Not only are mosquitoes a summertime nuisance, but they are also a legitimate cause for health concerns including transmitting West Nile virus and the Zika virus to humans. The good news, you can continue to enjoy your time outside with these simple tips for how to repel mosquitoes outdoors.
When the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, droves of people head outdoors to soak up the sun. Whether it’s heading out for a weekend of camping or having friends and family over for a summer barbecue, spending the long summer days outdoors is a long-held tradition for many people. Unfortunately, we’re not the only ones who like to spend the warm summer months outdoors.
How to Repel Mosquitoes without Bug Spray
Just because the mosquitoes enjoy the warm summer months, doesn’t mean you have to spend your entire summer hiding indoors. There are numerous ways you can repel mosquitoes without having to resort to bathing in harsh, toxic bug repellents.
Here are several ways to repel mosquitoes while enjoying the outdoors.
1. Put Up Air Curtains
Traditionally, air curtains have been used to keep mosquitoes away from guests at customer entrances, concession stands, and even drive-up windows at many fast food restaurants. Their effectiveness at repelling mosquitoes has made them accessible for use in residential outdoor living areas. Air curtains are simple to install and maintain, and their impenetrable screen of air helps prevent bugs of all kinds from entering the area.
2. Install a Mosquito Misting System
Another great way to get rid of mosquitoes is misting systems. Mosquito misting systems use a few insect repellents to eliminate mosquitoes and other pests from your outdoor living space.
They can either be a drum-based or tankless system that you can program to activate on a schedule or by remote control. The system uses the active ingredient Pyrethrin, which is an extract of the chrysanthemum flower. The system is easy to install and maintain.(..)
3. Create Bug Repellent Luminaries
You can make luminaries out of mason jars and essential oils. They are incredibly easy to make and do an excellent job of repelling mosquitoes outdoors. Not only are these great for repelling mosquitoes and other pests during the summer, but they also create a beautiful ambiance for your outdoor living space. Here’s how to make your bug repellent luminaries.
Using a small knife, slice the lemons and limes and set aside. Next, you’ll want to separate the rosemary and place two of the sprigs in each jar. Fill the jars with water, ¾ full. Next add each of the oils to the jars, using ten drops for each jar. Place a slice of lemon and a slice of lime into each jar. Finally, place a floating candle on the top of each jar. If you need to add a little more water, so the candle is even with the top of the jar, you can do that now.
Once you finish putting the ingredients in the jar, put them outside and light them to keep mosquitoes at bay. Replace the tea lights when needed, and discard the fruit and liquid every couple of days.
4. Remove Standing Water
While natural enemies like spiders kill mosquitoes, they love areas that have a lot of standing water. They are attracted to these areas because they use the stagnant water to lay their eggs.
To prevent mosquitoes larvae from becoming adult mosquitoes, you have to remove their breeding ground and prevent them from becoming a problem every summer; it is important to make sure you don’t have any standing water in your yard. This includes leaving your dog’s water dish outside, birdbaths, ponds, and drainage systems. If you aren’t able to eliminate these types of sources, then it is important that you continually treat them with bug repellent. (..)
5. Use Portable Traps and Systems
An inexpensive option is to purchase a portable trap. These types of systems run on batteries and propane. A single unit can cover up to an acre, luring mosquitoes to the system and trapping them.
It is a good way to get rid of mosquitoes constantly since the traps are meant to run non-stop, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can take up to ten days before you see a reduction in mosquitoes.
>> More about killing mosquitoes and flies: How to get rid of flies
6. Use Citronella Candles
The oil from the citronella plant is used in candles as one of the best ways to repel mosquitoes outside.
You can purchase citronella candles at any home improvement or grocery store. You can also rub citronella essential oil on your skin to help repel mosquitoes while outside.
7. Use Essential Oils
There are a variety of essential oils on the market that will work for repelling mosquitoes outside. The top essential oils for repelling the pests are lavender oil, lemongrass oil, and citronella lemon oil. Similar to when you want to keep ants away, lemon eucalyptus oil and eucalyptus essential oils also work well.
Researchers at Iowa State University have also determined that using catnip is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, and is less toxic.(..)
8. Use Crushed Garlic
You can repel mosquitoes naturally with minced or crushed garlic. The naturally occurring sulfur in the garlic will send not only mosquitoes, but ticks, stink bugs, fleas, and black flies away. It repels mosquitoes well.
Sprinkling the cut garlic around your yard will help keep your garden pest free. You can also spray this homemade garlic-infused insect repellent on the plants surrounding your patio.
