The 7 Best Mosquito Repellents For Yards: Reviews and Complete Buying Guide

Sadly, finding the best mosquito repellent for yards isn’t as simple as plumping for the first decent-looking and well-packaged product we come across at the store or in a Google search.

Sure, most of these products will be EPA-approved and meet at least the minimum requirements in regards to effectiveness against certain types of mosquito. But with so many variables to consider ⁠— duration of repelling capacity, effectiveness against varying types of mosquito, the size of your yard, how the repellent is deployed, and toxicity issues⁠ — it’s very wise to do a little homework before deciding to part with your cash.

To that end, we’ve prepared a detailed buyers guide along with a list of the 7 best mosquito yard repellents on the market today.

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…

Best Mosquito Repellent for Yards: Top 7 Picks

The best mosquito repellent for yards takes varying forms, all of which we’ll cover below:

  • Spatial Repellents
  • Electric repellents
  • Spray repellents
  • Coil repellents
  • Skin repellents

1. Brison Ultrasonic Pest Repeller – Best Electronic Repellent

Ultrasonic Pest Repeller - Easy & Humane Way to Reject Rodents Ants Cockroaches Beds Bugs Mosquitos Fly Spiders Rats & Buts - Eco-Friendly & Safe for Human & Home Pets - [1 Pack]
  • MAXIMUM GUARD – Plug in this ultrasonic pest repeller & with its newest electromagnetic & ultrasonic wave technology, it will drive all the pests away from your home. These waves are disturbing central nervous systems from pest
  • SIMPLE TO USE & WITH BLUE NIGHT LIGHT – plug in our Pest Control Ultrasonic Repellent into a socket & you will see the blue or Green or Red LED Night Light Meaning that device is working
  • LARGE COVERAGE CONTROL & NOISELESS OPERATION – this ultrasonic pest control is absolutely noiseless, so you can calmly set it in your child’s room, your bedroom or your guest room
  • NONTOXICS & ECO-FRIENDLY - ultrasonic pest repeller is Nontoxic & 100% safe for human & pets
  • PEST PROTECTED HOME OR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - with our ultrasonic repeller your home is 100% save from any kind of pests

Last update on 2020-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ultrasonic varieties of skeeters-stoppers are among the best mosquito repellents out there for those keen to avoid exposure to chemicals. Not only are these devices scent-free, silent, and visually unobtrusive, they also use no toxins and, unlike other mosquito control methods (sprayers, zappers, foggers), pose no threat to non-target insect species.

In short, the ‘ethical’ box is well and truly ticked…

The Brison Ultrasonic Pest Repeller boasts all of the above attributes and ticks another of those must-tick boxes ⁠— namely, effectiveness⁠ — far better than many of its competitors in the ultrasonic repellent corner of the market.

While the jury is still out on ultrasonic repellents in regards to scientific evidence for their effectiveness, the empirical evidence by those who have used this product provides an unequivocal seal of approval.

With a range of 1600 square feet and electromagnetic and ultrasonic wave technology that attacks the central nervous system of skeeters if they get too close, this is a device that really means business. It also runs directly from a power source and has no refill requirements, meaning it’s very much a set-it-and-forget-it kind of solution.

What We Like:

  • It’s silent
  • Reasonably priced
  • It’s non-toxic and eco-friendly
  • Low maintenance: it doesn’t require refills

What We Don’t Like:

  • It’s not waterproof so must be disconnected after each use outdoors
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

2. Thermacell MR-450 Repeller – Runner Up Electrical Repellent⁠

Sale
Thermacell MR450 Armored Portable Mosquito Repellent; Features ZoneCheck, Quiet Ignition and Rubber Grip; Provides 15-Foot Zone of Mosquito Repellent; Runs on Long-Lasting Refills; No Spray, No Scent
  • 15-ft Area of Protection – The trusted choice for the toughest conditions; Thermacell creates invisible protection that keep mosquitoes away for 12 hours with fuel cartridge and 3 repellent mats
  • No Spray, Scent or Mess – Area mosquito repellent with no on-skin chemicals or sprays; scent-free and DEET-free; CR2032 Battery not included (required for ZoneCheck function only)
  • Effective, Trusted and Easy-to-Use – Provides advanced, proven mosquito protection for hunters, campers, fishers, grillers, kayakers, gardeners and other outdoors lovers
  • Convenient Portability – The lightweight yet rugged Thermacell MR450 includes a belt clip for easy transport and storage; the blue LED ZoneCheck feature alerts you when the fuel runs out
  • Advanced Technology – The MR450 has an all new grill design for better performance, easy to use switch; over molded, durable rubber grips to withstand all types of uses; 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Last update on 2020-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For those of you with larger yards or for whom portability is a must-have feature, the battery-powered Thermacell MR-450 might just be your bug-blocking best-buddy-to-be.

