Bite Back: 7 Affordable Ways To Rid Your Yard of Mosquitoes Naturally

Mosquito Deterrents Cover

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Mosquito Deterrents Cover
Cheapism / Walmart / doug4537/ArtMarie/istockphoto

Beat the Buzzkill

Summer is marked by warm weather, long days spent outside, and sunkissed skin — dotted with mosquito bites. Mosquitos are literally summer's biggest buzzkill and professional lawn spraying services can be pretty pricey, leaving many to stock up on insect repellent and calamine lotion instead. However, if you don't want to succumb to those pesky bloodsuckers, consider trying these other affordable ways to get mosquitos out of your yard.

Related: Getting the Bugs Out: 22 Cheap, Natural Ways to Rid Your Home of Pests


1. Plant Natural Deterrents

There are several plants good for deterring mosquitos, and you can find them at just about any greenhouse. Citronella is a great starting point since its strong scent masks the odors that attract mosquitos. You can rub your hands on the leaves to pull the scent and continue rubbing it on the rest of your exposed skin as a natural repellant. 

Other plants to use include lavender (skeeters can't stand the scent), lemongrass, marigolds (which contain pyrethrum, a natural insecticide), rosemary, basil, and catnip. You can even mix a variety of these plants in one pot for the ultimate skeeter scare-off planter. 

Related: 7 Organic Pesticides You Can Make at Home To Protect Your Plants From Pests

Bucket of water

2. Remove Any Standing Water

Just as flies flock to ... you know ... mosquitos are attracted to standing water. If your yard has standing water that can be removed, make sure you stay on top of getting rid of it. Obviously you can't drain your backyard pond, but if you have a bucket full of water, dump it out. If the water in your bird bath is becoming stagnant, replace it. And make sure you keep your gutters clean so water doesn't coagulate in them. 

mosquito dunks

2. Use Mosquito Dunks

If you're picturing a mosquito strapped to a dunk tank at a carnival while you hurl balls at a target and try to drown it, you're almost on the right track, although actual mosquito dunks provide a less entertaining sight. These small, donut-shaped discs are made from a naturally occurring soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). When placed in standing water where mosquitoes breed, such as ponds, bird baths, or rain barrels, the dunks release a bacterium that is toxic to mosquito larvae, effectively preventing them from maturing into biting adults. So, if you must ignore our advice to remove standing water, try this tip instead.

Fan on Porch
Oliver Rossi/Getty

4. Use Fans

Are skeeters killing the vibe while you relax on your deck? Try turning on a fan to keep the air flowing. Since mosquitos are weak fliers, the wind from the fan will keep them away from you, plus you'll stay nice and cool in the process.

Man using a lawn mower in his back yard

5. Keep Your Lawn Mowed

Mosquitos are attracted to tall grass and weeds, since they provide them with shaded and moist areas to rest and lay eggs. By regularly mowing your lawn and keeping the grass short, you remove those ideal breeding grounds. Plus, mowing helps expose the soil to sunlight, which can dry out any standing water that may accumulate, further reducing mosquito breeding sites. 

Releted: Which States Care the Most About Its Lawn Care? The Answer Might Surprise You

Citronella candle in terracotta pot for outside use

6. Light Citronella Candles or Torches

Citronella candles and torches allow you to repel mosquitos and add ambiance to your yard all at the same time. You can find these bad boys at just about any store during the summer months, and they're great to have on hand.

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7. Build a Mosquito 'Bucket of Doom'

We love the maniacal undertones of this one. This trick involves two things we've already told you about: standing water and mosquito dunks. Stay with us, because this will sound a little random and weird. Grab a bucket of water, toss a handful of grass in the bottom, add a stick, and top it off with a mosquito dunk. 

The grass will rot in the water and release carbon dioxide, which will attract mosquitos that are getting ready to lay eggs, and the dunk in the water will kill off the larvae after they hatch, so no new adult mosquitos will enter your yard and suck your blood. Sayonara, vampire insects.

Related: 7 Organic Pesticides You Can Make at Home To Protect Your Plants From Pests