Best Yard Treatment for Mosquitoes

by | Sep 23, 2021

I don’t know what it is but like some of you, I’m a magnet for mosquitoes.

And when summer hits in SoCal, these little bastards are out with a vengeance.

Unless I covered myself with DEET spray or lotion, I was a walking blood bank.

They’re annoying.  

They’re vicious.  

And what’s worse, they can transmit diseases such as the West Nile Virus, Zika, SLE, and a few others.

Talk about disconcerting.

So, I’ve scoured the internet and did some considerable research and tests on my own.  And through all of the trial and errors, I can tell you that a lot of what you read and see on the internet is incomplete or just flat out BS.

For example, plants rarely work, so whatever you read or hear is BS. And the oils extracted from the plants (the real source of their repellency), are only slightly effective on some mosquitoes.

Citronella candles are just as effective as a regular candle.  In other words, it’s virtually useless unless you surround yourself with candles and create a smoky barrier.

Keeping yourself protected is rather simple but with all of the false information you find on the internet, it can get pretty frustrating.

So, before we provide you with the best yard treatment for mosquitoes… 

Start With Getting a Fan.

With any treatment you may choose to use, I always recommend using a fan.

Mosquitoes are weak fliers and fans are an excellent way to keep them at bay.

Some people use ceiling fans on patio covers but they need to be powerful enough to make a difference.

A slight breeze isn’t going to be enough.

I would recommend using an oscillating fan set to medium or high.

Let me assure you, the fans have been a blessing for me.

I like to enjoy the yard during the warm, summer evenings, especially when friends come over and we haven’t had a single issue with mosquitoes..

I have two set up in adjacent corners so we have a continuous breeze blowing through and the result?

No mosquitoes…

No bugs…

And we stay cool.

What’s even better is that you don’t need any treatments or repellents although I use them anyway because I always tend to wander away from the fans range.

So, get yourself an oscillating fan or two.

They work.

Pros:

  • Very effective and will keep mosquitoes along with other insects at bay.
  • Simple solution that’s perfect for the warm, summer evenings.
  • No chemicals needed.

Cons:

  • Only effective within a certain radius.

Once you get your fan, you can use it independently or in combination with any of the following mosquito yard treatments:

Mosquito Bits or Mosquito Dunks

It’s not slang.  That’s what they’re actually called.

And they’re an eco-friendly way to control mosquitoes.

Mosquito Bits and Mosquito Dunks contain Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, a bacteria found in soils that act as a larvicide.

Although they aren’t effective against adult mosquitoes, they’re absolute gold when it comes to killing the larvae.

Much of the information you may source will advise you to eliminate any body of stagnant water or to trim thick brush and/or rake leaves.

But if you’re not able to, you can simply sprinkle this treatment in any body of water or garden around your home and it will reduce your mosquito problems dramatically.

However, since it’s completely harmless to animals and you can’t control any mosquitoes coming from your neighbors, you can throw some over to their yard.

I have a turtle pond that used to get infested with mosquito larvae and despite the waterfall and the turtles feeding on them, it wasn’t enough to stop the flow of mosquitoes laying their eggs and hatching.

I even tried fish but the turtles would end up eating them so I ended up trying Mosquito Dunk.

After a single piece of donut was tossed in the pond, the larvae were all dead within a day and no harm came to my fish or turtles.

Use these in combination with a fan and I’ll almost guarantee a mosquito free evening in your yard.

Pros:

  • Cheap solution for your garden and bodies of water around your home.
  • Extremely effective at killing larvae.
  • Non-toxic.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t kill adult mosquitoes.

Ecovia Products

Another effective option is the line of Ecovia products.

Although the labels indicate that their products are pet safe, it’s recommended that you use gloves and to keep children and pets away from the area while being applied and moistened.

The Ecovia G is my favorite in their lineup although their liquids and dusts are equally effective.

It’s a bit pricey at about $75 for a 12lb. Bag.

It’s a granular solution that is sprinkled in the yard.

Spread it around brushes, grass, and any moist areas and you’ll find a significant difference in the amount of insects flying around your garden.

What I love about this treatment is its fragrance.

Once applied, you’ll notice a very floral aroma surrounding your garden and although the scent doesn’t last very long, the effectiveness of the treatment will continue.

Pros:

  • Makes your garden very fragrant.
  • Extremely effective repellent.
  • Non-toxic.

Cons:

  • Very expensive.

Other Treatments

Insecticides

There are a handful of other effective treatments and insecticides for your yard like Talstar, however, I generally don’t recommend them due to their ingredients which are possible carcinogens.  But if you want a sure fire way to get rid of them, insecticides are the way to go.  Just wear gloves and a mask if possible.

Soap

Liquid soap is another solution you can try.  Mix a small solution with water into a spray bottle and spray the areas you think that may have mosquitoes. Adult mosquitoes will die within a minute upon contact.  Just be aware that some plants may die if you leave soapy water on the leaves for too long. 

Standing Water

Getting rid of standing water is a given when dealing with mosquitoes.  However, some people intentionally leave buckets of water to attract adult mosquitoes so they can kill the larvae ending its life cycle.  This works to a certain extent, however, if the mosquitoes are coming from your neighbors, it’ll be an uphill battle for you.

If the treatments listed above seem too much, you can always use the tried and true method, DEET.

Use Repellents with DEET

This is really for yourself as opposed to your yard but DEET works.

There are other treatments that use Lemon Eucalyptus or Picaridin that are also effective but I found DEET works best and for longer periods.

Of course the duration of its effectiveness depends on the concentration amount.  The more DEET it has, the longer it lasts but overall DEET provides more superior protection.

And although DEET is a chemical, you’ll be safe as long as you follow the label, according to the CDC.

One thing to note, however, it will absorb into your skin if left for prolonged periods. Unless you intend on staying outdoors for extended periods of time, stick with concentration levels at 20% to 30%.  And kids won’t need more than 10%.

Here’s a video of a gentleman exposing himself to mosquitoes and testing DEET and Lemon Eucalyptus spray.

I’ve used both and they work equally well, however, Lemon Eucalyptus requires continuous reapplication after a short time whereas small concentrations of DEET last much longer.

Other Solutions or Treatments for Mosquitoes

Are there other solutions?

In short, NO.

These other treatments and gadgets may offer some protection but none are as effective as what’s listed.

Here’s a list of what was sampled and tested:

Dyna Trap

Dyna Traps capture every insect except mosquitoes. I wasted my money on this, unfortunately.  Don’t bother unless you have issues with other insects.

Thermacell

Thermacell deters some mosquitoes but you’ll still end up getting bitten despite its use.

Citronella Candle

As previously mentioned, this is a joke. Unless you have a hundred candles burning, it’s basically useless.

Plants

This one frustrated me during the tests.  All of these reports and articles swear by certain plants like Lavender or Basil.  All BS.

Irish Spring Soap

As mentioned earlier, soap works but the information you find on the internet about Irish Spring is ridiculous. The assumption that Irish Spring has some “special” ingredient or that the scent has some functioning role in killing mosquitoes is absurd.  ANY soap will do provided it’s mixed with water.

So, to sum up what works to keep your yard manageable enough for you and your guests to enjoy the evening: fans, Mosquito Bits and Dunks, insecticides, soapy water, and Ecovia products are your only solutions, other than spray and lotion repellents.