Mosquitoes are some of the most annoying creatures on the earth. Apart from spreading notorious diseases like West Nile and Malaria, these little monsters can deprive you of enjoyable times in your yard or on your patio.
Whether you are a gardener, a parent whose child likes to play in the yard, or someone who wants to host backyard get-togethers, mosquitos are often public enemy #1 when it comes to being outside in the summertime.
Luckily, science gave us mosquito repellants and sprays. If you live in mosquito-prone areas, they are well worth the investment.
Best Yard Mosquito Sprays and Repellents
Following are the best yard mosquito repellents and sprays that we have found on the market today. They range from highly natural mosquito solutions, to all-out backyard chemical warfare. Pick the one that works best for you, and in many cases, it won’t be just one — you may find that a combo of a couple products works best during peak mosquito season.
Top 3 Yard Repellents from Our Testing
Full List of Yard Repellent Options
Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray – Here
Our top choice for most yards. Cutter makes a spray that we have had success with on lawns and landscaping. The Backyard bug control spray does a nice job with up to 5,000 square
feet, which is a nice swath of many urban yards. It control mosquitoes for up to 12 weeks, but we recommend reapplication after about 9 or 10 if you want to really control the mosquito population. For most parts of the country, two applications a summer will be about right. It gets rid of other bugs too — not just mosquitoes. Works great on gnats and grubs, and there is even some evidence that it helps with ticks too. For that reason, we recommend not treating flowering plants during bloom, just in case it adversely impacts bees.
For best results, do the entire summer cycle, not just one application. Target low-lying areas, or areas with vegetation that is more difficult to control.
EcoGuard Plus – for Mosquitoes and Ticks – Here
Our top choice when a more natural yard mosquito repellent is preferred. Ecoguard is probably our second favorite product for broader yard application — a very close choice to the Cutter. It can be applied to active insect areas to manage current populations as well as prevent near-term future populations. It covers 1.5 acres, which is more than enough for most urban and suburban yards. Its advantage is that it is natural and biodegradable, making it a more natural choice than Cutter….. although just because something is natural doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care to keep it away from bee populations. Like the Cutter product, it should be reapplied every 3-4 weeks for best results.
Our experience with both Cutter and Ecoguard is that you will see some reduction in mosquitoes after the first application. After the second application is really when you will see the mosquito population drop.
Terminix All Clear Mosquito Bait & Kill – Here
This is the perhaps most effective and cheap solution for repelling mosquitos in your yard. It consists of spray foliage with garlic oil which attracts the mosquitos then kills them in a day or two by making them sick. It reduces the population by 90% when sprayed in the yard. Unlike some of the others, it comes in a smaller aerosol-type canister so is suitable for smaller, more targeted application. It is non-toxic, something we appreciate.
Thermacell Mosquito Lantern – Here
You are not going to get an entire yards-worth of coverage from the Thermacell mosquito lantern, but you can get 15 feet of protection around the lantern. If you combine 3 or 4 of them in strategic spots, that is enough to cover a typical patio or deck, or even set near a kids playset. It is DEET-free and doesn’t spray anything out from the unit, and seems to work very well when we have tested it. It is also attractive, and will blend in to the surroundings. Not meant to be run continuously, just when people are in the vicinity.
We find that the mosquito lanterns do a great job in smaller areas, but the butane will run out if left on for a long period of time. The lantern is not silent — it is not loud, but you will know it is on. A factor if you are trying to use it in a peaceful reading hammock or for a romantic al fresco dinner!
Excellent Mosquito Repellents for Your Skin
We did a whole piece on mosquito repellents, but in a nutshell here are a couple of our favorites.
Repel Lemon Eucalyptus – Here
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil is obtained from the leaves and twigs of lemon-scented eucalyptus plant. It has a sweet odor. In the old times, people use to burn the leaves and twigs of this plant to
keep away the mosquitoes and other insects. Lemon eucalyptus oil is considered a vital insect repellant. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus is DEET-free and repels mosquitoes for up to 6 hours. It contains all the essential components to keep those little monster away without causing damage to your skin.
Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula Picaridin Insect Lotion. Here.
Picaridin is a synthetic compound prepared by a Bayer Germany in the 1980s. It was made to resemble a naturally occurring compound known as piperine. Picaridin is a widely used insect repellant. It is used to repel mosquitoes, ticks, and biting flies. Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula Picaridin Insect Repellent is DEET-free, gear safe and repels mosquitos for as long as 8-hours.
Natrapel 12 Hour – Here
The main ingredient in Natrapel 12-hour is picaridin. It gives a strong protection from the mosquitos for 12 hours. It doesn’t cause any irritation on the skin. Natrapel 12 hour is a DEET-free mosquito repellent which makes it safe to use. Unlike some of the other things mentioned here, this one is suitable for application directly on the skin.
