Mosquitoes are a nuisance in the summer. The high concentration of mosquitoes can make it difficult to enjoy outdoor activities like playing with your kids outside or dining on the patio.
When considering a DIY mosquito repellent for your yard, there are a few considerations to take into account. How many mosquitoes in your area? Are there mosquito-transmitted diseases such as West Nile virus, Zika, or Dengue fever? What are you prepared to use to combat mosquitoes?
If you live in an area where mosquitoes are a slight nuisance, then the homemade yard sprays in this article could be a good alternative to more conventional solutions like mosquito fogging or chemical sprays.
On the other hand, in an area with a heavy infestation or where mosquitoes are known vectors of disease, use EPA recommended repellents, cover up and avoid going outside at times of peak mosquito activity.
This article will show you how to prepare homemade mosquito yard repellents that are safe for humans, effective at keeping bugs away, and smell great!
How to Make Homemade Mosquito Repellent For The Yard?
Most recipes for mosquito repellents you find on the internet are for your skin. There are very few for the yard, and they may not be as effective as needed, so other control methods should be considered.
The DIY mosquito yard repellents in this article are made with products that are readily available in your local grocery stores, or you may even have most of the ingredients already in your home.
Very easy to concoct, just mix the ingredients, dissolve or puree, and spray around your yard.
What’s Needed to Make and Apply Homemade Mosquito Yard Repellent Sprays?
Female mosquitoes use their sense of smell to find their next human host. Disturbing the mosquitoes human seeking behavior by using strong-smelling repellents is one form of protection.
Most repellents on the market are for use directly on the skin. Either containing synthetic products such as deet or picaridin, or natural containing plant-based products such as citronella, lemongrass, and eucalyptus.
To get you started, here are a couple of recipes that have been successful for some people. The level of success may depend on the intensity of your mosquito infestation and the mosquito species.
Surprisingly, a study using different repellents on several species of mosquitoes showed different behavioral responses to the individual repellents. What repels one species of mosquito may not repel another!
But these repellents are worth trying as they are cheap and easy to make. Additionally, they won’t harm the environment. Bear in mind they may or may not work with the mosquitoes in your area.
You need very little in the way of equipment to make the repellents, just a bowl to mix the solutions and a bottle spray or, better, a garden sprayer to apply the repellent around your yard.
Beer, Epsom Salts, and Mint Flavored Mouthwash Yard Spray
Above you have the main ingredients but there are a couple of things to take into consideration.
The beer should be stale. Just open the bottle or can and leave it standing for 12 or more hours to eliminate the bubbles and let the alcohol evaporate. I have read of people using fresh beer, and the recipe didn’t work. It could be that the carbon dioxide in fizzy beer or the alcohol attracts mosquitoes.
The mint-flavored mouthwash should be alcohol-free but any make should be fine.
Once you have the ingredients, you can mix them together in the following ratio: 3 pints of beer, 3 cups of Epsom salt, and 1 bottle (1 pint) of mint mouthwash.
Add the ingredients to a bowl and mix until the Epsom salt is dissolved, which may take a while.
Put the obtained solution in a spray bottle or garden sprayer and spray around your yard. Some people report that this repellent is effective for 2 months or more, but you may have to reapply after heavy rain.
If you don’t use the entire mix, store the solution in a closed container and keep it out of the sun. But the sooner you use it the better.
This solution shouldn’t harm most plants in your garden. Epsom salts are used as a supplement for some plants. The concentration used in this spray is more important than when used as a foliage spray, so it would be a good idea to do a test on a few plants before spraying around your garden.
Apple Cider Vinegar Mosquito Repellent
The odor of vinegar repels mosquitoes. Consuming apple cider vinegar is also meant to give your body an odor that will repel mosquitoes. However, I don’t know if there’s any scientific evidence to back this up.
Vinegar is also used in some recipes for skin repellents with water and some drops of essential oils.
For a yard spray, combine half water and half cider vinegar in a spray bottle. For added efficacy, add 25-50 drops of essential oils such as eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, or geraniol.
The effects of this repellent will disappear quite quickly, so you will have to reapply quite regularly to provide any protection. The spray is safe for humans, environment friendly, and may repel other insects in addition to mosquitoes.
Garlic Mosquito Spray
Garlic spray has been used for years and, when strong enough, effectively keeps insects away from crops. Some even use a commercial garlic spray to keep birds off fruit trees.
The commercial garlic spray uses a very potent variety of garlic that apparently can’t be found in grocery stores. Some pest control companies also use concentrated garlic juice to repel mosquitoes.
If you’re worried about the odor, apparently, you will smell the garlic odor when applying, but this will dissipate quite quickly.
When researching garlic spray, you may find suggestions that eating garlic can keep mosquitoes at bay. Unfortunately, this isn’t effective. Garlic does have a moderate repellent effect when rubbed on the skin, although there are better, more pleasant-smelling alternatives.
This homemade garlic spray has a few drawbacks:
- it doesn’t smell nice when applying
- you will need to reapply regularly; this spray will probably only be effective for 2 or 3 hours
- garlic is toxic to cats
The ingredients are 1 gallon of water and 3 garlic bulbs. Peel the garlic, place in a blender, and cover with water so the blender is about half full. Puree the garlic for about one minute. Strain the mixture and discard the garlic solids. Pour the garlic water into a one-gallon jar and fill with water. This is your concentrated solution that should be stored in a cool place. For use, dilute a 1/4 cup of the concentrate to one gallon of water.
Use a garden sprayer to treat the areas you want to keep mosquito-free. Some people say it works, and others say it has no effect. Perhaps it depends on the species of mosquitoes in your locality and the level of infestation.
It may be worth trying as it doesn’t cost much, but I would be surprised if you see much difference due to the low quantity of garlic.
What Are the Best Natural Ingredients to Use?
There are a few key factors when selecting which substances will be used for homemade mosquito repellents: how long they take to dry, whether or not you need water and if it smells good!
The most effective oils in keeping mosquitoes away include citronella, lemongrass, lemon eucalyptus, catnip, clove, neem, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, and geranium.
Plant essential oils are often used in mosquito repellents on the skin, and they work. But they evaporate quickly, so they are only effective for a short time. However, when mixed with a fixative, such as vanillin, the time they are effective can be increased greatly.
The problem with natural repellents used as sprays for the yard or on the skin is that you don’t know how effective they will be or for how long. And with mosquitoes spreading dangerous diseases, an ineffective repellent could be dangerous for you and your family.
Staying Bite Free
If you are in a mosquito-infested area with known disease transmission, better to stay as safe as possible. Cover up with long trousers, a long-sleeved shirt, a head net, and use an EPA registered repellent such as DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of lemon eucalyptus (not an essential oil) on any bare skin.
These homemade mosquito yard sprays may help to keep the mosquitoes away. Their effectiveness can depend on the species of mosquito and the level of infestation. They’re worth trying but the time they are effective may be limited, and don’t count on them for complete protection.