Since my garden is outside, and I live next to a heavily wooded area, there are quite a few mosquitoes that greet me everytime I go outside to work in my yard.

Is there something I can do to keep my yard mosquito free? Or am I doomed to using bug spray every time I step outside?

  • I recently tried one of the garlic/ mosquito barrier products. It worked fantastic for about a week then we got a heavy rain and it seems to have worn off. I'm going to try it again and see if multiple applications improve the duration.
    – hortstu
    Sep 3, 2014 at 18:35
  • Related: gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/367/…
    – J. Musser
    Sep 3, 2014 at 21:03
  • Google DIY mosquito traps, some are quite effective. I have found with unwanted pests, sometimes redirection to a trap is easier and more effective than complete prevention.
    – treeNinja
    Sep 4, 2014 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


There are a number of ways you can try and control mosquitoes.I've listed them in order of effectiveness

Prevent them having a breeding ground and/or kill existing larvae.

Basically most still water is perfect for mosquito larvae. We had some breeding in an old barrel full of rain and fixed the problem with a bit of washing up liquid; we noticed a huge difference within a couple of days. Bleach would also work. If you don't want to put contaminants in the water you may be able to get them with a fine net.

Try and encourage mosquito predators

Bats, tadpoles, dragonflies/damselflies and some small fish will all eat them as either larvae or adults. Of these, dragon/damselflies/frogs/toads and their young will probably do the most damage to the local mozzie population. This will probably take a lot of work so unless you already have a small pond or somewhere to shelter bats it's probably not viable.

Plant strong smelling mosquito repellent plant species.

The citronella geranium is probably the most well known one but there are a lot of plants that will help, particulary as mosquitoes find you by smell so having a generally fragrant garden may be a big help. There is a list here that may help.

As an aside I've found a product by Avon called skin-so-soft to be particularly effective at repelling mosquitoes (as well as good for your skin).

Addition: Apparently different types of mosquitoes are affected differently by various smells so some plants commonly purported to deter mosquitoes may not necessarily be effective. This study suggests that citronella may not even work at all.


The breeding waters are the best place to REDUCE the numbers. I have a couple ponds , but I think mosquitoes are too smart to lay eggs in water with fish. I also have a couple rain barrels and I scoop out larva every few days to put into my aquariums , the fish go crazy. My problem area is bromeliad plants , mosquitoes breed in the retained water. To stop mosquitoes here , or anywhere , use BT ( bacillus thurengensis ). It is very safe, you can drink the water after you treat it, and it doesn't hurt fish. I understand it only becomes active in an alkaline stomach . BT is also good to kill any caterpillars in the garden.

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