Keeping Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard

Mosquitoes can often put a damper on your time outdoors, leaving you with irritating, unforeseen bites. If youʼre looking for natural ways to control mosquitoes without resorting to chemically-concentrated products with pesticides, give these solutions a try.

Get Rid of Standing Water

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in sitting water, so it's recommended to regularly dump out water from planter saucers, wheelbarrows, buckets, old tires, empty flower pots and any other objects that collect water. You should also clean gutters frequently to help keep rain flowing freely, and replace the water in outdoor pet bowls daily.

Encourage Natural Mosquito Predators

There are number of creatures that are effective against mosquito larvae and adults. Individually, they may only have a small impact on mosquito populations, so itʼs best to use a combination of the following predators to get the greatest benefit:
 
Bats. Nail a wooden bat house high on a tree trunk to give these nocturnal mosquito hunters a safe spot to rest during the day.
 
Birds. Make your yard welcoming to swallows, purple martins and migratory songbirds by putting up birdhouses.
 
Fish. If your property has a water feature, introduce mosquito-larvae-loving species - like gambusia affinis, goldfish, guppies or bluegills - into the water to prevent mosquitoes from multiplying.

Add Mosquito Repellent Plants to Your Landscape

Certain plants can help keep mosquitoes at bay in your garden and outdoor living areas. Three of the best are:
 
Citronella grass. Lemon-scented citronella has long been used as a natural mosquito repellent; it also makes an attractive addition to the garden. Just be sure to choose one of the two true varieties: citronella winterianus or cybopogon nardus.
 
Rosemary. The woodsy scent of this familiar herb can help deter mosquitoes from invading spaces, but you can also use the leaves to add flavor to different recipes.
 
Catnip. This member of the mint family is extremely effective in repelling mosquitoes. However, keep in mind that catnip spreads quickly and easily, so it's best to trim it back occasionally.