Nothing can ruin your day quicker than a swarm of mosquitos.
So, you’re probably wondering how to keep mosquitos away. I’ve compiled a list of 13 tips that will help you stay bite-free while enjoying the outdoors.
First and foremost, you’ll want to protect your skin from mosquito bites.
Sprays with DEET are the most effective, but if you don’t like the idea of spraying on chemicals, you can opt for natural sprays that use essential oils and extracts. To give yourself even more protection, you can use bug spray along with bug repellent clothing. There also are netted hats that can keep every type of bug out of your face, as well as clothing that’s made with insecticide-treated fabric. If you want to maximize your protection, use a combination of bug spray and clothing to ensure that mosquitos don’t want to come near you.
Next, think about how you can mosquito-proof your surroundings. Netting is a great choice, since it can be used almost anywhere, whether it’s in
your garage, porch, or picnic table. Outdoor fans can not only blow away mosquitoes, but also keep you cool on hot days. For a no-nonsense option, go for hanging or handheld bug zappers, which use high voltage grids to help you exact revenge. Another chemical-free solution is citronella candles, which have essential oils that keep bugs away and have the added benefit of smelling delightful.
Finally, it’s crucial to
empty any standing water on your property. Look out for deep puddles, old flower pots, or tarps, because that’s where mosquitos like to breed. If you have some water that can’t be emptied, like an ornamental pond, add bacteria dunks to kill mosquito larvae.
Read on for 13 ways to keep mosquitos away, so that they don’t suck the fun out of your time outdoors.
1 Use A Bug Spray With DEET
If you’re planning a hike through deep woods, or if you’re just serious about keeping bugs away in your backyard, this
OFF! mosquito repellent spray is the best place to start. It’s made with 25% DEET , which not only helps keep away mosquitoes, but also ticks, biting flies, and more. The aerosol spray bottle makes it easy to apply, and the powder dry formula keeps your skin from feeling oily or greasy. These two 4-ounce cans cost under $10, making them a great deal as well. One fan raved: “As much as I would love to use something more natural, nothing comes close to this spray. The past few years I have tried basically every “natural” product on the market with no luck. Decided to give off a shot and I’m so glad I did. It gives me the protection I need! Bugs love me and this does a good job of keeping them away! I have Lyme disease and 7 other tick borne diseases that I contracted several years ago so I am super picky about staying safe. Good purchase and will continue to use! Only downside is the smell is a little strong, but it’s worth it.” 2 Spray On Some Plant-Based Bug Repellent
For a more natural bug spray, try this 4-ounce
botanical mosquito repellent, which is made from chemicals synthesized from pine oil extract instead of DEET. Like other sprays, this one repels more than just mosquitoes, helping to keep black flies, gnats, no-see-ums, and other pests at bay. Perfect for anyone with sensitive skin, this repellent is fragrance- and dye-free, although you should still be careful when using it around your eyes. The pump spray bottle makes it easy to apply, which is helpful as it should be reapplied every two hours for the best protection. One fan raved: “I was surprised at how pleasant the scent was, and truth be told - it actually works! The mosquitoes love me, like literally LOVE me and this spray kept them at bay. 5 stars will buy again!!” 3 Light Mosquito-Repelling Candles
mosquito-repelling candles will not only set the mood at outdoor dinner parties but help keep pesky mosquitos away. Poured in the USA, the candles are made from 100% soy and beeswax with rosemary, peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, and cedarwood oils to deter bugs. Once you light the cotton wicks, these candles can burn for up to 30 hours to give you multiple nights of bug-free fun. These candles are also a great pick for anyone who prefers to avoid certain chemicals because they’re petroleum-, dye-, and synthetic fragrance-free. One fan raved: “This was a great scented candle. It did the trick and was a great treat. We lit it on Halloween, for we sat outside greeting tricker treaters. We were out for 2 hours in South Florida heat and not one mosquito or bug bite. First time ever!” 4 Apply Anti-Itch, Bug Repellent Cream