A long-term favorite of hunters everywhere, this device repels mosquitoes by creating a 15-by-15-foot protection zone with DEET-free repellent mats that emit an invisible, scentless deterrent around the device for up to 12 hours.

The MR-450 is also very well made, boasting a tough, rubberized exterior, a belt clip for easy transport and storage, and uses a built-in LED light to monitor performance and let users know if the fuel or flame has gone out.

And the downsides?

Well, this device’s portability might have seen it saunter to the title of ‘Best Mosquito Repellent For Yards’ were it not for a few small, but irksome,  flaws. The most notable of these is the need for refueling and replacing the repellent mats. This may only cost you a few minutes in a full day of yard time but could prove to be a little too much maintenance for the lazier yard loungers amongst us, nonetheless.

What We Like:

  • EPA approved
  • Portability makes it ideal for large yards
  • Robust design with rubberized exterior
  • 15-by-15-foot coverage range
  • Scent-free (ish…there’s a little odor but nothing overly offensive)

What We Don’t Like:

  • Not low-maintenance: needs batteries, fuel, repellent mats, occasional hugs (!)
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

3. Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray – Best Mosquito Repellent Spray⁠

Sale
Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray Concentrate, 32-Ounce
  • Repels and kills mosquitoes and other annoying insects
  • Controls up to 4 weeks, even after rain
  • 32oz treats up to 5,000 sq ft
  • Easy - just connect to your hose and spray
  • 0.16% LAMBDA-CYHALOTHRIN

Last update on 2020-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The best mosquito repellent sprays on the market are typically those deployed with the aid of a motorized backpack sprayer. However, for smaller yards and smaller budgets, bottled sprays offer a very functional compromise, allowing you to cover relatively large areas in a relatively short time without sacrificing too much in the way of effectiveness. In most cases, sprays usually offer a more lasting repellent than plug-in or battery-powered devices.

All of the above sums up what the Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray has to offer just about perfectly. This 32-ounce bottle spray is remarkably easy to use, attaching to your garden hose to mimic the deployment of a backpack spray through an adjustable nozzle. It can also provide up to 4 weeks of protection against mosquitoes and can even withstand rain, meaning you don’t have to respray after a shower or two.

A single, 32-ounce bottle of this product can also treat up to 5,000 square feet of terrain, thereby making it a more practical choice for those with larger yards.

In terms of chemical content, the spray uses 0.16% lambda-cyhalothrin, a pyrethroid insecticide registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that disrupts the normal functioning of the nervous system in mosquitoes. While the dosage contained in the product is too low to cause any more than mild irritation to the skin in humans and pets, it can repel and kill non-target insect species and, to be safe, it’s best to stay clear of the yard for an hour or two after spraying.

What We Like:

  • Hose-end attachment for easy deployment
  • Excellent coverage range
  • Effective for up to 4 weeks after spraying
  • Effective even after rain
  • No mixing required

What We Don’t Like:

  • Will also kill and repel non-target, beneficial insects

To see how to use the Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray, check out this video from Joe Jackson.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

4. Bonide Ready-to-Spray Mosquito Beater – Runner Up Spray⁠

Bonide (BND680) - Ready to Spray Mosquito Beater, Mosquito, Gnat, and Fly Insecticide (1 qt.)
  • READY TO SPRAY - The product arrives in a container with an attached hose-end sprayer. Simply connect garden hose to the sprayer and begin application. Reapplication is recommended after heavy or frequent rainfall.
  • INSECT KILLER AND REPELLENT - The residual formula kills and repels mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and other bug or insect pests. Once applied, Mosquito Beater will continue to work for up to 4 weeks.
  • EASY PEST CONTROL - Attach a garden hose to this ready-to-use spray bottle, and apply it around shrubbery and other places where insects are found. This pest control treatment works well and is easy to do.
  • 5,000 SQUARE FEET OF COVERAGE - Only one quart of this product can protect 5,000 square feet of your backyard, patio, and other outdoor areas. When it is used as directed, it is safe for people and pets.
  • PLEASANT SCENT - Unlike most pesticide and insecticide formulas, Mosquito Beater has a low-odor, water-based Permethrin formula that won't stink up your clothing or yard.

