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How to Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard According to Experts

A girl scratches at a mosquito bite
MIA Studio/Shutterstock.com

Buzzing insects, relentless bites, and itchy welts—mosquitoes have mastered the art of turning a peaceful outdoor haven into a battleground. Fortunately, we were able to talk to experts in the field who have mastered the art of getting rid of bugs. Here’s everything you need to know about keeping pesky mosquitoes at bay.

Understand What Attracts Mosquitoes

A mosquito on a leaf

If you have a lot of mosquitoes in your yard, there’s probably some standing water nearby.

“Mosquitoes lay their eggs in still water, which is why it’s important to keep your yard free of standing water,” said David Price, Associate Certified Entomologist for Mosquito Joe, a Neighborly company.

To combat this, Price advises getting rid of standing water when possible in common areas, including:

  • Gutters: Clean your gutters regularly, especially after storms in order to avoid clogs that can create standing water.
  • Children’s toys: Kiddie pools, slides, and even swing sets can gather water after rainstorms, so check them regularly for standing water.
  • Tarps: Ensure that any tarps covering items in your yard fit tightly to prevent water from pooling.
  • Old tires: Avoid leaving unused tires outside, as they can accumulate water and become a breeding ground.
  • Pet bowls: Bring pet bowls indoors when not in use to prevent standing water.
  • Gardening tools: Empty flowerpots and tools should not be left outside, and drain hoses after use. Check flower pot saucers for signs of water collection.
  • Trees and shrubs: Trim overgrown trees, brush, weeds, and tall grass, as mosquitoes are attracted to these areas.

Emma Grace Crumbley, Mosquito Squad Entomologist, notes that mosquitoes are attracted to damp, shaded areas and dislike sunny, dry locations. If you live in a wooded area near a stream or lake, for example, you will have a higher chance of experiencing a lot of mosquitoes than someone who lives in the middle of a city.

Summit...responsible solutions 110-12 Mosquito Dunks

If you have standing water in your yard that you can't get rid of, use these dunks to stop mosquitos from maturing.

Make Your Yard Unfriendly to Mosquitoes

A family in their backyard

According to both experts, the first thing you should do when trying to keep mosquitoes away from your yard is to remove all standing water nearby.

“Take measures to eliminate standing water in your yard and ensure proper water drainage throughout your lawn,” said Crumbley.

If you don’t think you have standing water in your yard, do a thorough sweep and check any spot that might be able to hold water. This includes toys, gutters, chairs, buckets, and plant pots.

Crumbley also recommends keeping plants and shrubs trimmed to avoid creating a habitat for mosquitoes. If you use tarps in your yard to cover wood piles or boats, check them regularly for standing water, especially after rainstorms.

SUMMIT CHEMICAL CO 117-6 30OZ Mosquito Bits

Another solution to deterring mosquitos in standing water.

Deter New Mosquitoes

Someone sprays sunscreen on a child's arm
Elizaveta Galitckaia/Shutterstock.com

Once you have your current mosquito situation figured out, you’ll want to deter new ones from coming. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to keep every mosquito away from your yard. However, there are a few things you can do to limit their numbers.

Price notes that many popular mosquito fixes are not as effective as they are often advertised. Citronella candles, for example, may deter bugs for a short period of time, but won’t offer long-term benefits. The same goes for essential oils—while they can be effective for some people, their effects are usually temporary and won’t work for everyone.

Instead, Price recommends more heavy-duty solutions. He likes Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer, which has an active ingredient that affects adult mosquitoes when they land on foliage.

Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer for Indoor & Perimeter

Get rid of mosquitos and eggs in a large area.

He also recommends Cyzmic CS, which has a slow-release microencapsulated formula that affects adult mosquitoes when they land on foliage.

Control Solutions

Another option for heavy-duty mosquito control.

If you don’t want to use heavy-duty products, you can always try some natural solutions instead. Crumbley suggests planting rosemary or marigolds around your home. The smell of these plants can repel mosquitoes, plus the plants look really nice.

Sara's Superb Herbs

Grow rosemary at home.

If these solutions don’t work, or you don’t want to tackle your mosquito problem yourself, consider hiring a professional. Mosquito Joe and Mosquito Squad both offer mosquito and flea control treatment to customers nationwide.

Mosquitos can ruin backyard fun by spreading disease, leaving itchy bites, and just being annoying. These expert tips will help you say goodbye to mosquitoes for good and hello to an enjoyable outdoor summer.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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