Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Bug Spray (2023)

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Published by Pam Kessler | 488 words. · About 3 minutes to read this article. - 26 Comments

How to repel mosquitoes without bug spray using homemade natural mosquito repellent recipes.

It's been so wet around here lately that the mosquitoes are out in full force!

They are driving me nuts!

It reminds me of when I was a kid and we used to go camping in the summer. For a few years we even camped all summer long. My Dad would park the trailer at a campground about 20 miles from our house and we'd sort of live there for the summer months.

Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Bug Spray (1)

Lots of swimming. Fishing. Playing in the woods.

Lots of mosquitoes.

Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Bug Spray (2)

The guy who owned the campground used to spray for mosquitoes every couple weeks to keep them at bay. He hooked up a tank thing onto the back of his lawn tractor and would drive through the campground happily spraying fog stuff out the back.

With all the kids running right behind him jumping up and down, running in and out of the fog. Trying to get as much of the spray on to them as possible.

I was one of those kids.

Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Bug Spray (3)

Were we out of our minds?

It never once occurred to us that it might not be safe. In fact I think it was DDT???

Well, in case you are having a bad year with mosquitoes where you are and you don't want to douse yourself with DDT and lose some brain cells, try out some of these non death-defying natural mosquito repellents.

Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Bug Spray (4)

Homemade Natural Mosquito Repellents:

This 4 ingredient non-toxic homemade mosquito spray is quick and easy to make and smell great too!

Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Bug Spray (5)

You can make some super cute DIY Bug Repellent Mason Jars Luminaries with Claire at A Little CLAIREification.

Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Bug Spray (6)

Natural Living Ideas has a handy dandy list of 11 plants that repel mosquitoes.

Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Bug Spray (7)

And Jessica at Mom 4 Real shows you how to make your own DIY Chemical Free Mosquito Repellent Bracelets.

Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Bug Spray (8)

Stephanie at Garden Therapy shows you how to smudge your fire with herbs to keep the bugaboos away.

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Mosquito Prevention In the Backyard:

Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Bug Spray (10)

  • Mosquitoes are attracted to scents, so try to limit your use of scented products. Steer clear of perfumes, scented body lotions or scented sunscreens.
  • Mow tall weeds and grasses around your property since mosquitoes like to rest on the tall grass.
  • Wear light colored clothing as darker clothing attracts mosquitoes.
  • Get rid of standing water in birdbaths, dog dishes, old tires, etc.
  • Plant mosquito repelling plants along your porches and decks (see below).

What Plants Repel Mosquitoes?

  • Marigolds
  • Citronella Grass
  • Catnip
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Ageratum
  • Lavender
  • Bee Balm

How are the bugs in your neck of the woods? Shall we compare welts?

Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Bug Spray (11)
Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitoes Without Bug Spray (12)

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DIY Stove Top Home Fragrance

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(This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my full disclosure policy here.)

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Reader Interactions


    • Pam

      I'll send them back up your way 🙂


  1. Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces

    We used to ride our bikes behind the DDT trucks and pretend we were in fairyland...I seriously wonder if it lead to many of my health problems...


    • Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces

      That should be "led" lol... must be DDT brain


    • Pam

      That's a good question? Wonder how much of our "aging" issues are really due to chemicals from that era! We're doomed!


  2. Teri

    My parents made sure I knew the fogger trucks were dangerous (if it killed bugs it couldn't be good for people). Mom loves to tell the story of when I was four (about 1966) I came screaming (literally) into the house that I was going to die. Loud enough that concerned neighbors came over to see what was wrong. When they finally got me calmed down enough to talk, they found out that the fogger had gone by while I was playing in the yard.

    I really, really hated those things!

    (Video) Put This In Your House And You'll Never See Flies Or Mosquitoes Again


    • Pam

      Well, I guess you were right to hate them!!! I'm not sure my mom ever knew we were playing in the fog, but the guy doing the fogging didn't seem to care, so maybe most people just didn't know back then?


