Mosquito Repellent DIY – You’re 30 Minutes From Bug Free Freedom

2 Materials
30 Minutes

This super simple mosquito repellent solution uses recycled cardboard drink holders to create smoke that keeps the bug away. Try it, it works awesome!!

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Make this simple mosquito repellent using stuff from the recycling bin!


First you’ll need to collect a few things from around the house for this Mosquito Repellent DIY:

  1. A piece of wire (8-12″ long) it may get hot so nothing plastic or paper, use actual wire or maybe a coat hanger.
  2. A larger tin can (I used a can from spaghetti sauce)
  3. A drill and small drill bit (you can also use a hammer and nail)
  4. Some cardboard drink holders like the ones from the fast-food drive-thru

Making a Mosquito Repeller

To start, drill a couple of holes near the top of your tin. These holes will be used to attach the wire to hang or handle your mosquito repeller.

*Hint, smaller drill bits drill through metal easier, but be careful it will move around a bit. In a pinch, you can also use a hammer and nail. Put a piece of wood in the container to hammer into, so you don’t crush the tin.

Next up, we’re going to drill a bunch of holes in the tin to help the airflow, and help spread the smoke around better.

I also drilled a hole in the middle of the lid. This part is totally optional, but I figured I’d give it a try anyway.

Lighting your Mosquito Repellent is pretty easy. Rip off a chunk of your cardboard drink holder, and light the end on fire. Blow out the flames when it starts burning. Then toss it in the tin can. The glowing embers will slowly burn all the cardboard, and the smoke will keep the bugs away.

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Boom, you’re pretty much done with this Mosquito Repellent DIY project. You can see I pulled the wire through the hole in the top of my tin to act as a damper. I can flip it up to let more air in and make more smoke, but it will burn faster.

The wire handle lets you pick it up without burning your hand, and can also be used to hang it up

How to Keep Mosquitoes Away For Good

For more information about getting rid of these pesky critters using DIY hacks and natural methods, check out our guide on how to keep mosquitoes away without using harmful chemicals.

Burnt ash is easy to dump out

Hope you loved this Mosquito Killing hack. Well, it doesn’t actually kill them, but they don’t kill the vibe with this bad boy!! haahah

If you’re not up to the DIY, I’ve heard amazing things about these Thermacell Mosquito Repellers

If you have a large area to protect, there are a couple of other options.

Dynatrap makes electric Mosquito traps that cover up to 1 acre of land. The Mosquito Magnet also covers up to an acre and claims to reduce the overall population of mosquitos over 4 weeks.

DIY home decor using repurposed tin cans

Check out more creative ways to reuse empty tin cans here.

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 11 questions
  • Cathleendunn435 Cathleendunn435 on Jun 28, 2022

    would it be ok to use a citronella can that's empty? it already has a handle.

  • Patricia goble Patricia goble on Apr 30, 2024

    This makes me wonder what kind of chemicals that are burning?

  • Christine Hinzman Christine Hinzman on May 01, 2024

    How long does it keep mosquitoes away? I mean, do you have to keep adding & lighting all evening?

Join the conversation
2 of 51 comments
  • Patti Patti on May 01, 2024

    This is great! I’m allergic to citronella so this is perfect!

    thanks for sharing

  • Jan piner Jan piner on May 01, 2024

    You can fill can with water and freeze. This makes drilling easier. Simply thaw and continue .