The Most Effective Mosquito Repellents For Your Yard

Warmer months typically bring with them many fun outdoor activities such as swimming, barbecuing, or just hanging out in the backyard with family and friends. But nothing can put a damper on these activities faster than a swarm of mosquitoes invading your space. So, how can you get rid of these pesky insects?

Bug sprays, mosquito-repelling plants, and natural oils are all good mosquito-repelling options to look into. Always consider whether the product is for indoor or outdoor use, how much space it covers, how long it lasts, if chemical ingredients are used, and whether it’s safe for children and pets.

Let’s take a look at some of the most effective mosquito repellents for your yard so that you can enjoy the warm weather in peace.

Which Mosquito Repellent Is Most Effective for Your Yard?

Woman spraying insect repellent on skin outdoor

The most effective mosquito repellent for your yard depends entirely on whether you’re okay using chemicals or would rather use natural ingredients. There are plenty of products on the market today that can accommodate both preferences.

In most cases, finding the right mosquito repellent also depends on the size of the yard you’re trying to cover. If you have an especially large yard, you will need something that can cover all of your space effectively.

It’s important to note that in addition to products with various chemicals, there are also alternative ways to manage the mosquito population in your yard. This is through various natural products that you can either purchase or create.

Some essential oils, such as peppermint oil (on Amazon) and eucalyptus oil (also on Amazon), have been proven to be extremely effective in repelling mosquitos and other insects. When added to a carrier of oil and/or water, you can spray the oil around your patio area for extra protection.

The Pros and Cons of Mosquito Repellent

As with most products on the market today, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using them. With mosquito repellent, the biggest concern is typically whether it’s safe around children and pets.

Check out these pros and cons of using mosquito repellent in and around your home.


  • Gets rid of pesky mosquitoes
  • Most repellents work for months at a time
  • Works to protect your entire yard 
  • Most are non-toxic 
  • Prevents mosquitoes from laying eggs


  • You may have to apply the repellent often
  • Some ingredients in mosquito repellent can be harmful
  • Some repellents may not be as effective

While this list of advantages and disadvantages is not exhaustive, it gives you a good idea of whether repellents should be used in your yard. Keep in mind that using a repellent, natural or otherwise, is a personal choice and should be used with caution.

If you choose to go the aesthetic route, scented tiki torches usually allow for both natural and chemical repellents.

Mosquito Sprays vs. Mosquito-Repelling Plants

Although mosquito sprays are the most common repellent used by most people, there are some people who prefer to use mosquito-repelling plants. This is usually because they don’t want to introduce potentially harmful chemicals into their environment. These plants work by emitting a fragrance that thwarts mosquitoes for long periods.

Not all of the ingredients in a mosquito spray are toxic; however, they do contain various chemicals that can have adverse effects. Keep in mind that even if a product is deemed non-toxic, there are still active ingredients that can cause certain harmful effects.

When compared to mosquito sprays, mosquito-repelling plants are lower maintenance since they don’t often need to be replaced. All you have to do is ensure that they’re being watered and cared for properly.

Additionally, most plants aren’t harmful to pets and children, as is the case with most mosquito sprays. This doesn’t mean that all plants are safe for humans and pets, but they’re less likely to cause major side effects.

What Are the Most Common Ingredients in Mosquito Repellent? 

If you choose to use mosquito repellent, you should be aware of the various ingredients that are used to create it. While many of these chemicals are deemed harmless, there are some that you may want to consider carefully.

Here are the most common ingredients you’ll find in a mosquito repellent:

  • Gamma-cyhalothrin is an insecticide found in the pyrethroid classification of chemicals that prevents it from being deemed natural. While harmful, it is said not to stick to the ground to cause long-term harm.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate is commonly found in mosquito repellents as well as shampoos and detergents and is deemed non-toxic. Although it is not the most active ingredient in repellents, it does a great job to repel mosquitoes and other pests.
  • Lambda-cyhalothrin is a synthetic pyrethroid and is said to be mild to moderately toxic to certain species. It is the synthetic form of the chemical that is often found in chrysanthemums.
  • Permethrin is another active ingredient often found in mosquito sprays that can be mildly toxic to many species. 

While these are just a few of the chemicals that are often found in mosquito repellents, others are mixed with them but are not considered active ingredients. The best rule of thumb when using these types of repellents is to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Chemical vs. Natural Repellents 

The choice between chemical and natural mosquito repellents depends entirely on the personal preference of the individual. Many factors that go into this decision are due to the need to protect your family against mosquito bites but also keep them safe from harmful chemicals.

