A Natural Approach To Repelling Mosquitoes

The onset of the summer months typically means barbeques with friends and family, swimming, sunbathing, and many other fun outdoor activities. But the summer season is also a prime time for nuisances such as mosquitoes to come out in full force. So, what can you do to keep these pests at bay without relying on harsh chemicals?

Natural ingredients like lemon eucalyptus oil, citronella, catmint, and peppermint are all effective at repelling mosquitoes and can be used in bug sprays. Other natural ways to repel mosquitoes include removing sources of standing water on your property and planting basil, lavender, and marigolds.  

Let’s take a look at some of the best natural approaches to repel mosquitoes so that you can enjoy your summer in peace. With a little planning, you can enjoy the great outdoors without any raised and itchy mosquito bites!

Can You Get Rid of Mosquitoes Without Using Chemicals?

Hiking woman spraying insect repellant

One of the most popular questions that come up regarding mosquitoes is whether you can get rid of them without using harsh chemicals. The answer to this question is a resounding yes — if you’re willing to try various methods.

While most experts recommend using a product that has DEET in it to repel mosquitoes and other insects, there are many people who prefer an alternative method. This is because of the various risks from using chemicals, especially around children and pets.

Luckily, you can turn to many natural methods to repel mosquitoes. These include planting certain plants in your yard, creating your own natural bug spray, and removing sources of standing water. By following a few simple guidelines, you can soon get rid of mosquitoes without using harmful chemicals.

What Are the Best Natural Ingredients for Repelling Mosquitoes?

If you’re determined to repel mosquitoes in your backyard, there are some great ways to do just that without exposing you and your loved ones to chemicals. Many natural ingredients are known to keep pests like mosquitoes away.

Read on to learn about some of the best natural ingredients you can use to repel mosquitoes.

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

Lemon eucalyptus oil (on Amazon) has been deemed one of the strongest natural ingredients that you can use to repel mosquitoes. The CDC has stated that this oil is classified as a mosquito repellant.

In some studies, lemon eucalyptus oil was found to repel mosquitoes by 100% for more than 3 hours after one application. It is suggested that you mix about 30% oil within a carrier oil and then apply it to the skin to keep mosquitoes away. You can also purchase a ready-to-use repellent (on Amazon) that incorporates lemon eucalyptus oil.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil (on Amazon) is another natural ingredient that’s known to repel mosquitoes and other insects. Classified as a natural insecticide, this oil can be mixed with other scents to make a more pleasant fragrance when rubbed on the skin.

It’s recommended that you mix the oil with a carrier oil such as almond, coconut, or even canola oil since it can irritate the skin on its own. Whether it is the scent that repels mosquitoes or something else, it is a great natural repellent.

Catnip Oil

While catnip is something people associate with cats, the oil can also be a great way to repel pesky mosquitoes. Studies have shown that catnip oil (on Amazon) is known to fight off mosquitoes for up to seven hours with just one application.

Approved by the EPA as a natural insecticide, catnip oil is not known to have the same side effects that the plant would have. The great thing is that this oil is known to be at least 10 times stronger than DEET products for repelling mosquitoes.


If you’ve ever spent anytime outside in the summertime, you have likely heard of citronella as a way to repel mosquitoes. As a mix of various herbs, when used in candles (on Amazon), the citronella oil can protect against mosquitoes up to 50% of the time.

When mixed correctly, citronella can protect you and your family from mosquitoes for up to two hours. Research also shows that this oil can repel mosquitoes better than any DEET product.

How to Make Your Bug Repellent 

While most people are happy to use store-bought bug sprays around their yard to keep mosquitoes and other pests away, others prefer to create their own. There are many advantages to using a repellent that you made yourself, including that it’s safer.

