Best Mosquito Spray & Repellent for Yards & Outdoor Spaces
Summer rains often bring mosquitoes. They cause itching and discomfort, as well as spreading many dangerous diseases.
Using topical sprays on your skin can help, but you should also try to keep them out of your yard as a whole. You can do this with a variety of different products, including those that are free of synthetic pesticides that could harm the environment or cause health problems.
Here are some popular, safe, and environmentally friendly products you can use to keep mosquitoes off of your property.
Mosquito Spray and Repellents for Yards
Even if you’ve treated your yard as a whole for mosquitoes, you should still use a topical insect repellent on your skin. This mosquito repelling spray is free of DEET, the pesticidal chemical most commonly used in bug spray.
Instead, it uses plant oils like citronella, lemongrass, and peppermint oil. These compounds naturally keep insects away from the plant, and mosquitoes will instinctively avoid areas where they detect these chemicals with their antennae.
Because it doesn’t use DEET, this spray is safe for babies and young children, as well as people with sensitivities to DEET. It’s also nontoxic and alcohol free, and features a pleasant floral scent.
The Spartan Mosquito Eradicator can be installed at the periphery of your property, and forms a barrier that helps keep mosquitoes out. Its mechanism of action is unique, and does not rely on chemical pesticides.
Inside the product, which is sold in sets of two, are very simple ingredients: water, sodium chloride, and sucrose. These ingredients produce a chemical reaction that releases carbon dioxide, which is what attracts a mosquito to a person or animal.
The mosquitoes essentially mistake it for something they can feed on, and will go toward the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator instead of continuing to seek out prey. There, they will attempt to feed, until they eventually die – often before they get the chance to mate and lay their eggs.
Two tubes can eliminate mosquitoes from a square acre of land, for a duration of about ninety days. After that, you’ll need to replace them. They begin to work immediately, as soon as they’re installed, and can eliminate up to 95% of the mosquitoes in an area within about fifteen days.
Smoke is known to deter mosquitoes, as are certain plant compounds like citronella. Mosquito repelling candles combine these two things, helping ward off mosquitoes from porches and patios.
This particular candle uses a combination of natural plant oils, rather than citronella alone. This includes peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, and cedar wood, all of which are insect repellents that mosquitoes and other flies instinctively avoid.
It smells great, and can burn for up to thirty hours. We recommend using it in conjunction with other products, like topical sprays and the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator.
Mosquito Repellent for Yard Application – What to Consider
There are quite a few products out there for keeping mosquitoes out of your yard, as opposed to lotions and sprays that keep them off of your body. Some products are natural, while others are primarily synthetic.
Some feature pesticides, others use chemical deterrents or attractants to either repel or trap mosquitoes. Most sprays use any of a number of pesticidal chemicals. The most popular are malathion and permethrin.
Because of the various health and environmental issues associated with common synthetic insecticides like malathion and permethrin (see below), many homeowners use alternative means to eliminate mosquitoes. This includes products like the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator, which attracts mosquitoes with carbon dioxide, as well as various plant oils.
If you treat your yard for mosquitoes, you’ll need to make sure you have a product that can cover your entire property. For example, two Spartan Mosquito Eradicator units are recommended for each square acre. Many products may also need to be periodically replaced or reapplied.
How do I keep mosquitos out of my yard?
Along with insecticides and other products, it’s important to avoid allowing your yard to be attractive to mosquitoes. The most important thing is removing standing water after it rains. Stagnant water is where mosquitoes breed, and if you look in a puddle or a bucket of water in your yard, you’ll often see their larvae swimming around.
After it rains, pour out water from anything in your yard that can collect it. Bird baths should be changed out every few days, and cleaned out periodically with a scrub brush.
Natural predators can also help eliminate mosquitoes and their larvae. This includes frogs, toads, fish, birds, and predatory insects like dragonflies.
Can you spray your yard for mosquitoes?
Most mosquito sprays – both those sold for consumer use, and those used on a larger scale by cities – contain synthetic insecticides like malathion or permethrin.
Malathion acts as an acetocholinesterase inhibitor, interfering with an enzyme that breaks down the chemical neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This causes the chemical to build up at neural synapses in the nervous system, with dire consequences for the insect.
The problem with malathion is that if ingested by humans, it’s metabolized into a toxic compound that, in high enough amounts, can cause a range of symptoms, from irritation and cramping, to seizures and death. It may also be carcinogenic.
Permethrin has a low toxicity to mammals, but can cause nausea, headache, weakness, and other symptoms in response to excessive exposure. The biggest problem with permethrin is that it kills almost any insect on contact, meaning it kills beneficial insects like honeybees, as well as pests like mosquitoes. It’s also toxic to fish, which poses a problem when it leaches into the water system after misting.
Insecticide resistance is also an issue with common pesticide products. Mosquitoes may be able to evolve resistances to them over time. Due to these concerns, spraying your yard with pesticides isn’t always recommended, except perhaps as a last resort.
What scent keeps mosquitoes away?
There are many fragrant plant oils that repel mosquitoes, as well as other insects. This includes citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, and cedar wood. These plants all produce chemicals, which give them their distinctive scents, that act as natural pest repellents that help protect the plant.