How to Keep Mosquitos Away

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Learn how to keep mosquitos away from your home.

Some people are just mosquito magnets. I happen to be one of them. They devour me and then my skin feels like it’s on fire. It’s enough to keep me awake at night, so I’m very serious about preventing mosquito bites.

how to keep mosquitos away

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How to Keep Mosquitos Away

The usual advice is to not have any standing water around your house. Except, what if that’s not an option for you? I have a pond, but more importantly, I have wetlands and a creek on my property.

When we first moved here, we tried the normal solutions, like getting the place sprayed for mosquitos and placing mosquito dunks in all the water.

We even bought a bug zapper that was supposed to attract mosquitos. We placed citronella candles everywhere and burned tiki torches with citronella oil in the evenings.

However, the mosquitos were as bad as ever.

The Best Solution for Keeping Mosquitos Away


After listening to me complain about mosquito bites, my husband remembered something that he had bought for camping.

A thermacell lantern is a small device that uses butane and chemical pads. It’s the most effective solution for mosquitos I’ve ever seen.

It seems to confuse the mosquitos, so at first they’re still flying around, but they almost seem drunk.

thermacell on a patio at dusk

The lantern works with batteries, but you can use the mosquito repellant without having to use the lantern or batteries. It provides a nice, gentle glow if you do decide to use it.

A thermacell lantern provides coverage for 15 square feet, but they also make ones that are easy to carry.

In really bad mosquito situations, I would suggest setting it up and turning it on about 10 minutes before you actually go outside.

keep mosquitos away with thermacell lantern

For refills, I prefer the 60 hour refills. Each pad lasts 4 hours, so they need to be changed less often. We can typically get a few evenings from each one.

This feels like a more economical way to prevent mosquitos than changing the pad every evening.

Cutter Skinsations Spray

If I’m going to be working in the garden, I use Cutter Skinsations spray. It’s the only one that I’ve ever found that smells nice. But don’t let the gentle smell fool you. It’s really effective.

It also helps with gnats, which can be such a pain when working in the garden.

I know a lot of people prefer natural sprays, but I prefer not getting bit because I have pretty bad reactions to the bites. For me, it’s worth it to use harsher sprays that may not be as “safe.”

Box Fans

If we’re just going to be sitting on the patio, sometimes we plug in a box fan nearby. Moving air is a great way to keep mosquitos away and it also keeps gnats away.

Citronella Candles

I still occasionally use citronella candles, but they’re best for low mosquito times, like early and late fall. I wouldn’t rely on them on a humid summer evening.

patio table with wine tumbler and lantern


Plants like lavender, lemon balm and basil are known to keep mosquitos away. I haven’t found them to be very effective where I live. Try them out if you don’t live in a swampy area. If nothing else, you have some lovely herbs to cook with.

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