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 YARD SPRAY: Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Spray
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Spectrum Cutter Backyard Bug Control Hose End Spray
- BEST FOR FAMILIES AND PETS: EcoSMART Mosquito Fogger Aerosol Spray Can
- BEST FOR DAY USE: Cutter Backyard Fogger
- BEST ELECTRIC FOGGER: SuperHandy Fogger Machine Corded Backpack Mist Duster
- BEST THERMAL FOGGER: Tomahawk Turbo Boosted Backpack Mosquito Fogger
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, electric foggers, and thermal 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.
Electric (or Cold) Foggers
Foggers are designed to disperse a small amount of pesticide over a broad area, helping to ensure maximum coverage. Electric foggers, also known as cold or nonthermal 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.
One clear shortcoming 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.
Powered by propane or gasoline, thermal foggers 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. Commonly used by and sold to professional pest extermination companies, these machines are considered commercial devices that usually carry a high price tag. The machine’s power and cordless versatility allows it to disperse a broad application of pesticide.
These gas-powered 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.
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.
Fuel Type (If Applicable)
Thermal 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.
- Hose attachments (especially when combined with a pre-mixed solution) on yard sprays can simplify the application process by removing prep from the equation and delivering the exact amount of mosquito spray necessary.
- 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 that can be caused by trying to carry and operate a device that can weigh more than 40 pounds.
- 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.
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.
Its plant-based formula is made with three main active ingredients, including cedarwood oil, sesame oil, and sodium lauryl sulfate. The combination kills at least 98 percent of common yard pests—mosquitoes, sure, but also ants, fleas, and ticks—and repels living pests to prevent new infestations. The ready-to-use spray connects to the garden hose to the hose-end sprayer for optimal results, and refills can be mixed up in in the user-friendly bottle using the Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control Concentrate.
- Uses non-toxic essential oils instead of chemicals
- Attaches to garden hose
- Treats up to 5,000 square feet
- Kills mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas
- A little bulky to hold with the garden hose
- Outdoor use only
Mosquito yard sprays, like this Spectrum 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 Spectrum 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.
- Easily attaches to garden hose
- Kills mosquitoes, ants, crickets, earwigs, and more
- Can last up to 12 weeks
- Covers up to 5,000 square feet
- Not effective against spiders
- Toxic to bees so avoid spraying flowers
Thanks to its nontoxic formula, the EcoSMART mosquito yard spray and fogger can be used in (and out of) 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.
- Non-toxic, essential oil aerosol fogger
- Creates barrier against mosquitoes and other flying insects
- Has a nice odor
- Not long-lasting, particularly in wind
- Spraying too close to plants can burn the leaves
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 16-ounce fogger spray treats areas infested with mosquitoes, flies, wasps, and other flying insects for up to 10 hours at a time—ideal for a backyard barbecue or other outdoor party. (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 and only during a clear forecast to prevent a buildup of pesticides and potential runoff during rainy weather.
- Classic bug control fogging spray
- Kills mosquitoes, gnats, flying ants, wasps, moths
- Covers up to 1,200 cubic feet
- Only suitable for outdoors
- May need to reapply a few times
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.
- Best for larger indoor and outdoor spaces
- Sprays up to 20 feet horizontally
- Ultra small micron droplets
- 3-gallon tank covers up to 28,000 square feet
- Requires electricity
- Pesticide not included
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.
- Powerful gas-powered sprayer
- 40-foot spray covers an acre in 30 minutes
- True fogging machine rather than a spray
- Doesn’t require electricity
- Loud motor
- Heavier than other backpack units
The size of your yard will largely determine the total capacity of the mosquito spray you need. For most yards, the Wondercide mosquito spray bottle that attaches to a hose offers easy, effective coverage with without harsh chemicals. For professionals and situations in need of a heavy-duty solution, we like the SuperHandy electric fogger machine. Refill and reuse the machine time after time with a pesticide of your choice for fine spray that reaches 20 feet across and up to 6.5 feet high.
How We Chose the Best Mosquito Yard Sprays and Foggers
To suit the needs of many users, these recommendations for yard spray and foggers have been hand-picked to cover a number of common application methods for mosquito problems in yards of all sizes. Whether you prefer to keep a small mosquito barrier around your patio or spray an entire acre of land, there’s an option included to get the job done.
We concentrated the coverage of hose sprays and aerosol canisters because their accessibility, light weight, and extreme ease of use suit most household needs. That said, we did select our favorite refillable machines for larger applications, focusing on options supported by backpack designs to increase mobility (and coverage) as well as decrease strain on the body.
Just as important, we favor a few products that target mosquitoes and other flying insects but without negative consequences for the plants and ecosystem. Two non-toxic options with plant-based active ingredients will not harm the environment—especially ideal for homeowners who have children and pets in the yard frequently.
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.