While you may want your yard to be a tranquil place for kids or pets to play while you prepare meals on the grill or enjoy a morning coffee, mosquitoes and other flying pests can quickly take over a yard, forcing you inside.
Eliminating and preventing these pests can be accomplished with the best mosquito yard spray or fogger. Mosquito yard sprays are designed for concentrated pest extermination, while foggers apply a low volume pesticide or repellent over a larger area, allowing you to treat the entire yard. Beyond the size of the area, the best mosquito solution for a home also can depend on the severity and frequency of the infestation. A spray may be easier to use, but a fogger can be refilled as many times as necessary.
This guide includes important factors to consider when deciding on mosquito pest control solutions. Below is a list of some of the top products that can help control mosquito infestations in and around a home.
- BEST OVERALL: PetraTools Electric Fogger Machine Backpack Sprayer
- BEST BUDGET: Cutter Backyard Bug Control Hose End Spray
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: SuperHandy Fogger Machine Corded Backpack Mist Duster
- BEST NATURAL SPRAY: Wondercide Plant-Based Mosquito Yard Spray
- BEST ORGANIC SPRAY: EcoSMART Mosquito Fogger Aerosol Spray Can
- BEST FOGGER SPRAY: Cutter Backyard Bug Control Outdoor Fogger
- BEST HEAVY-DUTY: Tomahawk Turbo Boosted Backpack Mosquito Fogger
- ALSO CONSIDER: AlphaWorks Fogger Machine Disinfectant ULV Sprayer
Types of Yard Sprays and Foggers
Based on the method used to apply the pesticide and the power source for the fogger, mosquito yard sprays and foggers fall into three categories: spray, thermal foggers, and electric/cold foggers. All three types can be used interchangeably, and many users may have both a fogger and a spray that they turn to when mosquitoes begin to appear.
Sprays are a common option for those who are only dealing with a small infestation, though they also are suitable for more precise targeting alongside a broad-treatment fogger or mister. These products typically contain a concentrated form of pesticide with a range of different active ingredients, each intended to kill mosquitoes and other insects.
These products don’t require premixing or filling like foggers and misters, so spraying the infested area can begin immediately. However, these products are not typically reusable, so they can become more expensive in the long run to treat a recurring pest situation.
Foggers are designed to disperse a small amount of pesticide over a broad area, helping to ensure maximum coverage. Thermal foggers are powered by propane or gasoline. They have a heating element that heats and vaporizes pesticide as it’s pumped out of the fogger, allowing the vapor droplets to spread across the yard for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Due to the high temperatures produced by this fogger, it isn’t advised to treat indoor insect infestations with a thermal fogger. Because they are commonly used by and sold to professional pest extermination companies, these machines are considered commercial devices that usually carry a high price tag.
Electric foggers, also known as cold or nonthermal foggers, don’t use heat to vaporize the pesticide before spraying it out into the yard. These foggers utilize a series of swirling nozzles within the machine that separate the pesticide, vaporizing it as high-powered air pressure forces the pesticide out of the fogger. These devices can be used inside or outside, though they typically require a direct connection to a power outlet through a power cord, which limits their mobility.
Some foggers may have a carrying handle or backpack system so the machine can be strapped to the user’s back while they work. This also reduces the muscle strain that can be caused by trying to carry and operate a device that can weigh more than 40 pounds.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Mosquito Yard Spray or Fogger
Mosquito yard sprays are designed to quickly and effectively treat mosquito infestations. However, before deciding on which product is best for treating your mosquito situation, consider the coverage of the treatment, the active ingredients of the pesticide, and a few additional factors that are mentioned below.
The coverage of a spray and a fogger can vary widely because sprays are typically used for precise treatment of a nesting area, while foggers are made for a broad application. Sprays can have coverages ranging from 500 square feet to 5,000 square feet, depending on the amount of spray in the bottle and the dispersal system.
