You're outside grilling dinners, hosting parties — and fending off what feels like a never-ending supply of mosquitoes. If chemical sprays aren't your thing, try these 13 non-toxic bug repelling tricks instead.
Before your next outdoor party, decorate the space with a few strategic potted plants. Lavender and lemon balm are two options that will perfume the air, add to your curb appeal and repel pesky mosquitoes.
Burning candles with all-natural citronella oil is a tried-and-true method for repelling mosquitoes. Create your own with metal or glass containers, old wax and candle wicks.
Get the tutorial at Don't Waste the Crumbs »
Back in 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed lemon eucalyptus oil as an effective repellent agent. Rub the essential oil, available online or in most drugstores, into your skin for an all-natural mosquito-repelling perfume.
If you're not crazy about lemon eucalyptus, try a homemade water-vanilla extract mixture instead. Combine one part water and one part vanilla extract, and use cotton balls to rub it into your skin. Although this concoction won't effectively repel mosquitoes for as long as a more traditional bug spray, it certainly smells better (and all you have to do is reapply every 30 minutes or so).
A super-simple way to keep mosquitoes at bay is setting up an electric fan in your outdoor space. Because mosquitoes are relatively weak fliers, they'll have trouble getting anywhere near a wind-generating fan. Keep that air moving, people!
Okay, so this method of repelling bugs might repel your guests as well, but eating a generous amount of garlic is said to help keep mosquitoes away. (As you sweat out the garlic odor, the smell will repel the bugs.)
Mulch is used as a soil covering for a number of reasons, including the prevention and control of weed growth. But laying cedar mulch can also keep bugs at bay, as they're repelled by the smell.
You probably already know that standing water attracts mosquitoes and that you should eliminate it to rid your yard of bugs, but don't forget to think about the H₂O in your flowerpot saucers, pool covers, pet water bowls and trash cans.
For the sneaky backyard water hubs you can't eliminate, sprinkle coffee grounds into the pooled liquid. Most bugs will avoid the unclear water source, and any mosquitoes that do find their way into the water will be killed off by the java.
Mosquitoes are known to attack while you're sweating over the grill. To keep them at a distance, throw a sprig of rosemary on the grill with dinner. The strong smell of the smoking herb will repel them — and it'll add extra flavor to your meal. Win, win.
While you're at it, throw some basil, mint and sage into the mix. Their scents act as natural mosquito repellents. (And a 2009 study found that basil specifically is toxic for mosquito larvae.) Who knew?
When mosquitoes aren't feeding on your blood, they're actually eating plant nectar. Keep your yard well-groomed (mowing the lawn and trimming back overgrown vegetation should do the trick) to make it a little less welcoming.
It might not be pretty, but this homemade mosquito trap is effective. All it takes is a plastic bottle, scissors and some bug bait (think balsamic vinegar or fruit juice).
Get the tutorial at DIY Natural »