Mosquitoes are one of the most common pests in our backyard, and they can be a real nuisance. How many of us have had a summer afternoon ruined by mosquito bites?
Not to mention, they can carry diseases. The mosquito is technically the most dangerous animal in the world! Definitely not something we want around our barbecues.
Mosquito killers range from ineffective scents to methods too toxic to be used in the backyard. Finding the right one can be tricky.
Not enough power, and the mosquitos won’t be deterred. Too much, and you might find everything from visiting birds to household pets suffer the consequences.
Below, we’ve covered exactly what you can expect from a mosquito killer, plus our top picks.
We’ve taken a look at all that’s available, and the many forms of mosquito killer on the market so you can make an informed choice.
With the right choice, you can banish the blood suckers all summer long!
Cutter Backyard Bug Control Spray Concentrate
Best Spray Mosquito Killer
An aggressive bug killer that can cover up to 5,000 square feet of lawn, Cutter Bug Control Spray is a ruthlessly efficient backyard repellent.
As well as clearing your mosquitos, Cutter can remove fire ants, grubs, fleas, and ticks. And it can last up to 12 weeks, for a summer free from mosquitos.
Cutter Bug Control is incredibly easy to use, and the treatment gets to work right away.
There’s no pre-mixing need. Simply attach your garden hose to the bottle, turn the water on, and flip the switch of the hose end sprayer.
Spray in a steady and even stream across the yard, until you’ve covered the desired area. The remaining product can be stored for reapplication at a future date.
And even if it rains soon after application, the product can still work for almost 4 weeks.
With no smell and an easy use, the Cutter Bug Control Spray is an excellent choice for the backyard. However, there is one major downside.
The key ingredient is lambda-cyhalothrin, a synthetic chemical. As well as killing mosquitos, this can deplete the bee population.
And you have to take serious care to avoid getting the product into waterways, including drains.
- Quickflip hose-end sprayer – Application is simple with a garden hose and an easy nozzle attachment.
- Effectively kills – Cutter doesn’t just keep the mosquitos away. The active ingredient will make sure they’re dead.
- Single application – The spray can work for up to 12 weeks, meaning one application can last all summer.
- Aggressive active ingredient – Lambda-cyhalothrin is powerful, and is dangerous for both bees and fish. It also isn’t safe to use around pets and children.
Also available for purchase at CutterInsectRepellents.com and Walmart.com.
Wondercide Ready To Use Flea, Tick, And Mosquito Yard Spray
Best Natural Mosquito Spray
Wondercide Flea, Tick, and Mosquito Yard Spray is a ready to use treatment that combines natural ingredients for safe mosquito removal.
It doesn’t just use bad smells to turn the mosquitos away, but utilizes natural oils to kill mosquitos at every stage of life.
Many of us want to spend time in the backyard with our children and pets, but find mosquitos turn a fun day into an itchy and irritable nightmare.
However, often the best mosquito killers aren’t safe to use around children. Wondercide is different.
Wondercide uses cedar oil, a natural oil, to block octopamine, suffocating pheromone-driven pests. Meanwhile, mammals, birds, and insects such as bees, are safe.
Wondercide Ready To Use is incredibly easy to apply. It simply attaches to your hose, and can be sprayed across the yard. There’s no need to pre-mix.
Just connect the sprayer to the hose, and get going. And there’s no drying time! In fact, you can use the yard immediately after application.
Wondercide does need to be applied twice within two days, for an effective treatment. But it gets to work quickly.
As a natural spray, it lacks some power of a chemical. Regular reapplication will be necessary.
However, as it’s safe around children and pets, application doesn’t have to get in the way of a day in the summer sun.
- Pleasant smell – Cedar oil is the key ingredient of Wondercide, and gives off a pleasant woodsy scent.
- Safe for other insects – Targets pheromone-driven pests, rather than beneficial pollinators.
- Treats up to 5,000 square feet – Useful across larger lawns. The concentrated bottle goes even further.
- Regular reapplication – Wondercide washes away within a few weeks.
Also available for purchase at Wondercide.com and Chewy.com.
Summit Mosquito Dunks
Best For Killing Mosquito Larvae
By the time mosquitos are flying about and bothering you, you might have already missed your best chance for removing these pests.
Mosquito dunks are a water-based solution that kills mosquitoes at the source, killing the larvae before they can grow.
Summit Mosquito Dunks are a fantastic low-effort solution.
They simply need to be dropped into standing water, where they release a natural insecticide that destroys mosquito larvae naturally.
A single dunk can cover 100 square feet of water, regardless of depth. Use them in birdbaths, ponds, rain barrels, or any other area of standing water.
And you can even use the dunks to take a proactive approach. If your yard is liable to flooding, stake the dunk where standing water can occur.
