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family playing in the back yard safe from mosquitos

Mosquitos can turn a relaxing yard into an itchy nightmare. Did you know certain natural elements deter these pests? Our guide will show how to use essential oils, plants, and simple strategies to keep mosquitos at bay. Say goodbye to bug bites!



All dads face the challenge of finding natural solutions to keeping their families safe. The challenge of mosquitos is particularly interesting. On one hand, you want to do what's right for the planet, and so green solutions are obviously a preferred option. However, at the same time, mosquitos can cause your family pain or even bring illnesses like Zika, West Nile virus, and others. 

At the end of the day, despite your best intentions, using a mosquito insecticide or chemical sprays - either from municipal fogger trucks or handheld mosquito repellents are an important part of the solution. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't do what you can to make your yard less hospitable to these little buggers.

Effective Natural Repellents for Mosquitoes

Thankfully there are some excellent natural repellants to help keep mosquitos away. These include using lemon eucalyptus oil, lavender, citronella, and tea tree oil to make mosquitos want to avoid getting close to you and your family.

Natural RepellantDescriptionEffectiveness
Lavender Lavender oil can be applied to the skin or used in diffusers. Its strong fragrance deters mosquitoes. Effective when applied directly or when the plant is grown in gardens to deter mosquitoes from the area.
Citronella Citronella oil is widely used in repellent candles and topical applications due to its strong scent. Highly effective; it masks scents that attract mosquitoes and is one of the most recognized natural repellents.
Tea Tree Oil Known for its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil can also be used as a mosquito repellent on the skin. Moderately effective; its potent smell helps keep mosquitoes at bay.
Lemon Eucalyptus The oil derived from the lemon eucalyptus plant contains PMD, a highly effective mosquito-repelling agent. Very effective; PMD is comparable to DEET in its mosquito-repelling capabilities.
Peppermint Peppermint oil can be applied to the skin or used in a spray to repel mosquitoes with its strong minty scent. Moderately effective; also provides a cooling sensation on the skin.
Catnip Oil extracted from catnip plants has been found to be a powerful mosquito repellant. Very effective; studies suggest it may be more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes.
Neem Oil Neem oil can be applied directly to the skin or used in sprays for its repelling properties. Moderately effective; however, it needs to be reapplied frequently for best results.
Garlic Eating garlic or applying a garlic-infused solution can provide a natural mosquito barrier. Less effective; its repelling qualities may vary and are not as strong as other natural options.
Marigold Planting marigolds around your home can help repel mosquitoes due to the pyrethrum in the flowers. Moderately effective; marigolds work well as a general insect deterrent when planted in gardens or near entryways.

This enhanced chart provides a broader spectrum of natural alternatives for repelling mosquitoes,

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Benefits

Lemon eucalyptus oil, made from the leaves of the lemon eucalyptus tree, acts as a strong shield against mosquitos. It works as well as DEET in stopping mosquito bites and leading experts refer to it as a biopesticide repellent, meaning it's safe, natural, and well accepted by those who have tested it thoroughly.

The CDC even says this oil is good at keeping mosquitos away.

You can find Lemon Eucalyptus oil sold as sprays and lotions or as a standalone oil so that you could even make your own bug spray by mixing it with witch hazel or cinnamon oil for added impact.

Lavender Uses Against Mosquitoes

Moving from lemon eucalyptus oil, lavender also excels at repelling mosquitoes. In fact, studies show that lavender can keep 65% to 85% of mosquitoes at bay.

To use it, you can grow lavender plants around your yard or apply its oil on skin areas exposed to bites — just make sure it's diluted properly. Besides keeping mosquitoes away, this method adds a pleasant scent to your surroundings and is safe for kids playing outside.

Citronella as a Mosquito Repellent

Citronella oil comes from lemon grass. People use it to keep mosquitoes away. This oil is a natural mosquito repellent. You can put it on your skin or use candles with citronella. When applied in concentrations of .5% -10% this oil can also have other benefits such as helping wounds heal and killing germs.

While citronella candles are readily available in home improvement stores and big box stores like Target and Walmart, you can also get similar benefits by planting lemon grass in your yard. This is the plant that citronella oil is derived from and serves well to keep mosquitoes at bay. Citronella is safe and does not harm the environment. It's a good choice for dads who want to protect their families from mosquito bites and diseases like West Nile virus and Zika virus without using harsh chemicals.

