Mosquitoes find many different natural plants and even consumable goods unpleasant and will not go near them or any area which has been treated with that product. The internet is full of recipes for homemade DIY insect and mosquito sprays, lotions, and other products, but many of them do not seem to work as well as claimed by their authors. For that reason, in this article, I have gathered some of those homemade mosquito yard spray recipes which have been proven to be efficient and seem to actually keep mosquitoes away.
Mouthwash and beer mosquito repellent
This insect repellent is an interesting combination of ingredients. Since these ingredients can be found in most households and their combination has been effective at deterring mosquitoes, I would give it a shot. You can spray this mouthwash and beer mosquito repellent throughout the yard. Some claim that it will last about two and a half months before you will need to re-apply. However, alcohol (present in beer and most mouthwashes) evaporates faster even than water, so this concoction may have less residual effectiveness than claimed.
You will need:
- One 16 oz. bottle mint-flavored mouthwash
- 3 cups Epsom salt
- 3 stale 12 oz. beer
Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together with a spoon until the Epsom salt has dissolved completely. Use a funnel to pour the mixture into a spray bottle. You are now ready to treat your backyard with this homemade insect repellent.
When choosing your ingredients, you might want to go for a mint-flavored mouthwash which is also organic. It is advisable to buy an Epsom salt that is lavender– or eucalyptus-scented. Better yet, look for one that is both. When choosing your beer, go for whichever is the cheapest as any beer will work fine in this recipe. However, it must be stale. Carbon dioxide, present in fizzy beverages like beer, is attractive to mosquitoes. They use it to locate people or other animals to feed on.
It’s unclear why this mixture works and it doesn’t work for everyone (like many other mosquito repellents). While mint is known to repel mosquitoes and other insects, the efficacy of Epsom salts as an insect repellent has not been tested, and beer consumption makes humans more attractive to mosquitoes, not less. In an informal test, beer even worked as a mosquito trap. Eucalyptus oil repels mosquitoes and is present in mouthwash. However, its concentration is so low (less than 1%) that it’s probably not doing anything for mosquitoes.
Apple cider vinegar mosquito repellent
A very simple but efficient recipe for a yard spray is this apple cider vinegar mosquito repellent. Even though the effect will fade quickly, it will be efficient and may keep the mosquitoes from coming into your backyard.
You will need:
- 2 oz. water (normal or distilled)
- 2 oz. apple cider vinegar
- 20-55 drops of Bug Off Oil (depending on the level of protection you need)
Mix all of the ingredients together and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. The residual efficiency of this repellent is unknown, but once you notice an increase in the number of pests again, you can re-apply without hesitation. As the mixture is completely safe and natural, it will not harm humans or the environment.
The effectiveness of this repellent is mostly due to the effects of the essential oils in the Bug Off Oil. Apple cider vinegar alone does not repel mosquitoes. If you can get your hands on some wood vinegar, though, you may have better results.
Essential oil mosquito repellent
There are many plants that naturally deter insects, including mosquitoes. That is why the essential oils that are extracted from them are widely used in the production of insect repellent products. But you can also use the same essential oils when creating homemade insect repellents.
Several essential oils have been tested and shown to repel mosquitoes on their own, but they are often more effective in combination.
Below, we list the essential oils that have known mosquito repellent properties. Mix them with a carrier (e.g., soybean or olive oil, witch hazel, or water) if you plan to use them on your skin. Essential oils can irritate the skin. Carriers reduce the chances of irritation.
- Lemon eucalyptus
- Clove (be careful not to get it on your skin, as it is corrosive)
- Citronella (though its effectiveness has recently been called into question)
- Cinnamon (skin corrosive)
- Thyme (skin corrosive)
- Tea tree
- Lemon verbena
Because essential oils are very concentrated, you should mix 10-20 drops of oil to 2 oz distilled water and 2 oz white vinegar in a spray bottle and shake to combine. You can experiment with different oils in various amounts. Vanillin, an extract from the vanilla bean, is considered an effective mosquito repellent, so you may consider adding it. Citrus oils should be avoided. While they are often repellent to insects, some can damage plants. Though if you’re after an herbicide as well, you can control two problems at once.
Even though your recipe might change a bit, the core idea of using natural essential oils from mosquito repelling plants remains.
Be careful of using any insect repellents around children. Don’t let them handle any of the products. The effects of lemon eucalyptus oil specifically have not been tested on children under three.