When dry, the dunk is inactive but retains potency. When wet, it begins to release the larvicide, and remains effective for 30 days. For smaller areas, use just half a dunk.
The dunk works by releasing a larvicide that’s harmful to the larvae, but won’t hurt any fish or visiting birds.
A Summit Mosquito Dunk works best alongside other solutions that are designed to target fully grown mosquitos.
However, by stopping them at the source, you reduce the numbers that might plague your yard.
- Kills at the source – By destroying the larvae, you reduce numbers immediately.
- Indefinite potency – Stock up, and keep the dunks on hand for the next time it rains.
- Safe for other animals – The dunk larvicide only targets the mosquito larvae, so birds and fish are safe.
- Won’t kill grown mosquitos – The dunks only target larvae.
Also available for purchase at SummitChemical.com and Chewy.com.
DynaTrap 1/2 Acre Insect And Mosquito Trap Twist On/Off
Best For Versatility
The DynaTrap can cover indoor and outdoor spaces, traps and kills a variety of pests, and is lightweight and portable.
An excellent choice for those looking for an efficient and safe way to free the backyard of mosquitoes.
With the DynaTrap, you don’t need to worry about applying chemicals to your yard.
Instead, you place the trap in the location where you want to eliminate the problem and let a combination of lights, carbon dioxide, and fans do the work.
The DynaTrap is a 3-way system. First is the light bulb. Using a UV bulb that gives off a warm light, the DynaTrap attracts mosquitoes within a 1/2 acre.
Next is the Ti02 titanium dioxide coated surface, which mimics human breath by emitting a trail of carbon dioxide.
Finally, the fan draws the insects into the cage, where they dehydrate and die. To access this impressive bug removal, all you need to do is plug the trap in.
Safe and effective, the DynaTrap uses no pesticides or chemicals. It’s also whisper-quiet, and doesn’t give off a bad smell.
With an attractive tungsten lantern design, you’ll be happy to use the DynaTrap above outdoor eating and relaxing areas.
- 1/2 acre coverage – The DynaTrap effectively covers a large area.
- Quiet – With no zapping or buzzing, and only a whisper-quiet fan, the DynaTrap is an unobtrusive addition to the yard.
- 3-way attraction – The combination of warming light, carbon dioxide trail, and fan draws in mosquitos, wasps, flies, gnats, and more.
- Six-week to break the cycle – The DynaTrap has to run for three weeks before you see a real difference, and six weeks to effectively break a breeding cycle.
Also available for purchase at DynaTrap.com and Walmart.com.
Flowtron Electronic Insect Killer
Affordable, effective, and easy to use, the Flowtron Electronic Insect Killer is a traditional way to get rid of the mosquitos that have made themselves home in your backyard.
Plug it in, and mosquitos will find themselves drawn to the UV light, before falling victim to the killing grid.
Covering an area up to an acre, the powerful Flowtron BK-40D zaps any mosquitos that fly into its path.
These then drop to the ground, to return to the ecosystem with minimal clean up. An eco-friendly mosquito killer, the Flowtron uses no chemicals or sprays, and gives off no odor.
With a 15 watt high intensity ultraviolet light, the Flowtron can be operated for a minimal cost every day.
Either use a timer for selected usage, or keep the bug zapper on overnight. By morning, you should find the mosquito hoards are looking a little lackluster.
Thanks to the low operating cost, this also makes an effective outdoor safety light, although it doesn’t add much to the look of the yard.
A simple design that requires minimal input from the user, the Flowtron is an excellent solution for those who would like to reduce their reliance on chemical insecticides.
- PolyCarbon construction – A rugged build that can withstand harsh outdoor weathers, and repeated attacks from mosquitos and other flying insects.
- Two-year limited warranty – Bug zapper not zapping bugs? Return or replace it with Flowtron.
- Low operation fee – Can run continuously at a low cost.
- May need frequent cleaning – While mosquitos drop away, larger insects get caught in the cage. These have to be cleaned for the lantern to work efficiently.
Also available for purchase at Walmart.com.
Murphy’s Insect Repellent Incense Sticks
Best Natural Repellent
If you want to completely remove any mosquitos from your backyard, and make sure they can’t come back, then the Murphy’s Insect Repellent Incense Sticks aren’t for you.
However, if you want to clear an outdoor area and create a relaxing atmosphere, these incense sticks are fantastic.
The combination of plant-based oils drives mosquitoes away, while leaving a pleasant odor for people to enjoy.
For eating outdoors, big and ugly zappers can be a little off-putting. The sounds of frying bugs does not create a pleasant evening.
