Mosquitos can so easily ruin a beautiful summer’s evening sitting out on the patio or around the campfire but luckily there are a whole load of powerful natural mosquito repellents out there that keep mosquitos away both in the garden and when you’re camping.
So I’ve got for you here a bumper guide to all the best natural mosquito repellents both in the garden and when you’re camping that covers everything from common scents that keep mosquitos away through to how to stop mosquito bites & make your own mosquito repellent sprays.
Use the index below to find specific mosquito repellent tips for the garden and camping you need and for more advice do check out my other natural pest control tips including my top tips on how to treat mosquito bites naturally if you do unfortunately get bitten.
Common Scents That Keep Mosquitoes Away
If you’re plagued by mosquitos on the patio in the garden or camping and you need to come up with a DIY mosquito repellent fast, these are the common scents that keep mosquitos away:
- Tea tree
- Lemon eucalyptus
For an instant natural mosquito repellent use these dried herbs to make a quick tea you can spray around or add these scents as essential oils to a diffuser. Added to a BBQ the scent will also help keep mosquitos away.
If you are going camping take a tub of some of these herbs with you to chuck on the campfire.
Natural Mosquito Repellent For The Garden
One of the best natural ways to repel mosquitos in the garden is simply to include mosquito repellent plants in your garden design and I’ve got a big list of mosquito repellent herbs and flowers that repel mosquitos below.
But we also need to target key areas of the garden with some clever mosquito repellent tips.
Natural Mosquito Repellent For The Yard
- Try not to leave water standing for any length of time in watering cans, buckets or pots but remember birds & other wildlife need access to water during the summer so try to change bird bath water regularly or find a way to keep it moving.
- Make sure water butt lids fitted tightly.
- Encourage bats to nest by putting up a bat shelter.
- Encourage swifts, swallows & martins to nest in the garden with special boxes, they devour huge numbers of flying insects and love mosquitos.
- Try yellow bug bulbs as backyard lighting.
- Put mosquito traps around the yard. A classic fruit fly trap jar works brilliantly – just half fill a jam jar with water, apple cider vinegar & dish soap and put a paper funnel on top. Mosquitos are drawn in & drown. When I’ve had a sudden influx of mosquitos I’ve taken out loads this way.
Natural Mosquito Repellent For The Pond
Ponds can be a wonderful part of even a tiny garden and very valuable if you’re trying to embrace wildlife friendly organic gardening but they are an obvious breeding ground for mosquitos, so use these natural mosquito repellent tips around your pond to keep them at bay :
- Keeping water flowing in ponds is the key way to keep mosquitos away as this will help prevent the female laying eggs. You can now get little solar & windmill water bubblers & aerators.
- Encourage as much pond wildlife as possible e.g. frogs, toads, newts, fish who will eat eggs and larvae.
- Try to keep your pond algae free as mosquitos feed on the algae.
- Put mosquito dunks in the pond. These contain a bacteria which kills mosquito larvae but not other wildlife and can be used in an organic garden. You could also put them in other standing water such as butts.
Natural Mosquito Repellent For The Patio
We’re never going to completely eliminate mosquitos from our gardens and yards even if we get on all of the natural mosquito repellent tips above. Sitting out on the patio on summer evenings we’re always going to be vulnerable to mosquito bites but these simple tips will help keep them away :
- Have a fan on the patio table or at the edge of the patio – even a light breeze will make it harder for the mosquitos to fly and land in the area.
- Plant a mosquito repellent herb border around the patio.
- Have a mini herb garden of mosquito repellent herbs on the patio table.
- Put scented candles on the table – citronella are popular but they can smell a bit gross to us too so look out for candles fragranced with other common scents that keep mosquitos away.
- Make your own super simple instant mosquito repellent candles with any mosquito repellent herbs you have to hand.
- Burn mosquito repellent incense sticks – again look for scents you actually like.
- Place mosquito lamps – you can get solar ones – away from the patio so they attract and zap the mosquitos rather than encouraging them to fly around you.
Mosquito Repellent Plants
Filling our gardens with mosquito repellent plants is brilliant natural pest control especially because most of the best mosquito repellent plants are simple herbs you can grow easily
Mosquito Repellent Herbs
Most of these mosquito repellent herbs can be grown both indoors and outdoors in pots and many of them make attractive perimeter hedging or border edging around a patio :
- Rosemary – you can easily grow rosemary from cuttings and can actually grow it into a perimeter hedge.
- Chives – pretty chives are super useful companion plants for natural pest control in the garden.
- Catnip – obviously one to avoid if you want to repel cats from your garden.
- Mint – again you can grow mint from cuttings so can easily spread pots of it around.