Foggers make it easier to apply a pesticide over a broad area. This allows the entire yard to be treated within an hour, instead of the user having to walk around with a small spray bottle. Foggers can extend from about 5,000 square feet to more than 30,000 square feet, depending on the size of the fogger, the range of the power cord or fuel, and the amount of pesticide.
After dispersal, it takes between 5 and 10 minutes for the fine mist to settle, so it’s important to use breathing protection to avoid inhaling airborne pesticide droplets.
There are many different active ingredients used in mosquito yard sprays and in the pesticides loaded into foggers. These include sodium lauryl sulfate, lambda-cyhalothrin, gamma-cyhalothrin, permethrin, and various essential oils.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate is a common ingredient in shampoo and detergent, so there isn’t a concern about dangers to pets and kids. However, it’s still a powerful insecticide that kills mosquito larvae and is effective against spiders, gnats, ants, and yellow jackets.
- Lambda-cyhalothrin is a synthetic pyrethroid derived from pyrethrin, which is a naturally occurring insecticide present in chrysanthemums. This active ingredient kills both adults and larvae, quickly preventing infestations.
- Gamma-cyhalothrin is another common synthetic pyrethroid that attacks the central nervous system of adult and larval mosquitoes, destroying the problem at the source while treating the ongoing infestation.
- Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid, though it isn’t as potent as the other two pyrethroids listed. Permethrin is actually more frequently found in repellent products than in pesticides, due to its lower level of toxicity. However, in high enough concentrations, permethrin will act in the same way as other pyrethroids, killing mosquito adults and larvae.
- Essential oils, like peppermint, lemongrass, citronella, and cedar oil, are natural alternatives to chemically based synthetic pyrethroids. In high enough concentrations, these oils act as powerful deterrents to mosquitoes and will kill both adult and larval mosquitoes. The oils are relatively safe for homes with kids and pets, though these natural pesticides are not as effective and do not usually last as long as chemical solutions.
Gas vs. Electric
Mosquito foggers are generally split between gas- and electric-powered products. Depending on the situation, there are benefits to each.
- Gas foggers are designed for commercial applications where the machine’s power and cordless versatility allows it to disperse a broad application of pesticide. However, these machines operate with a finite amount of fuel, so they will need to be refilled regularly to continue working. Also, before storing these foggers for long periods of time, the fuel should be completely emptied.
- Electric foggers have a clear shortcoming that limits their versatility for outdoor applications: the power cord. The motors for these machines operate through a direct connection to a power outlet, so the range of application is impacted unless a portable generator is used. When used near an outlet, these devices are much better equipped for long periods of operation because they run out of fuel only if the power goes out.
Gas foggers can use propane, gasoline, or a mixture of gas and oil that is similar to the mixture used in gas lawn mowers or string trimmers.
- Propane-operated foggers are equipped with a port to connect a portable propane tank, like those used for portable propane grills. There isn’t a lot of potential power difference between propane and gasoline, but the ready-to-use compact propane tanks can be simpler.
- Gasoline-operated foggers have a gas tank that needs to be filled before the fogger will operate. After use, it’s advised to empty the tank before storing it for an extended period. While there are more steps involved in setting up and filling this style of fogger, money can be saved on bulk gasoline purchases.
- Gas and oil mixtures are common with larger gas-operated tools and appliances. By incorporating the oil into the gasoline, the entire system can be properly lubricated every time the gas tank is filled and the fogger is operated. The drawback with these machines is that it takes time and effort to properly mix the gas to oil ratio before the fogger can be filled. If you are regularly in a hurry to complete tasks, this may not be the best option.
Ease of Use
It’s a good idea to look for mosquito yard sprays and foggers that come with features that make them easier to use, like adjustable nozzles, backpack straps, and wide-mouth tank openings.
- Adjustable nozzles allow the user to change the spray density of the fogger or spray can so the amount of pesticide being applied can be increased or decreased. Some products have built-in adjustable nozzles, while others may use interchangeable nozzles to achieve the same results.