Last update on 2020-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Just like the Cutter spray featured above, the Bonide Ready-to-Spray Mosquito Beater spray is a highly effective, easy-to-use, and long-duration repellent that works best in larger yards. Very little separates the two products in terms of practicality and effectiveness, but the Bonide loses a point or two in the overall tally on account of its lesser resistance to rainfall and need for post-shower reapplication.

As with the Cutter spray, this spray comes with a very handy hose-end attachment nozzle that lets you cover a large area (circa 5,000 square feet per 32-ounce bottle) in no time. It also lasts for up to four weeks and is safe for people and pets as long as they are not sprayed directly and don’t come into contact with the product before it dries.

Finally, one other feature working in the Mosquito Beater’s favor compared to other pesticide sprays is that it uses a water-based Permethrin formula that has very little smell.

What We Like:

  • Low odor compared to other brands
  • Effective for up to four weeks
  • Easy to use thanks to practical hose-end attachment
  • Can treat large areas in a short time

What We Don’t Like:

  • Need for reapplication after a rain
  • Repels non-target insects, too
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

5. Pic Mosquito Repellent for Yard Coils – Best Coil Repellent⁠

PIC Mosquito Repellent Coils 10 Each (Pack of 4)
  • Use on patios, campsites, and cabanas
  • Keeps bugs away for 5 - 7 hours
  • Coils create smoke barrier that drives
  • Total of 40 coils

Last update on 2020-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Mosquito coil repellents might not offer the same long-term solution as sprays or ultrasonic repellents, but for those working on a tighter budget or who aren’t enthused by the manual effort involved in spraying, they offer a reasonably effective, low-cost, low-maintenance alternative.

Pic Mosquito Repelling Coils contain a pyrethroid (allethrin) that is proven to deter mosquitoes and each coil can last for 6 to 7 hours, meaning you can light one up before a barbecue or party and kick back while the coil does its thing without having to worry about recharging batteries, replacing cartridges, respraying, etc…

On the downside, these coils emit fairly thick plumes of smoke, carry a rather pungent smell, they only repel for the duration of the time they are burning and, of course, present a bit of fire hazard, particularly if the reason behind your burning is a BBQ party on the patio with a few beers and cocktails going around!

What We Like:

  • The price…!
  • Very easy to use⁠ — just light the end and let ‘em burn
  • Reasonably effective for the price
  • No batteries, fuel, or power source needed

What We Don’t Like:

  • The smell⁠ — these aren’t gonna win any prizes for their scentlessness!
  • Potential fire hazard
  • Smoky
  • Less effective than other options, particularly when windy
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best On-the-Skin Mosquito Repellents 

6. OFF! Deep Woods Insect Repellent

OFF! Deep Woods Insect & Mosquito Repellent V, Repels Mosquitoes that May Carry Zika, West Nile Virus, or Dengue, 6 oz.
  • Long lasting protection from mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, gnats and chiggers
  • Not greasy
  • Won't stain
  • Resists perspiration
  • CHET BAKER + THE MARIACHI BRASS (Author)

Last update on 2020-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

While this product’s 25% DEET content might put some would-be buyers off due to reports of potential toxicity, in terms of effectiveness it is truly hard to beat. (Recent research from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), moreover, has demonstrated that DEET is safe for use by both adults and children when it is properly applied).

OFF!’s Deep Woods repellent comes in several formats, ranging from liquid sprays to towelette wipes, but for us, the most effective option is the aerosol spray, which allows you to cover hard-to-reach spots (back, shoulders) and also apply the repellent without having to get your hands dirty in the process.