Here’s one effective bug repellent that you can make on your own to repel mosquitoes:

  1. Take a small onion and a head of garlic and chop them completely.
  2. Add in four cups of water.
  3. Mix in four teaspoons of cayenne pepper.
  4. Add in one tablespoon of liquid dish soap.
  5. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it around your patio and backyard area.
  6. Keep the rest in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

If you’d like other recipes, just look on the internet for home remedies for bug sprays; you are likely to find many that would work for your needs. The key to this is not to use just one; try out a few options and see what works best for you.

Here’s another natural bug spray you may want to consider trying before you throw your hands in the air in frustration:

  • Pour ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar into a container.
  • Mix in ¼ cup of witch hazel (on Amazon).
  • Add in 20 drops of any of the following oils: rosemary, citronella, tea tree, lemongrass, cedar, or eucalyptus by themselves or in combination with each other.
  • Pour all the ingredients into a spray bottle and spray on your skin for hours of mosquito-free time.

Natural Methods for Keeping Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard

Other than using various repellents to rid your yard of mosquitoes that can wreak havoc on your family gatherings, there are also several other things you can do. Using insect repellents may do a great job in keeping the little pests away on a short-term basis, but other methods will help keep them away in the longer term.

Keep reading below to discover some simple, natural methods you can use for keeping mosquitoes out of your yard.

Get Rid of Standing Water

Mosquitoes are often attracted to both certain scents on the skin as well as standing water. While you may not be able to do anything about your body scent, you can get rid of any standing water in your backyard.

Standing water can be anything from a swimming pool, hot tub, birdbath, puddles, or anything else that allows water to just sit for long periods. Over time, what often happens is that the moisture and smell of water and wet dirt can begin to attract mosquitoes and other insects.

Plug in Your Fan

Although it may seem odd, studies have shown that mosquitoes aren’t known for their great flying abilities. This means that if you bring your electric fan out on your patio and have it running, the mosquitoes will stay away.

Use Candles With a Strong Scent

Like with the many natural ingredients of certain essential oils, having a candle that has a strong scent in your yard can go a long way to getting rid of mosquitoes. While they may like certain scents on the skin, mosquitoes aren’t too fond of strong scented candles.

Screen in Your Porch

If none of the above remedies help to rid your yard of mosquitoes, you may want to consider screening on your porch. While more expensive than the other choices, it’s a fail-proof way to keep mosquitoes off of your patio for the long haul.

Mosquito-Repelling Plants

Closeup of a small citrenella plant growing

Like other natural ingredients that repel mosquitoes, there are many plants on the market that work to keep these pesky insects away as well. Planting a few of these in your backyard or around your patio area can keep the mosquitoes away for hours on end.

Check out below some of the plants that are known for repelling mosquitoes and other insects.


This beautiful flower is known for its sweet fragrance, which is often used for its calming effect, and for its mosquito-repellent abilities. Since the essential oils that are found on the leaves give off such a powerful smell, experts believe that mosquitoes are unable to smell anything else that may be around — like you!

Citronella Grass

This plant is also referred to as the lemongrass plant and is an active natural ingredient that is found in many insect repellent products. The plant, just as it sounds, gives off a citrus scent that is unpleasant to the mosquito.


These incredibly beautiful flowers make a great addition to any backyard garden for a variety of reasons. While you can place them around your garden to deter more commonly found garden pests, if you place them in pots around your patio, they will repel mosquitoes as well.


Mint is a great option to have around your home, either inside or outside, for many reasons including use in your favorite dishes or teas as well as their ability to repel certain pests. The strong odor that is emitted from the mint plant can go a long way to repelling mosquitoes if you place them around your patio or backyard area.


Certain basil plants can be used to repel mosquitoes. This is because basil gives off an incredibly pungent smell that is a deterrent for many insects, including mosquitoes.

Final Thoughts on Natural Methods to Repel Mosquitoes

The bottom line when it comes to repelling mosquitoes with a more natural approach is that there are many options available to do so. Whether you decide to use essential oils, create your bug spray, or delve into the world of gardening, you can keep the chemicals that are often used away from your home.

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