20 Repellent Sprays That Keep Mosquitoes Away

Are you interested in the best homemade mosquito yard repellent spray?  Can Vinegar keep mosquitoes away? Which essential oil is best for mosquito repellent?

Read on to discover the answers.

Sprays & Scents That Repel Mosquitoes Naturally

Mosquito repellents are not only used indoors but outdoors too! These repellents come in both chemical and natural variants.

While chemical insect repellents have been in use for a long time, there is a growing shift to using natural repellents when it comes to eradicating mosquitoes.


We will also be sharing recipes that you can use as a natural mosquito repellent for the yard.

By the end of this article, you should be able to learn its basic compositions as well as the required ingredients.

Why Repel Mosquitoes?

As people get ready to enter into the summer season, so do mosquitoes!

These pests are disease carriers that not only transmit deadly diseases but cause a lot of discomfort through their bits.

Apart from the discomfort arising from the itchy feeling caused by their bites, they also cause diseases.

Mosquitoes are known to cause millions of deaths every year. These pests are notorious for the spread of the Zika virus and malaria.

It becomes necessary to keep these pests away due to these strong reasons.

Common Diseases Associated with Mosquitoes

Malaria is a deadly disease that has caused the death of millions. This is primarily spread by mosquitoes.

Other diseases that are equally dangerous include Dengue fever, Zika virus, West Nile, and Encephalitis, etc. The easiest way to eliminate these diseases is by attacking the source.

The best homemade strategies to eliminate mosquitoes will be discussed in this article.

How Mosquito Repellents Work

To have an understanding of how mosquito repellents work, it is necessary to know how mosquitoes feed. Ever wondered how mosquitoes can feed at night? Well, mosquitoes are attracted by a combination of odors, body heat as well as carbon dioxide. Odor receptors enable them to easily attack.

Repellents were formulated to get rid of these insect pests and keep them away.

Whenever you use a repellent, it jams these odor receptors making them confused and disoriented. Some exterminate these mosquitoes altogether.

Types of Mosquito Repellents – Chemical and Homemade Sprays

Which is the most effective mosquito repellent spray? Do any mosquito repellents work? Read more to answer these questions.

Mosquitoes are pests no one wants to have around. Apart from the extreme discomfort caused by their itchy bites, they also spread diseases. Two of the most common diseases spread by mosquitoes include the Zika virus as well as Malaria.

To effectively control mosquitoes, the use of chemical or organic repellents is necessary.

There are varieties of mosquito repellents available for use. These include natural repellents as well as chemical repellents which are most popular. All these would be discussed in detail as you read on.

Toxic Insecticides versus Homemade Remedies

One of the easiest methods to kill insects like ants and mosquitoes is through the use of chemical insecticides. These contain the major active ingredient known as DEET. This is very toxic and requires strict regulation.

The Center for Diseases Control CDC recommends a 30% DEET concentration in insecticides as the safe limit.

Although there is a regulation, it is best to avoid this option altogether for your safety.

Homemade remedies, on the other hand, are safe. This is why there is an increasing number of people using this option.

Also, a growing number of companies are now cashing in on this preference by making natural insecticides. While this is true, the cost is on the high side, and it’s best to make your homemade mosquito killer.

This is what this guide seeks to help you achieve.

Choosing an Indoor or  Outdoor Mosquito Repellent

When making your choice of a mosquito repellent, several factors are likely to come into play. Paramount among these are safe, highly effective, and long-lasting solutions. You are likely to be spoiled for choice.

However, these factors narrow down and enable you to choose the best repellents which have the most impact on the pests.

There are also two main types of repellents. They include natural and chemical repellents. Let’s consider each individually;

  • Natural Mosquito Repellents

Natural mosquito repellents are quite effective in controlling and eliminating mosquito populations. An added incentive to using natural repellents is their non-toxic nature. Most natural repellents contain substances that are not harmful and can be applied with no adverse effects on the health of humans.

