Zap Those Mosquitos! Tips, Ideas and Projects


I happen to live in a house just one street in from a river canyon. Love the access to the canyon trails. Hate the mosquitos! In fact, they can make my garden nearly impossible to enjoy in the early evening hours in Spring and Summer, which of course is the best time to enjoy it! So I am always on the hunt for a better mosquito trap, or repellent, or any device to keep them away! We all know about Deet, and other chemical repellants. We also have all heard about the possible dangers associated with them. We tried to find some natural solutions.

Here they are, the best ways we have found on the web to zap those mosquitos… or just plain ol’ make ’em disappear!

Disclaimer : We have not tried out all of these, so I can’t guarantee their effectiveness. Would love for you to share in comments whether they work for you, or if you know some other ideas that we haven’t mentioned!

Your first option is to plant mosquito repellant plants in your garden. I think this works great if you can plant enough in the garden in your immediate area… One plant is not gonna cover it. A better option might be to plant them into containers that you can move and group around a patio or table area when needed. Here are the top three most popular repellent plants that are pretty, too!


Lemongrass is a tender tropical grass that will not survive the winter in areas colder than zone 8, so is best used in containers. It is the most popular and, reportedly, effective mosquito repelling plant!




Sage is great as a garden or potted plant, and comes in ornamental varieties that are purple and golden as well. (I grow them both in my garden!) Also great tossed onto a BBQ or fire pit to add some repellent properties to the air. Learn how to grow sage.




I also grow a lot of lavender, and I love the smell. I actually go out and pick a lavender stem when I wander my garden just to enjoy the stress relieving scent. Also a great mosquito and fly repellent. Learn how to grow lavender.

Zap Those Mosquitos! Projects and Ideas


A couple others worth a quick mention? Basil, catnip, rosemary and mint.

Ok, so you’ve planted a few great plants and are ready to move on to more.

Start with this DIY all natural bug spray by Tasha from ‘Designer Trapped’… She even breaks down why this is a better value than store bought bug sprays, not to mention… did we mention? All natural!

Zap Those Mosquitos! Projects and Ideas


Charlene at ‘My Frugal Adventures’ has another recipe, this one is a homemade mosquito repellent with just three ingredients!



From Stephanie at ‘Garden Therapy’, learn how to make citronella candles with her budget friendly tutorial… These would be great to combine with the mosquito repellent plants! She has a great garden projects book out as well, check it out while you are there!



Make these pretty mason jar citronella candles from ‘Marty’s Musings’ for a charming way to repel mosquitos. She even tells you where to get the liquid citronella fuel.



From Melissa Caughey at ‘HGTV Gardens’, make these herbal insect repelling bundles that you can use in a fire pit or BBQ to keep bugs away. You just let them smolder at the edge of any fire source, and voila! No more bugs, and the air smells amazing!



Ok, this one is pure genius. Jessica at ‘Mom 4 Real’ shows us how to make this cute DIY mosquito repelling bracelet! And of course, it’s all natural as well.



This homemade mosquito trap from ‘Ehow’ is inexpensive and easy to make. It also comes with some controversy as to how effective it is, and whether it will also trap bees, which of course, we need! I understand if you add a little vinegar to these traps, bee’s will not be as attracted… This is worth a try, but one note. As with any insect traps, don’t place them near your seating areas. The trap are meant to attract the bugs, so if you put it too close to people, you are bringing them right to you!




Another quick DIY mosquito spray? From ‘Mint Juleps N Muddin‘, try Listerine in a bottle. They suggest the original.



Use Vicks Vapor Rub around your wrists and ankles as a natural repellent, from ‘Divine Caroline‘.



So our last trick for you is a simple one. We ran across this article on this low tech mosquito deterrent from the ‘NY Times‘. Using the flow of a fan across your seating or patio space can give  just enough air movement to keep away mosquitos. Mosquitos are notoriously weak flyers, so this can be pretty effective. Try it!