And you want to avoid using harsh chemical sprays near an eating area. The Murphy’s incense sticks repel mosquitos in an unobtrusive way, and are enjoyable to use.
The natural oils used in the incense stick are safe for humans, pets, and wildlife. They don’t harm plants or animals, and only last a few hours.
And while they’ll keep the mosquitos away for a short period, they won’t kill them or other pests. Ideal if you’re trying to attract pollinators.
These incense sticks are great for camping, picnics, and just about anywhere else where you’d like to enjoy nature without getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.
Simply light the stick, let the flame burn for around 15 to 20 seconds, blow it out, and anchor your incense stick.
- Certified B Corporation – The company meets high standards of performance, accountability, and transparency, across the supply chain.
- 2.5 hour burn time – Keep mosquitos away for a relaxing evening outdoors.
- Plant-based – The five plant oils used in the sticks – rosemary, peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, and cedar wood – repel mosquitoes naturally and safely.
- Short term solution – Once the incense has run out, the mosquitos will return.
Also available for purchase at MurphysNaturals.com and Walmart.com.
Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent
Best Portable Mosquito Repeller
Unfortunately, frustrating mosquitos have a tendency to get everywhere.
Once you’ve dealt with your pest problem at home, you’re still likely to encounter these blood sucking horrors whenever you brave the great outdoors.
The Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent is a portable repellent that works at just the touch of a button.
Literally. Press the button, and the Thermacell heats up, releasing a pyrethroid, which repels mosquitoes away.
Pyrethroids are naturally occurring, and found on the chrysanthemum flower. Released into the air by the Thermacell, they create a mosquito-free radius zone of roughly 110 square feet.
Thermacell have designed the Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent for use on the go. Camping trips, picnics, and weekends away are saved with the Thermacell.
It’s also useful if you have multiple seating areas within your backyard.
Rather than being confined to a single spot, this fast and effective solution from Thermacell can banish mosquitoes wherever you intend to go.
The Thermacell Radius Zone is only a short term solution, and it repels, rather than kills.
However, the long battery life and large repellent zone make it an effective backyard choice.
And as an unobtrusive and odor-free design, it’s ideal for barbecues and meals enjoyed al fresco.
- Discreet – No spray, no scent, and no noise. Perfect for campgrounds and communal spaces.
- Rechargeable – The Li-Ion rechargeable battery provides a long life, and allows the Thermacell to be powered up on the go.
- TSA-compliant – A truly portable design, thanks to the TSA-compliant battery.
- Short term protection – When you switch the Thermacell Radius Zone off, the mosquitos can return.
Also available for purchase at Thermacell.com and Walmart.com.
Mosquito Killer Buyer’s Guide
Not all mosquito killing methods are suitable for every yard.
An effective killing spray might not be right for your family backyard, while a lure might not do the trick in your large planting area.
But there are many types of mosquito killers available, so we’re certain that there’s on right for you.
Take a look at this buyer’s guide to find out what to look for in a mosquito killer.
Kill Or Repel?
The first thing you have to decide is if you want to kill the mosquitos, or simply repel them.
If you’ve been dealing with these annoying creatures for a while, your first instinct might be to kill, no questions asked. However, this isn’t always the right choice to make.
Mosquito killers typically use harsh chemicals to make sure large amounts of mosquitos are affected. However, these chemicals can rarely target just the mosquitos.
Instead, you might damage pollinators and other visitors you want to the yard. Even zappers and lures can end up catching more than just the mosquitos you’re targeting.
If you rarely use the yard, a repeller might be a better choice.
But while repellers are often a safer option, they’re also only a short term option. Once the repeller is gone, or turned off, the mosquitos will happily return.
For those who like to spend warm summer days soaking up the sunshine, constant repeller use can get expensive and frustrating.
Types Of Mosquito Killers
There are many types of mosquito killer available. Each type is best used under specific circumstances.
Below, we’ve listed the most common options, and when they might be appropriate.
A larvicide is a form of mosquito killer that targets the larvae. Dropped in tablet form into still water, the larvicide is released slowly from the capsule, eventually killing the mosquito.
While larvicides are great for small ponds and containers, they don’t always work well in larger bodies of water.
Larvicides are generally safe for fish and wildlife, but make sure to check before using.
Larvicide is a fantastic way to tackle the problem before it has a chance to become a problem. However, they only work to kill larvae.
A larvicide has no effect on a fully grown mosquito. So, while it might kill the larvae growing in your ponds, it won’t hinder neighboring mosquito populations.
Mosquito killing sprays have something of a mixed reputation. On the one hand, the chemical spray is the best way to kill large amounts of mosquitoes easily.
On the other hand, these high impact sprays can have a negative effect on the environment and aren’t always safe to use around kids or pets.
