7 All-Natural Ways to Control Mosquitos

Try these natural strategies for creating a mosquito-free yard.

Hiking, camping, barbecuing and long afternoons spent by the pool are the stuff summer is made of, but all too often mosquito bites are the price we pay. A pest that can result in itchy injury or even worse as carriers of diseases like West Nile Virus, the ongoing battle against these bloodsuckers takes many forms. For many of us, especially those with children, reaching for a bug spray dense with chemicals leaves us concerned about the possible health effects of toxins that can result in headaches, nausea or worse.


Keeping mosquitoes at bay is a summer-long challenge.

Mosquito

Keeping mosquitoes at bay is a summer-long challenge.

Photo by: Image via the CDC Public Health Image Library

Image via the CDC Public Health Image Library

Remove Standing Water

Eliminate breeding sites by getting rid of standing water anywhere and everywhere — clogged gutters, drain outlets from air conditioners, dripping faucets, kiddie pools, over-irrigated and poorly drained lawns, saucers under potted plants, tree stumps and tree holes, watering cans, buckets and wheelbarrows.

Naturally, there are some places where you want water to remain such as a birdbath or pond. In situations like that, all you really need is Bacillus thuringensis, or Bt. It is an effective way to control mosquitoes in standing water, and it isn't toxic to birds or fish. A granular form of Bt can be sprinkled into the water.

Use Mosquito-Repellant Plants

Sometimes the solution is as simple as knowing what to plant. Consider adding mosquito-repelling plants like lavender, marigolds, lemon balm, geranium or herbs like rosemary, mint or basil around the perimeter of outdoor living spaces to discourage mosquitoes from crashing the party.

Encourage Mosquito Predators

Encourage bats or mosquito-loving birds to the yard for a feast that can significantly cut down a mosquito population. Dragonflies and damselflies are good to have around when trying to keep mosquitoes at bay. For those with a pond on the premises, consider stocking it with mosquito-munching goldfish and if you’ve been on the fence about starting your own flock of backyard chickens, know that they will happily help keep mosquito and tick populations down in the yard.

Natural Insect Repellent Sprays

Pick up one of the many natural herb-based insect sprays or make your own homemade bug spray using cinnamon, eucalyptus, citronella or other essential oils proven to discourage mosquitoes from biting.

Homemade Insect Repellents

Give bugs the brush-off with this DIY spray.

Dress in Bright Colors

If you are spending the afternoon in areas where mosquitoes are numerous, long pants or a long-sleeve shirt may be in order, but the colors you choose to wear may be more than just a fashion choice. Mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colors, so break out those bold, bright colors for a day by the lake to cut down on the mosquito bites.

Employ Citronella + Essential Oils

There’s a reason citronella candles and torches line the shelves as summer approaches. Citronella essential oil is a natural plant-based mosquito repellent that is sometimes included in bug sprays and lotions but is most effective in candle or torch form.


Plug in a Fan

Place a couple of portable fans on your deck or patio before your backyard shindig starts. The breeze will keep mosquitos as well as flies off your food. Try a misting fan, it'll serve double-duty keeping your guests cool and pests away.

Chill Out

Chill Out

On extra hot days, stay cool and enjoy the backyard with the world’s most powerful cordless misting fan. With air speeds of over 20MPH, this 5-setting fan with telescopic handle and durable wheels gives you a portable way to chill out.

Photo by: Tomas Espinoza

Tomas Espinoza

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