The important thing to remember is that mosquito repellents that are powered by chemicals are deemed the most effective products on the market. This is because they have science and research backing them up for their effectiveness.

There are still others that insist that they will not introduce chemicals into their yards or have them near their families. If you are of this opinion, then you may need to try different natural ways to repel mosquitoes.

The bottom line when it comes to deciding which type of repellent to use is how badly you want to rid your yard of these pesky insects. For most people, protecting themselves and their families from potential diseases that mosquitoes carry far outweighs the risks of chemicals in certain repellents.

How to Find a Safe Repellent for Your Yard

The best way to find a safe repellent for your yard is to do your research before going out to purchase one. In most cases, you can find plenty of information on the internet about which repellents work best in various situations.

There are a few factors you should consider when choosing the safest repellent for your yard. As you’re heading out to purchase your mosquito repellent, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What does the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) say is the best repellent?
  • Are the ingredients EPA-registered chemicals?
  • Is the repellent made for outdoor or indoor use?
  • How large of an area needs to be covered?
  • Do you want to repel them for a specific event?
  • Do you want to get rid of mosquitoes in the long term?

Using these questions as a guideline can help you to focus your research on the different choices of mosquito repellents that are on the market today. Keep in mind that you should also read the customer reviews when choosing your repellent.

Knowing what other people are saying about the type of spray or other repellents you’re considering can help make your decision much easier. This is because people who have used the products tend to be honest about whether they worked or not.

Another thing to consider when trying to find a safe yet effective mosquito repellent for your yard is what the experts have to say. This may mean either looking for information from reputable sources that can tell you how to effectively get rid of mosquitoes or talking to a local pest control company.

What Are the Best Repellants Out There?

Using anti mosquito spray outdoors at hiking trip

Read on to discover three of the most effective mosquito repellents to fit your personal preferences.

Ortho Home Defense

This spray is effective in not only repelling mosquitoes but other pests as well when you use it as directed. The great thing about this spray is that it comes in larger sizes and is equipped with a spraying wand for easy application.

Ortho Home Defense (on Amazon) works most effectively when you spray it on your outdoor surfaces such as shrubs, grass, and other bushes while creating a barrier around the perimeter of your home. The barrier will keep insects and other pests from crawling in, and when mosquitoes land in the area, it kills them within seconds.

Ortho also states that while you should keep the bottle away from children and pets, once the spray has been applied and is dry, it is perfectly safe for your loved ones to be around. Another advantage of this spray is that it will not leave behind an odor.

Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repeller

If you prefer a mosquito repellent that you don’t have to spray around the perimeter of your yard from time to time, the Thermacell Radius Zone (on Amazon) may be the best option for you. This is because all you have to do is place the refill in the charged unit and turn it on.

The unit will keep your yard free of pesky mosquitos for up to about 6-7 hours before you have to recharge the battery. This means that you only have to turn it on when you and your family or friends are out in the backyard.

Once you have turned the unit on, it takes about 15 minutes for it to heat up and then provides about 15 feet of protection around your yard. The great thing is that one refill can provide up to about 40 hours of protection.

Ortho Bug Clear

Another Ortho brand product for repelling mosquitoes is the Ortho Bug Clear spray (on Amazon) that can be used to cover the perimeter of your yard. This spray, like other sprays, not only repels mosquitoes but creates a barrier for other insects and pests as well.

The works by attaching it to your garden hose and then spraying your entire yard, including shrubs, bushes, and other plants and grassy areas. One bottle can be used to cover up to about 5,000 square feet of space.

This spray is effective for up to about 6 months before you have to repeat the process. While not a natural bug spray, it is perfectly safe for your family and pets once it has been applied and dried.

Final thoughts on Effective Mosquito Repellents for Your Yard

Overall, the most effective mosquito repellents for your yard are ones that get rid of and keep mosquitoes away for long periods of time. Often, this means that you have to use products that have certain chemicals in them that may or may not be harmful to your family.

Most products on the market for mosquito repellent use are both environmentally safe and not harmful to your children or pets. This is the case mostly when the product has dried after you have applied it.

The most important factor to keep in mind is that whatever you choose to use as a mosquito repellent for your yard, you will need to ensure that it is safe and can effectively get rid of the problem for you.

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