However, some natural mosquito repellents are likely to react negatively if they come in contact with sensitive skin.

For these types, it becomes necessary to discontinue using them once skin irritation is noticed. These types of repellents are consistent mostly with natural oils which will be discussed briefly as you read on

  • Chemical Mosquito Repellents

Chemical mosquito repellents come in different brands and names. Although these are made by different manufacturers, they contain almost the same active ingredients.

These include diethyl phthalate, ethyl hexanediol, diethyl carbonate; N, N-diethyl-3-Methylbenzamide (DEET), and Picaridin, etc. Among these, DEET is the most popular and used active ingredient.

When buying mosquito repellents, you should look for those with these ingredients

These are among the most effective repellents.

Types of Natural Mosquito Repellents

Here we will list some of the most common natural homemade mosquito repellents which are likely to solve your pest needs.

As mentioned earlier, these consist of natural compounds and oils. If you are interested in using only natural repellents, any of the following can meet your needs;

  • Black Pepper

This may sound scary and surprising to you, but it is an effective mosquito repellent you can use.

To rid your home of mosquitoes, you can either go for the oil or you can just sprinkle it around your surroundings. The oil has been known to irritate some users.

You will need to make inquiries about its directions of use and strictly follow instructions when using it. This reduces any chances of irritation unless your skin is sensitive.

If that is the case, you will need to discontinue its use. And seek medical advice

  • Cinnamon

This essential oil gives off a pleasant smell. It is known to be highly efficient in repelling insects including mosquitoes and their larvae.

For the best results, you should make as many inquiries as you can.  It allows you to get the most out of it.

  • Mint

Mint is considered an important plant used for human consumption, cultivated for its scent as well as used for medicinal purposes. Its medicinal use includes growing it around your home to keep mosquitoes away.

You can plant it in pots that can be placed around openings that may likely be used by mosquitoes.

It will keep away these pests when placed around the windows and doors. Apart from its repelling effect, it also adds to the beauty of your surroundings.

  • Cloves

Do you know that cloves cannot only be used for food alone but also to drive away mosquitoes? True! You may want to try this out by putting a few of these in a sachet and placing it in your pocket.

Wherever you go, the pleasant scent keeps them away.

  • Thyme Oil and Leaves

This is another natural mosquito repellent that can either be used in its leave form or oil. If you prefer using its leaves, they can be thrown into the fire to burn.

The aroma released drives away mosquitoes.

Another way to use it is by applying it to your skin. Mosquitoes find either of these irritating.

  • Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil has a lot of uses.

It can be used as an anti-inflammatory agent as well as an antiseptic.

Tea tree oil is a powerful mosquito repellent you will find very useful in keeping these bugs away.

  • Wormwood

This herb is used for cooking and also for eliminating mosquitoes. Whichever way you choose to use it, this herb will give you the results you need.

  • Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Natural Insect Repellent

If you are looking for the best alternative to DEET and Picaridin, this gives you a worthy option to use. Lemon Eucalyptus which makes up 30% of this product is its primary ingredient. It is extracted from the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree.

So what about this product repels mosquitoes? The smell. It gives off a strong smell that keeps mosquitoes and other insect pests away.

Its fast-acting effect and the protection provided makes it worthy of comparison with DEET because it is almost as comparable.

Types of Chemical Mosquito Repellents

These are non-natural repellents made mainly from chemical compounds.

These are among the most popular or common repellents. A downside associated with the use of chemically manufactured repellents is that these can be toxic.

Also, they may likely be environmentally unfriendly. Some of these include;

  • Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent

This mosquito repellent does not only protect from mosquitoes alone. Different types of insect pests are also repelled by it. Its powerful ingredients ensure you get long-lasting protection from all mosquito problems.

Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent contains 25% DEET.

With a seal of approval from the United States Environmental Protection Agency EPA, this natural repellent comes in different affordable sizes.

