How To Keep Mosquitoes Away: 12 Proven Methods


photo of citronella candle

Mosquitoes are annoying. They’re all over the grill, all over the hose, and if you got dogs you’ve given them one of their favorite foods. Mosquitoes are also known to harbor dangerous viruses, such as malaria, Zika, Chikungunya, and dengue. These can be pretty dangerous, so it’s a must to keep mosquitoes at bay. But what’s the best way to keep mosquitoes away from you?

Here are 12 proven methods to keep mosquitoes away:

  1. Wear light, loose clothing. 
  2. Keep yourself clean.
  3. Stay away from certain food and drinks.
  4. Drain stagnant water. 
  5. Pick up animal feces
  6. Plant greens that help repel mosquitoes. 
  7. Use a DEET repellent. 
  8. Use a DIY mosquito repellent. 
  9. Create your surface repellent. 
  10. Construct a mosquito trap. 
  11. Use mosquito-repellent lighting.
  12. Install a mosquito net.

Below, I’ll discuss how these strategies help keep mosquitoes away – and keep them away for good. 

1. Wear Light, Loose Clothing

Mosquitoes love people who wear dark clothing, such as black, navy blue, and red. They’re also attracted to floral prints. 

So if you want to protect yourself from mosquito bites, then you should be wearing light clothing. 

It’ll also help to wear long sleeves or pants/long skirts so that fewer parts of your body are exposed. Go for something loose-fitting since they can easily pierce through tight clothing.  

Remember, mosquitoes like feasting on the toes as well. So apart from loose, light clothing, wearing high socks and high-top shoes will help. 

2. Keep Yourself Clean

Mosquitoes like more than just floral prints – they’re also attracted to flower-scented perfumes, lotions, soaps, and deodorants.  

They’re not limited to good-smelling scents, though. They also flock to people who are sweaty and have a strong body odor

Mosquitoes are drawn to people who have just exercised due to the carbon dioxide and lactic acid they emit. The warm temperature and higher metabolic rate that occurs during workouts are favorable to mosquitoes as well. 

Given these factors, you need to clean yourself well – especially if you are sweaty or have just exercised. As for your bath products, make sure to use non-floral scents. 

3. Stay Away From Certain Food and Drinks

If you like eating cheese and drinking beer, then you can expect mosquitoes to feast on you. Their scent is similar to that of body odor, which is why they love them.

photo of mosquito foods to eat

For best results, eat foods that contain: 

  • Garlic. It releases allicin, a substance harmful to mosquitoes.
  • Onions. It’s rich in sulfur, another compound that bugs hate. 
  • Tomatoes. It has IBI-246, a substance that repels flies. 
  • Beans. These are rich in thiamine (also known as vitamin B1), a known mosquito repellent. 

4. Drain Stagnant Water

 Sprinkle coffee grounds in water fixtures such as fountains or ponds. These have a strong scent that mosquitoes find annoying.

Any stagnant, non-chlorinated water in your yard is a great breeding ground for mosquitoes. Make sure to check for places where water may collect (pots, holes, etc.) and drain them to get rid of the water. 

Another option is to sprinkle coffee grounds in water fixtures such as ponds. These have a strong scent that mosquitoes find annoying. As such, these will force them to get out of the water, so they cannot breed as usual. Just be sure to replace the coffee grounds every few weeks, or whenever you notice mosquitos gathering around again.

If your neighbor’s yard has stagnant water, you probably do not need to worry about it. Mosquitoes don’t like to fly very far from their breeding grounds., so they’re unlikely to enter your yard space. It won’t hurt to advise your neighbors, though, as it’s for their safety as well! 

5. Pick Up Any Animal Feces

photo of puppy pooing

I’ve got 3 dogs, including a German Shepherd. They all share a poo area of about 400sqft. That means I must clean up all their poo basically every day or it looks like a minefield!

Mosquitoes love dog poo as it is a good source of food for them and is another great breeding ground for them. Many of them will lay eggs in or near your dog’s poo so their offspring don’t have to go far for their first meal.

I would also recommend using an outdoor odor neutralizer to help remove the smells that may linger. I personally use this Simple Green Outdoor Odor Eliminator on Amazon for my yard and it is absolutely amazing!

6. Plant Greens That Help Repel Mosquitoes

There are certain plants that help keep mosquitoes away, so consider planting them in your garden. 

One good example is Citrosa geranium, otherwise known as citronella. This plant, which has pink-purple flowers and lush green leaves, emits a scent that mosquitoes detest. 

Other plants that will deter these insects include:

  • Rosemary
  • Mint 
  • Lemongrass
  • Lavender
  • Marigold
  • Catnip
  • Basil 
  • Geranium
  • Floss Flower
  • Allium
  • Sage

7. Use a DEET Repellent

DEET or diethyltoluamide is a type of repellent that drives mosquitoes away. This is useful for people who are ‘naturally’ attractive to mosquitoes, such as those with Type O blood or pregnant women. 

