5 Mosquito Repellents That Will Keep Your Outdoor Space Bug-Free

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Autumn is here. The days are getting shorter, and temperatures are cooling unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere. There are still so many little things to celebrate: pumpkin spice is back (which can be a good or a bad thing to some), Halloween candy goes on sale starting November 1st, and cooler weather produces some of the most vibrant, spectacular, watercolor sunsets you'll see all year, via Vox. Perhaps you spent all summer renovating your backyard and are just now enjoying the fruits of your labor. Whatever the reason, spending time outside is delightful, especially with friends and family.

But uninvited guests are one of the negative things you can experience during an outdoor gathering. While annoying neighbors can be persuaded to leave with kindness or a plate of food to go, mosquitoes aren't so easy to please. Best Bee Brothers note that you can't escape mosquito season but can fight back. So don't give an inch — don't let those suckers bully you into hiding. You deserve to enjoy being outside, too, and here's how you can fight back.

1. Use mosquito bits to keep you safe

You might think that as soon as humidity drops and the weather begins to cool down, our little bloodthirsty foes die off or go into hibernation mode. Sadly, mosquitoes won't magically disappear once the season changes, warns Cindy Mannes, VP of The National Pest Management Association, via Pest World. They can successfully continue their jabby rampage until the weather dips below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are two types of these suckers: permanent water and floodwater mosquitoes. The former prefer to lay their eggs in brackish, stagnant water, and the latter like their larvae to pupate in moist soil. If you don't have any open water sources on your property but have more than your fair share of potted plants, perhaps it's time to cut back on watering. You might also consider switching out your pots if there's a drainage issue. Or, if that's not an option since these pots are heavy, you can try the ecologically friendly Summit Mosquito Bits. These corn cob granules have been laced with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI), an eco-friendly bacterium that loves destroying mosquito larvae and devouring fungus gnats. It's safe for everything except mosquitoes.

2. Eco-friendly mosquito dunks can help

If your property has any slow-moving or stagnant water source, then be warned — mosquitoes will flock to these spots like tourists at Times Square. This includes bird baths, trashcan lids, and even bottle caps. Terminix warns that mosquitoes congregate around yard debris, clogged gutters, and drains. So, if you're swarmed by these mini-menaces whenever you go outdoors, it might be time to schedule a gutter cleaning. This can also double as your pre-winter home upkeep.

The best solution for the larger, stagnant body of water is to use water-soluble mosquito dunks. These biscuit-shaped wafers, like those made by the eco-friendly company, Summit, can treat up to 100 square feet of water surface, where mosquito eggs and larvae thrive. Mosquito dunks start working their magic within hours and continue doing so for over 30 days. Summit's donut-shaped mosquito dunks are labeled safe for organic gardening by the United States Environmental Protection Agency because each wafer is made with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI). These bacteria are non-toxic to humans, pets, wildlife, and even fish but lethal to mosquitoes or their offspring. So you don't need to worry about accidentally poisoning your ornamental good luck koi fish.

3. Smoke repels bugs

Have you ever noticed that mosquitoes are relatively uninterested in you when in the company of a smokey campfire or fire pit? That is until the fire dies down and the smoke ceases. Outdoor Happens says it's because fire and smoke help mask particular odors mosquitoes love that you're most definitely giving off. The primary scents these little menaces pick up are human odors and carbon dioxide, which you're exhaling with every breath you take. So, unfortunately, being a living, warm-blooded organism makes you a mobile mosquito magnet, via Earth

Luckily, mosquitoes have olfactory aversions, which, when combined with smoke, repel them. Certain herby plants, like citronella, lemongrass, thyme, and rosemary, are not high on a mosquito's list of favorite smells. If you surround your outdoor gathering space with candles or incense sticks, called "punks," like Murphy's Natural's 2.5-hour punks or 30-hour mosquito repellent candles, it can effectively ward off the tiny bloodsuckers. These burnable repellents use the aforementioned essential oils, including peppermint and cedar wood, to block mosquitoes from joining the party. You can also opt for coils by OFF!, which are highly effective but not made with all-natural ingredients.

4. Keep it festive for friends, not flying foes

Unfortunately, burnable repellents don't go on forever and typically have a lifespan of two to five hours. Perhaps you, or someone you know, isn't too keen on smoke or has an aversion to strong smells. Maybe burning incense or candles isn't your vibe, and you enjoy a more inviting cafe-esque feel to your outdoor dwelling. Unfortunately, mosquitoes are drawn to light because it helps them search for their next meal, according to Orkin

That being said, yellow lighting is at a wavelength less visible to these pests, so by using these mosquito-repelling café lights by The Tiki Brand, you'd protect your outdoor space and give it the atmospheric charm you're looking for. The best part about this 36-foot mosquito-conquering light fixture is that it doesn't give off any odor, so there will be no sneezing or watery eyes from smoke- and scent-related allergies.

5. Win the battle and invest in a CO2 trap

Sometimes the swarms keep coming, and you're forced to go to battle. If none of the above repellents work, or if you want to disrupt the mosquito cycle before it gets out of hand, a carbon dioxide mosquito trap is the way to go. Typically called CO2 traps, these mimic the production of carbon dioxide, writes Mega Catch. Essentially, to a mosquito, these traps look like a living, breathing meal, which means dinner. If you have a severe mosquito party on your property, investing in one of these CO2 traps is your best bet to win the war against these thirsty bloodsuckers.

CO2 traps, like the ones by DynaTrap, are also called 3-in-1 traps and work by using a combination of light, scent, and a fan to attract and corral the enemy. They take a little longer to stop the mosquito cycle but are incredibly efficient and cover up to an acre. The combination of heat and ultraviolet light creates a small amount of CO2, which reigns in those nasty bugs. It's not the UV light itself, notes Orkin, because this wavelength does not affect mosquitoes. Once the bugs get drawn in by the CO2 scent, a super silent fan sucks the little vampires into a chamber, where they'll remain trapped for the rest of their days, never again able to feed off of you or your loved ones.