Not only are mosquitoes aggravating in the summertime, but they are also cause for health concern because they transmit West Nile virus and the Zika virus to humans. The good news is that 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 like the warm summer months doesn’t mean you have to hide indoors for the entire summer hiding inside. There are dozens of ways to repel mosquitoes without resorting to bathing in harsh, toxic bug repellents.
Here is how to repel mosquitoes while soaking up the outdoors.
1. Put Up Air Curtains
Air curtains keep mosquitoes away from guests at concession stands, customer entrances, and drive-up windows at many fast food restaurants. Their effectiveness at repelling mosquitoes makes them ideal to use in residential outdoor living spaces. Air curtains are quite simple to install and maintain, and their screen of air keeps bugs of all kinds away.
2. Install a Mosquito Misting System
Another method to get rid of mosquitoes is misting systems. Mosquito misting systems eliminate flying pests and mosquitoes from your outdoor living areas.
They can either be a tankless or drum-based system that you can activate on a schedule or by remote. The system uses Pyrethrin, which is a chrysanthemum extract. The unit is easy to install and operate (..).
3. Create Bug Repellent Luminaries
Make a homemade mosquito repellent with luminaries made from Mason jars and essential oils. They are easy to make and are excellent for repelling mosquitoes outdoors.
Not only are these perfect for repelling mosquitoes and other flying pests during the summer, but they also increase the ambiance of your outdoor living area. Here’s how to make bug repellent luminaries.
Slice the lemons and limes with a small knife and set aside. Separate the rosemary and place two sprigs in each jar. Fill the jars 3/4 full of water. Add the oils to the jars, using ten drops for each jar.
Add a slice of lemon and a slice of lime to each jar. Place a floating candle on top of the water. Add a little more water if needed.
Once you put the ingredients in the jar, put them outside and light them to keep mosquitoes away. Replace the tea lights as needed, and discard the fruit and liquid every few days.
4. Remove Standing Water
While natural enemies like spiders kill mosquitoes, they love standing water because they use the stagnant water to lay their eggs.
To prevent mosquito larvae from becoming adult mosquitoes, remove their breeding ground by getting rid of standing water in your yard.
This includes birdbaths, leaving your dog’s water dish outside, drainage systems, and ponds. If you can’t eliminate these sources, then it is essential that you treat them often with bug repellent. (..)
5. Use Portable Traps and Systems
An inexpensive option is a portable trap. These systems run on batteries and propane. One unit can cover up to an acre, luring mosquitoes to the system and trapping them.
It is an excellent way to get rid of mosquitoes, since the traps operate 24/7. It may take up to ten days before you see fewer mosquitoes.
>> More about killing mosquitoes and flies: How to get rid of flies
6. Use Citronella Candles
Citronella plant oil in candles is one of the best ways to repel mosquitoes outdoors.
Purchase citronella candles at any grocery or home improvement store. Rub citronella essential oil on the skin to repel mosquitoes, too.
7. Use Essential Oils
There are a variety of essential oils that work for repelling mosquitoes. The best essential oils for repelling the pests are lavender oil, citronella oil, and lemongrass oil. Similar to the methods to keep ants away, lemon eucalyptus oil and eucalyptus essential oils also work well.
Researchers at Iowa State University learned that using catnip is less toxic and is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET (..).
8. Use Crushed Garlic
Repel mosquitoes naturally with crushed or minced garlic. The sulfur in the garlic sends mosquitoes, black flies, ticks, fleas, and stink bugs away.
Sprinkling cut garlic around your yard helps keep your garden pest free. Or, spray this homemade garlic-infused insect repellent on the plants surrounding your patio.
Homemade Garlic-Infused Mosquito Repellent
Add the garlic and the mineral oil to a medium sized jar and stir to mix. Seal with a lid and let the mixture stand for 24 hours or more. Open the jar and strain out the garlic.
This will give you garlic infused oil. Combine the garlic infused oil with liquid dish soap and add to a pint of water. Add two tablespoons of the oil and dish soap mixture to one pint of 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. Here are a few plants that repel bugs, especially mosquitoes.
9. Bee Balm
Bee balm is an attractive plant that has many uses in the kitchen and has been used medicinally for years, including as a mosquito repellent. The flowers, as well as the crushed, dried leaves repel mosquitoes. When planted by your patio, the fragrance keeps mosquitoes away.
10. Cadaga Tree
The cardigan tree or eucalyptus torelliana serves as a barrier to repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes don’t like the scent of the tree, keeping them away from any area where it’s planted.
Planting catnip in your yard is a non-toxic alternative to traditional bug sprays that contain DEET. Catnip is effective at repelling mosquitoes because one of its ingredients, nepetalactone, is non-toxic and ten times stronger than DEET.
Lavender is not only a lovely and fragrant plant, but it is also an excellent way to help repel mosquitoes outside. Mosquitoes dislike lavender and they stay far away from any area that contains the plant.