  • Repel 100 Insect Repellent

This is an effective mosquito repellent that contains 98.11% DEET. It is approved for use by the EPA and protects against all forms of insect bites.

According to its manufacturers, Repel 100 Insect Repellent provides up to 10 hours of protection. Whatever your needs are, this repellent comes in different sizes for personal or family use.

It is one of the most potent repellents in the market.

  • Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent

For persons who would rather prefer to use unscented repellents, this is your best bet.

With 25% DEET content, Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent provides up to 10 hours of protection from all biting insects including mosquitoes.

So, are you allergic to scented repellents? Will you be spending a significant amount of your time outdoors? If so, this is your best companion.

Different sizes are available for indoor and outdoor use. Whether you are alone or have a family or group of friends, there’s a size to fit your needs.

  • Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent

This repellent contains 20% Picaridin. It is among the most reliable chemical-based repellents. Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent is unscented.

This means you can apply it without having to endure unpleasant odors which may be unbearable for others. This easy-to-dry and fast-acting repellent keep mosquitoes at bay for a considerable amount of time ( up to 8 hours).

Best Homemade Pet Safe Mosquito Repellent for Yard

We will discuss some mosquito killers for yards and interiors which you can use to protect yourself against these pests.

There are lots of benefits to using homemade repellents. A major reason is its eco-friendly nature. Homemade mosquito repellents are less hazardous to humans, plants, and pets.

Apart from their non-toxic nature, homemade sprays and plant repellents are cheap options to consider.

This cuts down on cost and presents you with a safer alternative.

  • Effects of Homemade Repellents

Homemade mosquito repellents are known to be very effective. Although such have a shorter shelf life due to the absence of preservatives, they still get the job done. Homemade repellents kill mosquitoes on contact. You can relax or work freely in your yard without fear of bites.

While repelling mosquitoes, homemade repellents also eliminate other blood-feeding insects. With this option, you can prevent all types of insect bites.

  • Active Ingredients

There are several active ingredients used in making these repellents. These mostly consist of essential oils and vegetables. Some of these include onion, lemongrass, clove, lavender, catnip, citronella grass, spearmint, flowers of geranium, and garlic.

Other active ingredients include soybean oil, cinnamon oil, fennel, tea tree oil, tansy, geraniol, celery extract, neem oil, and tansy.

You can also use other natural ingredients like lemon eucalyptus oil, rosemary, thyme oil, alcohol, mouthwash, Epsom salt, and anise.

Scents from all of these are strong and keep away mosquitoes. The scents will create a barrier that keeps mosquitoes at bay, allowing you to relax.

  • Using Plants as a Mosquito Barrier

Some of the plants mentioned above such as lavender and vanilla successfully repel mosquitoes. You can keep this pest off by planting these around your yard. Another option is by crushing the leaves to release the oils contained.

This can be rubbed on exposed areas of the body most vulnerable to mosquito bites.

With these plants (citronella, lavender, catnip, marigold, etc) planted around, you don’t need to take further action. These are in themselves enough deterrents to mosquitoes.

Homemade Mosquito Killer – Recipe for Making Repellent Spray

To make an effective mosquito killer, there are several active ingredients you can choose from.

These consist mainly of essential oils and other ingredients that include cinnamon oil, lavender, cloves, and lime.

Others are rosemary, lemongrass, Epsom salt, mouthwash, vinegar, baking powder, rubbing alcohol, garlic spray, and vanilla.

Other active ingredients are Apple Cider, Coconut Oil, Tea tree oil, Neem oil, and lemon eucalyptus oil among others.

To make your homemade mosquito killer, you only need to get specific measurements for each and mix them with other ingredients.

Whether you love being indoors or prefer spending some time outdoors, homemade repellents are great to have around. Mosquitoes are most active in the evenings. This is also the time you may want to relax with friends and family.