Homemade Garlic-Infused Mosquito Repellent
Take a medium sized jar and add the garlic and the mineral oil, stirring to combine. Place a lid on the jar and let the mixture stand for at least 24-hours. After the mixture has had time to settle, open the jar and strain the garlic from the oil. This will give you a nice garlic, infused oil. Next, combine the garlic infused oil with the liquid dish soap and add the mixture to a pint of water.
Now you will want to add two tablespoons of the oil/dish soap mixture to one-pint water. Pour the new mixture into a spray bottle. To ensure the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, shake the bottle well. Spray on any outdoor plants in areas where you want to repel mosquitoes.
What Kind of Plants Repel Mosquitoes?
When it comes to repelling mosquitoes outdoors, individual plants might be your best defense against the pests. Not only do plants offer a natural, toxin-free alternative to bug sprays that contain the harmful chemical DEET, but they can provide you with beautiful landscaping, and in some cases, delicious herbs for cooking.
9. Bee Balm
Bee balm is a beautiful plant that has many culinary uses and has been used medicinally for many years, including as a mosquito repellent. The blooming flowers deter mosquitoes when the leaves are dried and crushed. When planted near your patio, the fragrance it gives off will keep mosquitoes away.
10. Cadaga Tree
The cardigan tree, also known as the eucalyptus torelliana acts as a barrier to repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes don’t like the scent that the tree gives off, keeping them far away from any area where you plant the tree. Plant the tree in an area where you want to repel mosquitoes to enjoy a bug-free summer.
Planting catnip in your yard is an excellent, non-toxic alternative to the traditional bug sprays that contain DEET. Catnip is so effective at repelling mosquitoes because one of the main active ingredients, nepetalactone, is ten times stronger than DEET, and it is non-toxic.
Lavender is not only a beautiful and fragrant plant to have in your yard, but it is also an excellent plant to help repel mosquitoes outside. Mosquitoes hate the scent that the lavender plant gives off, keeping them far away from any area that contains the plant.
You can also use lavender essential oils to ward off the pesky insects, just apply it on your ankles, wrists or feet like perfume, and watch the mosquitoes flee. If you have sensitive skin, you can mix the oil with cream and apply to your body.
Mosquitoes can’t stand the smell of marigolds, so planting the fragrant flower in your yard can help to keep the mosquitoes away.
You can also cut the flower from the plant and place it around your patio to keep the mosquitoes from feasting on you and your guests.
The natural oil found in the eucalyptus tree is excellent for repelling mosquitoes and keeping them away from you when you are outside.
You can plant eucalyptus in your yard and use the natural oil from the tree on your skin to keep mosquitoes clear of you. The gentle formula that many commercial bug sprays contain will also work to keep sandflies, midges, fruit flies, stable flies and ticks away too.
What Herbs Repel Mosquitoes?
Along with the numerous plants that you can plant around your yard to help repel mosquitoes, there are a variety of herbs that will do the trick as well. You can plant these herbs in your garden or store them in your pantry for a quick mosquito repellent.
15. Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm is ideal for keeping the mosquitoes at bay. The leaves contain significant amounts of citronella, which is a natural repellent.
You can grow the lemon balm plant in your backyard to create a barrier against the pests. You can also crush the lemon balm leaves and rub it on your skin for an easy repellent for on the go.
16. Basil Leaves
Planting basil in your yard can help to keep mosquitoes from feasting on your family. It is one of the few herbs that will repel pests without you having to crush the leaves.
While there are many different varieties of basil, lemon basil and cinnamon basil are the most potent herbs at keeping mosquitoes at bay.
Clove, which is a staple herb in many spice cabinets, makes an excellent mosquito repellent, and you can find a derivative of the oil in several commercial pesticides that control many garden and household pests. You can use clove essential oil on your clothing to keep mosquitoes away for two to four hours.
All varieties of mint, both wild and cultivated, are excellent at repelling mosquitoes and other pesky insects. The fragrance that is released when the plants are rubbed against or crushed is repulsive to insects, so planting some mint around your patio or outdoor living space will help to keep mosquitoes and yellow jackets away. You can also use various mint essential oils, like peppermint on your skin to keep the pests from biting you. Here is an easy to make mosquito repellent using mint.
To make the mint mosquito repellent spray, place the ingredients into a plastic spray bottle using a funnel. Shake the bottle, ensuring that all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Before leaving the house, spray yourself with the mixture to keep mosquitoes from feasting on you.
During the summer keep plenty of this bug repellent on hand. Using mint as a mosquito repellent is a safe, natural alternative to the store-bought bug sprays that often contain the dangerous chemical DEET.(..)
Rosemary contains an essential oil that acts as a natural mosquito repellent. To keep mosquitoes away from your patio in the summer, place several pots containing rosemary plants along the exterior of your deck or patio.
