When the weather warms up, we want to enjoy the outdoors – and mosquitoes want to enjoy us. Some simple efforts can help minimize these pests. 

Mosquitoes are not only pesky irritants that deter our enjoyment of the outdoors with bothersome itchy bites, but they’re also bloodsuckers that can be dangerous and spread serious illnesses like West Nile, malaria and the Zika virus through their bites. Natural mosquito control requires simple, proactive efforts that can deliver big results.

  • Standing Water: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so eliminating it is the best solution. However, this is typically not realistic in summer when plants need water in their saucers, and migrating songbirds benefit from a birdbath. Summit’s Mosquito Dunks are effective and safe for use in standing water like birdbaths, planter saucers, rain barrels and even Koi ponds. They contain Bti, which is a natural bacterium occurring in soil. It kills mosquito and black fly larvae and is not toxic to people, pets, birds or fish. If you don’t want to use a Dunk, change birdbath water every five days or consider adding a small waterfall or pump to agitate the water.
  • Eliminate Larvae: You can proactively attract female mosquitoes to lay their eggs in strategically placed water and kill the larvae. Just fill a bucket of any size about halfway with water, then add a few handfuls of leaves or straw and let it ferment for 2–3 days. Next, add a Mosquito Dunk to the concoction, and the larvae will die off once the eggs hatch. You can maintain this process around your home throughout the summer, and if the water becomes stinky, just repeat the project once a month as needed.

  • Attract Mosquito-Eaters: Many bat and bird species enjoy mosquitoes as a food source, including migratory songbirds like robins, blackpoll warblers, barn swallows and eastern bluebirds, as well as non-migratory northern cardinals. Attract these living pest-deterrents to your yard by installing bat houses and birdhouses and by providing birdseed in a squirrel-resistant bird feeder. This will aid their nutritional needs as they migrate through your area, and they’ll also snack on mosquitoes while visiting. Hummingbirds are another friendly solution as 60% of their diet may consist of insects, including mosquitoes. Attract them with a hummingbird feeder, as well as flowering plants they love like azaleas, bee balm, butterfly bush and more.
  • Grow Plants that Naturally Repel Mosquitoes. Start your mosquito defense from the ground up – literally. Many plants repel mosquitoes and are easy to grow, including herbs like citronella, thyme, sage, lavender, basil and mint. Some flowers naturally deter mosquitoes, including geraniums and marigolds. And catnip is a favorite as mosquitoes hate its essential oil. Check out our article on mosquito-repelling plants for more options.
  • Safer Sprays. The Home Depot carries many lawn and garden spray products that keep mosquitoes away without harming pollinators or pets. Bonide’s Mosquito Beater or ZEVO On-Body Mosquito and Tick Insect Repellant Spray are effective, plant-based formulated options.

Mosquitoes are a nuisance, but with intentional Eco Actions, we can keep them away with confidence. We hope these tips will come in handy as you enjoy the outdoors.