Other Solutions for Yard Mosquito Elimination
If you want to keep your yard free from mosquitos, these are the best repellent-tools in every price range that can help you.
Mosquito Bits and Dunks
Some would say that if you are trying to get rid of the mosquitoes you see in your yard, you have already lost part of the battle. If you have standing water in your yard, such as in a pond, big water feature, or even old buckets, tires, or gutters that tend to hold standing water, we suggest you use bits and dunks (see more here). Bits and dunks can prevent mosquitoes from growing into adulthood, which really gets to the fundamental issue surrounding mosquito populations. They are easy to use, and appear to be safe on the environment (other than mosquitoes!).
In our opinion, any yard mosquito control program that does not include attempt to eliminate mosquitoes at their source is incomplete. We highly recommend using dunks and bits. (find them here on Amazon)
These lamps offer some of the cheapest solutions to get rid of mosquitos and sand flies. Allethrin lamps use a flame to activate the chemical repellent which is Allethrin. They typically cover areas of 15 feet. Allethrin is from the Pyrethroid family of insecticides. Think of it as a naturally-occurring chemical, put on steroids inside a lab. Safety is generally considered OK, but always use per the manufacturer’s directions. And keep in mind that pyrethroids harm bees, so be judicious about where you use these lamps. They are not intended for complete yard mosquito control, only spot-duty on those areas with human like a patio or play area.
Mosquito Misting Systems
These systems spray a mist of insecticides to kill the mosquitos, flies and other insects in your outdoor spaces. Most systems are either drum-based or tankless and can be controlled by
remote control or set on a timing schedule. The main compound present in these systems is Pyrethrin. It is less toxic to the humans as compared to the other compounds available in the market. When the system is turned on, the machine sprays a fresh batch of a misting formula. It is very effective but a bit expensive. It costs around $700 – $1000. It takes professional help to install this system. See more here.
Portable Mosquito Traps
Mostly, these traps utilize the mosquitos sensing abilities to trick them by using special chemicals which mimic the smells associated with people. They are less expensive than the misting systems, and a single unit covers an acre. These traps take at least 10 days to show you the significant results. Different brands use different methods of attracting the mosquitos. The Mega-Catch is one of the most reliable portable mosquito trap manufacturers. They rely on lighting systems, infrared heat and carbon dioxides to attract mosquitos. Portable Mosquito traps are safe and utilize very less electricity. See more here.
Following are the traditional methods use to keep away the mosquitoes:
• Mosquito Netting is used all over the world for mosquito protection and can be used as a decorative outdoor curtain.
• Citronella Candles use oil of citronella as a main ingredient which is known for repelling mosquitos and bees. According to a study published in the National Institute of Health Library, they reduce the mosquitos by 50%. The greatest benefit of using citronella candles is that they are safe and non-toxic to humans as well as your pet animals.
What About Bees and Mosquito Repellents?
Bee health has been a major topic of public awareness in recent years, and for good reason. Bee populations are down an estimated 60% from where they were in the mid 1900s. Speculation is that this is caused not only by the loss of habitat and food, but also from the use of pesticides. Specifically, chemicals in the neonicotinoid and pyrethroid family are believed to cause major destruction of honeybee populations. Always assume that any chemicals you are using for mosquitoes will adversely affect bees, as many of the products we recommend above have a pyrethroid base. The last thing we want to do is have you overdo it and harm our important honeybee and bumblebee populations.
What can you do to make sure that your attempt to make your yard safe from mosquitoes doesn’t backfire and kill our pollinators? Apply any of these chemicals sparingly and only where needed, and always avoid spraying on to flowers or any blooming vegitation. Focus on long grasses, swampy areas, and non-blooming weed patches.
The “when” is nearly as important at the “where” when it comes to using chemicals safely around bees. Give bees time to enjoy the spring bloom before you go all-in on treating your yard with any of the more synthetic chemicals. In most areas, everything from trees to ground cover are blooming in the spring, and these blooms are important to bees. Wait a bit and let that phase pass before bringing out the big guns.
Fighting the good fight against mosquitoes doesn’t just involve repellents and sprays. Take the whole yard approach to controlling mosquitoes. This means taking steps to get rid of standing water and other breeding grounds for bees. We did an entire piece on it, here.
If the mosquitoes are not content outside and are actually making their way into your home, act. You do not want disease-carrying insects biting you while you sleep. Check out our popular piece on getting rid of mosquitoes inside your house. Employing ways to keep mosquitoes out of your house will often have the added benefit of keeping other bugs and insects out, and even keeping your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Curious about why those mosquitoes just seem to be coming at you again and again? Our piece on how long mosquitoes live might give you some insights.
Finally, what if you want to go the route of applying mosquito repellent to exposed skin or clothing? Your choices are endless, but we did a roundup, here. There are many repellents to choose from, and each has pros and cons. Furthermore, some repellents have the added benefit of keeping ticks away from you too.