How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes (Without All Of The Chemicals)

Mosquitoes avoid the strong scent of garlic. PughPugh / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Nothing ruins a lazy, summer afternoon with a book and a tall glass of iced tea like a swarm of hungry mosquitoes. They buzz, they fly, they pinch and bite. Not to mention they can carry dangerous diseases that they can pass on to you and your family this summer.

Come June and July you’ll be reaching for that chemical-filled bug spray.

Let’s face it though, those chemicals can’t be any better than the red, itchy bumps you get from mosquitoes. There are several ways to beat the little bugs without worrying about harsh chemicals.

Eliminate Mosquito Habitats Around Your Home

These next few tips won’t keep the mosquitoes away entirely, but they will definitely help and they’re completely free.

Cut your grass regularly and keep it pretty short. Cutting the grass is a hassle but missing a few days between cuts can really hurt you in the long run.

mowed grass to keep mosquitoes away
Shorter grass will help keep mosquitoes away. sean hobson / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Tall grass collects moisture and takes longer to dry out during the day, and if we know anything, we know that mosquitoes love moisture. Long grass is the perfect cover and resting ground for annoying mosquitoes. If you keep it short they’re less likely to hang around.

Second, make sure to turn over any pots or other objects that can collect rainwater. Settled pools of water are a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.

Finally, if you’re planning to spend some time outside, plug a simple fan in. The breeze will keep the puny bugs at bay. These simple tricks will limit mosquitoes on a budget.

Garlic Spray

Garlic does more than scare off vampires in the movies and make a great Italian recipe. It can also deter mosquitoes from settling in your backyard.

Store-bought sprays are often mixed with chemicals and preservatives that we’re all trying to avoid. Instead, make your own.

Mince four cloves of garlic and place it into a bowl with one cup of mineral oil. Let it soak for 24 hours.

The next day strain it and add one tablespoon of your oil mixture to about one pint of water. Spray the mixture around the edges of your yard and around your porch.

Repeat this process every couple of days when you cut your grass or after it rains.

garlic plants to help repel mosquitoes
Mosquitoes avoid the strong scent of garlic. PughPugh / Flickr (Creative Commons)

You can also plant garlic around your yard and porch. Simply rubbing the stalks will release a strong garlic scent that will scare mosquitoes over to your neighbors’ yard.


Although bats may not be your favorite night animal, they are actually friendly and useful animals, especially when it comes to mosquitoes.

Bats eat mosquitoes—up to 600+ every hour. You definitely want these guys around.

The question is how do you summon a crew of bats to clean up your yard? Bat houses are the answer.

If you’re handy they are pretty easy to build, but you can also purchase them online for relatively cheap.

Install the houses 15-20 feet from the ground, make sure to choose a place that isn’t too close to your house to discourage them from finding ways into your attic.

A little distance will also give any bats seeking a home a little privacy. This will increase the chances of bats moving in.

Citronella And Marigolds

Citronella plants and marigolds have natural components that can deter and even kill mosquitoes. Plants such as these give off an aroma when the wind blows or when they’re brushed up against. The scent is what keeps the bugs at bay.

However, the downside is that there need to be high levels of the stuff to do any real damage. Plant a concentrated group of these plants around small areas, such as your porch or garden, where you plan to spend the most time.

citronella to ward off mosquitoes
Keep citronella plants near the places you spend time outdoors—like your deck. saiberiac / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Citronella is also used in candles and other sprays to keep the bugs away. These tend to work better than the plants but are generally less natural. Citronella candles are a good route to take because they contain fewer chemicals and are a constant source that you don’t have to keep reapplying.

Even if you don’t spend a lot of time in your yard you should consider these mosquito repelling tips. The bugs aren’t just pesky but they can be dangerous as well.

A simple walk from the car to your front door or a trip to the mailbox can expose you to mosquitoes in the summer—and the diseases they can bring.

Don’t let harsh bug sprays or a swarm of bugs keep you out of your yard this summer. Follow these natural tips and tricks to change your home to mosquito-free.


Do Bats Eat Mosquitos? (GreenGrass)

Plants That Repel Mosquitoes (Best Plants)

3 Ways To Make Your Own Mosquito Repellent (Ready Store)

Freelance writer Marlene Ridgway grew up in rural West Virginia, cooking, keeping chickens, stacking firewood, picking blueberries, and gardening.

Written by Insteading Community Authors

This blog post was submitted by one of our community members (scroll up for their personal bio). We welcome guest posts from the community that fit with our writer guidelines. Click here to learn more about how to write for Insteading.


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