8 Best Mosquito Repellents for Yards, Decks, and Patios in 2023 – Prevention Magazine

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From candles to sprays and everything in between.
Summer’s officially here, and that means spending more time outside. After being trapped indoors for the cold winter months, we’re all looking forward to a season of enjoying outdoor meals, wearing flowy summer dresses, and relaxing by the pool. But those dreams of finally using the backyard can quickly be squashed when you step outside for five minutes only to be completely covered in itchy, uncomfortable mosquito bites. Not only do bites from these pests itch, but they can also transmit illnesses like West Nile virus, Zika, Dengue fever, and malaria, depending on your location.
But fear not, there’s always mosquito repellent for yards to save the day. These products keep those pesky mosquitoes from reaching you in the first place, and there are so many options to choose from. From candles, to lanterns, and of course, sprays, there’s a mosquito repellent out there for every yard. That said, it can sometimes be difficult to choose the one that will actually work for you.
Luckily, we have you covered. We researched guidelines for what to look for in the best mosquito repellents, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Information on the safety and efficacy of EPA-approved ingredients, along with thousands of customer reviews, helped us curate a list of your best options.

There’s a mosquito repellent for every yard in every location. Whatever type you’re looking for, you’ll finally be able to step outside without being ambushed by bugs with one of these products at the ready.
This mosquito repeller is both effective and easy to operate. With no batteries or cords needed, all you have to do is insert the included heat-activated 12-hour fuel cartridge for a 15-foot zone of protection. It comes with three four-hour repellent mats that change color when it’s time to replace them.
The repeller is scent- and spray-free, and it relies on the active ingredient, synthetic allethrin, to keep mosquitos away. It has been independently tested and reviewed by the EPA for safety and effectiveness. Not to mention, it’s available in over 10 different colors. Who says mosquito repellers have to be an eyesore?
If you’re looking for a mosquito repellent spray that packs a punch, look no further. This easy-to-use spray uses Lambda-Cyhalothrin, an insecticide registered by the EPA. It attaches to your garden hose for protection that lasts up to 12 weeks. That’s right, this affordable option only needs to be used once to protect your yard against mosquitoes for the entire summer. Even reviewers can’t believe how well this works. “I sprayed the entire yard with this and I haven’t seen ANY mosquitoes at all,” one writes. “I’d really recommend this. It works.”
If your yard has water features, consider adding these mosquito dunks to your stash of repellents. When placed in water, they kill mosquito larvae using a bacteria only toxic them. Each circle lasts 30 days and treats 100 square feet of water. And don’t worry, they’re not toxic to other wildlife, including fish, pets, and humans, according to the brand. “Works great and we have repurchased these a couple times and will continue to do so,” said one Amazon reviewer. “Seriously, they work so fast.”
Mosquito repellent candles are a great choice for those who want to do as little work as possible. Perfect for outdoor meals, all you have to do is light the candle and place it on your table for pest-free dining. This one is made from plant-based oils including peppermint, rosemary, citronella, lemongrass, and cedarwood that naturally repel mosquitoes without any DEET or added synthetic fragrances. Plus, it’s affordable and burns for up to 30 hours, so you can use it over and over again.
Keep in mind that this is a temporary solution to backyard pests. It may keep mosquitos away from you and your food while you’re having a meal, but it’s not a long-term fix.
If you want the ease of a mosquito-repelling candle without any scent or flame, this lantern is a great option. Perfect for patios, it repels mosquitoes in a 15-foot radius without any DEET or strong scents. It functions the same as Thermacell’s popular mosquito repellent on this list with the added aesthetic appearance of a lantern and the practical, battery-operated light. “I was surprised how well it worked,” one reviewer writes, “in five minutes, we noticed that all mosquitoes were gone.”
Sometimes, it’s hard to compete with the ease of solving multiple problems with one product, and this spray does just that. Not only does it keep away mosquitoes, but it also repels other pesky insects like ants, ticks, crickets, gnats, and more. It’s safe to use around pets and small children, and is formulated without harsh chemicals or scents. Instead, it uses cedarwood oil, sodium lauryl sulfate, and sesame oil to keep insects away from your yard. Reviewers can’t get enough of the stuff. “It’s safe. It smells wonderfully. And–best of all–it works!” one writes.
This rechargeable repeller provides scent- and spray-free protection for a 20-foot area. It’s powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery, and is available in either 5.5 or nine hour battery life options. Plus, LED lights and audio cues will let you know when it’s time to recharge, so you won’t be suddenly covered in bites. Its active ingredient is a pesticide called metofluthrin, which is registered with the EPA. “I am not disappointed,” writes one reviewer. “Five minutes after I started it up the bugs just disappeared.”
If you’re looking for an all-natural solution to your mosquito problem, these incense cones are sure to do the trick. They’re formulated without harsh chemicals, instead using plant-based oils to naturally repel pests. Simply place a cone in the provided ceramic dish, light it, and let it smolder down for short-term protection against mosquitoes. “These essential oil cones really work!” writes one reviewer. “They are now part of my morning routine to ensure a mosquito-free breakfast.”
✔️ The best mosquito repellents include active ingredients that have been registered with the EPA. Look for DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), Para-menthane-diol (PMD), and 2-undecanone, according to the CDC. When in doubt, you can use EPA’s search tool to find the right repellent for you.
✔️ The type of repellent you choose can make a big difference. If you’re looking for something reusable and easy to operate, you might consider a mosquito repelling candle, whereas those who want a one-and-done solution might gravitate toward a longer lasting spray repellent.
✔️ Think about your specific needs when choosing a repellent. What do you typically use your outdoor space for? Would short-term localized protection during an outdoor meal be adequate, or do you have a pool that requires a larger area of protection? Your location also plays a role, as different regions are home to different pests. Considering these factors will help you narrow down your options.
✔️ It’s important to consider any sensitivities that you or other members of your household may have when choosing a mosquito repellent for your yard. If you have pets or small children, confirm that your repellent is safe to use around them. For instance, you should not use products containing (OLE) or PMD on children under three years old, per the CDC.
Similarly, ensure that you’re not allergic to any ingredients or sensitive to any scents that a repellent might include by reading the label carefully. And remember, your mosquito repellent should make you want to spend more time outside, not the other way around.
Our team researched mosquito repellent guidelines and what active ingredients to look for in a mosquito repellent, according to the EPA, CDC, and EWG. We also read thousands of customer reviews to bring you the most effective and highest rated mosquito repellents for the yard. We considered price, repellent type, ingredients, and safety when selecting these products.
For more than 70 years, Prevention has been a leading provider of trustworthy health information, empowering readers with practical strategies to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Our editors interview medical experts to help guide our health-focused product selections. Additionally, Prevention also examines hundreds of reviews—and often conducts personal testing done by our staff—to help you make informed decisions.
Jenn Gonick joins Prevention as an editorial intern for e-commerce and gift guides. She has prior experience with social media management and marketing, as well as writing blogs and SEO content. She is particularly passionate about writing in the wellness and mental health spaces. Jenn is currently a student at the George Washington University pursuing a degree in English and Communication.  

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