Like all DEET repellents, this product carries a bit of a smell with it⁠ — one that isn’t a dealbreaker but is unlikely to become your go-to fragrance for nights on the town, either. On the plus side, OFF! Deep Woods isn’t nearly as greasy as most other DEET-based repellents.

What We Like:

  • Doesn’t really smell like DEET despite 25% DEET content
  • Spray radius makes it easy to apply, even on your back
  • Highly effective

What We Don’t Like:

  • DEET can damage clothing
  • A bit stinky
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

7. REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent – Runner Up

Sale
REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, Pump Spray, 4-Ounce
  • MADE WITH OIL OF LEMON EUCALYPTUS: This DEET-free insect repellent provides you with protection during adventures in the backyard and on the go.
  • REPELS MOSQUITOES FOR UP TO 6 HOURS: This repellent keeps you and your family protected for hours, so the fun doesn't have to end.
  • REFRESHING SCENT: This DEET-free personal repellent leaves you with a cool, refreshing scent so you don't have to put up with the usual bug spray smell.
  • REPELS: Create a barrier against mosquitoes, including those that may transmit the Zika, West Nile, Dengue and Chikungunya viruses.
  • NOT GREASY OR STICKY: Formulated with oil of lemon eucalyptus to provide protection without leaving your skin feeling sticky or greasy.

Last update on 2020-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reliable alternatives to DEET and picaridin-based products are few and far between, but in the Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent Pump Spray we find a serious contender to the throne and the title of ‘Best Mosquito-Repelling Spray On the Market Today.’

This repellent uses a combo of ethanol and the essential oils of lemon and eucalyptus to fend off airborne aggressors and is a great option for anyone who has experienced side effects when using other repellents or is simply put off by the idea of using anything chemical on their skin. To date, the oil of lemon and eucalyptus is the only plant-based active ingredient recommended by the CDC.

That said, this product also has a few flaws worth mentioning…

First up, it’s not as long-lasting as high-concentration DEET products and requires reapplication every 3 to 4 hours. Secondly, while the smell is definitely an improvement on DEET, it is kinda tangy and is sure to offend the nostrils of more scent-sensitive users. Finally, like many natural plant oils, lemon eucalyptus is an irritant and may cause unwanted side effects, particularly if you happen to have sensitive skin.

What We Like:

  • Not sticky or greasy
  • DEET-free
  • Smells kinda good compared to DEET (but still not great)
  • Doesn’t damage clothing

What We Don’t Like:

  • Effective for short periods (roughly 3/4 hours)
  • Not as effective as DEET-based products
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

What to Look for in a Mosquito Repellent for Your Yard

Which Type of Mosquito Yard Repellent is Best?

The four main types of mosquito repellents for yards are sprays, electronic devices, candles, and coils. Below, we provide a quick overview of each type.

Bottled Sprays

Bottled repellent sprays can be one of the most effective methods of mosquito control in your yard when used regularly and offer a more long-term solution than other methods. Particularly if you choose to follow a spraying schedule over the course of several weeks.

For the most part, bottle sprays work by attaching to your garden hose and dispursing a concentrated solution in the sprayed area that both ousts mosquitoes already in the area and deters newcomers. While not as practical or effective as backpack sprayers, bottled sprays typically use the same chemicals and can cover relatively large areas in a short time.

Some of the repellents typically found in this type of treatment include permethrin and pyrethroids formulas, both of which work by altering nerve function, which causes paralysis and eventual death in target species.

For those who find the above a little too brutal-slash-unethical or would simply prefer to use only natural products in their yard, a number of alternative treatments exist, most of which use peppermint oil, lemongrass oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, and/or cedar oil.

Sale
Cutter 95962 Natural Bug Control Spray Concentrate (HG-95962) (32 fl oz)
  • KILLS LISTED LAWN-INVADING INSECTS: Spray on lawns to kill mosquitoes, flies, ants (carpenter and harvester) and others as listed
  • NATURAL ACTIVE INGREDIENT: Contains lemongrass oil
  • SAFE FOR USE AROUND CHILDREN AND PETS: Tested to ensure effectiveness against mosquitoes and other insects
  • KILLS BY CONTACT: Attach to your garden hose and spray infested areas thoroughly
  • COVERS UP TO 5,000 SQ FT: Provides large coverage for mosquitoes and ticks

Last update on 2020-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Electronic Repellents

Certain reports have appeared in recent years contesting the effectiveness of electronic mosquito repellents, particularly those branded as ‘ultrasonic’ repellents, devices that generate a high-frequency ultrasonic buzz that the makers claim repels mosquitoes.