For children, the recommended concentration is 10% to 30%, while a concentration of 30% is recommended for adults. However, if you’re only planning on staying outside for a couple of hours, you should stick to the lower concentration.

Remember to reapply according to the manufacturer’s instructions, as this repellant can lose its potency in a couple of hours. 

photo of spraying mosquito

8. Use a DIY Mosquito Repellent

While DEET is safe for use, there are many people who prefer to use natural repellent products. A good way to save money is to make your own natural mosquito repellent.

Here are some DIY body repellents to try: 

Lavender

Lavender is not only great smelling, it’s also a scent that mosquitoes hate.

To keep the pesky insects at bay, you can make a spray with 1-2 drops of lavender oil. You can mix it with the carrier of your choice. 

Another option is to mix 10-25 lavender oil with 2 tbsps (28 mL) of vegetable oil and 1 tbsp (14 mL) of aloe vera gel and apply it to the exposed parts of your body. 

Indian Lilac and Pure Coconut Oil

With this easy recipe, all you need to do is mix equal parts of Indian Lilac with pure coconut oil.  Apply it all over the body, especially the uncovered parts (including your face and hands). This solution will keep you protected for about eight hours

9. Create Your Surface Repellent

If you need a quick surface repellent for mosquitoes, you could use items on your patio furniture or my personal favorite, your hose-reel. 

Camphor

Mix 3-4 camphor balls with a cup of neem oil. Transfer this to a spray bottle. Now you have an affordable homemade repellent that works as good as it smells!

Another option is to place one camphor tablet in a bowl of water. Keep the bowl in a corner in the area you want to remove mosquitoes from. While you and I may enjoy the smell of camphor, this isn’t the case with mosquitoes, and they’ll get out of the area as soon as possible. For best results, make sure to replace the camphor and water mixture every few days

Garlic

As mentioned above, garlic contains allicin, a substance mosquitoes dislike.

To create such a mosquito-repellent with garlic, crush a few cloves and dilute them in hot water. Let it cool and transfer to a spray bottle before spraying it in mosquito-infested areas.  

Red Cedar Mulch

Boil these red chips in water and let the solution cool before applying to a spray bottle. Spritz the solution all over the house, especially in places with mosquito activity. For best results, spray this product at least an hour before you plan on using the area. 

3% Hydrogen Peroxide

To create a DIY surface repellent, all you need to do is mix ⅓ cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide with ⅔ cup of water. Transfer the mixture to a spray bottle and spray it around the areas that you want to keep mosquito-free. 

If you’re using this to prep an outdoor area, spray the place at least a day before the big occasion. 

10. Construct a Mosquito Trap

Want a cheap yet creative way to get rid of mosquitoes? Then make sure to try this DIY trap. 

photo of Mosquito Trap

This DIY mosquito trap uses some of the most attractive ingredients that mosquitos love and puts them to good use.

The sweetness of the sugar and yeast pulls the flies in. The way the bottle is set up makes it very hard for the mosquitos to escape.

This is a temporary trap the requires replacement every few weeks.

Place this trap in mosquito-filled areas, and they’ll quickly dive into the solution and drown!

For the best placement, be sure it’s close by, but not too close to you whatever activities you may be doing. Around the corner or up on a ledge works best.

11. Use Mosquito-Repellent Candles

Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that causes Zika and dengue, likes hunting for food during the nighttime. So if you have to be outside during this time, you should use mosquito-repellent candles to light the area.

Mosquito-repellent candles are usually made with citronella or geraniol wax. They don’t just keep the insects away, they also serve as great mood lighting. I recommend this 10 pack of Repel citronella candles from Amazon. Each one can last for a few outdoor get-togethers and they’re super easy to throw on a patio table.

Tip: Citronella candles are sensitive to the elements and fair worse in breezy conditions. If you’re having a BBQ or a get-together on a windy day, you would be better served using some of the other methods on this list.

12. Install a Mosquito Net

photo of mosquito net

When it comes to outdoor get-togethers, using a mosquito net can keep the insects away. This, together with repellent lighting, can keep the area insect-free. 

One thing you could use is a patio umbrella net like the Deyoly Patio Umbrella Mosquito Nets from Amazon. You can adjust the coverage and height, and the umbrella goes up as high as 7.5 feet (228.6 cm), so you don’t have to worry about being too tall to use it. 

Final Thoughts

Mosquitoes are attracted to certain food, smells, and colors. To keep them at bay, you need to wear light, loose clothing and keep yourself clean. 

Using repellents, including DIY repellents and DEET, will work as well.

It’s also important to drain stagnant water, clean up after your pets, and install traps. Planting ‘green’ repellents and spraying DIY solutions are beneficial too. 

As for outdoor occasions, citronella and geraniol candles, and mosquito nets will help deliver a mosquito-free experience.

Michael Carpenter

Hi, I'm Mike. I grew up in North Carolina having a blast on trampolines, go-karts, and just sitting on the porch with my friends. I have since moved to Las Vegas with my wife, 2 children, and 3 dogs. When I'm not chasing the kids around the house, I am probably chasing them around the backyard!

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