- Backpack straps are ideal for carrying a heavy fogger, especially if the user will be treating a large area. The straps allow users to support the weight of the fogger with their entire body, reducing muscle strain and fatigue.
- Wide-mouth tank openings are a simple feature that can save time and money. Foggers need to be filled with a pesticide, so a wide-mouth opening makes it easier to quickly fill the tank. It also makes spills less likely so users aren’t wasting the pesticide or making a mess.
Safety is a priority whenever dangerous chemicals or machines are involved to ensure that a job can be completed without putting anyone at risk. With this in mind, it’s important to always read and follow the directions for use listed in the product information, on the product container, and on the manufacturer’s website.
Chemical pesticides can cause adverse symptoms including irritated eyes, rashes, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, shortness of breath, and vomiting. It’s necessary to wear proper eye and breathing protection, and it isn’t a bad idea to wear gloves, long pants, and a shirt with long sleeves as well. Usually, it’s recommended to wait at least 30 minutes to 2 hours—or longer—before using an area that was sprayed.
Our Top Picks
These top picks products are among the best mosquito yard sprays and foggers for treating irritating mosquito infestations. These products were chosen based on the coverage and active ingredients as well as the power output and input, overall product efficacy, and the other important considerations mentioned above.
The PetraTools Electric Fogger has a wide-mouth design that makes it easy to pour and mix the pesticide or any other suitable liquid solution without spilling. A single tank holds up to 4 gallons of the user’s preferred pesticide. It’s enough for the fogger to disperse an appropriate amount of pesticide over an area of 38,000 square feet, making this product an excellent choice for both DIYers with a lot of land and pest control professionals.
This fogger comes with backpack straps so users won’t have to worry about operating the fogger with one hand while carrying it in the other. However, this is a corded electric fogger, so usage will be restricted to areas with available power outlets. If this fogger is intended for use in a large field, it can work with a small generator for remote power.
Mosquito yard sprays, like this Cutter spray, are intended for treating small- to medium-size yards and for precision targeting of nesting areas. The bottle contains 32 ounces of concentrated pesticide. To mix, simply connect the garden hose to the hose end of the nozzle and spray; this process mixes the solution, eliminating worry about getting the proper mixture ratio before beginning treatment.
This mosquito yard spray is made with lambda-cyhalothrin for treating a range of insect infestations, including mosquitoes, ants, fleas, crickets, beetles, and earwigs. The full bottle can be used to treat up to 5,000 square feet of lawn and garden, helping to protect nearby infestation sites for up to 12 weeks.
This SuperHandy electric fogger is a great value for the price, with a large 3-gallon tank to hold the user’s preferred pesticide or any other suitable liquid. The electric pump can push the solution out in a 20-foot horizontal and 6.5-foot vertical spray, covering a significant amount of space in a short period of time. The fogger comes with multiple spray nozzles to adjust the density of the spray. It also features a backpack carrying system that is designed for comfort and support to make it easier on the user’s muscles and reduce fatigue.
The corded electric fogger needs to be plugged into an 110-volt outlet to function, which can include a high-quality extension cord or a portable generator. Paired with a generator, it’s a great option for use in open fields and large yards, as it has a maximum coverage of 28,000 square feet with its 3-gallon tank.
Wondercide mosquito yard spray is effective at treating up to 5,000 square feet with a full 32-ounce bottle when used according to the manufacturer’s directions. This natural mosquito spray is safe to use around kids and pets, making it a great option for parents and pet owners as well as for grandparents and others who enjoy outside visits with children.
This natural mosquito yard spray is made with three different active ingredients, including cedarwood oil, sesame oil, and sodium lauryl sulfate. The combination of these three ingredients kills mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks and repels living pests for up to 2 weeks to prevent new infestations. The solution is concentrated, so it’s advised to connect the garden hose to the hose-end sprayer for optimal results.