      • Joi Cowell

        I had an aunt, an uncle and five cousins that all lived in an area in Madison,Wi. that was sprayed all summer. My aunt and uncle both died from cancer and two children have had cancers. No I don't think there is any connection to the DDT fog. WHAT?


  3. taryterre

    You are right all the rain has left mosquitoes swarming. I have welts everywhere. They love to bite me. Going to read through the tips you posted to see if I can rid myself of them once and for all.


  4. Sam @ DIY Just Cuz

    This is awesome! I currently live in Japan and the summer has been humid as heck with little mosquitoes flying all around. I haven't been outside much because of it but I'll have to try one of these out so I can spend some time outdoors!


  5. Musings from Kim K.

    I need to test out some of your ideas. Our youngest bites swell up 4 times the size of a normal bug bite. Of course, those mosquitoes just continue to gravitate to her. I swear she's a mosquito magnet.


  6. Thistle

    Love this post! Yes!!!! We have mosquitos....but worse than that here are the spiders!!!

    Thanks for the links!



    (Video) 8 All-Natural Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away

    • Pam

      You're welcome, Girl! I have a weird amount of spiders in my house too. I've tried all sorts of things, but find stepping on them works the best 🙂


      • Michelle

        Diatomaceous Earth (DE) food grade works great on all creeping crawlers. It's all natural and sage to use everywhere indoors. Just be sure it's pure food grade and not mixed with anything else.


  7. Amy @ StowandTellU

    Oh, I remember the fogging trucks! Great post, I can't wait to try some of these remedies.


  8. Jenny

    Northern Illinois mosquitos are so bad that we can't even go outside for 5 minutes. And that is WITH the trucks and helicopters spraying to try to keep the numbers down. If any of these remedies really work, it would be a miracle. I think we have tried just about everything, but the only thing that works is dousing ourselves in the chemicals. Horrible.


  9. Fonda Rush

    I'm one of those lucky people who don't get bit by mosquitoes. They have never really liked me. One thing that is good for eating mosquitoes is bats. Make your yard bat friendly! Maybe frogs eat them, too? My wife makes sure to spray out the old water out of the bird bath frequently. We don't need to create a breeding ground, but we do want to provide water for the birds.


  10. Bliss

    The mosquito is our state bird and they adore me!


  11. chris tucker

    being the tough old gnarly thing that i am they leave me alone, but my poor grandson gets eaten alive and swells up like a toad, hope some of this helps xx


  12. taryterre

    (Video) Natural Mosquito Repellent For Dogs - Home Remedies

    good suggestions to rid ourselves of all those pesky mosquitoes .


  13. Barbara Chapman ~ French Ethereal

    Bless you! I need some serious repellent around here ~ we've always lived with mosquitoes but between them and the chigger mites... Oy vey! I'm am ate up, as the folks around here like to say! 😉

    Willing to try anything at this point,
    Barb 🙂


  14. Cathy Murphy

    I remember riding my bike through the fog, out of breath and sucking wind. I now have COPD. My students can't believe I was so stupid. Not stupid just naive. I said " you guys douse yourselves in all that cologne and hand sanitizer - just you wait 20 years"...


  15. William Stone

    I read an article years ago about mosquitoes and it stated to build bat houses and hang gourds.Bats by night and Purple Martins by day.The Martins live in the gourds.It also stated that bats will consume over 10,000 mosquitoes in one evening as where the Martins will consume 15,000-20,000 in the day. Hope this helps.


  16. Maryam Benazir

    After a long time i am seeing a well deserved post regarding mosquito control. Appreciated one, well structured and informative. According to me, using spray and applying repellent cream does not suit well for all kind of people. Some may feel allergic. Fixing mosquito net for Windows will give protection. Prefer the natural mosquito control method at first. Also try implementing secondary things like mosquito net installation.


  17. Angela Waterford

    My sister hates it whenever she visits my house because she keeps getting bitten by mosquitoes for no reason. It's interesting to know that these insects are attracted to scents, so maybe there's a way to treat my house in order to drive them away. I think I'll hire a pest control company to do this for me so I can make sure that her next visit will be a pleasant one.


