How to Make Homemade Organic Mosquito Yard Spray

Updated on July 12, 2018
MarleneB profile image

Building a sustainable lifestyle through gardening is something Marlene finds rewarding. Sharing tips with other gardeners is a true joy.

Gardening is my favorite pastime because of how much I enjoy spending time in the yard. However, nothing ruins that enjoyment more than being bitten by a mosquito. So I determined that they needed to go, and I wanted to repel them naturally.

A gardening friend, understanding my desire to use safe and organic products, recently shared this wonderful mosquito repellent with me. The following slightly minty smelling and organic mixture can be sprayed throughout the yard to repel the flying pests. The spray is very easy to make (dissolving the salt will probably take the longest). A little separation is completely normal. Just give the bottle a shake before spraying. You can also dilute essential oils that mosquitoes don't like in the mixture.

In my experience, one spraying lasts for about two and a half months before needing to be sprayed again. My friend can’t remember where she found this solution, but she's been using successfully for years. I am happy she shared it with me. And I am happy to share this organic mosquito repellent with you.

This organic solution for repelling mosquitoes has worked really well for me—and I hope it works equally as well for you.

I tried it! It works!

These are all of the supplies and ingredients that you'll need to make the mosquito spray at home!
These are all of the supplies and ingredients that you'll need to make the mosquito spray at home!

How to Make DIY Natural Mosquito Repellent

Supplies

  • Two 24-ounce spray bottles (Or one bottle that holds 36 ounces)
  • Spoon
  • Large bowl
  • Funnel

Ingredients

  • 16-oz bottle of mint-flavored mouthwash (I used PerioBrite)
  • 3 cups Epsom salt (I used lavender and eucalyptus scented)
  • 3 stale 12 oz. beers (I used Budweiser)

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients together in the large bowl and then mix with the spoon until the Epsom salt is dissolved.
  2. Use the funnel to pour the solution into the spray bottles.
  3. Spray all around the yard, especially anywhere you plan to be outside.

Note: I found that it is easier to handle the smaller 24-ounce bottle of solution instead of handling the larger (heavier) bottle.

This solution will not harm your yard. In fact, some gardeners say the Epsom salt helps the grass grow greener. But I would not spray it directly on flowering plants. Instinct tells me it might be too harsh for the flowers. Mosquitoes will stay away for about two and a half months. That’s almost a whole summer!

What Are the Best Ingredients/Supplies to Buy?

  • Spray Bottles: You can find spray bottles at stores like Walmart; however, the easiest place to find spray bottles in just about any size is Amazon. They offer inexpensive and fast delivery. If you want to cover a large area quickly, you might consider one of those pressure sprayers. You can pick up a decent one for as littler as $15 and save your hands a lot of work in the process.
  • Mouthwash: Look for a mouthwash that boasts its organic qualities. Make sure it is mint flavored because mosquitoes do not like the scent of mint. I shopped online and was able to find an organic mouthwash through a health-related store.
  • Epsom Salt: Any Epsom salt will work fine. I just happened to have Epsom salt with lavender and eucalyptus. So I just used that.
  • Beer: Do not spend a lot of money on beer because any beer will work fine. I have seen cheap off-brand beer at the Dollar General for as low as 75 cents per can.

What Other Natural Ingredients Can Be Used as Mosquito Repellant?

  • Lemon eucalyptus oil
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Marigold
  • Tyme oil
  • Cedar
  • Catnip oil
  • Anise
  • Soybean oil
  • Fennel
  • Citronella
  • Cloves
  • Tea tree oil
  • Geraniol
  • Mint
  • Tansy
  • Neem oil
  • Celery extract

I didn't spray it directly on flowering plants.
I didn't spray it directly on flowering plants.

Are Bees Harmed by Beer, Mouthwash, and Epsom Salt?

After reading a number of gardening guides, scientific journals, and visiting various forums related to bee care, I discovered that the organic mosquito repellent presented in this article, for the most part, is harmless to bees.

Please note: Bees can get drunk from consuming too much alcohol. While the repellent recipe here contains beer, it also contains mouthwash. Bees do not like mouthwash. So if you spray this solution in your yard, it is likely the bees will simply stay away from the areas that are sprayed with the solution. Regarding Epsom salt, scientists have discovered that Epsom salt is safe for bees.

The Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopicts), also known as the Zika virus mosquito.
The Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopicts), also known as the Zika virus mosquito. | Source

The Dangers of Mosquito Bites

A report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) provides compelling information about the dangers of mosquito bites, indicating that mosquito bites account for several million deaths every year. Two prominent bite-related health concerns are malaria and the Zika virus.

Malaria

The World Health Organization states that about 3.2 billion people are at risk of contracting malaria, a life-threatening but treatable disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through bites of infected mosquitoes. According to WHO, about 90% of the reported cases are in Africa. Contracting malaria in the US is pretty rare, according to the CDC. There were only 1,724 confirmed cases of it in the US in 2014 (compare that to the millions of cases in some other countries).

The CDC notes that symptoms can appear anywhere from 7-30 days after infection (called the incubation period). Signs can seem somewhat innocuous at first, including fever-like symptoms, tiredness, nausea, and vomiting. These signs usually appear ten to fifteen days after an infected bite. In severe cases, malaria can result in a coma or even death. Antimalarial treatments do exist and can delay the appearance of symptoms, including symptoms in people who took preventative medicines (such as a tourist planning to visit a region known to have many occurrences of the disease).

There are vaccines and treatments available for malaria if you can catch it early enough. One of the tough things about this disease is that extreme symptoms can occur in a matter of hours or days, which potentially isn't enough time to realize the person is infected—let alone get treatment for it. According to WHO's annual world malaria report for 2016, there were approximately 216 million malaria cases of which 445,000 resulted in death.

For signs, symptoms, and treatment of the Zika Virus, read the fact sheet published by the World Health Organization

Zika Virus

As of July 20, 2016, the World Health Organization reported that 65 countries and territories have reported evidence of Zika virus transmissions since 2007, and some of them have been reported in my local area in northern California.

The Zika virus is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Common symptoms are mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, headache, and possible death. Some notable rare complications are microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome and other neurological complications. When pregnant women are bitten, the virus can be transferred to their fetuses, which can result in birth defects. There is currently no treatment for the virus.

Mosquito Bite Allergies

Most people have mild allergic reactions to mosquito bites. But sometimes people can have severe reactions. Many authorities, including the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), suggest that the most effective solution to ward off mosquitoes is to use mosquito repellent products that contain DEET. Personally, I prefer to shy away from using products that contain chemicals of which I am not familiar. However, I am realistic. I don’t like being bit by mosquitoes; at the same time, I don’t like taking chances with my health and well-being. The chance of being bit by a mosquito and contracting a harmful disease outweighs any apprehension I have against using products containing DEET. I am smart, and I concede to using products that contain DEET if they are the only solutions at my disposal. It is better to be safe than sorry. And then again, the use of DEET is recommended by authorities who know more than me about repelling mosquitoes.

Welcome to My Mosquito Free Garden

I use organic yard spray to repel mosquitoes in the garden.
I use organic yard spray to repel mosquitoes in the garden. | Source

Resources

Effects of Organic Mosquito Repellent on Bees

Organic Standards

Questions & Answers

  • Does organic mosquito yard solution wash away when it rains?

    My experience is, yes, it seems to wash away and become less effective after a heavy rain. However, on days where there is a light sprinkle, it still seems to be effective.

  • In what way is this recipe 'organic'? All three ingredients (beer, epsom salts, and mouthwash) contain multiple chemicals

    Products can have more than one ingredient and still be labeled as “organic.” The Organic Consumers Association allows certain ingredients to be included in the processing of products and still be labeled as organic. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides a national list of allowed and prohibited substances that identifies the synthetic substances that may be used in or on processed organic products. You may view the list by clicking on this helpful link: https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=9...

  • How do I store organic mosquito yard spray?

    Store this solution in a cupboard, out of the heat.

  • Is this organic mosquito spray safe to spray around a yard with small dogs?

    The ingredients in the mosquito spray solution are cited as ordinarily harmless and nontoxic to both humans and animals. Unless the dog is ingesting the lawn in large quantities, I would say it is alright to spray the solution on a yard that contains small dogs.

© 2016 Marlene Bertrand

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    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      7 weeks ago from USA

      Hello Amy. I don't know whether or not this solution will deter ants. Mosquitoes and ants have different characteristics and require different techniques to deter them. An ingredient that would deter mosquitoes might actually attract ants, and vise versa. I am actually researching to write an article to show how to prepare a safe and organic ant repellent. I hope you have a chance to read it. And, if so, I hope it helps with your ant problem.