Another DEET-free option, this
natural anti-itch cream uses a blend of 16 essential oils including cedar, mint, and lemongrass to keep away black flies, mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. This scented cream should be applied every four hours while you’re outside. If you miss a spot and end up with a bug bite, it also works as a soothing, anti-itch cream, so you won’t be tempted to constantly scratch at your skin. This cream is handmade in the USA and comes in both 2-ounce and 8-ounce sizes, so you can take it on the go, or keep a tub on your porch. One fan raved: “If there is 1 mosquito in a room with 1,000 people. I will be the first and only one to get bitten. So I bought this and was very doubtful that it would work. Incredibly it does work!!!! And we have a lot of mosquitoes here in Hawaii and they love me. Not anymore!! Truly does work!!!” 5 Treat Standing Water for Mosquitos
If you want to kill mosquitoes before they can even bite, you should treat any standing water in your yard with
mosquito dunks. These dissolving tablets have Bti in them, which is a bacteria found in soil that kills mosquito, black fly, and gnat larvae. According to the CDC, Bti is not toxic to people and will not harm pets or other insects (like honeybees), so you can use it without worrying. Once you throw one of these dunks into water, they will dissolve within an hour, and work for up to 30 days. One fan raved: “I used to buy these at Walmart in packs of 6 but I didn't see them this year but I found these on Amazon and saved money buying them in this 20 pack. I've got a small pond and until I started using these we had a terrible mosquito problem. Now I throw a few of these in the water every couple of months and we get very few mosquitoes. I really like that these don't hurt our fish or frogs or anything else. Thanks for providing such a great product!” 6 Install A Mosquito Zapper Trap
Once you hang this
outdoor mosquito zapper, the soft bzzt sound will be music to your ears. It not only has a high voltage grid that zaps bugs the second they touch it, but it also has a hyacinthine light to attract them. This lantern is covered with a plastic frame to protect you from accidentally touching the grid, and it has a removable insect collection tray. The hook on the top makes it easy to hang — just be sure to put it near an outlet, as it needs to be plugged in. One fan raved: “Omg I could NOT believe how effective this small thing is. We were able to sit out without being CONSTANTLY annoyed by bugs. I swear by it and now would like a few more for other spots!” 7 Hang Mosquito Netting
To keep bugs out of your personal space, try a
portable mosquito net. This extra-fine hexagonal mesh design is portable and washable, so you can easily clean it after trips, then pack it up in the included bag until your next one. You also won’t have to worry about getting tangled up inside it because it has two convenient openings on either side. It has six hanging loops at the top, and it comes with string and hooks, so you can hang it anywhere from your front porch to a hammock campsite in the woods. One Amazon reviewer even recommended creating a simple PVC frame so you can use it in open fields and parking lots. One fan raved: “We spend our summers in the land of mosquitos and finally found the way to use the deck. This mosquito netting was easy to put up with the hooks and rope provided. We opened up the space and hold the netting in place at the bottom with some nice river rocks. The space is big enough for two large patio chairs and two folding tables. And the dog” 8 Protect Your Food With Pop-Up Covers
To keep bugs away from picnics and barbecues, use these convenient
pop-up food covers. With an umbrella-like design, these portable covers can be opened by simply pulling the top string, so they’re ready to go at a moment’s notice. They can cover plates up to 16 inches in width, and each cover is 10 inches high, so they can protect taller cakes, too. Pro tip: You can also use these covers to protect small plants in your garden from pests. One fan raved: “These are a genius invention! They are perfect for covering good at an outdoor gathering and keeping flies off. They are large enough to cover various dishes, dips etc. They are made of a lacy netting so you can see thru them. They collapse down like an umbrella for storage. Definitely recommend!.” 9 Wear A Netted Hat
If you’re walking through a swampy area or fishing on a pond, this