  18. Tomika

    The commenter who said that mosquitoes are their state bird...they must live in my neighborhood. :). We have had a ton of them this year and they do not go away now that winter is kicking in a little either. I have a propane trap set up in my back yard, but for around the porch, I think the luminaries or plants will be so much nicer to see. Thank you. I've never heard of the candles in mason jars. They are beautiful.


Leave a Reply


What can I use to keep bugs away if I don't have bug spray? ›

Lemongrass, citrus, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, citronella, catnip, and lavender oils all possess properties that repel bugs. The oils can be used individually or combined to make a simple anti-bug potion. Mix about 1 cup of water with 25-30 total drops of oil into a small spray bottle.

What smell do mosquitoes hate? ›

Certain Natural Scents

Mosquitoes are turned off by several natural scents: cinnamon, peppermint, cedar, citronella, lemongrass, patchouli, catnip, lavender, and more. Find a favorite, and use it when you want to spend time outside.

What is the most effective natural mosquito repellent? ›

A combination of lemongrass oil and olive oil offered 98.8 percent protection against mosquitoes for three hours.

Do dryer sheets repel mosquitoes? ›

Dryer sheets are designed to provide a pleasant scent to laundry, not to repel insects, so any insect-repellent properties may wear off quickly. In summary, while some people claim that dryer sheets can repel mosquitoes, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim.

What do all mosquitoes hate? ›

Mosquitoes hate the smell of lavender, citronella, clove, peppermint, basil, cedarwood, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass and rosemary. They also hate smells such as smoke, for further insight, see our exploration on, does smoke keep mosquitoes away?

What is a homemade repellent for mosquitoes? ›

lemongrass or citronella oil, and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. 1 cup isopropyl alcohol, 1 cup water, ½ tsp. catnip oil. 1 cup alcohol or witch hazel and 10-20 drops of essential oils such as lemongrass, peppermint, or lemon eucalyptus.

What is a homemade no see um repellent? ›

Essential oils like lemon, eucalyptus, mint and camphor are known for repelling no see ums. You can make your own essential oil spray by mixing several drops in a spray bottle with water, or you can purchase a natural insect repellent spray made with a mix of essential oils.

How can I be less attractive to mosquitoes? ›

Basically, to avoid being a mosquito-target you should stay as scent-free as possible, wear light clothes, avoid bogs and use an effective repellent (such as those containing DEET or icaridin).

Does Pine Sol keep mosquitoes away? ›

Fortunately, I have learned two things that keep these critters away and you only need 4 simple items: 2 Spray Bottles, a bottle of Listerine Mint Mouthwash, and bottle of Pine-sol (or eucalyptus oil for a more natural spray). For starters, mosquitoes HATE mint! Pour the Listerine into a spray bottle and spray away!

What smell do mosquitoes love? ›

How you smell: Mosquitoes are drawn to floral scented soaps, deodorants, perfumes, and moisturizing lotions. It sounds gross, but they are also drawn to smelly feet or socks and your sweat or skin odor; and they will use these skin-derived chemical signals and smells to find you.

What color clothes deter mosquitoes? ›

To reduce the possibility of a mosquito biting you, you could consider wearing white, green or blue. Lighter colors are less interesting to mosquitos than darker shades like navy and black, red or orange. However, clothing color alone is unlikely to keep mosquitos away for good.

Does spray deodorant keep mosquitoes away? ›

The good news is deodorant spray or stick can act as a mosquito repellent if applied on to exposed body parts. In case of being bit, swipe onto a mosquito bite to reduce itching. The aluminum salts in the deodorant help stop pain and swelling.

Do mosquitoes hate vinegar? ›

Mosquitoes dislike the smell and taste of the vinegar, and will leave you alone so you can enjoy your BBQ. So if you're interested in seeking a natural insect repellent, try out this recipe which uses apple cider vinegar as a base! Fill your spray bottle with half water, and half apple cider vinegar.

Does lemon get rid of mosquitoes? ›

Do lemons repel flies and mosquitoes? YES! Citrus is a natural pest repellent and citrus essential oils are used in most homemade pest sprays.