    • profile image

      Amy 

      7 weeks ago

      What about ants? Will his deter them?

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      3 months ago from USA

      Hi Dream On! I do believe it will work on black flies, as well as mosquitoes. I believe the lavender scent will drive them away, just like with the mosquitoes. It just might work!

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      3 months ago

      Your hub is worth 10,000 mosquitoes. All dead of course. I will give it a try. I like being outside in the grass. We also have a bad black fly season. Do you know if it will work on them? I love things that are all natural instead of chemicals. I rather be safe than sorry. I also use a zapper it works well. It attracts them to the zapper and poof they disappear. I actually like the noise of a zapper because I know it is one less bite. Have a great day. Thank you for your informative and helpful hub.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      4 months ago from USA

      Hi Casey, I read a few gardening guides and visited forums and for the most part, found that this formula does not harm bees. I should note that bees can get drunk from consuming too much beer, however bees do not like mouthwash and simply stay away from the solution altogether. With regard to Epsom salt, most reports that I read indicated Epsom salt was safe for bees. Thank you for this question. I will update this article to include this answer.

    • profile image

      Casey 

      4 months ago

      Does this affect bees?

      I have a lot of pollinators in the summer & want to be sure they won't be deterred.

      I live on a river with a run-off stream & have horrendous mosquitos May-Oct usually.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      12 months ago from USA

      Hi Audrey, if there are 10 people hanging out in the yard and only one person can get stung by a mosquito, I would be the one being stung. They seem to love me too. This mosquito repellant works really well for me. By the way, aloe vera is an excellent solution to soothe the bites.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      12 months ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Mosquitos love me! I get bitten all summer long. The bites turn red and swell up something terrible. I've been using aloe vera to soothe these irritated areas.

      Thanks for this organic spray solution.

    • profile image

      Kempshark 

      14 months ago

      Does the beer have to be stale.....and if so, why?....just curious, because I have the beer in hand, but never have stale beer around.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      23 months ago from USA

      Hello ChitrangadaSharan. You are so fortunate that you don't have mosquito worries. We have a lot of them around here and so I do all that I can to avoid them.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      23 months ago from New Delhi, India

      A very useful and helpful hub to prevent mosquito related problems!

      We don't have many of them here but I take precautions even if I notice one f them. Mosquitoes cause many diseases and some of them can be life threatening.

      Your organic solutions are much preferable compared to the chemical creams and sprays.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      24 months ago from USA

      Hello Barbara Kay! They keep talking about a drought here, but I tend not to believe there is a drought because of the number of mosquitoes. I do hope this solution works for you.

    • profile image

      Barbara Kay 

      24 months ago

      We've had a drought here this summer, so mosquito haven't been a problem. Next year I'll try your recipe. It sounds easiest enough and I have everything on hand except the beer.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hello vocalcoach, well for sure Nashville has some serious mosquitoes. I hear people tell stories about how aggressive they are. I hope this solution works for you.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I'm so happy to find your outdoor mosquito spray. Do I ever need this! I get eaten alive here in Nashville. My neighbors yard is a real jungle harboring mosquitos everywhere,

      Love natural products and eager to make my own. Big thanks. Sharing

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hello DDE, I am glad you like the idea. I hope this solution works for helping you get rid of mosquitoes.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I like your ideas and sounds helpful.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hello MsDora! Thank you for the reminder about using regular herbs. One reader mentioned something about basil and I totally forgot about rosemary sprigs. I grow both of these herbs in my garden. Have a wonderfully blessed day.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you for sharing this remedy. I believe in natural solutions and have been using fresh basil and rosemary sprigs indoors. Now I will try your outdoor solution. Very helpful!

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hi tirelesstraveler. For me, mosquito bites can send me into a very lifeless state of being. I actually get sick, so I am happy to have this solution. And, like you noticed, it is really easy to make.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      2 years ago from California

      This solution seems so easy and effective. I just itch with mosquito bites, but it's enough to drive a body nuts. Excellent hub!