To cut the chase, this section will focus on how to get rid of these pests by providing you with several options to choose from.

We will focus on the different types of repellents you can make for use in your yard. Each of these contains natural active ingredients we earlier mentioned.

We will be listing each of these below;

  • Vodka, Lavender Oil, and Cloves

These are ingredients for making an effective repellent. The specific requirements include half a liter of Vodka, 100 ml of lavender oil, and 100 grams of cloves.

Four days are required to obtain the ideal mixture. Pour your cloves into the vodka and seal for 4 days. During this time, you need to stir twice a day. The oil is added on the fourth day and emptied into a container (preferably a spray bottle).

Directions for Use

Your homemade mosquito spray is now ready for use. It can be sprayed directly onto your skin without irritating. A few drops on your clothing is also sufficient to repel mosquito.

It is important to be observant. If you notice any skin irritations (which is unlikely), discontinue use immediately. If such irritations continue, seek medical advice.

Due to its alcohol content, this homemade spray is not recommended for use on nursing mothers, young children, and pregnant women.

  • Essential Oil Repellents

Almost all types of homemade repellents have essential oils as active ingredients. You can use any citronella, cinnamon, or eucalyptus oils. Mix 25 drops of your preferred essential oil with 2 tablespoons of witch hazel.

Cooking oil can be used in the absence of witch hazel oil.

Another alternative is mixing ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar or water. Storage should be in a tightly sealed container stored in a dark and cool place.

Directions for Use

Whatever outdoor activity you are performing, you can simply apply a few drops on your clothing or skin (or both).

For best results, this mixture can be applied hourly after the first application may have waned.

  • Lemon Juice, Garlic, and Mineral Oil

Most homemade mosquito repellents have a strong smell. The same is true for this. To make an effective repellent for your yard, simply mix these active ingredients in the following ratio; mash 4 to 5 cloves of garlic. This should be poured into mineral oil and left for at least a day (24 hours).

There will be floating particles that must be strained after leaving them for a day.

Directions for Use

To apply to the skin, an equal quantity of one teaspoonful of mineral/ garlic oil and that of lemon juice should be mixed.

Only a few drops of this mixture should be applied to the skin. It gets rid of not only mosquitoes but other blood-sucking insects.

  • Alcohol, Mint-Flavored Mouthwash, Epsom Salt

These are active ingredients you can use to make another type of mosquito repellent for yards. Lavender and scented eucalyptus can be used in place of Epsom salt. Quantities required include 3 cups of Epsom salt, 16 oz mint-flavored mouth wash, and 3 stale of 12 oz beers.

What other things are required? A large bowl is required including a spoon and funnel plus a 36-ounce bottle.

These are all poured into the large bowl and mixed until the Epsom salt is dissolved. Once dissolved, the mixture is turned into the spray bottle with the help of a funnel. This is known to be a very effective mosquito repellent.

Once sprayed around your yard, it will keep mosquitoes away for two months!

  • Using Mosquito Traps

This is an effective homemade mosquito killer that can be used together with other repellents.

Mosquito traps are great for use in outdoor environments. It consists of the trap itself which is made from a plastic bottle as well as the bait poured into the bottle.

To construct a trap, get an empty plastic bottle and cut the neck of the bottle. The top of the bottle should be turned upside-down and inserted into the bottle. This takes the shape of a funnel. Tape should be used to fasten the two parts together.

Using black tape will be preferable because it attracts mosquitoes easily. To make your bait, you should make a mixture of vinegar and baking powder. This mixture should be poured into the bottle. The carbon dioxide given off by the mixture attracts mosquitoes into the bottle.

Once in, they are unable to escape and die of exhaustion. You can make as many as you can to get the best results.

  • Mosquito Repellent Plants

This is an efficient way to repel mosquitoes from your yard. Simply have plants such as mint and lemongrass around your home. These give off a scent that is toxic to insects and mosquitoes and will keep them off your yard.