Does rubbing alcohol repel mosquitoes? ›

Specifically, you can use regular rubbing alcohol to repel insects if you don't have a dedicated bug spray or any other essential oils on hand. It doesn't repel bugs in the same way as many essential oils, however. Alcohol is a very dehydrating and drying solvent.

Does Vicks Vaporub keep mosquitoes away? ›

The smell of the menthol in it will repel the insects away. You can also rub it on any mosquito bites you may already have and it will relieve the itching.

How do I stop getting bitten at night? ›

To help prevent bug bites, dermatologists recommend the following tips:
  1. Use insect repellent. To protect against mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs, use insect repellent that contains 20 to 30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing. ...
  2. Wear appropriate clothing. ...
  3. Use bed nets. ...
  4. Pay attention to outbreaks.

How many times can a mosquito bite you in one night? ›

There is no limit to the number of mosquito bites one of the insects can inflict. A female mosquito will continue to bite and feed on blood until she is full. After they have consumed enough blood, the mosquito will rest for a couple of days (usually between two to three days) before laying her eggs.

Does white vinegar repel no-see-ums? ›

Fill a bowl with a half-and-half mix of dish soap and vinegar, and set it out on a counter. The vinegar attracts the little buggers, and the viscous soap drowns them. My wife and I tried this for two weeks at our house in North Charleston, and the body count was well over 200. Yes, we counted.

How do you make no-see-ums bites stop itching? ›

If you think you've been bitten by no-see-ums, wash the area as soon as possible with warm water and antibacterial soap. You can help relieve the pain and itching with very cold wet compresses or even ice packs.

What foods repel no-see-ums? ›

Read ahead to discover which foods help repel mosquitoes.
  1. Beans, Lentils, Tomatoes. Beans, lentils and tomatoes are all rich in thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. ...
  2. Grapefruit. ...
  3. Garlic and Onions. ...
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar. ...
  5. Chili Peppers. ...
  6. Lemongrass. ...
  7. Give Us a Call.
Jul 6, 2020

What type of person attracts mosquitoes? ›

There's research showing that people with Type O blood are more likely to get bites from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (a common mosquito in the U.S.). And a recent study showed people with Type B blood attract Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes.

Why do mosquitoes bite me and not my wife? ›

The bacteria naturally living on your skin

Many of these byproducts are known to be mosquito attractants, so it's thought that body odor likely plays a large role in mosquito preference. Since we all have different types and mixes of bacteria on our skin, our individual body odors vary.

What color do mosquitoes hate? ›

Certain colors repel mosquitoes. If you don't want to become a mosquito's next meal, try wearing lighter, more subdued hues. White, beige, khaki, pastel yellow, and even soft gray are good options. And as a bonus, these colors will also keep you cooler on a warm day.

What soap is supposed to keep mosquitoes away? ›

Most tutorials instruct you to grate up a bar of Irish Spring soap (this particular brand, apparently, is crucial) and sprinkle it around where you'll be sitting outdoors to create a barrier against bugs.

What are 3 things that attract mosquitoes? ›

Here are 5 things that can attract mosquitoes to you or your home.
  • Blood, Sweat, and Beers. Seriously. ...
  • Clothing Color. ...
  • Lotions, Perfumes, and Colognes. ...
  • Standing Water. ...
  • Tall Grass and Vegetation.
Apr 22, 2020

Why are there no mosquitoes in California? ›

California's Mediterranean climate, with its hot, dry summers, should be arid enough to eliminate the standing water that serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

How do you drive mosquitoes away? ›

To naturally get rid of mosquitoes around the house, some popular methods include these:
  1. Burning coffee grounds.
  2. Lighting lavender candles.
  3. Leaving plates of sliced lemons or cloves around the house.
  4. Setting out mosquito traps.
  5. Spraying with essential oils such as lavender, lemon, or eucalyptus.
Nov 16, 2022

Do coffee grounds repel mosquitoes? ›

Coffee grounds make an effective mosquito repellent because of the strong smell. The coffee grounds will mask the scents on humans that attract mosquitoes - if they can't smell you they can't find you! You can also burn it to create an even stronger aroma - the same way citronella candles keep mosquitoes away.

