Best Mosquito Repellent Options for Yards

Family outside having a picnic

As the warmer weather approaches, you may be thinking about enjoying your backyard – sunbathing, swimming, birthday parties and barbeques – and the last thing you want to worry about is mosquito bites or mosquito-borne diseases affecting you, your family or your guests.

So instead of spraying everyone with mosquito repellants like Deet, here are some proactive options on how you can keep mosquitos away from your yard.

OPTION #1: Hire a Professional

A professional mosquito control service can treat your entire yard, offer year-round service, as well as provide treatment compounds that are non-toxic and safe for people, pets, vegetation and other insects. Most treatments are designed to kill mosquitos in your yard no matter their life stage: from eggs, to larvae to adult mosquitos.

It’s important to also consider that mosquito control for your yard does not have the limits and risks of other options, such as Tiki torches or citronella candles, which can only cover a small area for a few hours and pose a fire hazard. Nor is it expensive compared to replacing outdoor lighting repellant cartridges. This makes the professional route the most effective and best value for eliminating mosquitoes from your outdoor activities.

OPTION #2: Eliminate/Treat Standing Water

Standing water refers to any place in your yard where water is not draining – whether from inside a kids toy or planter or from ponds, pools, open storm drains, culverts, or low-lying parts of the yard and other areas of poor drainage. These areas are breeding grounds for mosquitoes that need water for two-thirds of their life span.

Standing waterFor poor draining areas, consider putting in a French drain to gradually pull water away from the area. Dig a trench from the area of standing water, sloping it down and away from the area. Line the trench with gravel and install a perforated drain tile (which you can buy at home improvement and hardware stores), then re-cover with soil.

For smaller areas where a French drain is not possible, you can add coffee grounds to standing water which deprives the mosquito eggs of oxygen and causes them to rise to the surface, effectively stopping them from hatching.

If you have a garden pond, add mosquito-larvae eaters like goldfish, bluegills or minnows.

Keep pools covered or emptied when not in use, same for toys, buckets, pet water bowls, trash bins and anything else that can collect water when it rains.

Check planters after a heavy rain and empty out any excess water or move plants inside. Also keep storm drains and pipes clear of debris and other materials that prevent water from moving out of the system.

If you have a culvert or storm drain near your yard that has open standing water, you may be able to call and request that the health department or other county/city agency spray the culvert/storm drain for mosquitoes.

OPTION #3: Plants and Scents

Mosquitoes are not lovers of lemon-scented plants and like most bugs they are also deterred by the smell of certain herbs such as mint, basil, bee balm, catnip, peppermint, garlic, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme.

In addition, consider planting some of the following lemon-scented plants to create a great smelling yard that you will enjoy and mosquitoes won’t:

  1. Lemon Thyme: a hardy perennial with a high concentration of citronella.
  2. Lemon Balm: a hardy perennial from mint family and can be used on skin instead of Deet as a repellent.
  3. Lemon Grass: a non-hardy annual herb-grass.
  4. Citronella or Citrosa Plant: a scented geranium that occasionally flowers. Grow in a pot on your deck or patio and move it indoors during the winter.
  5. Lemon Eucalyptus: an annual the grows through the summer and offers the highest level of citronella.
  6. Lemon Verbana: non-hardy perennial with small white flowers and lemon-scented foliage.

Plant these in shady or wet low-lying areas of the yard.

You may also find that you can spray your yard and plants with the essential oils extracted from herbs and plants. Once diluted in water, scents such as lavender, cinnamon, thyme, tea tree, garlic, citronella, lemongrass and chrysanthemum oil as well as neem oil (a skin-irritant) are effective against mosquitoes. Note that dilution levels will vary for each oil, so follow expert instructions on how to dilute and spray.

Likewise scented candles on your outdoor dining tables will keep insects away.

OPTION #4: Lighting at Night

Mosquitoes love the nightlife and usually appear around dusk or dawn and when temperatures rise above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

This is why one option that is gaining popularity is the use of outdoor lighting that doubles as a mosquito-repellant. Mosquitoes tend to steer clear of yellow-hued, LED or sodium lights, all of which can be purchased online or through home improvement stores.

Two of the latest systems offer an easy way to repel mosquitoes. NuTone’s Haven outdoor lighting system does not require oils, sprays or electric zapping, but instead uses cartridges and a vaporizer to produce an odorless repellent covering a 110 square foot area for each fixture. And TIKI offers the Bitefighter Outdoor LED weatherproof string lights with replaceable repellent pods.

There are also several types of bug zappers, like SharperImages 1 Acre Flying Insect and Mosquito Trap among others that promise a bug-free yard.

Another lighting option is the popular and inexpensive use of Citronella candles and Tiki torches, but these also pose a fire hazard and should be closely monitored when lit.

Mosquitos are also attracted to dark clothing, so even at night, dress in light-colored and loose clothing, and apply the same idea to outdoor fabrics on tables, chairs and curtains.

OPTION #5: Dethatching Your Yard

Mosquitos can also thrive in a yard where the thatch (the layer of dead stems, roots and leaves growing between blades of grass) is more than one half inch.

Typically some thatch is healthy for the yard as it protects the grass and soil. However if your lawn has acidic or compacted soil, poor fertilization, or if you have Kentucky bluegrass or creeping bentgrass, you may find that these variables increase thatch to unhealthy levels.

To determine if you have a healthy level you can cut out a small 6-inch pie slice of sod, squeeze it and see if the spongy layer above the soil is less than or more than a half inch. If more, consider dethatching by mowing the lawn to half of it’s normal height then pulling out the thatch using a rake or the metal tines of a dethatcher.

About Simply Green’s Mosquito Control Service

We offer different outdoor mosquito control treatments to help rid your yard of these pests and keep them from coming back. Our backyard mosquito control products are safe for use around pets and children, and they work quickly to get rid of mosquitoes.

To control adult mosquitoes, our product is a synthetic version of the Pyrethrum extract found in Chrysanthemum flowers. In areas of standing water in your yard, we use Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti). Bti is a naturally occurring bacterium found in soils that specifically targets and only affects mosquito larvae. Bti interrupts the mosquito lifecycle by eliminating larvae before they mature into adults. It does not affect other insects, including honeybees. All of our EPA registered products are safe for kids and pets and do not pose a risk to your family.

If you’re looking for an easy way to keep mosquitoes out of your yard, our outdoor mosquito control treatments are a great option. Contact us today to learn more about our products and how we can help you get rid of mosquitoes for good!

About Simply Green Lawn Care

Picture of a Simply Green Spray Technician treating a lawn

Simply Green aims to provide the highest quality lawn care, mosquito control, and lawn pest control services to Georgia residents.


We are locally owned and operated which allows us to be accessible, attentive, and responsive for customers in Georgia.


Our well-trained team is easy to work with and determined to exceed expectations.


All our plant health care specialists are Georgia Department of Agriculture Certified and maintain their Category 24 applicators license.