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What Keeps Mosquitoes Away?

what keeps mosquitoes away

Figuring out what keeps mosquitoes away is in age-old summer conundrum.

No one likes bug bites and getting bitten by mosquitoes is one of the few downsides of summer fun. Not to mention, some mosquitoes can carry disease.

Here’s are the plants, products and DIY tricks that can protect you from itchy, annoying mosquito bites.

Control the Environment

If you find yourself hanging out in your backyard or on your porch during the summer, you have a home team advantage over the mosquitoes. Here’s how to keep mosquitoes away from your yard.

One of the best ways to keep away mosquitoes is to remove any standing water from your property. Your pool is probably fine if it’s chlorinated, but other sources of standing water could be increasing the mosquito population.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so if you want to keep away mosquitoes, you have to remove and limit their water sources. Common places with standing water include pails, buckets, wheelbarrows, kiddie pools, birdbaths, water toys and ponds. Removing the standing water from your yard is one of the most reliable natural ways to keep mosquitoes away.

Products That Keep Away Mosquitoes

Another way you can control your environment is by buying items that keep mosquitoes away. One of the oldest ways that people have protected themselves from mosquitoes is by using nets and screens. Consider adding nets or screens to your outdoor seating area. If you’re in the market for a new gazebo, try looking for one that comes with mosquito netting already, like this model.

A surprising way to combat mosquitoes is to change the lighting in your yard. Yellow-toned bug light bulbs will actually discourage bugs of all kinds from flocking to your yard at night. Porch fans are also an effective way to keep the bugs away without any smells or chemicals.

what keeps mosquitoes away

What Plants Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Put your green thumb to work in the fight against bug bites! There are a range of different plants and flowers that double as natural ways to keep mosquitoes away. Here are just some of the top plants that can help keep your garden mosquito-free.

You’re probably already familiar with citronella candles, but did you know about citronella plants? These plants have a lemony scent that naturally repels mosquitoes. They even occasionally blossom with small, pink-purple flowers. Citronella grass, also known as lemongrass, is also effective in keeping mosquitoes away from your yard.

Marigolds are also known for repelling mosquitoes and other garden pests with their pungent aroma. Fortunately, however, they are still loved by butterflies and bees.

The strong scent of lavender is calming to most humans, but despised by mosquitoes. Lavender plants are a great way to keep away mosquitoes. Mint is another go-to plant for gardeners that want to ward off mosquitoes and other pests.

Surprisingly, catnip is also a plant that can repel mosquitoes, though it has the opposite effect with cats. If you don’t want your backyard to be the neighborhood’s next cat club, you should probably pick another plant.

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Staying Mosquito-Free on the Go

You probably won’t be spending every summer night in your backyard. So how can you protect yourself from mosquitoes when you’re out and about? Whether it’s a long camping trip or just a night of outdoor dining, mosquitoes are definitely something you’ll want to avoid.

A good way to keep mosquitos from biting is to dress in long sleeves and pants. That barrier will protect you from most mosquito bites, but it can get uncomfortable this time of year. So what else can you do? Get some good repellent.

Bug repellent is a great way to protect yourself from mosquitoes wherever you go. Sawyer Products Insect Repellent contains 20% picaridin, a safer alternative to DEET. It will also spray on evenly without a greasy residue. OFF! Defense Insect Repellent is also a good choice with 20% picaridin.

However, buying bug repellent off the shelf isn’t the only option. There are some home remedies to keep mosquitoes away. Most home mosquito repellents are made using essential oils, so take care and consult your doctor before using them.

There are also some home remedies that don’t use essential oils. Mosquitoes tend to avoid lemon scents, so mixing lemon juice with water in a spray bottle can be an effective repellent. A diluted mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts water in a spray bottle can be sprayed on outdoor features and furniture to repel bugs.

Whether you got it off the shelf or made it yourself, be careful with any repellents you use. Remember to protect your eyes and any open cuts on your skin. And don’t overdo it – sometimes a little goes a long way.

Already bitten? Learn how to stop bug bites from itching.

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Do mosquitoes eat you up or leave you alone? Do you have any go-to tips or tricks for protecting yourself and your property from mosquitoes? What keeps mosquitoes away? Let us know in the comments below.

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18 Thoughts on “What Keeps Mosquitoes Away?