How do I treat my yard for mosquitoes naturally? ›

GARDEN: How can you get rid of mosquitoes in the yard? Try these tips
  1. Eliminate standing water around your home. ...
  2. Move potted plants indoors. ...
  3. Place herbs and scented oils around your backyard. ...
  4. Scatter coffee grounds. ...
  5. Grow insect-repellent plants. ...
  6. Install a drain in planter boxes.
Jun 26, 2017

Does vinegar keep mosquitoes away? ›

Mosquitoes dislike the smell and taste of the vinegar, and will leave you alone so you can enjoy your BBQ. So if you're interested in seeking a natural insect repellent, try out this recipe which uses apple cider vinegar as a base! Fill your spray bottle with half water, and half apple cider vinegar.

How do I get rid of mosquitoes in minutes? ›

Best Hacks and Tips to Getting Rid of Mosquitos at Home
  1. Chemical Repellents. ...
  2. Use Mosquito Repellent Plants. ...
  3. A Concoction of Food Items That Mosquitos Hate. ...
  4. Soapy Water to the Rescue. ...
  5. Check for Gaps in The House. ...
  6. Apply Essential Oils to the Skin. ...
  7. Using Alcohol to Keep the Mosquitos Out. ...
  8. Mosquitoes Hate Breeze & Wind.
Sep 9, 2021

Does lotion keep mosquitoes away? ›

Although some scents work as a repellent for mosquitoes, other body lotions or perfumes can actually attract these pests. The best thing to do is stay away from fancy smelling perfumes, colognes, body washes or lotions if you plan on spending time outside during high mosquito activity hours.

Can anything keep mosquitoes away? ›

Catnip, peppermint, lavender, sage, rosemary, citrosum, lemon balm, and basil are all great at keeping mosquitoes away.

What is a natural DIY mosquito repellent? ›

Make an All-Purpose Insect Repellent

lemongrass or citronella oil, and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. 1 cup isopropyl alcohol, 1 cup water, ½ tsp. catnip oil. 1 cup alcohol or witch hazel and 10-20 drops of essential oils such as lemongrass, peppermint, or lemon eucalyptus.

What is the recipe for homemade mosquito repellent? ›

Mix 1 part oil of lemon eucalyptus or lavender essential oil with 10 parts witch hazel in the bottle. (For each drop of oil, use 10 drops of witch hazel.) Shake gently to mix. Spray to apply.

What stops mosquitoes biting you? ›

Use insect repellent
  • DEET.
  • Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
  • IR3535.
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
  • Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone.

How do I keep mosquitoes away at night? ›

Consider having mosquito-proof mesh fitted on windows or close windows if you can. If there's no insect screens or if you're sleeping outdoors near creeks, water holes/swamps, a river or even long grass, having mosquito nets over sleeping areas and bedding can help.

What is the fastest way to get rid of mosquitoes outside? ›

Use citronella torches or candles to keep bugs away from small areas outside, such as a porch or deck. Fans can blow winds strong enough to disperse mosquitoes outdoors. Electrocuters, or mosquito zappers, use heat and carbon dioxide to attract and kill mosquitoes.

Does Vicks Vapor Rub repel mosquitoes? ›

The smell of the menthol in it will repel the insects away. You can also rub it on any mosquito bites you may already have and it will relieve the itching.

Does baby oil stop mosquitoes? ›

There is no scientific evidence that baby creamy oil prevents mosquito bites. However, if you're looking for a tested and proven mosquito repellent, it might be better to consult trusted sources, like Consumer Reports.

Does coffee repel mosquitoes? ›

Coffee grounds make an effective mosquito repellent because of the strong smell. The coffee grounds will mask the scents on humans that attract mosquitoes - if they can't smell you they can't find you! You can also burn it to create an even stronger aroma - the same way citronella candles keep mosquitoes away.


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