15 Home Remedies to Repel Mosquitoes and Keep them at Bay

close up of a mosquito on a person's skin

Summer fun in the great outdoors or even your backyard barbecue is often interrupted by an uninvited guest of the bloodsucking variety. You don’t have to put up with those pesky mosquitoes anymore because we are going to arm you with 15 home remedies to repel mosquitoes and keep them at bay.

1. Repellant Plants

One of the most natural and effective home remedies available is to plant plants that repel mosquitoes. There are several plants that have the necessary combination of chemicals which irritate mosquitoes and keep them at bay.

What to do:

  • Plant lemon balm or lemon thyme, which have a 38% concentration of citronella around the borders of your backyard and back deck.
  • As an alternative to these plants is catnip, which contains nepetalactone. This chemical compound is ten times more powerful than the chemical DEET.

2. Neem Oil

Another way to repel mosquitoes without that atrocious odor of commercial sprays is neem oil. The smell of neem oil is an effective home remedy because its odor and chemical makeup irritate mosquitoes and drives them away.

What to do:

  • Blend equal parts neem oil and coconut oil.
  • Spread neem oil over the exposed areas of your body or underneath light clothing.
  • This combination will keep mosquitoes at bay for up to 8 hours.

3. Eucalyptus and Lemon Oil

This home remedy is actually one that is recommended by the CDC to repel mosquitoes. This powerful combination with the compound cineole in eucalyptus and the irritating acidity of lemon will keep those biting bugs off of you as well.

What to do:

  • Add 3 to 4 drops each of eucalyptus and lemon essential oils to each tablespoon of coconut oil to create a repellent mixture.
  • Apply the mixture to exposed areas.
  • This will keep mosquitoes at bay for up to 8 hours.

4. Garlic

Just like it does with vampires, garlic keeps away those blood-sucking mosquitoes as well. This longtime home remedy, which has been used to repel mosquitoes and other biting bugs, is simple, easy and quite effective because mosquitoes simply do not fancy the odor and flavor of garlic.

What to do:

  • Consuming garlic as a regular part of your diet will provide some protection.
  • You can also peel, crush and boil a half-dozen garlic cloves in 2 to 3 cups of water for about 10 minutes.
  • Strain out the cloves of garlic, retain the liquid and allow it to cool.
  • Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray it around the house or spray it on yourself.
  • You might want to add mint or lavender essential oil to the mix if you choose to spray it on yourself.

5. Tulsi

Tulsi, sometimes referred to as holy basil, is also an effective herbal home remedy that can be used to repel mosquitoes. The chemical makeup of tulsi also helps to keep mosquitoes at bay due to the odor which they find offensive.

What to do:

  • You can boil tulsi leaves and prepare a tea similar to the garlic remedy above, using 2 Tbsp of tulsi leaves to 2 cups of water.
  • Pour the cooled tea into a spray bottle and spray it around the house or on your exposed skin.
  • You can also try planting tulsi around your deck and perimeter of your backyard.

6. Camphor

You can smoke mosquitoes out of your house and keep them out using camphor. As a home remedy which repels mosquitoes camphor creates a very unpleasant odor to keep them away as well as kills mosquitoes that are already in your house.

What to do:

  • Set a deep pot of camphor chips in a center part of your house.
  • Make certain that there is nothing near the pot which will ignite.
  • Light the camphor chips and leave the house for about 20 minutes.
  • You will return to a mosquito free environment.


7. Mint

Mint provides another very unpleasant odor to mosquitoes, making it a great home remedy to repel mosquitoes. You can also use mint oil and extract, as well as mint plants, which have the proper chemical make-up to drive mosquitoes away.

What to do:

  • You can spray mint oil in various places around the interior of your home to keep mosquitoes out or add it to a vaporizer or diffuser.
  • You can also create a spray, similar to the tulsi remedy above and spray it over your body when you go outdoors.
  • Add mint oil to your other repellant mixtures to make them even more effective and offset the stronger odors.

8. Lavender

Another herbal scent which works to repel mosquitoes is lavender. The scent of this flower is so strong that it, more or less, hypnotizes those little bloodsuckers and keeps them from being able to bite, making it a very effective home remedy.

What to do:

  • Put lavender essential oil in the room diffusers and vaporizers in your home.
  • Add lavender oil to the sprays and oils you use on your body to give them a more pleasant odor along with added potency.

9. Coffee

Who knew that mosquitoes don’t like coffee? This home remedy works to repel mosquitoes due to the strong odor and acidic makeup of coffee. In addition, coffee helps deprive mosquitoes of oxygen and makes it impossible for their larvae to survive.

What to do:

  • Sprinkle coffee grounds over any and all surfaces where water tends to gather around your home in order to prevent the reproduction of mosquitoes and keep them at bay.

