10 Natural Ways to Combat Summer Mosquitoes

There's nothing more annoying than having your summertime fun ruined by the buzzing and biting of the season's peskiest foes—mosquitoes. Before they breed, congregate, bite, and drive you indoors, consider some natural ways to keep them at bay. Start by eliminating standing water wherever you discover it—from gutter spouts to birdbaths—and consider herbs like rosemary and thyme that are known for their insect-repellant scents. What about installing a bat house? We've included that and more in our 10 natural ways to keep you bug-free this summer.

  1. Remove Standing Water

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    Standing Water Mosquitoes

    Standing water is where mosquitoes make more mosquitoes. Limit the insects' ability to breed by clearing your gutters of clogs, filling in sunken parts of your lawn, removing tarps or debris where water may collect, and regularly changing the water in your birdbath or kiddie pool.

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  2. Spray On Garlic

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    Garlic Mosquito Repellant

    Yes, really. Garlic makes an effective natural mosquito repellant. Mix one part garlic juice with five parts water, put the solution in a spray bottle, and spritz yourself as needed. As a side benefit, you will also repel vampires!

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  3. Try Out Catnip Oil

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    Catnip Mosquito Repellant

    Believe it or not, the essential oil in catnip, nepetalactone, repels mosquitoes more effectively than DEET. Although you may have to dodge your neighbor's cat as a result, catnip oil-based insect repellant does a good job of protecting exposed skin.

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  4. Build a Bat House

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    Bats Eat Mosquitoes

    In only one hour, a bat can eat hundreds of insects, mosquitoes included. Build or buy a bat house, hang it in a well-ventilated area, and let those web-winged creatures do their thing. 

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  5. Throw Herbs on the Barbie

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    Herbal Insect Repellant

    Because the essential oils in many herbs are natural insecticides, you can throw a bundle of rosemary or sage on the coals while you're barbecuing in order to keep backyard mosquitoes at bay.

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  6. Use Natural Insect Spray

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    Natural Insect Spray

    Made with five natural essential oils, Herbal Armor was voted "Best Gear of the Year" by National Geographic. Before heading outside, grab a bottle of this popular DEET-free insect repellant spray; reapply every two hours.

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  7. Turn On a Fan

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    Fans Repel Bugs

    Mosquitoes are lightweights. A fan blowing at a speed of two miles per hour is simply overpowering to a mosquito. So try strategically placing fans around your deck or patio to get a good bug-free breeze going.

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  8. Plant Lemongrass

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    Lemon Grass for Mosquitoes

    Thai lemongrass contains citronella oil, the strong scent of which makes it hard for mosquitoes to find you. At the same time, lemongrass is a beautiful mounding perennial. Plant some on your property wherever your family and friends like to congregate.

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  9. Change Your Light Bulbs

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    Bug Lights

    Mosquitoes aren’t attracted to all kinds of light—just some. Instead of standard bulbs, opt for LEDs, yellow bug lights, or sodium lamps. This light switch should reduce the number of mosquitoes swarming around the entrances to your house during evening hours.

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  10. Dress Appropriately

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    Avoid Wearing Dark Colors

    Certain species of mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors like black, blue, and red—and they are all attracted to heat. So stay cool (and less appealing) by wearing lighter colors. While you're at it, try to avoid wearing scented perfumes or lotions.

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  11. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!