Mosquitoes belong to a group of over 3,000 species of flies; however, unlike common flies we’re familiar with, mosquitoes have the biting habit of feeding on blood. This practice makes them dangerous to humans as mosquitoes become carriers of diseases like West Nile, so it’s crucial to know how to get rid of mosquitoes outside.
Adult mosquitoes lay their eggs on the surface of still water, usually ponds or any collection of undisturbed water like rainfall pooling in tires or cans is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Here they hatch into larvae that feed on algae and organic material before growing into their pupa and adult stages.
As adults, the female mosquito develops their proboscis, the tube-like mouthpiece mosquitoes are known for that allows them to feed on blood. A mosquito bite provides the mosquito with protein and iron, which they require to produce eggs and repeat their life cycle.
Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Yard
There are numerous ways to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard, which may reduce your need for more extreme repellent methods down the road. This article covers temporary repellents, ways to kill mosquitoes, and how to break the mosquito life cycle to help with getting rid of mosquitoes in the garden.
Of course, when you go outside, the easiest thing you can do to repel mosquitoes is by not wearing certain colors. What color attracts mosquitoes? These annoying insects prefer orange, red, black, and other dark colors.
Getting Rid of Mosquitoes in the Garden
When entertaining guests in your yard, mosquitoes biting your family is likely the last thing you want them to experience. At the same time, filling the air with harsh chemicals from a commercial mosquito spray is not ideal.
Bug spray doesn’t smell great, and the lingering taste in the air might put your guests off more than the pesky mosquitoes.
DEET, an active ingredient found in most repellents, works well at repelling insects, but some may experience rashes and irritation to their skin after using these products. Instead, we recommend utilizing commercial and homemade repellents to keep your garden insect-free.
In 1948, citronella oil became registered as a plant-based option for pest control for its non-toxic mode of repelling insects. Citronella candles are the most common usage for citronella and a simple way to ward off mosquitoes when dealing with mosquito infestations.
Citronella candles are effective at repelling mosquitoes as they contain a mix of herbs to repel insects, and studies show they provide up to 50% of extra protection; however, they are only effective in the immediate area surrounding the candle.
These candles do not prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs or repel them from your yard, as mosquitoes are likely attracted to other areas in the yard with tall grass. Using citronella candles is recommended for small gatherings outside and works well with other pest control methods like mosquito netting.
When searching for a way to keep mosquitoes away while lowering the mosquito population of your yard, a bug zapper is one way to go. There are many types readily available on Amazon, and the variety in eliminating mosquitoes, flies, and house gnats ensures you’ll find something you like.
The technology behind traps is simple – an attractive source is placed in the middle of the trap to draw insects in, and typically once they reach the center, they cannot escape.
For traditional zappers, an electrical source kills mosquitoes on contact; however, the buzz of the trap and the zapping sound of insects dying may not be pleasant to guests.
Other trappers use a Co2 source that mosquitoes follow before trapping them with a silent fan where they are left to dehydrate. Versions involving a sticky surface exist if larger traps are too unsightly for your yard. They work well to kill outdoor gnats naturally, as well as mosquitoes and a host of other flying insects.
Keeping Mosquitoes Away Using Oil
Citronella oil is an excellent mosquito repellent, but when trying to repel mosquitoes, you aren’t limited by the lemony scent of citronella candles. Studies have found that essential oils prove effective at repelling mosquitoes.
Applying Essential Oils to the Skin
If you’re a fan of natural means as an insect repellent, applying a few drops of essential oils like lavender oil and tea tree oil works wonders for keeping adult mosquitoes away from you.
Apply a few drops of whichever oil you prefer onto a clean cloth and rub it on your skin. As the oil dries and loses its effectiveness, reapply every three to four hours or as needed.
If you have lavender on hand, rubbing the plant against your skin effectively repels mosquitoes; the same works for lemon balm. Lemon balm produces citronellal, a natural compound that repels insects.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Like citronella, the citrusy scent from lemon eucalyptus is highly effective at repelling mosquitoes. A repellent made with 32% lemon eucalyptus oil effectively provides protection of 95% against mosquitoes for three hours.
Combine your oils into a dropper bottle or a bowl to easily apply to a clean cloth and then to your skin. Witch hazel works well as a substitute for sunflower oil.
Note: Research suggests not using this mixture for children under three.
To use the repelling power of lemon eucalyptus in a larger outdoor setting, creating your candle using the oil works well when looking for safe ways on how to get rid of mosquitoes outside.
Slice your lemon and lime and place two slices from each into your Mason jar and cut your rosemary sprigs to fit into the jar vertically. Add lemon eucalyptus oil to the jar before filling the rest of the way with water.
Place your floating candle on top, and light. Under appropriate supervision because of fire, get rid of mosquitoes on your porch while you sit outside with this attractive and effective do-it-yourself strategy.
While not known as an essential oil, neem oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits and seeds of the neem tree. Its uses are well known to gardeners who use it to keep pests away from their crops. A mixture of neem oil works effectively at keeping mosquitoes from bothering you.
Combine the oils in a dish. Using a clean cloth, apply the oil mixture to exposed skin areas.
Note: Neem oil is toxic when consumed, and we would not advise using it with children to prevent the risk of accidental ingestion. Neem oil is potent, so test on a small area before using it extensively.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Outside
When looking to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard, it’s essential to know mosquitoes begin their life cycle as eggs on the water surface. This makes areas of water in and around your yard places of interest as you may unknowingly be allowing mosquitoes to multiply.
Mosquito prevention involves tending to pools of standing water and ensuring you limit places mosquitoes like to gather like tall grass to keep the population at bay and even break their life cycle. Spreading chopped garlic also works to create a barrier outside for mosquitoes.
Avoid Standing Water
Standing water, or stagnant water, is any water that has stopped flowing. This water can be found in nature in swamps and lakes or may form on the ground from rainfall or runoff. Another way that stagnant water forms is from human artifacts: discarded pots, bird baths, tires, and containers.
Stagnant water is dangerous because it provides better incubation for bacteria and parasites once it stops flowing. Mosquito-borne diseases like malaria are severe dangers from stagnant water.
Although stagnant water is not something most humans consume, allowing it to sit in your yard or around your home creates a breeding ground for insects, including mosquitoes. Keeps areas well drained when possible, or invest in running water features in your yard over still ones.
Getting Rid of Mosquito Larva
If your property has a water feature like a lake or pond, you may want to invest in buying Mosquito Dunk. As America’s best-selling mosquito control product, Mosquito Dunks are a collection of natural bacteria found in soil known as Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (B.t.i.)
Find Mosquito Dunks in most home and garden stores. When placed in water, they dissolve and kill mosquito larvae without affecting any other animals living in the water, like fish.
This method of getting rid of mosquitoes in your backyard does not kill adults or mosquito eggs. Still, as mosquito larva feed on algae and organic matter in water, it causes a decrease in the mosquito population as you prevent them from reaching their adult stage and laying more eggs.
It’s also possible to make an easy DIY mosquito repellent spray for garden and yard rather than one you apply to your skin. Popular ingredients include garlic, neem oil, lemon oil, and vinegar.
Mosquitoes are a big problem, but thankfully, controlling mosquitoes is a reasonably straightforward process, and they are not pests that last year long, depending on where you live.
We hope our advice on how to get rid of mosquitoes outside helps you next time you’re planning a get-together.
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