Summer is the time for barbeques, pool parties, and late-night s’mores by the campfire. As fond as we are of these backyard party traditions, we can all agree they tend to come with one major bummer, mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes can quickly take your fun-filled party from a blast to disaster. The constant, irritating bites are enough to make you want to hide out inside all day long.
That’s no way to spend your summer, so we’ve devised 9 ways to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard for a party.
About Mosquitoes as Pests
We all know a mosquito when we see one. These tiny, flying insects come in 3,500 different species, all of which bite the skin to feed on blood. Most humans react to mosquito saliva, which causes itchy, red bumps.
What’s worse is that mosquitoes are vectors, which means they can carry and spread viruses through their bites. So, not only are they irritating, but they can also be dangerous.
And because adult mosquitoes bite day and night, avoiding them can be extremely challenging during summertime, their most active time of the year.
Mosquitoes are prevalent in most outdoor places, but they often prefer the woods, tall grass, and marshes. They also love anywhere with standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing bodies of water, and their larvae and pupae live in the water.
9 Ways To Get Rid of Mosquitoes
Learning a little bit about mosquitoes can be helpful when it’s time to get rid of them, but you need some concrete steps to take. Below, we have 9 effective ways to get rid of mosquitoes so your backyard can be the summer oasis you’ve always dreamed of.
1. Reduce Potential Breeding Grounds
Female mosquitoes only need to mate with a male once to lay as many as five sets of eggs throughout the summer. That makes for some speedy breeding! If you can prevent breeding, you can help minimize the number of mosquitoes in your yard.
Even the smallest amount of standing water can offer the perfect location for eggs. Inspect your property for standing water, including these common areas:
- Bird baths
- Trash cans
- Kiddie pools
As a rule, try to dump anything that might collect water after a rainstorm. Bring children’s toys inside and empty small pools after use. Clear your yard of any unnecessary clutter that may accumulate moisture.
2. Plant Mosquito-Repelling Plants
If you’re not a fan of chemical repellents (more on that later), an excellent alternative treatment for your yard is plant vegetation that naturally repels mosquitoes.
Many people are unaware that such plants exist. In actuality, these plants are very common. If you’re a gardener, you may already have a couple in your home or on your property. The key is to find plants that have strong scents. While you may enjoy the smell, mosquitoes certainly don’t.
If citronella sounds familiar, it’s likely because you’ve heard of citronella candles. Citronella candles are made to repel insects like mosquitoes. The candles have mixed reviews, so it might be best to use the citronella plant for a strong defense.
The citronella plant is a tall grass that contains mosquito-repelling oils. You can grow it as a perennial or an annual. You can crush its leaves to use as a natural repellant.
Marigolds are stunning, hardy flowers with bold colors that can brighten up your deck and yard. The annuals not only look great, but they have a strong fragrance that truly bothers mosquitoes. Since they’re so pretty, they make an easy choice to have around your yard.
The rosemary plant does well in hot, dry climates. Its familiar woody scent makes it an excellent option for cooking, but mosquitoes don’t like it. Having a few potted rosemary plants on your deck can help create a discouraging barrier for the nasty insects.
Lavender is another popular herb to keep in your yard. The plant blooms beautiful, purple flowers that add color and appeal to your deck, garden, or yard. Plus, the plant has an attractive scent that bothers mosquitoes.
English lavender has an overwhelming scent that helps mask the smell of humans, making it more difficult for mosquitoes to find you. The plant also produces an essential oil that works to repel mosquitoes even better than DEET.
Other Mosquito-Repelling Plants
Some other mosquito-repelling plants include the following:
- Rose Geraniums
- Lemon Balm
Most of these plants are easy to grow and serve other purposes, such as cooking and making tea.
3. Chemical Yard Treatments
Many people invest their money into regular chemical yard treatments for mosquitoes. The treatments are temporary, so you have to continue the service for them to remain effective. But if mosquitoes are a real problem in your yard, they can be well worth the money.
If you’re concerned about mosquitoes for a specific party or event on your property, a yard treatment can be a great option. Get your yard sprayed the day before a barbecue, birthday party, or your 4th of July bash so it’s ready for all your guests.
