The Many Ways You Can Keep Mosquitoes Away

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A parent spraying bug spray on their child to help keep mosquitoes away

Nothing ruins a wonderful day or evening outside than swarming mosquitoes sucking your blood. It can send you and others running for the indoors, missing out on beautiful summer days. But you don’t have to cede the outdoors due to these obnoxious and dangerous pests. There are plenty of ways to fight back and keep mosquitoes away, reclaiming your outdoor fun.

Let’s fight back. 

Does Anything Really Keep Mosquitoes Away? 

If you came to this article hoping for a miracle-cure, 100% effective, never-miss mosquito repellent secret, we hate to disappoint you. Unfortunately, there’s no foolproof way to keep all of the mosquitoes away all the time, particularly if you live in an area prone to them. However, that doesn’t mean you should give up hope of enjoying a relaxing time outside. You have many options to repel or kill these annoying pests.

A girl wishing she had used something to help her keep mosquitoes away to avoid bug bites

What Smell Will Keep Mosquitoes Away?

If you want to keep mosquitoes away, you’re not limited to that foul-smelling chemical spray. Plenty of natural smells will also repel mosquitos too. And they’re a lot more pleasant to our noses as well.

These include the popular citronella, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, basil, and eucalyptus. You can also use a handful of other pungent natural aromas. Mosquitos hate the strong smells as they irritate them and interfere with their ability to find prey. 

How Do You Keep Mosquitoes Away Naturally? 

The most common way to use natural sources to keep away mosquitos is to extract the oils of the plants or other substances that repel them. Then, apply these oils to your skin to drive out the pesky creatures. You don’t even have to go this far for others like peppermint.

You can simply crush and rub the leaves themselves on your skin. Of course, your diet can play a role, too, with garlic-heavy meals masking our natural scents. We’ll dive deeper into these natural methods shortly.

Different Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away

When it comes down to it, many methods keep mosquitoes away. We’ve rounded up a list that should provide options for all types.

Bug Sprays

Bug spray is the most common way to repel mosquitoes and other annoying bugs. These tend to use chemical compounds, including the effective but sometimes controversial DEET. They keep mosquitoes away from you rather than kill them.

You can also find bug sprays in more natural versions that mimic natural bug-repellent compounds. You can easily find bug sprays at your local supermarket, drug store, convenience store, and other locations. The wide availability makes them an excellent choice for portability or unexpected outdoor time. 

EarthKind Stay Away Mosquitoes Insect Repellent - Plant-Based, Unscented Mosquito Body Spray with Picaridin - Up to 14-Hour Protection - Safe for Children When Used As Directed - 4-Oz (2-Pack)
  • Picaridin Mosquito Repellent Spray: Stay Away Mosquitoes offers up to 8 hours of protection against biting flies, gnats,...
  • Safe Formula When Used As Directed: Contains Picaridin, a compound bioidentical to those found in long black pepper...

Bug Nets / Screen Rooms

Another tried and true method to keep mosquitoes away is with a physical barrier like a net or screen. In some situations, you can hang these nets directly around you, like over a bed. But for on-the-go use, you can quickly set up collapsible screen rooms and provide shelter from the bug frenzy anywhere. While they may be large, heavy, and sometimes expensive, they also come with benefits like providing shade and privacy. 

Pro Tip: Considering a bug net? Take a look at even more of our favorite Bug Nets options to Keep the Bugs Out for Good

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Essential Oils

Essential oils can help keep mosquitos away, and it’s growing in popularity as more people reject chemical bug sprays. These oils extracted from plants get diluted or mixed in “carrier oils” that allow application without overuse. Essential oils have benefits beyond just their effectiveness and lack of chemicals. They also smell great, whether you’d prefer peppermint or lavender. 

Trail Guard Essential Oil Blend 2oz - Outdoor & Camping Essentials - Keeps Mosquitoes, Bugs & Insects Away Naturally with Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil & Vanilla Essential Oil
  • TRAIL GUARD ESSENTIAL OIL: Blend of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Coconut Essential Oil, Vanilla Oil,...
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Wind or a Fan 

If you’ve ever noticed that mosquitoes tend to disappear as the wind picks up, you do not imagine things. A stiff breeze prevents the tiny, almost weightless creatures from circling and swarming around you and your group. Of course, it’s not perfect, but using a fan can provide an easy way to reduce your mosquito problem significantly. Plus, it’ll help you stay cool on those hot summer days when mosquitos tend to thrive.