Just remember to bring the pots inside during the winter since they can’t tolerate cold climates for extended periods of time.
What Colors Repel Mosquitoes?
When it comes to being outside, certain colors can help to repel mosquitoes. When you wear the following colors, you become less attractive to mosquitoes and other annoying insects.
You can repel just about any insect, including mosquitoes, by wearing white clothing. According to studies conducted at the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University, mosquitoes and other insects are more attracted to dark colors, because they trap the carbon dioxide that your body produces, which is something that mosquitoes love. So, to reduce the number of bites that you get, make sure to wear white clothing when you are outside.
21. Light Colors
Clothing that is vibrant, such as pastels and cream colored clothing, can help repel mosquitoes. Avoid wearing dark colors like black and navy blue to help keep mosquitoes from making a buffet out of your blood.
Mosquitoes are barely able to see the color yellow, so wearing clothing in any shade of yellow can help to repel mosquitoes when you are outside. Yellow lights hung up outside can also help to repel mosquitoes and prevent them from biting you.
How to Keep Mosquitoes Away While Camping
The fastest way for your camping trip to be a bust is to become the feast for mosquitoes. Along with using the methods mentioned above, there are some other things that you can do to keep everyone from becoming a mosquito feast. Find some extra tips on how to keep mosquitoes away.
23. Choose the Right Clothing
To protect yourself from mosquito bites, you want to make sure to wear the proper clothing. This includes wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts. You also want to make sure you wear lighter colors as mosquitoes are attracted to darker colors like black and navy blue.
24. Use A Mosquito Repellent
For the areas of your skin that you can’t cover with your clothing use a mosquito repellent. There are many bug sprays that you can purchase at the store, however, many of these contain DEET and can cause a reaction when applied to the skin.
There are also many essential oils that you can use as a chemical-free alternative to bug spray. Rub any of the following essential oils on your skin to help repel mosquitoes while camping: Lemongrass, Citronella Lemon Oil, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Manuka, Catnip, Clove.
25. Light a Campfire
The smoke from your campfire will help to deter mosquitoes and other flying pests that you might have to deal with while camping.
If you aren’t able to keep the fire burning overnight, make sure you have a mesh door on your tent to help keep mosquitoes outside and away from your body.
How to Make Natural Mosquito Repellent
When it comes to repelling mosquitoes while you are outside, there are many commercially produced bug sprays on the market. The only problem with these is that they contain the harmful chemical DEET. For years DEET has been touted as being an effective bug repellent, but the side effects of the chemical far outweigh the benefits. In addition to our mosquito repellant recipe based on neem oil, Here are some natural, chemical-free bug repellent recipes that you can make at home.(..)
Homemade Garlic Mosquito Repellent
Here is another excellent homemade mosquito repellent that uses garlic. Using a garlic-infused mixture is a great way to not only repel mosquitoes but other insects that may become pests.
In a small bowl, cover the minced garlic with the mineral oil. The mixture will need to stand for at least 24 hours for it to be strong. After 24-hours, take a teaspoon of the oil and mix it with two cups of water and one teaspoon lemon juice.
Strain the mixture through cheesecloth to remove any pulp and garlic that remains in the oil. Pour the liquid mixture into a plastic spray bottle and shake to mix thoroughly. This mixture can be sprayed on the plants around your yard to create a barrier that mosquitoes will think twice before crossing.
Homemade Lemon Eucalyptus Repellent
In a small container, mix the lemon eucalyptus oil with the sunflower oil. Alternatively you can also use witch hazel instead.
Alternatively, you can also use witch hazel instead.
Pour the ingredients into a spray bottle or other container and store in a cool, dry place.
When you are getting ready to head outside, spray or rub on the skin the homemade repellent on your skin and watch as the mosquitoes flee.
Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent
Another excellent way to get rid of mosquitoes is to repel them in the first place.
We found this great recipe for an essential oil based repellent.
Essential oils have a number of uses, including getting rid of mosquitoes and other insects.
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Gently mix the ingredients together. Using a funnel, pour the liquid into a plastic spray bottle.
When you are going to head outside, spray your clothes with the mixture of essential oils.
You can store the recipe in a plastic spray bottle until needed.
Summers are the time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather, but mosquitoes can quickly ruin your fun.
We’ve provided you with 24 different ideas on what repels mosquitoes and how you can use those ideas to keep mosquitoes from making a feast out of you and your family and ruining your summer fun.
We’ve provided you with many different ways to repel mosquitoes outdoors. We hope you found this information helpful and feel free to share it with everyone you know.