These are some of the most popular natural mosquito repellants that are easily available. By planting them or using the oil in candles and diffusers, you create a safer space for family activities outside without worrying about mosquito-borne diseases or painful bits. 

Strategies to Minimize Mosquito Breeding Areas

Repelling mosquitos is critical, but you can also work to minimize the likelihood that they will be in your yard at all. To do this, start by clearing up places where water stands still. This includes bird baths, rain barrels, fish ponds, and puddles or swampy areas of your yard where rainwater collects. These can all be mosquito homes. Keep your yard clean to stop them from making more mosquitoes. Your family will thank you!

This step will make a big difference—want to know how? Read on!

Eliminate Standing Water

Keep yards dry. Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water. Check often and pour out water from flower pots, buckets, and bird baths. Fix leaky outdoor faucets too. These small actions stop mosquitoes from breeding right in your backyard.

Next, focus on the greenery around your house. Plant mosquito-repellent plants like citronella, lemon balm, and lavender to keep these bugs away naturally.

Grow Mosquito-Repellent Plants

Planting mosquito-repelling plants is a smart move. Lavender, marigolds, citronella grass, catnip, rosemary, basil, and scented geraniums work well. These plants keep mosquitoes away naturally.

They make your yard smell nice too.

Plus, your yard will look great!

Regular Maintenance of Lawn and Shrubs

Keeping your lawn and shrubs tidy cuts down on places mosquitoes like to hide. Mow the grass often and trim bushes and trees frequently. This stops mosquitoes from finding a cozy spot in your yard.

Use tools like lawnmowers, trimmers, and shears to keep everything neat.

Also, take care of stagnant water in things like birdbaths or kiddie pools. Empty them regularly to prevent mosquito larvae from growing. Doing this along with natural insect repellent plants around will make your outdoor space less inviting for mosquitoes.

Promote Natural Mosquito Predators

Birds, bats, and fish love eating mosquitoes. Make your yard a welcoming place for them to live and eat.

Support Mosquito Predator Habitats

Keeping your yard free from mosquitoes means supporting their natural enemies. Wetlands are crucial for this. They're home to creatures that eat mosquitoes, like birds, frogs, and fish.

Make your garden a place where these predators can thrive. Keep ponds clean but don't remove all the water – fish need it to survive and they help by eating mosquito larvae.

Next, add plants around the water bodies in your garden that attract these helpful animals. Birds love trees and shrubs for nesting. Frogs hide under leafy greens near water edges.

Both eat lots of mosquitoes.

Moving forward, learn how to use biological control techniques effectively...

Implement Biological Control Techniques

Use bacteria like Bacillus thuringiensis in water where mosquitoes lay eggs. This kills larvae before they become adults. It's safe, doesn’t harm other animals or plants, and targets many mosquito types.

Add fish that eat wrigglers to ponds. They naturally reduce the mosquito population. These methods cut down on insecticides, making your yard safer for family and pets.

Encourage bats by putting up bat houses; they can eat thousands of mosquitoes each night. Also, dragonflies are great at catching mosquitoes mid-air. Creating a habitat for these predators helps keep mosquito numbers low without chemicals or bug zappers.

Together, these techniques offer a powerful way to manage pests naturally in your yard.


Keep mosquitoes away naturally. Use lemon eucalyptus oil, citronella, and lavender around your yard. Plant mosquito-repellent greens like marigolds and rosemary. Regularly clean up water spots where mosquitoes lay eggs.

Encourage birds, bats, and frogs; they eat mosquitoes. Together, these steps make your outdoor spaces less appealing to pests. Your family enjoys a safer, bug-free backyard without harsh chemicals.

Written by:
#MenWhoBlog MemberBlogging GuruThought Leader

James' passion for exploration and sense of duty to his community extends beyond himself. This means he is dedicated to providing a positive role model for other men and especially younger guys that need support so that they can thrive and be future positive contributors to society. This includes sharing wisdom, ideas, tips, and advice on subjects that all men should be familiar with, including: family travel, men's health, relationships, DIY advice for home and yard, car care, food, drinks, and technology. Additionally, he's a travel advisor and a leading men's travel influencer who has been featured in media ranging from New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, and LA Times. He's also been cited by LA Weekly "Top Travel Bloggers To Watch 2023" and featured by Muck Rack: "Top 10 Outdoor Journalists for 2022".

He and his wife Heather live in St Joseph, Michigan - across the lake from Chicago.