How to Repel Mosquitoes From your Back Patio

When you hear the buzzing of a mosquito the next time you're relaxing on your back patio, it's not just an annoyance. These flying, biting insects can also carry diseases, such as the West Nile virus and dengue fever. Enjoy outdoor patios and decks in peace and quiet by repelling mosquitoes safely and naturally.

Get Rid of Mosquito Breeding Grounds

The mosquitoes that flit around gardens, decks and patios are adult mosquitoes. These pests start off as wiggling, wormlike larvae that hatch and grow in stagnant bodies of water. When you get rid of sources of stagnant water, you shatter the life cycle of the mosquito and eliminate the adult insects on patios and decks. Sources of stagnant water include anything that can catch and hold water:

  • Empty plant pots
  • Rubber tires
  • Wheelbarrows
  • Clogged rain gutters
  • Unused pet food dishes

Eliminate Dense Plants

As the sun heats up your back patio and surrounding landscape, mosquitoes seek the cool shelter of dense plant growth, such as thick shrubs and tall stands of grass. Clear out and eliminate dense plant growth from around the back patio to make your landscape less appealing to mosquitoes, repelling them and forcing them to look for more hospitable backyards.

Drive Away Mosquitoes With the Power of Smell

A variety of annuals have richly scented oils in their foliage that repel mosquitoes. Additionally, these strong scents help conceal the smell of human bodies, which may help to prevent attracting more mosquitoes to the site. Plant these annuals in pots and arrange them around the back patio to add color and life to the area while also keeping mosquitoes at bay. These plants include:

  • Marigolds (Calendula officinalis)
  • Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
  • Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Set Up an Outdoor Fan

A room fan blowing across an outdoor patio or deck doesn't just help to keep you cool on a hot summer day, but it also gets rid of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are very weak fliers and aren't able to struggle against the breeze created by the fan. As an added benefit, the fan keeps the scent of humans from building up on the patio so more mosquitoes aren't attracted to the patio.

Add Candles

Add a flickering candle to a back patio to create a soft-lit ambiance. The smoke and citruslike odors emanating from citronella candles repels mosquitoes and hides the smell of humans.