While these reports often claim there is no evidence to prove that ultrasonic repellents repel mosquitoes, there are plenty of users of such devices who would beg to differ and report a serious reduction in the number of mosquitoes present in their yards when using their device.

Coils

Most mosquito coils are made with dried pyrethrum, the powder version of the ingredient used in many spray repellents. Coils work by disbursing the pyrethrum as smoke when burnt.

Mosquito repellent coils generally last four to eight hours but, on the downside, are not as effective as sprays or electronic devices, give off funky smells and a plume of smoke that can trigger respiratory allergic reactions.

Candles

Mosquito-repellent candles typically use one or more essential oils such as citronella, thyme, lavender, lemon eucalyptus, or geranium. On the ‘pro’ side, these are usually low-cost and simple to use; on the ‘con’ side, they pose a slight fire hazard, can be smoky and smelly, and are not as effective as sprays, electronic repellents, or even coils.

On-the-Skin Repellents

In addition to the spatial repellents listed above, it’s almost always a good idea to wear some kind of on-the-skin repellent in case any skeeters aren’t put off by whatever spatial repellent you’ve chosen to use.

For the most part, on-the-skin repellents come in spray form (though wet wipes, foams, and creams are becoming more popular) and offer short-term protection against bites. The degree of effectiveness in on-the-skin repellents varies from product to product, largely depending on the concentration and type of active ingredient used. According to mosquito.org, despite several new ingredients hitting the shelves in recent years, the most effective is still good old, tried-and-tested DEET.

Which Active Ingredients are Most Effective?

On-the-Skin Repellents

DEET

‘DEET’ is the common name for N, N-Diethyl-m-toluamide. It was first developed by the U.S. Army in 1946 and has been sold commercially since it was registered in 1957.

DEET works by interfering with mosquitoes’ neurons and the antennae receptors they use to detect lactic acid and carbon dioxide, the chemicals that attract them to humans. It also works by forming a vapor barrier on the surface of the skin that deters them from landing.

Contrary to popular belief, the level of DEET in any product does not determine its strength but only how long the product will last. For example, a product with 10% DEET may remain effective for 1 or 2 hours, whereas a product with 60% DEET may remain effective for up to 6 or 7 hours.

Despite numerous reports having claimed that DEET can be a harmful substance, several studies have shown that the health risks posed by DEET are negligible when the right concentrations are used. Additionally, the EPA states that DEET carries no toxic effect to either children or adults when applied directly to the skin.

Picaridin (Icaridin)

Picaridin is a chemical compound that first became available for commercial use in the US in 2005 and is probably the second most popular mosquito-repelling chemical in use after DEET. It works by both repelling mosquitoes with its scent and by forming a vapor barrier on the surface of the skin that deters mosquitoes from landing.

Studies have shown that picaridin is just as effective a mosquito repellent as DEET. Unlike DEET, however, picaridin has far fewer objectionable qualities⁠ — it’s relatively odorless, non-greasy, and has fewer reported side effects.

Examples of products that contain picaridin include Avon Bug Guard, Ranger Ready, and Sawyer Picaridin Repellent.

Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard + Picaridin With Vitamin-E & Aloe Spray 4oz
  • Up to 8-hour protection against mosquitoes.
  • Provides strong and dependable repellency against mosquitoes, gnats, no-seeums, sand flies and biting midges.

Last update on 2020-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Ranger Ready Insect Repellent with 20% Picaridin Mist Spray Bottle, Amber Scent, 8 Ounce
  • BUG REPELLENT SPRAY: Ranger Ready Cedar and Amber scented insecticide spray uses 20% Picaridin as the active ingredient which can be directly applied to skin, clothing or gear
  • ACTIVE PROTECTION SPRAY: Provides 12 hours of tick and mosquito protection and 8 hours gnats, flies, chiggers, no see ums and flea protection from a single application
  • SAFE TO USE: This insect repellent is Deet Free making it safe to use for children, adults and during pregnancy
  • QUICK-DRY AND NON-GREASY: This bug spray won't damage clothing or gear, great for a day of hiking or a night under the stars
  • MULTIPURPOSE MIST SPRAY: This versatile picaridin insect repellent spray can be used as a bug, mosquito, flea, fly and tick repellent

Last update on 2020-01-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Plant-Based Repellents

Owing to the potential side effects of chemical-based repellents, in recent years several plant-based alternatives have gained a foothold in the mosquito repellent market. The most popular of these include Repel Lemon and Eucalyptus Repellent and Herbal Armor.