Lavender essential oils also ward off the pesky insects. Apply it to your ankles, feet, or wrists, and watch the mosquitoes avoid you. If you have sensitive skin, mix the oil with cream before applying.
Mosquitoes don’t like marigolds, so planting the fragrant flower in your yard helps to keep the mosquitoes away.
Cut flowers from the plant and place them around your patio to keep the mosquitoes away from 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 just right for keeping the mosquitoes at a distance. The leaves contain citronella, 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 the yard helps to keep mosquitoes from feeding on your family. It is one of the herbs that repels pests without crushing the leaves.
While there are many different basil varieties, cinnamon basil and lemon basil are the most potent herbs for keeping mosquitoes at bay.
Clove, a staple in many spice cabinets, makes an excellent mosquito repellent. The oil is found in commercial pesticides that control numerous household and garden pests. Use clove essential oil on your clothes to keep mosquitoes away for several hours.
All varieties of mint, both cultivated and wild, are effective for repelling mosquitoes and other annoying insects. The aroma that is released when the plants are crushed is repulsive to insects, so growing some mint around your outdoor living space will help keep yellow jackets and mosquitoes away.
You can also use mint essential oil like peppermint on your skin to keep pests from biting you. Here is an easy-to-make mosquito repellent using mint.
To make mint mosquito repellent spray, put the ingredients in a plastic spray bottle with a funnel. Shake the bottle to mix. Before going outside, spray yourself with the solution to keep mosquitoes at a distance.
Keep plenty of this bug repellent around during warmer months. Using mint mosquito repellent is a natural, safe alternative to the store-bought bug sprays that often contain DEET.(..)
Rosemary acts as a natural mosquito repellent. Keep mosquitoes away from your deck in the summer by placing several pots of rosemary along the perimeter.
Bring the pots inside during the coldest months since they don’t tolerate extreme weather well for extended periods.
What Colors Repel Mosquitoes?
Wearing certain colors helps repel mosquitoes. You become less attractive to annoying bugs and mosquitoes when wearing these colors.
Repel almost any insect, including mosquitoes, by wearing white clothes. According to the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University, insects and mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, because they trap the CO2 produced by your body, which appeals to mosquitoes. Reduce the number of bites you get by wearing white clothing when you are outside.
21. Light Colors
Vibrant clothing, like pastels and cream colored clothing, helps repel mosquitoes. Avoid wearing dark colors like navy and black to keep mosquitoes from sucking your blood.
Mosquitoes can barely see the color yellow, so wearing yellow clothing helps to repel mosquitoes when you are outside. Yellow lights strung up outside also repel mosquitoes and prevent them from biting you.
How to Keep Mosquitoes Away While Camping
The quickest way to ruin a camping trip is to become a feast for mosquitoes. Along with the methods mentioned above, there are other things that you can do to keep everyone from becoming a mosquito magnet. Find some additional tips on how to keep mosquitoes away.
23. Choose the Right Clothing
To protect yourself from mosquitoes, make sure to wear the proper clothes, including long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Make sure to wear lighter colors since mosquitoes are attracted to darker colors.
24. Use a Mosquito Repellent
For exposed skin, use a mosquito repellent. Many bug sprays are available at the store; however, many of them contain DEET and can cause an allergic reaction.
Numerous essential oils are effective as a chemical-free alternative to insect spray. Rub one of these essential oils on your skin to repel mosquitoes when camping: Lemongrass, Citronella oil, Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Manuka, Clove, and Catnip.
25. Light a Campfire
Your campfire smoke deters mosquitoes and other flying pests around you while camping.
If you can’t keep the fire burning overnight, make sure there is a mesh door on the tent to help keep mosquitoes outside.
How to Make Natural Mosquito Repellent
For repelling mosquitoes when you are outside, there are many commercially produced bug sprays. The only problem is that they contain DEET. This chemical has been touted as an effective bug repellent for years, but the side effects of the chemical outweigh the benefits.
Homemade Garlic Mosquito Repellent
Here is another homemade mosquito repellent useing garlic. A garlic-infused mixture repels mosquitoes and other insects.
In a small bowl, cover minced garlic with the mineral oil. The mixture should stand for at least 24 hours. After 24 hours, mix two cups of water with a teaspoon of the oil and one teaspoon lemon juice.
Strain the mixture to remove pulp and garlic from the oil. Pour the liquid into a spray bottle and shake to mix. Spray 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 sunflower and lemon eucalyptus oils.
Pour the ingredients into a spray bottle or jar and store in a cool, dry place. When going outside, spray or rub the homemade repellent on your skin and watch as the mosquitoes flee.
Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent
In a small bowl, combine the ingredients. Pour the liquid into a plastic spray bottle via a funnel. When you go outside, spray your clothes. Store 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.
In this article, we have offered many ways to repel mosquitoes outdoors. We hope you found this information about repelling mosquitoes beneficial. Feel free to share with friends and family.