  1. A MD here pointed out permethrin as a viable repellent. Not only does permethrin repel and kill mosquitoes does the same for ticks…something Deet does not do nor any of the other remedies mentioned. As a person who has had lyme disease I can tell you fear the tick more than the mosquitoe!

    Spray your clothes with permethrin and let it dry. It will stay on the clothes through several washes. Do not spray it on your skin or pets.. its toxic to pets.

    Using permethrin treated clothes and shoes is very effective.. the other junk treatments can be used on skin and hope for the best.

  2. I get bitten all the time, unless I am wearing Avon’s Skin so Soft – it can be oily but it is worth it!

  3. Vicks vapor rub protects you from mosquitos ! Dab a little on your wrists , behind your ears and ankles if exposed. Mosquitos hate the scent and leave you alone.

  4. Everyone should be aware that many of the backyard plant suggestions provided in this article can be toxic to pets!

    1. I have A+ blood type and get bitten all the time; the bites swell and are super itchy but I have 2 daughters with B+ blood type, 29 and 31 and both have never been bitten so there’s something to be said about natural immunity

  5. I walk through the woods everyday wearing shorts and a short sleeved shirt. There is a small marsh nearby, so there are always plenty of mosquitoes. I don’t like to apply insect repellent to my skin. Here are my tips for avoiding bites.
    1. Walk in the hottest part of the day. Mosquitoes don’t seem to like heat.
    2. Walk briskly. Mosquitoes fly slowly.
    3. Wear a portable mosquito repelling device. Some of these waft repellent into the air, others admit high-pitched sounds that mosquitoes don’t like. The insect repellent is more effective in still air, but is affected by wind. The problem with either device is that it will only protect one side and one end of your body, depending on where you wear it.

  6. I use REPEL – Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent is DEET free, I spray lightly before going in the yard and mosquito don’t bite. My home country in India we used to do the Neem leaves smoke and Eucalyptus leaves smoke every evening.
    When I get bit by mosquito, I clean the bite place with water and soap and apply small amout of hand soap and or bath soap. The itch stops very soon.
    Mosquito don’t like Marigold flower plant and Lavender, Ciotronella.
    Don’t scratch mosquito bite because it can get infected.

  7. If you have an itchy bug bite. Rub on a little Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer. No kidding. If you cannot get that, try mixing a paste of Baking soda snd water and rubbing that on the bite.

  8. The mosquito repellent devices made by Thermacell work quite well. They heat up a pad soaked with a repellent, and waft the vapors out into the surrounding air. Plug-in, battery, and butane-fired versions are available online. (Their butane cylinders are proprietary, and priced for profit, but can be refilled with a minor bit of DIY, per internet instructions.)

    1. I second this! Recently purchased several of these products and was able to enjoy evenings in the backyard without one bite!

  9. My Sister took dried coffee grinds new or used and added them to a metal cup and burned them. The smoke
    Keeps the mosquitoes away while working in the garden.

  10. I had the same thoughts on the article. Maybe good for the common person but I live next to a wetlands area in northern NJ and removing standing water isn’t an option. Trying to enjoy sitting on my deck at night is impossible around dusk.
    Now I’ve been using a company called “Mosquito Busters” and have had excellent results. There products are non toxic, safe for humans, pets and gardens although they avoid spraying vegetable garden.
    It’s not cheap but it’s what I need to do to enjoy my outdoor living space

  11. I spray Cedarcide all over my yard every 3 weeks, really works well. Also spray Wondercide on my dogs to protect them. All natural.

  12. A few comments. First of all, DEET is approved at low concentrations (< 20%) for infants over 2 months by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Second, permethrin can be safely sprayed on clothing to deter mosquitos and other insects.

  13. Cedar oil works great! 50/50 water/cedar oil put in spray bottle, shake we’ll and spray. Workings in yard and patio areas and smells good. I have asthma and have not reactions.

    1. You and I are plagued by being mosquito magnets. A floor fan set outside where you are sitting works sometimes because they are poor flyers. You say you won’t use chemicals? I have found it’s the only defense I have. And even then they find where I don’t have spray on me or my clothes and they get me! The best I can suggest is to make a smoky campfire and sit in the smoke. I’ll break down and buy a screen house and set it up in your yard. How’s that for suggestions, “fool”. That was not nice!

  14. Alba Botanica makes a sunscreen that is all natural and it is scented with lavender. It definitely helps to keep certain it’s away fro areas on your body where it is applied.

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