Zap those mosquitos - fan

Image Credits: Burpee, Almanac, Bonnie Plants, Designer Trapped, My Frugal Adventures, Garden Therapy, Marty's Musings, HGTV Gardens, Mom 4 Real, Ehow, Mint Juleps N Muddin, Divine Caroline




  1. I live in South Africa and we have a lot of mozzies in the summer months, sometimes even deep into the winter. The fan is good for indoors, especially on those warm evenings. It cools and keeps them away!
    For outdoors, I have invested in proper oil lamps, as wind can be problematic with open lamps and candles. I get the citronella oil at the super market and it works a charm.
    I cant wait to try the herb bundles! Never heard of it and although it is winter here now, I will definately try in summer – will let you know how it goes!

  2. Tried the listerine, got eaten alive.

  3. Tried Listerine it did not work.

  4. I thought the listerine method included lemon dishwashing soap? I got the cheap mouthwash and cheap soap, mixed together and sprayed on lawn with hose sprayer attachment. didn’t help long term, but it seemed to distract them long enuf for a short event, and it didn’t hurt plants or animals.

  5. And I buy lavender scented dryer sheets and put them in all the windows. I don’t know if they work great, but since we aren’t “in and out a lot” type of people and we have a breezeway, which seems to give us extra time to brush bugs off b/f coming in the house, it seems to be working for us, in keeping mosquitoes out of the house. Outside is another matter, fighting an uphill battle this year, that is for sure!

    • I love using dryer sheets outside for mosquitoes, I rub them all over my body and my clothes and then I put one in each pocket leaving some of the dryer sheet to hang out ,my friends by the store bought spray and still get bit I never do they definitely work!

  6. One more thing! Question? can you make suggestions as to what to do now that we HAVE been bitten? lol! I have allergic reactions so using benedryl is my basic method, but I was wondering what others use as a topical to help with itching? Thanks!!

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Its crazy you asked this… I just found these ideas on Pinterest, so obviously use at your own risk… Oragel (tooth ache get) or Icy Hot numb the itch! It seems to work for me!

    • I’ve been bitten a lot this summer and have found the “hot spoon” trick works fantastic. You have to do it when the bite is “fresh”….less than 30 minutes of being bit. Stir a metal spoon in a cup of hot water and touch the spoon to the bite. Leave it on the bite until the spoon cools off….repeat 2 more times. Afterwards, I apply lavender essential oil. It never itches again and by morning, the bite is a small unswollen red spot. Caution to not get the spoon too hot. From what I understand, the heat breaks down the proteins that cause the itch.

      • Kathy Woodard says:

        Thanks for letting us know how it worked for you Tamara! I’ve had luck this summer with using “Oragel” on it… numbs the initial itch, but it rarely comes back after that!

      • Same technique, different method to apply the heat. Why not use a flannel/face cloth soaked in water as hot as your hands can tolerate. Then just put the cloth over your bite. Wring out enough of the water to stop too much mess. As soon as cloth cools down reapply the hot water. If you have been bitten a lot, it is easier just to get into a hot bath and then increase temperature while in, using caution of course.
        Works every time. Applying lavender after drying also helps in severe cases.

      • The spoon method really works great!

    • I can tell you my go to for many things, including insect bites (mosquitos, ants, etc) Vicks Vapor Rub! I also have an allergic reaction and swell horribly with big ole red welps, but I can tell you the Vicks is the trick! Stops the itch right away! Reduces swelling! It’s great!

    • A very wise woman told me to put Ammonia on a cotton ball and wipe the bites, wipe a couple of times. It works perfectly. It takes away the itch and then the bite disappears. It’s very inexpensive. It works on all insect bites.

      • Here in Va. Beach USA you can buy an applicator stick named “After Bite” at the drug store which works really well….when you take the cap off to apply to bite, you can small the ammonia. I always have a jug/bottle of ammonia in the laundry room, so now I just wet a cotton ball & apply to bite. . . .works like a charm and really cheap since you don’t have to buy anything :-)

      • My grandmother taught us to use Ammonia, works great!! and very inexpensive!!

    • Anastacia says:

      I immediately use a Q-tip to touch the bites with bleach. The itching is gone for good. Try at your own risk. My dad grew up on a farm and taught me this method.