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Oh, Manitita, regarding the zapper... The mosquitoes are attracted to the zapper and when they touch the zapper they get zapped with electricity. I had a zapper. It works, but it is noisy. Every time a mosquito gets zapped I could hear them frying from the electrical charge, which can get quite annoying over time.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hello word55. Yes. It works beautifully in my area. I just hope they don't become immune to this solution and break through the barrier. Many blessings to you, too.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hello AliciaC. You are so fortunate to live in an area where you are not bothered by mosquitoes. Well, at least now, if they start to show up, you can mix up a quick solution to keep them away.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hello Surabhi Kaura. Thank you very much for your solutions. I am anxious to try the holy basil. I have not seen it at the nurseries, but you can bet I will be looking for it from now on. Also, I'll be trying the room freshener idea. That's a quick and easy solution.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      HelloMatt Easterbrook5. Living where the mosquitoes enjoy living is no fun. This bottle of spray is one solution that works quite well. But, some mosquitoes seem to be "hungrier" than others so every now and then an aggressive mosquito breaks through and annoys me to no end.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hello manatita44. While I don't have a degree or certificate, I could say I am knowledgeable on just about every remedy available for warding off mosquitoes. They attack me with a vengeance and I get really sick whenever I get bit so I have read extensively about them and what I can do to avoid being bit by them. Oh, by the way, the short answer to your condo question is no. And, I'll get more details to you a little later. And, thank you for your compliment. I love being out in the garden.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hello billybuc, you are so lucky to live in a mosquito-free zone. Me? I'm not so lucky. The mosquitoes here are extremely aggressive. I'm glad I found a way to keep them away.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hello Faith Reaper. I suffer a lot whenever I am bit by mosquitoes. They mostly hover around my husband but they only bite me. I don't like spraying stuff on my body, so I was really happy to find a solution that I could spray around the yard.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 

      2 years ago from Chicago

      Hi Marlene, this seems like the perfect yard solution to dealing with mosquitoes and other similar insects that attacks us outside. Thank yu for sharing. God bless!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you very much for sharing this recipe, Marlene. I haven't been bothered by mosquitoes in my garden yet this summer, but I will definitely keep your yard spray in mind.

    • Matt Easterbrook5 profile image

      Matthew A Easterbrook 

      2 years ago from Oregon

      I live in Oregon and we get mosquitoes that are sure annoying when you are trying to relax or BBQ on your patio. I will try this organic solution and I am hopeful it will work as good for me as the success you received in your backyard. I really appreciate the research and time you put into this hub article.

      Thanks,

      Matt

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 years ago from london

      Great Hub! I did not know that you venture in this area of expertise. I see that some athletes have refused to go to Brazil as problems with the Zika are supposedly rampant there.

      I used to travel a lot. The Germans created something called a 'zapper' for zapping the mosquitoes, or is it zapping themselves. I've forgotton now. I have gone to eleven African countries, perhaps, and others where I would also worry. God's grace I have been ok. I generally take doxycycline or malarone.

      Your garden looks beautiful! Are you still in the Condo? Excellent Hub.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very helpful article for these days we live in. We are not bothered much by mosquitoes here in Olympia.....which you would expect for God's country. LOL

    • profile image

      Surabhi Kaura 

      2 years ago

      A pertinent article! And, especially in these weathers when mosquitoes are quite common. I normally get mosquito-bites when I am outside or during the evening walk at the park. Sometimes my loved ones tease me, saying that my blood is so sweet that the mosquitos can't resist. Lol.

      There's an ancient technique that we use to keep them away from our home - holy basil plants (tulsi). Just plant a holy basil plant in your backyard or at the entry points of your home. The leaves are said to kill the mosquito larvae. You can also use lavender-scented room fresheners. I use Lilac Oil and Coconut Oil on my arms and legs. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties, and it keeps away the mosquitos.

      Interesting points in your hub, especially about the Zika virus. So many new viruses. But then its our responsibility to keep our inner and outer areas neat and clean. Cleanliness is next to Godliness... as the saying goes, aha.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      2 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, Wow, Marlene!

      Thank you for sharing this recipe for organic mosquito yard spray. Here in the Deep South, we have monster mosquitos who seem to love to eat me alive ...My husband can be sitting right next to me and they won't bite him at all, but they attack me for some reason.

      I am certainly trying this good advice out here. Thank you again for sharing. I hope you are well.

      Peace and blessings

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      2 years ago from USA

      Hello Eric! I get absolutely sick in bed when I get mosquito bites, so it is a serious matter to me. Like you, I am always making sure there is no standing water anywhere near my home. Thank you so much for your positive feedback.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Really great. We are crazy about not standing water. We have visited Southeast Asia and went crazy with repellent. We are hypervigillante with our young child.

      We love our spiders and other insects but mosquitoes are a no no. This hundred + plus heatwave knocks them dead.

      Very good article to raise awareness.

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