How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes: Testing 11 Homemade Remedies

06/22/2012 05:28 pm ET | Updated Jul 27, 2015

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Reach for the calamine lotion, it's mosquito season.

Mosquitoes are out in full force right now because warm weather allows a mosquito egg to become an adult in less than a week. Mosquitoes can infect millions of people every year and this year may especially be a doozy due to the mild winter we had. And with over 150 species of mosquitoes in North America (over 3,000 in the world), these pesky critters can really put a damper on summer fun!

The thing is, we're not always huge fans of conventional mosquito repellants on the market, which often irritate the skin. In the interest of seeing if there are chemical-free remedies, we've tested the following ways to get rid of mosquitoes. What worked and what should be left to the garden? Find out below.

  • 1 Beer Traps
  • Turns out that mosquitoes are attracted to those who drink beer. So, we thought that placing cups filled with cheap-o lager around our patio would make great bait for the pests. A glance at the buggy victims proved this to be true. There's a catch though. Mosquitoes will still seek you out if you're drinking the stuff. Bottom line: This somewhat works, but if you're also imbibing, expect to be bitten. Photo from Flickr user Dinner Series.
  • 2 Wear White
  • The thinking here is that colors somehow make you more attractive to mosquitoes. But this is just a bunch of wishful thinking -- the bugs will still bite, no matter how much white you wear. Bottom line: Does not work. Photo from Flickr user ir0cko.
  • 3 Eat Garlic
  • Garlic is used in many mosquito repellants used in landscaping. So, why wouldn't it work for us? After eating a garlicky meal, we waited. The mosquitoes didn't bother us. But really, is this practical? Bottom line: Works, if you'd like to down garlic cloves on a daily basis. Photo from Flickr user lowjumpingfrog.
  • 4 Vacuum
  • This involves exactly what you think it does: Vacuuming up any mosquito you see in the air. It's more like a reflex test than a viable means of pest control. The bottom line: Not surprisingly, does not work. Photo from Flickr user williac.
  • 5 Mouthwash
  • When diluted with water and spritzed on the skin, this promised to rid of us mosquitoes for a full night. Sadly, it just made us smell minty fresh. We were still bitten at the end of the night. Bottom line: Does not work. Photo from Flickr user cubemate
  • 6 Anti-Mosquito App
  • This sonic repellant promises to rid your life of mosquitoes with a touch of a button. Easy, right? So we were disappointed when all this did was drain our iPhone's battery. Bottom line: Does not work. Photo from Flickr user bfishadow.
  • 7 Chives
  • Like garlic, mosquitoes dislike chives. We simply placed a few snippets in a centerpiece and hoped for results. Though we did experience less bites, we were still bitten. Bottom line: Might work, but probably should be applied to the skin in order to see results. Photo from Flickr user jeremy_w_osborne.
  • 8 Fabric Softener Sheets
  • Rubbed onto the skin, this method did leave us mosquito bite-free for the evening. But, it did irritate the skin of one of our testers. So, use caution. Bottom line: This works. Photo from Amazon
  • 9 Dish Soap
  • A few squirts of dish soap, left in a saucer, did a nice job of keeping mosquitos occupied...and away from us. The results were comparable to citronella candle. Bottom line: This works. Photo from Getty Images.
  • 10 Soda
  • Particularly, Mountain Dew, which was suggested by a reader, with a dash of dish soap. While the traps did attract mosquitoes, this might have also been because of the dish soap. Bottom line: This works, but probably not because of the soda. Photo from Flickr user SeeMidTN.com (aka Brent)
  • 11 Bubble Machine
  • Silly, but it did prove effective. Again, soap might be the factor here. Bottom line: It works. Photo from Flickr user Ali Smiles :).

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