    • Moved to New England from AZ, tried tons of remedies, what worked best for bug bites was surprisingly….hemmroid cream. I know it sounds weird/gross but it attacks inflammation and itching at the same time.

    • Banana peel is good for drawing out the poison if you are allergic..along with benadryl. Some lavender essential oil applied on the bite soothes and also draws out the poison. Give it a try.

      • William Carr says:

        Aloe Vera relieves itching usually within 10 minutes but probably depends on the person. It is also the go-to product for burns.

    • Some one advised me on using garlic directly on the bite, it works fine, despite the odor which may be unpleasant for some people.
      I had known that B-Complex vitamins ingested do help on the repellant side of mosquitoes bites, I am not quite sure why it works, but is also a good try. Of course results may vary.
      The las thing I used this past week was citronella oil mixed in my body lotion and it did the job also. I also found on the youtube channel an spanish lady making her own natural mosquitoe repellent to be used in an electric diffusor and said that worked wonders… It was basically an emulsion made with Lavander, Rosemary, mint, Eucalyptus, Basil plant, process is rather than not long and somehow complex to do without emulsifiers; but I was considering a try, for mosquitoes and also for aromatizing indoors.

    • I use dollar store generic (Benadryl)
      Take a few maybe 6 rise off the coating.ccoating.crush very well, and put in a small spray bottle and fill with with hazel.
      I actually used the bottle that Benadryl topical spray came in. so a very small spray bottle. sprayed on your bike works like a charm. I did not suggest is for children. as I’m not sure of the dosage.

    • Our kids get allergic reactions to mosquito bites (big welts ) we have taken to using Hand Sanitizer with Aloe Vera in it. They say it stops the itch right away and by the next day the bite is usually gone.

  7. Denise Thompson says:

    I tried the listerine and it did help but still got bit, better than alot of bites though. Love the ideas.

  8. Linda Gipson says:

    Absorbine Plus is what we use for mosquito bites you may have to use a couple of times but it does the job for us. Can be found in any pharmacy. My husband uses this also for atheletie
    foot problem.

  9. We tried wheatgrass tablets they worked quite well. Our family didn’t have any bites last year
    Hope they work for you.

  10. Sussi Organic says:

    We sleep out on our porch in summer (too hot inside), and I put an oscillating fan beside the bed on “low”. No ‘skeeters! Blows them away!

    • I agree! We have a more industrial fan. Covers longer area. Reason fans work with mosquitos, they can’t fly in wind. Good luck everyone.

  11. Bobbi McBroom says:

    Hey Kathy you said to share. I’m 60 years old I have worn lavender my entire life. I am up to 13 mosquito bites, in my ENTIRE life!!

  12. Nicole L says:

    Mosquitoes have always been attracted to me and one bite would instantly swell up to the size of a quarter and would last for weeks at a time. I’ve never cared for over the counter repellent as it’s always worn off at some point and I would still get bit. The best most natural 1 ingredient repellent I’ve ever used: Coconut oil. I started using it religiously last year for almost everything: lotion, sunblock, to cook food, to put shine in my hair…. Coconut oil is amazing and a little goes a long way. I tested it out last year and only had 1 skeeter land on me and fly off, didn’t even bite. I highly suggest coconut oil.

    • I use coconut oil for a lot of things from cooking to feeding it to the pups. I’m curious how you use it to deter bugs. Do you make a spray? Do you just rub the oil on all over the exposed areas? Curious minds need to know!

    • If you want something really good for mosquitoes, fire ants, poison ivy, or anything like that, go to the drug store and get Domeboro Solution. It is really good!! It’s a very old medication for itching, rashes, etc!! Most pharmacies have it and it’s over the counter!! Most people never heard of it. My mom used it years ago!!!

  13. My secret is… take one spray bottle of your favorite Avon Naturals body spray, add one teaspoon of Avon Skin So Soft original bath oil. Close up cap, shake and mist yourself. Works about eight hours and you smell nice too.

    • Try the Skin So Soft on a small area. I rubbed it all over my legs before a ball game and was so allergic I had to go to doc for shot. I have no other allergies either.

  14. s martin says:

    use those little anti germ fighers, like in a small bottle for sanitizing hands, rub some on an instant relief from a bite! they also come with little things to attach them to a belt loop!