10. Lilac

Another home remedy tailor-made to repel mosquitoes is lilac. With anti-protozoan and anti-microbial properties as well as an odor that mosquitoes just cannot hack, lilac makes a great smelling repellant to apply to your skin.

What to do:

  • Add 4 to 5 drops of lilac essential oil to every tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • Apply this to your body.
  • This repellent will keep mosquitoes away for up to 8 hours.
  • This oil can also be added to other repellents to make their odor more pleasant and you can add it to your room diffusers and vaporizers inside your home too.

11. Basil

A little bit different than holy basil, basil or sweet basil is similar to mint when it comes to keeping mosquitoes at bay. The chemical makeup of this herb irritates mosquitoes making it another effective home remedy for repelling mosquitoes and it has a mild, minty scent.

What to do:

  • Grow basil in window pots around your house to use in cooking as well as keeping mosquitoes at bay.
  • You can make a spray to apply to your skin by brewing 3 to 4 Tbsp of 2 cups of water, similar to above remedies.
  • Add basil essential oil to diffusers and vaporizers as well.

12. Rosemary

One of the most popular natural home remedies used to repel mosquitoes is rosemary. This potent herb does what all herbs do to those bloodsucking wretches; it irritates them and keeps them at bay.

What to do:

  • You can make use of rosemary essential oil just like the other essential oils on this list.
  • You can grow rosemary bushes around the perimeter of your yard or deck.
  • Or you can burn rosemary stalks in pots around your deck to keep mosquitoes away while you barbecue.

13. Red Cedar Mulch

Placing a mulch around your garden shrubs and flowers is popular among many homeowners, so why not make it one that will repel mosquitoes. Red cedar is not only attractive and effective as a mulch, but it irritates mosquitoes and keeps them away from your home as well.

What to do:

  • Whenever you apply mulch around your home or under and around your deck for weed control, sprinkle red cedar mulch.

14. Black Pepper

Black pepper is known to make you sneeze because of the irritants contained in it. Those same irritants make an excellent home remedy for repelling mosquitoes.

What to do:

  • You can sprinkle black pepper around the window sills of your house.
  • Another way to use it is in its essential oil form in diffusers.
  • Make certain that it is well diluted if you choose to use this as an ingredient as a body repellant as it tends to irritate the skin in higher concentrations.

15. Tea Tree Oil

Applying this oil to your skin won’t irritate your skin, in fact, it will make it more healthy. An added benefit of tea tree oil is that it is an excellent way to repel mosquitoes. Similar to eucalyptus in chemical makeup, this is an effective home remedy to keep in mind.

What to do:

  • Add tea tree oil to your diffusers and vaporizers in your home.
  • Mix a half-dozen drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil to apply to your skin.
  • You can also add this oil to your other body repellants to make them more effective.

Tips for Avoiding Mosquito Bites 

Its been found that mosquitoes land on people who have type O blood twice as often as they landed on people with Type A blood.

Mosquitoes find their targets by smelling carbon dioxide that is released when we breathe.

More significantly sized people exhale more carbon dioxide than small people.

Drinking Beer attracts mosquitos.

When you drink 12-ounce of beer or more, you become like an instant mosquito magnet.

Pregnant women are bitten two more times than other people.This is due to the fact that pregnant women exhale almost 21 percent more carbon dioxide, and they are warmer than people who are not pregnant.

Mosquitoes are attracted to some clothing colors

more than others, including black, dark blue, and red.

Wear loose-fitting clothing that covers more of your skin so that mosquitoes cannot find an exposed part.

Use fewer beauty products when outdoorsMosquitoes like most lotions, hairspray, perfume and even deodorant. If you do use creams try using those that have a sharp lavender, basil, rosemary or even eucalyptus scent.

Eat fewer bananasIf you like eating bananas you might want to stop for the summer. When your body digests the banana the scent secretes out of your pores.

How to make natural mosquito repellent:

Add 2 tsp. of vanilla to one cup of water and put into a spritz bottle.The vanilla will hide your body odor and keep mosquitoes away.

Create A Bird Habitat

Many types of birds including the purple martins, swallows and some migratory songbirds eat adult mosquito larvae.To attract these birds, hang a variety of bird feeders, and suet feeders.

Build A PondDragonflies and fish also eat mosquito. despite what you might think about water – a pond with an aerator or fountain and fish will draw dragonflies.


Keeping the pesky bloodsuckers away from your backyard barbecue or keeping them away while you enjoy the great outdoors has always been accomplished using harmful commercial sprays, but that is not necessary. Utilizing any one or several of our 15 home remedies to repel mosquitoes will allow you to enjoy the outdoors without the harmful chemicals and without the mosquitoes. Don’t forget to add your questions, comments and additional home remedies to the section provided below.

Images: depositphotos.com