Best Mosquito RepellentsCredit: Ken Muise

Option 1:  You can’t wait to be sitting on your back porch, or in the yard, and trying to relax while you keep swatting every part of your ankles, legs, neck trying to kill the buzzing mosquito that keeps doing a fly-by on you.

No one, huh? 


Options 2:  You're sitting and relaxing with friends and drinking refreshing cocktails while watching the fire burn down to embers while you enjoy the last of another beautiful, summer night in your own well-maintained backyard.  No mosquitoes and no worries.

Boom!  And there we have it.

This year how would you like to have the jump on those little blood suckers?  Wouldn’t it be nice not to be frantically searching the grocery aisle for mosquito repellent without already having 100 red, itchy ugly bumps?

So, let’s go to war with some mosquitoes this summer!  It will take diligence and cunning but we can do it. 

"Deet"-ails About Mosquito Repellent

DEET:  Developed by the United States military, DEET is the most used chemical ingredient in mosquito repellents around the world.  It has been extensively tested and is recommended as mosquito repellent by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Mosquito repellent sprayingCredit:

DEET does have an odor that some people find repulsive and also leaves coating on the skin that can feel oily.  It can also dissolve plastics and synthetic materials.

Picaridin: Created by Bayer in the 1980s.  It is a synthetic compound that is extracted from plants.  Picaridin has been called the “new champion” among mosquito repellents because it has been shown to be as good, if not better, than DEET.  It is odorless, doesn’t leave a coating on the skin and does not harm plastics and synthetics.  Picaridin based products are possibly an option for children as a mosquito repellent but...

Most experts agree that since picaridin is so new that it has not been properly time tested and the long-term effects of picaridin are still largely unknown.  Bayer, though, is a trusted and reputable company and picaridin has not been outlawed or cautioned against as of to date.

Citronella:  Citronella is an oil that is produced by a plant and extracted for use as a mosquito repellent and other functions.  Studies haveCitronella candlesCredit: shown that in semi-enclosed places, citronella can be used to keep mosquitoes under control.  As long as there is limited air flow.  In open areas it doesn’t work that great, though

Carbon Dioxide Attracts:  Mosquitos are attracted to the carbon dioxide that humans release when we exhale.  Other factors such as body odor and lactic acid are what attract mosquitos and let them know that humans are nearby.

Zappers Don’t Work (Mostly):  For the reasons above, mosquito zappers are pretty useless against mosquitos.  Sure, the occasional mosquito may be intrigued by the bright light and wander to close but all-in-all, the zappers don’t do much in the way of attracting, repelling or controlling mosquitoes in your area.

The Best Mosquito Repellents to Keep Your Backyard Safe this Summer!

1.  Mosquito Candles and Smokers

Best used in semi-enclosed areas with limited air flow, citronella and smokers may keep the mosquitoes at bay.  Citronella and wicks tend to cast an odor through the area.  Most people are unaffected by the odors and some find it pleasant, but some will find it to unbearable.

Cutter CitroGuard 17 oz Insect Repellent Bucket Candle HG-95783
Amazon Price: $8.99 $6.58 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 7, 2016)
Off Mosquito Repellent Coil
Amazon Price: $15.00 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 7, 2016)

2.  Mosquito Sprays

Depending on the type that you buy, it will matter if you’re using DEET or Picaridin.  Check the label for active-ingredients.  Make sure that if you're looking for mosquito repellents to spray on your skin or clothing that you don't mistakenly use de-foggers.  These items, while effective as repellents, were not produced for direct use.

Amazon Price: $14.99 $3.65 Buy Now
(price as of Apr 7, 2016)

3.  Mosquito Magnet

These are the “mack-daddy” of all mosquito control and repellent items.  The Mosquito Magnet attract the mosquitoes by producing the same warmth, moisture and carbon dioxide into the air.  The carbon dioxide is odorless and completely harmless to humans and animals.

Steps to Take to Control and Repel Mosquitos:

Prepare:  Get rid of everything that holds standing water or change the water at least once a week.  Bird baths, kiddy pools, buckets, old tires, canvases, plastics and even large, broad leaves.  Mosquito larvae need standing water to breed and incubate.  Minimize the brood!  If you have moist areas (under porches) or places where puddles form then fill them in with sand or soil and drive that water out.

Supply:  Get the best equipment to arm yourself; both on offense and defense.  

Offense:  Claim Your Ground! 

Make sure that you get some equipment to drive mosquitos out and remain vigilant once they’re gone.  Once you remove all those areas of standing water and moisture you need to continue to make sure that water doesn’t collect there. 

Defense:  Defend Your Ground!

Once the mosquitoes are gone you’ll need to keep them gone and get the right repellents that keep them out and get rid of straggler mosquitoes or scouts that might wander into your domain again!  


Taking the steps above, as well as adding the best mosquito repellents and control measures that are suitable to your situation will ensure that you keep the mosquito war in your favor this summer.  While it may often seem like a battle that can never be won, with understanding and control measures you can mitigate the mosquito problem in your backyard and enjoy the outdoors more comfortably.