This strategy can be used together with other methods to keep your home safe.

  • Coconut and Tea Tree Oils

A mixture of coconut and tea tree oils is well known for its repellent effect on mosquitoes. This homemade mosquito repellent is cheap and easy to make.

While eliminating mosquitoes, tea tree oil also heals bites and serves as a good disinfectant. Coconut oil serves as great base oil. For this repellent, it is a  great carrier oil that is very potent when mixed with Tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil has antiseptic as well as medicinal properties that not only repel mosquitoes but kill them. All you need is 30 ml of coconut oil mixed with 10 drops of tea oil. It should be applied as often as required.

Its medicinal properties quickly heal bites from mosquitoes.

For best results, you should apply this homemade repellent at least three times a day, especially before going outdoors.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar Mosquito Repellent

This mosquito repellent is easy to use, yet so effective. You will require 30 to 60 drops of bug-off oil, 2oz of apple cider vinegar, and the same amount of water. All of these are to be poured into a spray bottle after having mixed them into a mixture.

After the first application, it can be re-applied whenever there is an increase in mosquito bites.

Apple cider vinegar mosquito repellents can be used together with other repellents for the best results. Its effects linger for several weeks after application.

However, for enhanced results, it is best to apply once a week or more. This reduces the likelihood of an increase in the mosquito population.

  • A Brew of Epsom Salt, Listerine, and Beer

Surroundings with tall grasses harbor mosquitoes. If you have a lawn around your home, mosquitoes are likely to hang around.

Apart from trimming your grasses low, you can apply this special brew. It kills mosquitoes fast and is good for your garden and trees.

To make this brew, you need to mix a third of each of these ingredients into a sprayer.

It should be properly mixed and sprayed around your home. If you are concerned about its safety on plants, you shouldn’t be.

This mixture is known to be even beneficial to plants. Epsom salt contains magnesium. While the mixture is toxic to mosquitoes, it is environmentally friendly.

For the beer component, any type of beer will do.

To kill mosquitoes easily, you should pour have a cup (measuring cup) of mouthwash into a sprayer. This should be followed by ¼ cup of vinegar.

¼ cup of dish soap should also be added to the mixture and a desired amount of water should be added. The less the water, the more concentrated (and more effective) the mosquito killer will be.

No measurement is required for the water.

This mixture can be sprayed around areas most infested with mosquitoes. It kills mosquitoes on contact and is very effective in keeping them away.

While giving you the best results, it is cheap to make as well.

  • Essential  Oil Spray Plus Apple Cider Vinegar

To make this homemade mosquito spray, you will need 11 to 13 drops of any essential oil. 50 ml of apple vinegar and 50 ml of water are also needed.

These active ingredients should be mixed into a bottle with water and apple cider vinegar going first. Your essential oil should follow. This is easy to make insect killers and also repels mosquitoes.

Apple cider vinegar enhances the repellent properties of the mixture. While protecting you and your family from mosquito bites, it will cost you very little to make.

  • Alcohol and Citronella

This mixture has three main constituents which are water (90 ml), alcohol (10 ml), and citronella oil (10 drops).

Water and alcohol should first be mixed followed by citronella oil. The mixture should be properly mixed. This mixture can be applied directly to your body as well as around your home.

Citronella is known to be as effective as DEET.

Other constituents of this mosquito killer enhance its efficacy and work as both a killer and mosquito repellent.

  • Cinnamon Oil Spray

This is easy to make mosquito killer and repellent. All you need is 10 drops of cinnamon oil and water (40 ml).

After mixing the two, it should be poured into a bottle and sprayed on the body or areas with a high mosquito population.

It kills mosquitoes on contact as well as repels them.

  • Rosemary Essential Oil and Lemongrass

Rosemary essential oil has compounds that include camphor, limonene as well as eucalyptol.

This is in addition to compounds like citronella (which is as effective as DEET) and limonene contained in lemongrass. These compounds make this mixture very effective in repelling mosquitoes.

This homemade mosquito killer is cheap and easy to make.

To make this repellent, you will need 60 ml of good carrier oil (you can use coconut oil or any other).

Other measurements are 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil and the same part of rosemary essential oil. These can be mixed in a spray bottle and applied to the body and your surroundings.

  • Garlic Spray

Allicin which is a compound contained in garlic is toxic to mosquitoes. Its pungent smell, as well as the acidic content of lemon juice, makes it a great mosquito repellent to use.

To make garlic spray, you will need water (2 cups), 4 to 7 cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of lime juice, and a tablespoon of mineral oil.

The garlic should be crushed and mixed with your mineral oil.

This mixture should be allowed to soak overnight to release its compounds. Next, you should strain the garlic and mix your lime juice with the mineral oil containing the garlic mixture.

Once done, your mosquito killer is ready. It should be sprayed onto surfaces as well as the exposed parts of your body.

It is very effective and will keep mosquitoes away.

  • Lime with Cloves

This homemade mosquito repellent is easy and fun to make. So what do you need? You only need a lemon(s) and cloves.

Simply cut a lemon in it and insert a few (5 to 7) cloves into it. These should be placed at strategic locations within your home.

Clove has an effective compound known as eugenol. This, coupled with its strong smell drives away mosquitoes.

In the absence of cloves, clove essential oils can be mixed with coconut oil and used in a spray bottle. This can be applied to the most infested areas of your home to kill and repel mosquitoes.

  • Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

This homemade mosquito killer is easy to make. First, you need 90 ml of good carrier oil as well as 10 ml of lemon eucalyptus oil. This should simply be mixed into a mixture and applied to the body or your environment.

The compounds contained in this oil eliminate mosquitoes from your surroundings within the shortest possible time.

These homemade mosquito killers are highly effective. They not only serve as repellents but also kill mosquitoes on contact. You should apply these to your body as well as around your surroundings.

Caution should be exercised when spraying mosquito killers onto your body. In the case of any irritation, you should discontinue use immediately and seek medical help.

Preventive Measures for Mosquitoes in the Yard

While these homemade mosquito treatment strategies are effective, it is also important that you take necessary precautions to discourage an increase in mosquito populations.

Some of the simple ways include trimming or mowing your lawn. Mosquitoes thrive in yards with untrimmed grasses. By mowing your lawn, you will have succeeded in making your yard less attractive to such pests.

Getting rid of stagnant water is also very important.

Mosquitoes need such breeding grounds to thrive. Such stagnant water may be found around your home or in your backyard.

Homemade mosquito repellents for the yard are effective pest control strategies you can use. These can be used in combination with other methods or alone. They are known to be cost-effective, environmentally friendly as well as easy to make.

Choosing the Best Mosquito Repellent

When choosing a repellent, there are factors you need to consider. According to the Centre for Disease Control CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency EPA (the two bodies saddled with the responsibility of ensuring the safety and quality of bug sprays), quality repellents have gone beyond mere fragrance.

These regulatory agencies recommend using repellents containing 3 major active ingredients that include Oil lemons of Eucalyptus, Picaridin, and DEET in sufficient quantities.

  • What Makes a Good Mosquito Repellent

There are basic things that qualify a mosquito repellent to be considered as good. These include being available in different varieties. These may consist of wipes, and aerosol sprays among others.

Ease of application is also of paramount importance to users. Having a mild odor is important too.

Most users will prefer using repellents with all these features.

To effectively handle all forms of mosquito infestation, you need to get the right mosquito repellent.

We have mentioned several of these products. Your preferred option will depend on what your needs are. If you prefer more natural repellents which are considered safer, then you would have to choose from the several types available.

The same is true for mosquito repellents with chemical composition. We cannot say which one is better than the other. It all depends on your needs and choice.

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