You can hire a pest control company to come out and handle your yard treatment. This is often the best option because these professionals know how and where to treat for the best results.
You can also buy plenty of mosquito yard treatments at your local hardware store. Insecticides work well on grass, trees, shrubs, and garden beds. For easy application, you can purchase foggers or liquids that attach to your hose.
4. Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
The lemon eucalyptus plant not only contains citronella oil but also has p-menthane. Both of these components make it quite effective in repelling mosquitoes.
To use this oil, mix it with witch hazel in a spray bottle. You can use this mixture to spray on outdoor surfaces, such as deck railings, chairs, and tables. Be careful not to get it on any food, and take extra caution when using it around pets.
This mixture is also effective as a bug spray and can be used directly on your skin.
5. Bring Potted Plants Inside During Rain
If you’re a plant lover, you probably have plenty of potted plants living outside on your deck or porch. Plants can be beautiful and super beneficial, not to mention a fun hobby, but they’re also notorious for harboring excess water.
As we already know, excess water can attract a multitude of mosquitoes.
One thing that can help prevent this is bringing your plants inside during rainstorms. Some plant owners may even consider moving them indoors during the most humid summer months and leaving them outside only during the spring and fall when it’s too cold for mosquitoes.
This small step can help prevent mosquitoes from hanging around and breeding even more insects on your property.
6. Install Zappers
Insect zappers have been around for a long time, and there’s a good reason for that: they work! If you’ve never seen one, an insect zapper uses a combination of light and electricity to zap your bug problems away.
The ultraviolet light bulbs work by attracting insects of all kinds to themselves. Inside of the zapper is an electrical grid. When the bug lands on the grid, it completes the circuit and receives a high-voltage shock, which kills it.
There’s some debate whether or not insect zappers attract mosquitoes, but many modern products are made for a wide range of insects. Given the low cost of one, it’s worth a shot to keep a couple around your deck and yard.
7. Burn Pinion Wood in Backyard Fires
An old-fashioned bonfire is one of the best, most nostalgic backyard summertime activities. Your firepit maybe your favorite place, but not while the world’s most annoying insects surround it. The smoke can help, but it’s often not enough protection.
Enhance your backyard fires by burning pinion wood. When burned, pinion wood gives off a very smoky pine fragrance. It will smell fabulous to you, but the mosquitoes will hate it. You can purchase logs of it specifically for this purpose. Add it to your fire and enjoy the evening.
8. Coffee Grounds
The one thing that will get you up in the morning may also be the key to your mosquito problems. As tasty and beneficial coffee is for you, it’s deadly to the mosquito population.
Collect your used coffee grounds and sprinkle them throughout your garden beds, plants, and wherever you find standing water. The coffee grounds will work to deprive the eggs of oxygen, and they won’t be able to survive. No eggs mean no more mosquitoes!
When it comes to effective coffee grounds, the older, the better. Let your ground dry for up to three weeks before sprinkling it around your plants. And as a bonus, your plants will love the extra nutrients.
9. Install Outdoor Fans
It may seem like a silly solution, but sometimes you must physically push mosquitoes away to keep them out of your face. And interestingly enough, oscillating fans can be highly effective at accomplishing this.
It’s pretty simple. Fans create forced air, sending lightweight objects flying in the other direction. Because mosquitoes are so tiny, flying against strong, steady breezes can be very difficult.
Try keeping one or more oscillating fans out on your deck or patio. Set them up so they blow out and away from the space where people sit, eat, and converse.
You can also try installing an outdoor fan on the roof of a patio or porch cover or hang one from the top of a gazebo or awning.
The breeze will help blow away mosquitoes, along with other insects, and it will also provide a nice relief from the summer heat.
So, you now have 9 ways to get rid of mosquitos in your yard for a party. The summer months are the perfect time to be outdoors, soak up some sun, and spend time around the barbecue with loved ones. But nasty, biting insects like mosquitoes can quickly turn a fun day into a miserable one.
Try one or more of these mosquito solutions to rid your yard of these tiny pests and make it the best location for the summer’s outdoor parties.
Cardi “likes to party” Clark has 15+ years of designing, planning, and executing successful parties and events. Highly skilled in event strategy, management, planning, and execution with a track record of exceeding expectations. I make it happen. I get it done and people have fun!