citrusy to humans, their odor is unbearable for mosquitoes.
Light a few around your backyard, deck, and porch to keep pesky mosquitoes away during barbeques, picnics, pool parties, and other outdoor gatherings. Be sure to blow them out before you head back inside.
Basil leaves are not only a natural repellent, but they can also kill mosquito larvae, as they are toxic to mosquitoes. Put some basil leaves in a bowl of water, and it can deter mosquitoes from laying eggs.
Add Bird Feeders
Adding bird feeders in your garden is a great natural way to eliminate the mosquito population. By increasing birds stopping by to eat from the feeders, they can eliminate mosquitoes in your garden.