Natural Mosquito Repellents for Your Backyard

Every year, it’s always the same. The moment it’s nice enough to get outdoors, the mosquitoes come to ruin your fun. The sprays and lanterns are great for taking on camping trips, but when you’re in your backyard, there are more natural alternatives to getting rid of those pests. Grow some plants that repel mosquitoes or make your own mosquito-repellent candle to add some mood lighting to your backyard.

Grow Plants That Mosquitoes Hate!

One simple way to keep mosquitoes out of your backyard is growing plants that they can’t stand. It improves the look of your garden and keeps the pests away. It’s a win-win!

Citronella Grass

The candles people use to keep mosquitoes away…those are made from this plant. Citronella is probably the most popular mosquito repelling plant. It has a strong sent that those bugs can’t stand

Keep this plant in a small Terra Cotta planter or grow it amongst your other plants. It’s a grass, so it works with any arrangement. Plus, no more mosquitoes!


lemongrass vegetable herbPersonally, I think Lemongrass is a must in any garden. It is so versatile, and because it’s a grass, it works in any garden arrangement! Learn about some of the other benefits of lemongrass HERE.

Lemongrass can grow 3-5 feet tall, so make sure it has a large container or isn’t blocking out sunlight for other plants. Also, this plant needs a sunny spot.


blossoming rosemary plants in the herb garden, selected focus, narrow depth of fieldNot only will rosemary add a great flavor to your dishes, but it will also keep mosquitoes away! This plant has a great smell and adds a nice texture to your garden.

Rosemary likes to be dry, so it grows best throughout the hot, summer months. You can start an herb garden or just grow this with your flowers.


Hanging basket of petunias bloom in pink, orange, and yellow, bloom outside building in Wyoming.  Close up of flowers.Up to this point, I’ve named all green plants. Petunias are great if you’re looking to add some color to your garden while blocking out mosquito swarms.

This perennial is very easy to grow in the ground or in a planter. Plant them in a sunny spot and let it repel mosquitoes, some beetles, squash bugs, and more!


Lavender flowers in the fieldAnother plant you can add to your herb garden that will get rid of those mosquitoes! Plant lavender in batches at the corners of your garden for a light smell that you’ll love but those bugs can’t stand.

Lavender is a great summer plant because it likes to be hot and dry. If you keep it in a planter, you can always move it inside once winter rolls around.

DIY Natural Mosquito Repellent Luminaries

If you’re having guests over for a cookout or just want to enjoy a night in your backyard, these rustic, mosquito-repellent candles will make perfect mood lighting. Just a bit of prep-work and they’re ready to use.Homemade lemonade with lime, lemon, rosemary in  mason jar on  wooden white background.

For 2 Candles: You’ll Need

  • 2 Mason Jars
  • Fresh Herb Clippings (Rosemary, Lavender, Lemongrass, Basil)
  • 2 Lemons
  • 2 Limes
  • 2 Floating Candles
  • Citronella Essential Oil 10-20 drops (optional)


Slice up the lemons and limes and cut your herbs to the size of your jar.

Fill each Mason jar about 3/4 of the way full with water. Add in your essential oils if you’re adding any.

Add your herb cuttings, then top off with your lemons and limes.

Finally, set your floating candle on top of each jar, light, and enjoy your mosquito-free evening!

DIY Vanilla Mosquito Spray

Mosquito repellent. Woman spraying insect repellent on skin outdoor in nature using spray bottle.

My family has outdoor get-togethers all the time, so we always have 3-4 spray bottles of this stuff.

Vanilla extract is usually most-effective for about an hour. You will need to reapply the spray if you plan to be outdoors for extended periods. But, unlike other bug sprays, this one smells great.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 Spray Bottle
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Water
  • 10-20 drops of citronella, lemongrass, or peppermint oil (optional)


First, you need to figure out how much water you’ll be mixing. I use a 1:1 ratio of vanilla and water. If you’re using a larger spray bottle, you might want to add a bit more water so the smell isn’t overpowering.

Mix the vanilla and water together in the spray bottle. You can add more bug repellent herb oils if you have them available. Just add 10-20 drops and shake to mix.

Don’t Let Mosquitoes “Bug” You This Summer

I’m sorry. I had to.World malaria day with no mosquito sign for prevention of virus carrier insect spreading Aedes aegypti, yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, Zika, Mayaro, Malaria, flavi epidemic disease

Mosquitoes are said to be one of the most dangerous animals on the planet. They spread killer diseases, like yellow fever and West Nile Virus.

Rural King wants to make sure you and your family are protected. Try out our natural mosquito repellents while at home. When you’re camping, hiking, or fishing, wear a Mosquito Net or try a Mosquito Repellent Outdoor Lantern.

Learn more tips and tricks for the great outdoors in our Wildlife and Outdoor Living Categories.

2 thoughts on “Natural Mosquito Repellents for Your Backyard

    1. Mandi Mundhenk Post author

      Yes, we have most of the plants and herbs in our nursery. If we don’t have the full-grown plant, we also carry seeds for each of on these plants.

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