Nothing can ruin an outdoor evening faster than a bunch of annoying mosquitoes! This summer, use these natural ways to keep mosquitoes from bugging you.

By Stephanie Rose
Updated February 25, 2020
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Just as you are about to indulge in some well-deserved downtime on the patio, you hear that familiar whining buzz, and suddenly everyone is running for cover. You can keep mosquitoes from crashing the party by using nature against them. Instead of spraying the whole yard with harsh pesticides in order to enjoy your time outside this summer, try these natural solutions that will keep these bothersome bugs at bay.

1. Plant a Garden

Some plants have scents that mosquitoes don't like, such as lemon balm, basil, mint, rosemary, catnip, marigold, and lavender. Plant these liberally in your garden, especially around entertaining spaces. When you pass by the plants, be sure to brush them or rub the leaves. This releases the oils into the air and onto your skin.

2. Protect Your Skin, Naturally

All-natural repellents made with plant-based ingredients like lemon eucalyptus oil and geraniol can be just as effective as synthetic DEET-based repellents. Try making one of these DIY mosquito repellents, then store it in a spray bottle (like this Amber Glass Spray Bottle Set, $19, Amazon) you can take out to the patio or garden with you.

3. Ditch the Water

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. If you have a prevalent mosquito problem, look around your outdoor space for breeding grounds like birdbaths that need refreshing, clogged gutters, and even puddles of rainwater that take several days to evaporate. Dump out or drain standing water regularly to prevent a small army of party poopers from invading your next soiree.

4. Keep It Clean

Overgrown plants and debris around the garden make the perfect habitat for adult mosquitoes. Keep your yard regularly maintained and you will be ruining the mosquitoes' party instead.

Image courtesy of Garden Therapy.

5. Citronella Candles

Citronella candles are a cinch to make using old candle wax, citronella oil, and soup cans. This clever recycling project lets you add a few more scents in case you don't fully appreciate the strong aroma of citronella on its own. View the DIY Citronella Candle tutorial on Garden Therapy, or purchase one (like this 3-Wick Citronella Candle, $15, Amazon).

6. Start a Breeze

On warm evenings, bring a fan outdoors and face it toward the party. If you entertain a lot, you may want to consider investing in a waterproof outdoor fan specifically made for the outdoors, like this iLiving Outdoor Waterproof Fan, $113, Amazon. The breeze will do double duty by cooling guests down while blowing away uninvited pests.

7. Get Over Your Arachnophobia

Spiders might be the stuff of nightmares for some people, but no one fears them more than mosquitoes. Let spiders weave their webs around your garden, and they just might end up doing all the bug-catching for you. If spiders aren't your thing, invite some other mosquito-loving friends to your garden like birds, frogs, turtles, fish, and dragonflies.


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