How to Make a Homemade Mosquito Spray for Your Yard

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 the combination of these two products has proven to be very efficient at deterring mosquitoes, I would give it a shot.

You can spray this mouthwash and beer mosquito repellent throughout the yard and it will last about two and a half months before you will need to re-apply.

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 which is either lavender or eucalyptus-scented, or even both if you can find it. When choosing your beer, go for whichever is the cheapest as any beer will work fine in this recipe.

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 much faster than the mouthwash and beer mosquito repellent, it will be just as efficient and will keep the mosquitoes from coming into your backyard for a few weeks.

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. This apple cider vinegar mosquito repellent is said to keep mosquitoes from coming into your backyard for several weeks, but once you notice an increase in the number of pests again, you can re-apply the repellent without hesitation. As the mixture is completely safe and natural, it will not harm humans or the environment.

Essential oil mosquito repellent

There are many plants that naturally deter insects and 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. There are many different recipes which are very similar, so you can always substitute one recipe for another or change the ingredients as many different oils will work just as fine. But here is the recipe which has proven to be the most efficient and successful at keeping mosquitoes away.

eucalyptus essential oil

SiNeeKan/Shutterstock.com

You will need:

  • 3 oz. vodka (or a combination of witch hazel and distilled water)
  • 20 drops citronella essential oil
  • 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops catnip essential oil
  • 5 drops thyme essential oil
  • 3 drops neem oil

You can change both which essential oils you use and how much of them you add to the mixture because different combinations will work better in different regions. Even though the recipe might change a bit, the core idea of using natural essential oils from mosquito repelling plants remains. That is why I have included this recipe as one of the most efficient and best at keeping mosquitoes away – even though the ingredients and the amount of essential oils might be different for everybody.

Karen

Main editor

Expert in mosquito control and the main website editor at InsectCop.net. Karen started InsectCop to help people get rid of mosquitoes. But now she gives advice an all things pest control.

59 Comments

patricia carey

I made a mistake and bought the green mouthwash (spearmint) instead of the blue mouthwash (peppermint) . My question is: Will the green mouthwash still work in place of the blue one? The receipe calls for blue or should I just go out and buy a blue one? thanks

    Karen

    As long as the spearmint mouthwash smells minty it should be okay. But if it doesn’t then I suggest you go out and buy the peppermint mouthwash.

    patrick

    Are these recipes cat safe??

    Karen

    You should especially avoid the third recipe since it calls for using thyme and eucalyptus essential oils, which are considered toxic to cats. But if you’re still not sure if all the ingredients in these recipes are cat-safe, I’d suggest you consult your vet.

    Judy

    I tried the mouthwash, beer and Epsom salts. It wasn’t very effective. I sprayed two separate occasions in the exact areas. I could see all the flying insects scatter as I was spraying but they returned within 24 hours.

    Sue

    Can I heat this mixture?? The epsom salt isn’t dissolving. Very good.

    Karen

    I’m not sure, I’ve never tried this myself.

    Cassandra

    Use Alcohol free mouthwash. Mosquitoes are attracted to alcohol…

frank

i tried the mouth wash beer spray and it did not work seem to not have any effect after you sprayed, while you were actually spraying it worked!!!

    Karen

    Glad to hear that it worked at least while you were actually spraying the solution in your yard.

christian therrien

can i use the beer and mouth wash in a fogger?
if not, do you know a recepy that i can use on a home made fogger?
thanks

    Karen

    Not sure how well will the beer and mouth wash solution work with a fogger because I haven’t tried applying it via a fogger. But I have heard people using water and garlic mixture in DIY foggers.

    Lawrence

    I need to make about 10 gallons to use in a boom sprayer in my neighborhood any ideas

    Karen

    Any recipe can be used, altering the proportions. However, considering 10 gallons is quite a bit, commercially sold products might also be taken into a consideration.

Lori

We started using the mouthwash and beer a couple of years ago after moving to TX. It’s works great for us! Apply around perimeter of the area you’ll be in. Must reapply after rain. Note that salt may leave residue on certain surfaces.

jerry montanez

my water sprinklers com on at night,does this wash off the effectness of the beer spray

    Karen

    Your water sprinklers will definitely significantly decrease the efficiency of the beer spray, or, if the sprinklers are on for a long time, wash it off completely.

Randy Worzalla

I used the mouthwash/beer/Epsom salt mix in my yard and it worked great. Re-applied after 60 days and made it to the fall. My question: is there any ill effects to beneficial insects – bees, lady bugs, etc.?

    Karen

    This mix is pretty harmless to bees and other beneficial insects. Epsom salt, for example, is completely safe to bees. The only thing beer will do to bees is get them slightly dazed. And since bees don’t like mouthwash very much, they will most likely keep away from the area you used this spray on.

    Debbie Jones

    Drunk bees! That’s hilarious!!!