While many claim these products are only fractionally less effective than DEET or Picaridin products,  their repellent properties generally only last for a maximum of 2-4 hours, meaning that frequent re-application is required. On the plus side, plant-based products do not, like DEET, damage clothing, and they are also usually non-greasy and tend to have a less pungent scent.

Sale
REPEL Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, Pump Spray, 4-Ounce
  • MADE WITH OIL OF LEMON EUCALYPTUS: This DEET-free insect repellent provides you with protection during adventures in the backyard and on the go.
  • REPELS MOSQUITOES FOR UP TO 6 HOURS: This repellent keeps you and your family protected for hours, so the fun doesn't have to end.
  • REFRESHING SCENT: This DEET-free personal repellent leaves you with a cool, refreshing scent so you don't have to put up with the usual bug spray smell.
  • REPELS: Create a barrier against mosquitoes, including those that may transmit the Zika, West Nile, Dengue and Chikungunya viruses.
  • NOT GREASY OR STICKY: Formulated with oil of lemon eucalyptus to provide protection without leaving your skin feeling sticky or greasy.

Last update on 2020-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


All Terrain Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent, DEET-FREE Pump Spray, 8 Ounce, Family-Size
  • EFFECTIVE & SAFE: This repelling oil-based formula is DEET-free and GMO-free; good for sensitive skin. Use Herbal Armor DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent to keep bugs away & enjoy the outdoors, naturally.
  • DON'T LET BUGS KEEP YOU INDOORS: From camping or hiking to relaxing in the backyard, Herbal Armor is an effective & safe bug spray for the whole family. Also, it won't spoil clothes or camping gear.
  • PROTECT YOUR FAMILY: Avoid bug bites with this effective DEET-free insect repellent formula. Herbal Armor is environmentally friendly & non-irritating to skin; perfect for active families & travelers.
  • ACTIVE LIFESTYLE: Started by an outdoor enthusiast, All Terrain offers a broad line of safe & effective insect repellents, sunscreens, topical first aid & itch relief products using natural ingredients
  • ALL TERRAIN: We are committed to providing safe & effective, environmentally-friendly, cruelty-free skin care protection products to help you & your family live active, healthy lives.

Last update on 2020-07-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Spatial Repellents

In spatial mosquito repellents (i.e. those that repel and deter mosquitoes from treated areas) the most common active ingredients include pyrethroid and permethrin, both of which work by targeting the central nervous system of mosquitoes.

How Long Should the Protection Last?

On-the-Skin Repellents

Different types of topical repellents provide protection for different durations.

Generally speaking, the most long-lasting treatment is permethrin. While not a topical, on-the-skin repellent per se, this is applied to clothing and even in low concentrations (under 1%) can last for a matter of weeks. As a result, this the lowest-maintenance repellent out there and one we’d recommend for use in combination with veritable on-the-skin products to ensure maximum protection.

As mentioned above, the higher the concentration of DEET in any product, the longer that product will protect you against bites. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to have one hour of protection from any DEET-based product per 10% of DEET concentration, i.e. 10% concentration will give you one hour of protection, whereas 50% will provide in the region of five hours and 100% around ten hours.

The most notable downside to natural active ingredients (lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, citronella) is that the protection provided isn’t as long-lasting as other, non-natural products. As such, we’d only recommend using these repellents if you foresee being outdoors for a short time or if you’re happy to go through the rigmarole of reapplication every few hours.

This video from Inside Edition shows how varying repellents performed when put to the test.

Best Mosquito Repellent Brands

Repel: This highly popular brand makes a number of personal repellents and campsite products that use a wide variety of ingredients to cater for users with varying health needs and personal preferences, ranging from campsite citronella candles to DEET-based clothing sprays and plant-based topical repellents.