With its 100 percent organic formula, the EcoSMART mosquito yard spray and fogger is designed for use in homes with pets and young kids. It contains water, white mineral oil, wintergreen oil, polyglyceryl oleate, lecithins, nitrogen, and three other natural active ingredients: geraniol, rosemary oil, and peppermint oil.
This 14-ounce can of mosquito yard spray isn’t intended for treating infestations, though the spray does kill on contact. It’s better used for killing and repelling mosquitoes and flies for a short period of time while users enjoy the outdoors. The spray remains effective for up to 8 hours before it needs to be reapplied.
With a total coverage of 1,200 square feet, this Cutter fogger spray is a good option for treating decks, patios, picnic areas, and backyard spaces. The value pack of fogger spray includes two 16-ounce fogger spray cans to treat infestations of mosquitoes, flies, wasps, and other flying insects. It also can be used to kill ants, but it isn’t effective against the carpenter, fire, pharaoh, or harvester ant species.
The spray contains two common synthetic pyrethrins, known as tetramethrin and phenothrin, which work to kill adults and larval insects by damaging the nervous system, so infestations are destroyed at all maturation levels. Treat the yard or garden as necessary, but users should avoid spraying an area more than once daily to prevent a buildup of pesticides and potential runoff during rainy weather.
This heavy-duty fogger is designed for treating fields, schoolyards, farms, and large residential yards, with a maximum coverage of 35,000 square feet when the 3.7-gallon tank is full. Operating on a mixed fuel and oil ratio of 50 parts gasoline to 1 part oil, the fogger has a fast dispersal rate that can cover up to 1 acre of land in less than 30 minutes.
This machine can be a great choice for DIYers who have a large yard or multiple properties, and it’s also suitable for commercial use by pest control professionals. The gas fogger has two backpack straps, making the weight and controls easier to manage while treating mosquito infestations.
The AlphaWorks corded electric fogger requires an electrical connection to an available 110-volt outlet or a compatible generator in order to function. For this reason, the AlphaWorks fogger is a great option to use near the house where there are multiple outlets. The fogger also can be used with an extension cord or a portable generator, allowing users to treat up to 28,000 square feet. To achieve this maximum coverage, the entire 3-gallon tank will need to be filled with the user’s preferred pesticide.
The fogger includes a backpack carrying system, so the machine can be carried comfortably even when full. This fogger also comes with interchangeable nozzles to increase or decrease the density of the spray for ideal pesticide application.
FAQs About Mosquito Yard Sprays or Foggers
If you still have questions about whether mosquito yard sprays and foggers are safe around kids and pets or more general questions about how these sprays and foggers work, then read on to find the answers to some of these popular queries.
Q. Are mosquito yard sprays safe around my pets and children?
Safety depends on the type of spray you use and the active ingredient in the spray or fogger. For homes with pets and kids, look for products that specifically state they are safe. These products will typically use concentrated essential oils instead of harmful chemicals.
Q. When is the best time of day to spray the yard for mosquitoes?
For the best results, it’s advised to spray during the cooler hours of the morning or night, when mosquitoes are most active.
Q. What time of year should I spray for mosquitoes?
The best time of year to spray for mosquitoes depends on where you live. Find out when mosquitoes start emerging around your home so you can be ready to take action against them.
Q. What kind of bugs do foggers kill?
It depends on the active ingredient in the fogger, though these products are often used for cockroaches, fleas, mosquitoes, and a range of similar pests.
Q. What chemical is used for mosquito fogging?
There are a variety of different chemicals that can be used in a mosquito fogger, including tetramethrin, phenothrin, malathion, and pyrethroids.
Q. Can you use permethrin in a fogger?
Yes, permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid that can be used in a fogger. However, not all permethrin products are suitable for foggers, so always check the manufacturer’s recommendations for use before choosing a pesticide or repellent.