Harold

Will the beer and mouthwash mixture work on pesky knats if not do you have any other ideas that might work

    Karen

    This mixture should repel other insects as well, but I haven’t personally tested it on gnats or any other pests besides mosquitoes.

    Shawn

    Vanilla extract is best! Spray it or rub it all over your skin. Only lasts a few hours if they are really thick where you live, but none the less, it works amazing and you smell better than most chemical sprays. Hope this helps.

Fonda

Can vinegar be use instead of beer?

    Karen

    Not sure, I haven’t tried it, therefore, it’s hard to say how efficient it will be.

Marcie Fusco

Which formulas are kid safe? I have a 10 month old and our mosquitos are unbearable. Surrounded by tree line woods all around. I worry about exposure to Epsom salts,and neem oil…

    Karen

    As long as it’s not consumed both Epsom salt and Neem oil should be relatively safe for children. But I would recommend you consult your pediatrician before using any of these homemade or even store-bought sprays.

George

I want to use the mouthwash/beer/Epsom salt mixture…BUT…I have planted a lot of wild flowers to attract the bees and butterflies and I also have a garden which I want to keep pollinated…will this also repel the friendly insects like butterflies, bees and lady bugs??? Thank you

    Karen

    Unfortunately, this mixture will most likely repel beneficial insects as well.

    Raquel Hickey

    From reading the comments it appears this recipe’s effectiveness is determined by type of climate, for example: I live in Florida and we have our rainy season and that’s when we have the most mosquitos! It seems that this formula will be washed away.
    In drier climates like Arizona, it will be effective and last longer….
    Am I making the correct assumptions?
    I guess in Floria we can still use it and apply as needed when it’s dry & entertaining outside…..

    Karen

    In areas that experience a ton of rain during the summer, this spray or any other spray for that matter will be less efficient than in areas where rain is a rarity in the summer. However, as long as you let this homemade spray to completely dry for at least a few hours before there is any water added to the area the treatment should continue working even after rain. Because I have heard people from Florida using this method and having little to no mosquitoes in their area even after just one or two applications.

    K-L

    What about hummingbirds, will it make them not come if you use this spray?

    Karen

    We are not really experts on birds, however, I don’t see why any of these ingredients would cause the hummingbirds to avoid the garden.

Karen

Is this homemade bug repellant with blue mouthwash safe for gardens, trees and grass?

    Karen

    It should be safe to use on all types of plants, trees, and other vegetation.

Sherry

If mixture is put in a sealed handheld lawn sprayer will it keep to for use at a later date?

    Karen

    When it comes to homemade yard sprays (or any other homemade products for that matter) it is usually best to use them up sooner rather than later.

Glatha

are all the mixtures ok for animals and birds? my dogs are in a pen and the mosquitoes are real bad in the grass

    Karen

    The Epson salt, beer, and mouthwash treatment is safe for dogs as long as you let the sprayed area dry before you let your pups back into it. The second recipe should be ok as well. However, since the third one contains essential oils I would refrain from using it around your pets.

Margot

Is the mouthwash/beer/ Epson salt pet friendly?

    Karen

    In small doses, mouthwash, beer, and Epsom salt are all safe for pets. So, as long as your pet doesn’t directly drink the mixture, it should be fine to use around pets, especially if you let your pets back into the treated area only once the area has fully dried.

Chuck Paradis

Used the mouthwash,epsom salt and beer recipe and applied heavily in the yard around camp and had hardly any mosquitoes for almost 2 months before re-applying

ADA

what do you recommend for bird bath? I do not want to use anything that will harm the birds. Thanks.

    Karen

    Try using Mosquito Dunks or Bits in your bird bath. They contain B.t.i. which is harmless to birds but will kill all of the mosquito larvae developing in the water.

Jackie

Does the beer have to be stale?Having a parry in 24 hrs.

    Karen

    I would suggest so, yes.

TH

I am finding it difficult to get the Epsom salt to dissolve. Any tips?

    Karen

    Epsom salt dissolves better under running water or warm water that’s between 90 and 100°F.

    kim

    I had better success with the epsom salts melting mixing it with the mouthwash first and then adding the beer afterwards

Sandra Webb

I have a peppermint epson salt will that work for this recipe

    Karen

    Yes, the peppermint Epsom salt will work as well.

Nita

Will Epsom salts damage your lawn?

    Karen

    No, it won’t.

Nelda

Can you use a clean/wash off hand held lawn sprayer. the type you connect to water hose?

    Karen

    I would advise you to use a regular sprayer.

Maggie

Will the mouthwash beer and Epsom salts mixture harm free range chickens?

    Karen

    I’m not completely sure, however, I don’t see why it should.

    Gail

    Will this mosquitoe receipts with epsomsalt hurt my flowers and my garden?

    Karen

    No, the ingredients should be safe for your garden.

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