Sawyer: This Florida-based brand is a long-term favorite among campers and hikers everywhere and is renowned for its reliable water filtration devices, first aid kits, and sunscreens. It also produces a handful of highly effective, slow-release mosquito repellents for both topical use and on clothing.

OFF!: OFF! personal insect repellent was launched in the United States in 1957 and these days comes in a variety of formats, including creams, sprays, aerosols, lotions, and towelette wipes. In 2015, OFF! was named the “Most Trusted Bug Repellent” by BrandSpark.

Cutter: This brand has been on the go since 1960 and makes several personal repellents and outdoor products, ranging from DEET-based spray and cream repellents to backyard foggers and patio sprays.

Bonide: This brand makes repellents for just about every kind of critter you can think of, including deer, gophers, rabbits, bats, moles, rats, and mice. They don’t make any on-the-skin repellents, but specialize in products you can use in the yard, such as bottle sprays and foggers.

Mosquito Repellent FAQs

Q: What’s the best mosquito repellent for the Zika virus?

A: The mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus are found throughout the United States and, dauntingly, no vaccine for the virus is currently available. Zika can cause fever, rashes, joint pain, and several other symptoms in those infected. However, those most at risk are pregnant women, because infection with the virus increases the risk of babies being born with microcephaly, which results in incomplete brain development.

As there is no vaccine to prevent or treat the Zika virus, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises taking particular care to avoid being bitten in the first place by wearing long-sleeved pants and shirts when outdoors and using effective mosquito repellents.

The repellents that are most effective against the type of mosquito known to carry the Zika virus (the Aedes species mosquito⁠ — Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus) are those that contain 15 to 30 percent DEET, 20 percent picaridin, or 30 percent OLE (Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus).

Q: What’s the best mosquito repellent for babies?

A: While we’ve all heard the reports about the potential adverse health effects caused by DEET, the more conclusive evidence suggests that DEET is perfectly safe to use and safe for babies 2 months and older as long as you use it as directed. In addition to the CDC recommendation above, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also states that 10%-30% DEET is safe for use on babies two months of age and older.

Q: What’s the best mosquito repellent for dogs and cats?

A: While there are a few decent options on the market, in our estimation the best mosquito repellent for pets out there at present is Vet’s Best Mosquito Repellant for Dogs and Cats. This product not only uses safe, plant-based ingredients, but also comes with the seal of approval of veterinarians. It’s also easy to apply, boasts a refreshing lemonish scent, is non-greasy, and has a shelf life of three years.

Sale
Vet's Best Mosquito Repellent for Dogs and Cats | Repels Mosquitos with Certified Natural Oils | Deet Free | 8 Ounces
  • Vet's Best Mosquito repellent repels mosquitoes without the use of DEET.
  • Uses plant-based ingredients including Certified natural essential oils like lemongrass oil and geraniol (from citronella Plants).
  • Proven effective and Manufactured in the USA.
  • Can be used on dogs and cats 12 weeks or older.
  • Can be reapplied every 2 hours as needed.

Last update on 2020-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Q: Are there any mosquito-repellent plants?

A: Some plants that have been proven to repel mosquitoes and reduce the density of mosquito populations in gardens include pennyroyal, feverfew, citronella grass, lavender, pyrethrum (also known as chrysanthemum), marigolds, and peppermint.

Conclusion: The Best Mosquito Repellent for Yards

The best mosquito repellent for your yard will ultimately come down to how you prefer to do your repelling: spraying, coil burning, or with an electronic device or on-the-skin spray.

Depending on where you are in the world and the density of the mosquito population in your yard, we’d highly recommend taking a no-nonsense approach to mosquito control and opting for two of the above methods. With several mosquito-borne illnesses potentially awaiting those who take a more lax, casual approach, doubling up on your defenses is definitely the way to go.

Of all the methods presented in the above review, our top picks are the Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray for long-term spatial protection and the OFF! Deep Woods Insect Repellent for personal protection.

Using these two repellents together maximizes your chance of a bite-free yard by both working to oust any mosquitoes that have taken up residence in your yard over the course of a season and repelling and deterring any die-hard skeeters that survive the onslaught of your spraying sessions.