- Thyme – a wonderful natural remedy for everything from sinus congestion & sore throats to sunburn & hair lice, you can easily grow thyme in patio pots.
- Garlic – you probably don’t want garlic around your patio but it’s a great mosquito and aphid repellent companion plant and natural fungicide to have in your vegetable garden.
- Citronella Grass
Flowers That Repel Mosquitoes
For some mosquito repellent colour in the garden you could also add some of these flowers that repel mosquitos to the garden :
- Marigolds – all round great natural pest control.
- Feverfew – a pretty daisy like flower that is also good for sinus congestion.
- Bee Balm or Monarda
How To Keep Mosquitoes Out Of The House
Mosquitos are usually more of a problem in the garden than in the home but if you are being plagued by them in your home try these natural mosquito repellent tips :
- Plant mosquito repellent herbs by doors.
- Have a small indoor herb garden of mosquito repellent herbs.
- Plant window boxes with flowers that repel mosquitos.
- Use simple DIY fly traps that get rid of flies naturally to trap any mosquitos that do come into your home.
- Have a small fan by any doors or windows they come through.
- Have a small fan by your bed at night.
- Hang lace curtains at bedroom windows.
- Spray rooms with a DIY lavender room spray.
- Spray sheets & pyjamas with a DIY lavender linen spray when you’re ironing to keep the bugs off you when you’re sleeping and it can even be a natural sleep remedy.
- Try to stay cool at night. Getting hot & sweaty will attract mosquitos.
Natural Mosquito Repellents For Camping
Camping trips truly can be ruined by horrible mosquito attacks that leave us covered in bites and itching and swollen but these simple natural mosquito repellent tips when camping will keep the bugs away and help to prevent mosquito bites …
- Don’t camp near water.
- Add mosquito repellent herbs to the campfire.
- Cook garlic & onions on the campfire – both are natural mosquito repellents.
- Do take mosquito nets & keep mosquito net doors shut.
- Take mosquito coils for the camp table.
- Drink mint tea.
- Spray tent with cooled mint tea or lavender spray.
- Always clean up food & ensure food bins covered.
- Spray food containers with lavender or mint. Mosquitos are attracted by smell of food and the mint and lavender just confuses their senses.
- Place a mosquito lantern away from where you’re sitting so it attracts the mosquitos and zaps them.
If you do get bitten use these instant natural mosquito bite remedies to stop itching and swelling.
How To Stop Mosquito Bites
There are times when we just can’t keep the mosquitos away so use these simple extra tips to help stop mosquito bites :
- Wear light coloured clothes.
- Cover up with long sleeves & leggings when mosquitos are flying.
- Avoid wearing blue.
- Wear a light cotton scarf to keep them off your neck.
- Choose a fragrance with a scent mosquitos don’t like.
- Carry a little fan – even the gentlest breeze can help see them off.
- Cover yourself with DIY mosquito spray.
- Wear a mosquito hat net if you’re out hiking or some such where the mosquitos are unavoidable.
- Keep cool as possible by keeping hydrated as mosquitos attracted by our sweat.
- Apply aloe vera – well known for treating mosquito bites naturally – to most vulnerable areas as it make it harder for the mosquito to penetrate the skin.
DIY Natural Mosquito Repellent Sprays & Balms
There are obviously lots of mosquito repellent sprays available in the stores. Many of these contain DEET which some people try avoid because they question whether DEET is safe although organisations such as the EWG who are usually very cautious about chemical sprays include DEET in their top three bug repellent recommendations.
If you do want to avoid DEET alternative natural mosquito repellent sprays usually contain oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE). The natural mosquito repellent properties of the lemon eucalyptus plant have been chemically enhanced in OLE.
And if you do want a very simple natural mosquito repellent spray or balm without chemical enhancements you can of course make your own. There are lots of DIY natural mosquito repellent spray & balm recipes out there with different combinations of essential oils including these :
- All natural DIY bug spray with witch hazel, eucalyptus, citronella & lemongrass.
- A DIY bug spray with a bunch of different blend suggestions based around lavender, rosemary & lemongrass.
- DIY bug balm with citronella, cedarwood, lavender & lemongrass.
Now you really don’t have to go out and buy these exact oils to make a DIY bug spray. You could just use any essential oils you have from my list of common scents that keep mosquitos away within these recipes.
Just make a mixed herb tea of rosemary, thyme and mint from dried or fresh herbs and then strain it into a bottle you pop in the fridge for a while to cool. The cooling spray will help to stop you sweating – so reduce your attractiveness to bugs – and the herbs will repel the mozzies.
And there you go, absolutely everything you need to know about natural mosquito repellents for the garden and camping. Do bookmark it for quick reference and share with friends.
For more simple non toxic living tips do check out my other posts: