Pest Problems

Get Rid of Mosquitoes in the Garden: Myths About Mosquito Repellents

The presence of mosquitoes in your garden can be an enormous nuisance. A humid and warm climate and unruly neighbouring gardens might be reasons for a mosquito infestation. However, there are a few tips and tricks to keep mosquitoes out of your garden.

To help you decide which mosquito control methods are effective and which are just another myth, we examine the most popular ones.

So, if you:

  • Wish to know how to get rid of mosquitoes in your garden;
  • Want to find an effective mosquito-repelling technique;
  • Are you searching for helpful information on how to prevent mosquito infestation;

Keep on reading to find out how to control mosquitoes in your garden.

Facts about mosquitoes

Even though it might seem that there are no mosquitoes in the UK, this is not the case. There are more than 30 species of mosquitoes native to Britain. Usually, you can notice them between April and September. 

When a heatwave hits, mosquitoes start their breeding season. Interestingly, with global temperatures rising, scientists predict that climate change can affect mosquitoes’ survival and ability to transfer diseases.

It is good to note here that these blood-suckers are more likely for them to bite you at dusk and dawn. And what is more fascinating, Canadian researchers revealed that mosquitoes are more active during a full moon. Moreover, they are more attracted to a certain blood type. So, if you are a blood type 0, we have news for you – you will most likely get bitten.

Besides the above factors, mosquitoes are known to be attracted by bright-coloured clothes, perfumes, standing water and carbon dioxide we exhale.

Crane flies are commonly mistaken for large mosquitoes. If you notice a big flying insect, resembling a mosquito with stretched-out wings, we suggest checking your lawn for a leatherjacket infestation (the larvae of crane flies). See our helpful post on the topic.

The best way to keep mosquitoes away

Eliminate standing water

Remember we mentioned that mosquitoes are attracted to standing water? This is because they use it as a breeding ground to lay their eggs. The water source shouldn’t even be big; a single bottle cap with still water will be enough for a female mosquito to lay eggs. Mosquitos can utilise your garden’s most common water sources, including flower pots, ponds, birdbaths, dog bowls, fountains, and gutters.

Remove all the open-water sources to get rid of mosquitoes in your garden. That way, you will eliminate any surfaces used by female mosquitoes to lay eggs.

Clean the gutters, turn over any items that you believe might hold water, and change the water in dog bowls daily. You can kill mosquito larvae with larvicides like mosquito dunks in water fixtures, such as fountains. And when it comes to paddling pools and the like, cover them appropriately and empty them out when not in use.

Uncleaned gutters can become a shelter for many unwanted pests. For example, leaves, twigs and other debris become perfect materials for the birds nests. Not speaking of a nearby food source, in the face of mosquitoes and other insects lurking in the leaves…

If the problem of birds’ nests in gutters in familiar to you, read our “How To Stop Birds From Building Nests In Your Gutters” article to learn how to deal with the uninvited guests. 

Keeping your lawn tidy

We see mosquitoes more often when they are actively feeding during the cooler parts of the day. But what do they do during the heat of the day? The answer is simple – they hide. 

Tall wet grass can create perfect conditions for mosquitoes to hide from the midday sun and predators. You can prevent mosquito infestations by regularly mowing your lawn.

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Lawn aeration is also something that you should consider implementing in your garden maintenance practices. Due to heavy rains, your lawn can get compacted and pressed, not allowing water to go through. Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water, so aerating your lawn can help you deal with the problem.

Installing mosquito traps

Mosquito traps are designed to attract female mosquitoes by mimicking a human or an animal. The deadly traps combine several cues that mosquitoes usually use to indicate people – light, colour, temperature, chemical odour and carbon dioxide. 

There are various types of mosquito traps. Their effectiveness will depend on the type of attractant that the trap uses, how often it is being maintained, and where you place it in your garden. 

When choosing your mosquito trap, always consider the size of the area you want it to work on. The placement will define the type of trap you need. For instance, outdoor traps usually use UV light and carbon dioxide to attract blood-feasting insects. They also have a larger capacity than indoor traps and can hold more mosquitoes until the trap is emptied.

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Common mosquito control myths

Natural mosquito repellents 

You might have heard that some plants repel mosquitoes. Lavender, basil, citronella, melissa, peppermint and other highly fragrant plants and herbs are actively advertised as natural mosquito repellents. On that note, these plants can indeed deter mosquitoes to some extent; however, simply planting them in your garden is not enough.

If your motivation to plant these flowers and herbs is actually based on improving your garden’s look, then we won’t stop you. However, you should be aware that despite popular opinion, the effectiveness of “mosquito repellent plants” hasn’t been proven yet. 

Does peppermint oil repel mosquitoes? Essential oils in certain herbs are believed to scare away mosquitoes but are not as effective as the Internet promises. Even commercial repellents with a high concentration of natural-based components show short-protection properties. Scientists explain that cedarwood, lavender, geranium and peppermint can repel certain types of mosquitoes but only as a 100% concentration oil. And yet, the effect won’t last for more than an hour.

If you want to repel mosquitoes with essential oils, try installing an essential oil diffuser instead. These compact machines disperse the oil-infused mist in the air and will keep the mosquitoes away for some time. 

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Do citronella candles keep mosquitoes away?

Another popular opinion states that citronella candles have mosquito-repelling properties. We decided to dig deeper into this theory, and this is what we have found.

According to the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, citronella candles show a low repellency rate. The scientists tested three oil-based candles (citronella, geraniol and linalool) in a high-biting pressure environment. Geraniol candles showed a twice higher repellency rate than the linalool candles and were five times more effective than citronella ones. 

Citronella candles don’t really work. If you want to make mosquitoes shy away from your garden or patio, try lighting geraniol candles instead. Citronella oil is banned from being used as an insect repellent in any form, including candles; therefore, it will be hard to find them in the UK. 

Natural mosquito predators

According to numerous sources on the internet, mosquito populations can be significantly reduced by their predators, such as birds, bats, frogs, dragonflies and many more. However, is this solution as viable and effective as it has been presented? 

While installing a bird feeder to naturally attract some of the common enemies of mosquitoes can become a whole entertaining activity for your family and kids, there are drawbacks to this idea. The grain used for bird feeding can attract rodents and wildlife, or even birds considered pests. 

Bats can theoretically become your mosquito-controlling neighbours if you provide them with a comfortable nesting place. In summer, they search for a shelter to raise their pups. To attract them to your garden, you must install a bat box. However, unlike birds, bats don’t favour mosquitoes. While they can include mosquitoes in their daily menu, bats prefer to eat moths and spiders. 

Overall, you cannot fully rely on natural predators to help with mosquito control. This method should be supported with proven repelling techniques, like removing standing water or fogging.

How to get rid of mosquitoes inside the house

If mosquitoes start bugging you at home, then the most effective solution would be to treat the problem professionally. Mosquitoes can move indoors if they find a perfect spot for breeding. Usually, they choose dark and humid areas like under a sink or in the laundry room. The solution for that is fogging. Fogging is a professional and long-lasting pest treatment for eliminating mosquitoes and other flying insects.

We work with certified pest controllers who know how to get rid of mosquitoes professionally and with guaranteed results. Once you book a treatment with us, we’ll assign a certified pest controller to inspect your property and treat it accordingly. After the service, you can be sure that no more mosquitoes will bother you!

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  • The best way to get rid of mosquitoes outdoors is to tidy your garden. Remove open-water sources so mosquitoes have no place to lay eggs, and also, mow your lawn regularly;
  • Another effective mosquito control solution is to install mosquito traps on your patio or around the backyard;
  • Mosquito-repellent plants are not so effective unless you know how to extract and use their essential oils, which have been known to deter insects. Even then, they will not show long-term effectiveness;
  • Despite popular opinion, natural predators, like birds and bats, do not repel or control mosquitoes as we wish they would.


What is your experience with using mosquito repellents? Do you have any tips of your own on how to deter these blood-craving insects? Let us know in the comment section below!

Image source: shutterstock / jiade

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