netted sun hat will help keep you bug-free even in the worst conditions. It has a mesh net that can be secured at the bottom with a string clasp, then when you’re out of the woods, it can be tucked back into the hat. Perfect for sunny days too, it has a 3.2-inch brim made from anti-UV fabric, and it has a detachable neck flap. One fan raved: “I’m working on a trail crew in the 100 mile wilderness this summer and knew from previous adventures in central Ontario that I would need a headnet to combat the black flies and mosquitoes. [...] I got it today and it’s even better than the pictures lead to believe. The net easily folded into the top of the hat out of the way and the detachable sun shield will be a tremendous help when working in burning summer sun. The material feels like very good quality and I absolutely love it. I’ll definitely be looking into their gloves now! Awesome find!” 10 Put Up Screens On Your Exterior Doors
Whether you have a covered porch or want to convert your garage into a hangout space, this
mesh garage door screen is an effective way to keep bugs out. This screen measures 16 by 7 feet, which is perfect for most garages, but it also comes in other sizes. It includes hook and loop fasteners and pushpins for added support, and the base is weighed down with gravity sticks to help it stay in place. This screen also uses magnetic closures, so pets can walk in and out on their own. One fan raved: “This product was a complete surprise. The price was very low compared to a fancy system that I was looking for. We love to sit in our garage in the summer, but at dusk the mosquitos are so bad we have to go in. I was looking for solutions that all seemed expensive and complicated to install. I decided to try this simple screen - and wow - it is perfect. I installed it myself - with a little help from my husband. I have had it up for several months now, I am able to open and close my garage door without removing it. I will take it down for the winter - since [my] car will be back inside, but the system is so easy that next spring we can simply re attach it to the strips. I am very pleased with this screen.” 11 Use An Electric Bug Swatter
handheld bug zapper is a simple way to stop mosquitos in their tracks. Each of the two included rackets has a 4,000-volt grid, which will zap any bug on impact. They’re covered with mesh to prevent you from shocks, and they’re rechargeable with the included USB cord. Each charge can last up to 10,000 zaps, and the rackets also have a built-in light to help you see and snipe bugs even at night. One fan raved: “This is my 3rd zapper and by far the best! 4000V makes a big difference. The "POP" is sooo satisfying. The backyard has been filled with mosquitoes after the heatwave. [...] So I sat in the yard. I use my body as bait. It's my favorite way of mosquito fishing. POP POP ZAP. I stopped counting after 50 or so. After 20 or so VERY satisfying minutes, they started thinning down. Only an occasional brave one (or slow learner?) came around. POP. ZAP. Then nobody bothered me anymore [...] As you can see, I hate mosquitoes with passion. And this is the best thing for us haters. Oh, and USB charging is very good. Disposable batteries are so, er, uncivilized. Looking forward to future mosquito fishing trips in the yard.” 12 Wear Bug Repellent Clothing
The perfect accessory to every outfit, this
insect shield shawl is both stylish and an insect-repellent. It’s made with recycled cotton and cooling Tencel fabric infused with permethrin, which is an insecticide that repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chiggers, and midges. Made in the USA, it’s 6 feet long and can be worn in a range of styles, from over the shoulder to tied like a scarf. It remains effective for up to 70 washes, and it’s available in four colors, so you can find one for any outfit. 13 Set Up Some Outdoor Fans
Stay cool and bug-free on your porch or deck with this
indoor and outdoor fan. Mosquitos aren’t strong fliers, so they won’t be able to fly upwind into a strong fan, allowing you to sit back and relax in a gentle breeze. Fans also blow away carbon dioxide, which is one of the ways that mosquitoes track people. This 18-inch fan is IPX4 rated, meaning it can withstand splashes, and it has a rust-resistant frame, so you can keep it outside even in the rain. It can be installed on your ceiling, and it has three speed settings that can be adjusted with the hanging pull string, so you can really let it rip on extra buggy nights. One fan raved: “Mounted 2 outside and they are outstanding. In North Texas they help keep the flies and mosquitoes down.”