And the natural sprays, with fewer chemicals, are typically less effective.
If you’re looking for an easy solution, a good spray is going to be the best choice. They’re fast acting, and can quickly knock down mosquitoes.
We generally recommend natural solutions such as Wondercide, as these are safe for families. But if you have a huge mosquito problem, you may need a harsher spray like Cutter.
One of the oldest forms of mosquito control, a zapper uses high voltage electricity to shock the mosquitos.
Zappers are usually placed near a pool of standing water, where the mosquitoes congregate. Light, and other mosquito attractors, emit from the zapper to draw in the insects.
They fly to the zapper, and a sudden buzz of electricity finishes them off.
Zappers are a handy way of getting rid of mosquitos, and can be purchased at a low cost, and run for relatively cheap.
The biggest issue with the zapper is their tendency to attract other insects. And when they run into a zapper, they get the same shocking treatment.
This might sound like a good thing. After all, most things a zapper zaps are pests. However, when a mosquito gets zapped, it drops to the ground, to slowly return to the ecosystem.
When a big moth gets zapped, it can get stuck in the grating. Not only is this a mess to clean, but it also reduces the effectiveness of the zapper.
Like zappers, lures are another old-school method of mosquito control. Lures are designed to attract mosquitos, and then trap them.
The lure will produce chemicals that mosquitos find incredibly appealing. When the mosquito gets inside, there’s no way out.
Some lures will zap the mosquito, while others simply trap them in. Eventually, they die of starvation.
Lures sometimes need to be plugged in, but others have no electrical component. However, you will typically need to replace the attractant from time to time.
Lures do need to be cleaned, and this can be a less than pleasant task.
Lures are effective, but it can take some time to find the right one for you. Not all the mosquitoes in your area will be drawn to the same things.
A fogger is a great option for quickly getting rid of mosquitos. It works by releasing a fine mist of insecticides into the air.
This will coat the surrounding area, keeping mosquitos away, and killing the ones already there.
Foggers are useful, but typically used by professional pest control. Because of the mist they leave behind, for several hours after use the area fogged is off limits.
Repellents don’t kill the mosquito, they simply work to keep them away.
Some repellents, such as those from Thermacell, use a high-tech method to release natural scents that deter mosquitoes over a large range.
Other repellents are as simple as a citronella candle.
Repellents are a good choice for outdoor dining, and backyards with children.
They’re generally pretty effective at keeping the mosquitos away, although some scents work better than others. However, they aren’t very long-lasting.
So if you want to enjoy your backyard without worrying about mosquitoes, you’ll probably need to reapply the repellent after a couple of hours.
How To Use
Getting rid of mosquitos doesn’t have to be complex, but it’s best to check how to use a repellent before making a purchase.
A spray may need to be diluted, and might not be safe to be around for several days. A zapper might need to be plugged in.
A lure will often need to be cleaned. Check these details, to see which option will better fit your lifestyle.
Is It Safe?
A mosquito repeller should be safe for the area it’s used in, and for use around people.
Look for EPA-registered ingredients, and be sure to read the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The best way to ensure your mosquito killer is safe for how you intend to use it is to do your research.
How far can the mosquito killer cover? For a spray, this will depend on how much is in the bottle. A zapper and a lure will only attract mosquitoes over a certain distance.
For a particularly large backyard, you may need to use a variety of methods.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do You Need Mosquito Repellent?
Mosquitoes carry disease, like West Nile virus. If you live near an area where mosquitos are prevalent, you’ll want to protect yourself against their bites.
Mosquitos also carry diseases like malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis, and chikungunya.
In fact, the CDC estimates that mosquitos cause more human deaths each year than any other animal.
But even if the mosquitos in your area aren’t disease carrying, they’re really, really annoying. A mosquito killer just makes your backyard a more pleasant place to be.
Is A Mosquito Killer Alone Enough?
To remove mosquitos, you need to combine mosquito killers with a clean backyard.
Remove any areas of stagnant water, and regularly replace standing water in items such as birdbaths and fountains. In ponds and pools, keep water treated and circulating.
And change your outdoor lights to yellow bulbs, which mosquitos aren’t so attracted to.
Are Mosquito Killers Dangerous To Other Animals And Insects?
Yes, mosquito killers can harm insects and animals. But most of the time, the only insects they’ll target are other pests.
However, if you’re choosing a chemical spray, be sure to check the ingredients used. These sprays can be harmful to wildlife and pollinators, and poison fish if they get into the water supply.
If you’ve got a backyard full of mosquitos, you know what we mean when we say “it sucks.” Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to eliminate them.
From using bug spray to luring mosquitoes away, there’s no shortage of mosquito killers available. Just make sure to choose the right one for your backyard.