  15. Hi Kathy, mosquito’s hate the smell of tea tree oil. So, I pour anywhere between 10-20 drops of the tea tree oil in any of my body sprays, shake it & spray on everyone in the household. It works great. However; my son stayed out playing with friends late at night & got but once. So, reapplying after 4-6 hours may help. For the bite iteself… Rub on tea tree oil. Works great.

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      I actually have tried it for the bite, and it does help a lot! Thanks for the spray tip!

  16. Krrrristen says:

    I learned about the hemorrhoid cream from some long-time outsiders too. They used Americaine, which sometimes is difficult to find, so I’ll be trying the Oragel this year. A little Americaine goes a loong way,and be sure to apply it with a pinky or you’ll find out as I did how much you touch your finger to your mouth!

  17. Hello Everyone!
    I found that some one wisely used a big fan with a mosquito net back attached with some sticky tape kind of industrial tape to avoid it to loose or get into the fan.
    They turned the fan on at the open garden and really worked out wonders, since not only propelled wind took them (mosquitoes) away, but the ‘clever’ ones that went back of the fan, got trapped and died on this net. Of course a big open area will never end up without mosquitoes, but in a closed room or inhouse it may do the trick nicely.

  18. I had my husband get coconut oil and it is a solid like crisco shortening. Did he get the wrong thing?

  19. Hi Folks, greetings from Northern Canada, where the mosquitoes are really vicious, especially this year, Unfortunately, I am a natural mosquito attractant, Sitting in a crowd, I’m often the only one that gets bitten. I really hate those lil nasties!!!! So my remedy for those bites is “Apple Cider Vinegar”, I’ve been told ordinary white vinegar will also work, but I prefer the ACV. Nicer smell, inexpensive, effective, readily available, fast acting and totally natural, What more could you want?

  20. Hello,

    Just found this article and I’m excited to try several of the suggestions to keep those pesky mosquito’s away! One plant you didn’t mention that I’ve always heard works well at repelling them is Marigolds (the BIG old fashioned ones). I really haven’t given it a try but considering that they do smell pretty pungent they just might help a lot if there are pots of them in areas where people like to sit, etc. and planted out in the yard and borders in large groups, where you could try mass planting of several varieties. Oh… they’re also edible and pretty in salads, sandwiches, cheeses, etc too! God Bless! :o)

  21. Alma Motta says:

    But all of those things just repells to mosquito’s or kill them, I need something to kill the fruit flies

  22. I just keep a small spray bottle with white vinegar and spray on itching bite.
    It will take a minute or so to stop the itch and if it starts up again just spray again.
    Works great. My grandkids always come in and want sprayed..
    Sometimes it will take spraying a couple time If it is still itching.
    Just a $1 sprayer at Walmart
    and I use for cleaning lots of other things. And rinsing my hair after a shampoo makes it squeaky clean.

  23. I am very allergic to mosquito bites and living between the marsh and ocean in NC they are everywhere. I could not use a hot spoon because if I go out I come in with 20 plus bites and my husband will have 0. I do not wear perfumes or lotions for this reason also. I carry a small tube of hemorrhoid cream, even in my purse and it works better than anything I have tried. And now we sit here now waiting for Hurricane Matthew to bring in some more water and bugs of all types.

  24. This rid my mosquito problem in my backyard. Mx this solution and spray the perimeter and plants. Use 3 bottles of 12ounces of cheap beer.Beer must be stale so leave it out in the sun for a day. 1 big bottle of blue mouthwash and 3 cups of epson salt. Mix all ingredients into a spray bottle and spray away. No more mosquitos in weeks. The hardest part is actually doing it. Rid those mosquitos and get your backyard back. Good luck

  25. i went and got a rechargeable bug lite and hung it in my house. it last for about 4 hours before needing to be recharged and i turn it on as i go to bed have not had a bite sense. one time cost of $30.00

  26. We have mosquitos real bad in our yard so I’ll be trying some of these as well!! I’ve heard that a lime with cloves stuck in it is supposed to work too but haven’t tried it myself!

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