A mosquito on a person who is not using anything to keep mosquitoes away
PELONIS 30 Inch Oscillating Tower Fan with 3 Speed Settings and Auto-off Timer, Standing Fan PFT28A2BBB, Black, medium
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Tiki Torches 

Tiki torches combine South Pacific style with modern functionality, serving as decorations and devices to keep mosquitoes away. The secret lies in the fuel they burn, often a citronella scent or other pungent odor. Like the odors of bug sprays and essential oils, it repels the annoying critters. However, instead of having to apply something to your body, you can treat the air around you instead. 

TIKI Brand 1218011 Clean Burn BiteFighter Liquid 64 Fl Ounce TIKI Torch Fuel, Clear
  • CLEAN BURNING & MOSQUITO REPELLENT: Keep away uninvited guests with this clean-burning torch fuel that provides superior...
  • EASY POUR: This fuel can be used with all TIKI Brand torches & table torches. One Easy Pour Bottle 64 fl ounce can fill...

Bug Repellent Device 

Some may find the odor of tiki torches unpleasant or overwhelming but also want to avoid applying repellent directly to their bodies. These high-tech repellent devices are a great alternative. They use low levels of heat to diffuse substances into their air that repel mosquitoes.

In most cases, these can be odorless and near-invisible as well. Different companies may use different formulas, meaning results vary from brand to brand. The only other downside is that it requires power. You’ll need to plug it in, charge it, or come equipped with disposable batteries.

Thermacell Mosquito Patio Shield Repeller; Includes 12-Hour Refill; Highly Effective Mosquito Repellent for Patio; Bug Spray Alternative; Scent Free; No Candles or Flames
  • EFFECTIVE MOSQUITO PROTECTION: Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Patio Shield Metal Edition creates a 15-foot zone of...
  • HEAT-ACTIVATED TECHNOLOGY: No cords or batteries. Powered by a safe and compact 12-hour fuel cartridge. Emits scent-free...

Vicks Vapor Rub 

What can’t Vicks do? The old-fashioned cure-all treatment with the instantly recognizable scent has also seen some use as a mosquito repellent. The potent menthol odor will work like an essential oil to keep bugs far away. Plus, some swear by it as a treatment for mosquito bites, making it a double whammy for your outdoor equipment kit.

Mosquito Zapper 

The classic mosquito zapper has controlled the blood-suckers for decades. As opposed to other methods on this list, zappers don’t just keep mosquitoes away — they kill them. While you can’t entirely eliminate an outdoor mosquito population, picking off a good number can make things more manageable, especially when paired with other methods like sprays. The iconic neon blue light and low hum have admirers and detractors but certainly provide a different atmosphere for outdoor gatherings. 

A couple applying bug spray to help keep mosquitoes away while camping
Klahaite Bug Zapper Outdoor Electric, Mosquito Zapper Indoor, Fly Zapper, Fly Trap, Insect Trap for Garden Backyard Patio,3 Prong Plug, Black
  • Effective Physical Bug zapper: Outdoor bug zapper uses blue-violet light attracts mosquitoes, gnats, aedes, midges,...
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Wrist Band Repellent 

It doesn’t get much simpler than these mosquito repellent wristbands. They slowly release essential oils, providing a no-mess, long-term, all-natural way to keep mosquitoes away. The colorful, one-size-fits-all bands are easy for adults and kids, especially compared to sprays. Plus, you can easily store them in your outdoor bag whenever you need them. 

Cliganic 10 Pack Mosquito Repellent Bracelets, DEET-Free Bands, Individually Wrapped (Packaging May Vary)
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  • DEET-Free & Powered By Essential Oils – Active ingredients derived from plants without registered pesticides

Do Dryer Sheets Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Many DIYers may have heard about the potential for dryer sheets to avoid mosquitos. It makes sense as a solution, as you expect the strong smell to work similarly to other odors. And many people already have a pack sitting at home.

While dryer sheets may provide limited protection by simply carrying them in your pocket, they don’t measure up to other proven methods. Therefore, you shouldn’t rely on them as a primary option for mosquito control. But they can’t hurt,  especially if you don’t mind smelling like laundry.

Keep in Mind: Is Irish Spring soap a legitimate way to deter mice? Let’s see What People Get Wrong About Irish Spring Soap and Mice

Stay Bug-Free This Season With These Options

Mosquitos can easily ruin a great time outside — not to mention all the dangerous diseases they transmit. But with this information, you now have the power to take back your summer days and nights from these winged invaders. You may prefer natural oils, powerful sprays, or devices you can set up nearby. Whatever you choose, we hope you enjoy your bug-free outings.

Last update on 2024-02-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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