Do dryer sheets repel mosquitos? Experts deliberate on whether this popular pest control method is effective

While this common household item contains products that repel mosquitos, experts explain why usefulness is limited

Mosquito on paper
(Image credit: Getty Images / frank600)

As any pest expert will tell you, one of the best ways to get rid of mosquitos is to use scents they hate to confuse and repel them from certain areas of your home and yard.

There are plenty of scents that deter mosquitos, and people have wondered whether scented dryer sheets, with their strong fragrance and natural ingredients, can have the same effect. While many people have raided their laundry room storage to try out this method, pest experts are not entirely convinced of its merits. 

Read their consensus on this technique below.

Do dryer sheets repel mosquitos?

'The idea that dryer sheets can repel mosquitoes is a popular household tip, but scientific evidence on their effectiveness is limited,' explains Brett Bennett, Director of Operations, PURCOR Pest Solutions

'Some studies suggest that certain compounds found in dryer sheets, including linalool, beta-citronellol, and hedione – which are also present in some mosquito repellents, such as the citronella – might offer some degree of repellence.'

Additionally, the fragrance from dryer sheets, such as these Arm & Hammer lavender sheets from Amazon, may mask the scents that attract mosquitoes, such as body odor and carbon dioxide.

'However, dryer sheets are not specifically designed or tested for this purpose, so, while it doesn't hurt to try, I wouldn't consider dryer sheets to be your best bet when it comes to repelling mosquitoes,' advises Brett Bennett.

Practicalities of using dryer sheets

White dryer sheets stacked on white bathroom tiles

(Image credit: Unsplash)

If you do opt for this method, you can place dryer sheets in pockets, around outdoor seating areas, or inside tents to potentially reduce mosquito presence.

'However, it's worth noting that the potency of dryer sheets doesn’t last long, and it doesn’t go much further beyond the sheet itself, so mosquitoes have no problem flying around dryer sheets,' explains Brian Davis at Handy Rubbish. 'In order for this to have much of an effect, you'll have to use a lot of them, and they need to be fresh, so you'll have to replace them frequently.'

Alternatives mosquito repellent methods

Mosquito on a yellow flower

(Image credit: Getty Images / Tahreer Photography)

'Relying on repellents proven effective like DEET, from Amazon, or natural alternatives such as mosquito repellent plants are more effective for mosquito control,' advises Brett Bennett.

If you're looking for something to leave around to help keep mosquitoes under control without spraying, you'll have much better luck with fresh herbs like lavender and mint. Keep these in pots, and you can easily place them where you need to deter mosquitos or where they seem to congregate. 

Another simple method, often used to keep mosquitos away from the front door, is to use fans to create a current of air mosquitos can't fly through (they are weak fliers) to keep them from flying to specific spaces.

While dryer sheets may offer a temporary and mild deterrent to mosquitoes, they should not replace proven mosquito repellents. For best results, integrate them with other preventative measures to keep your outdoor spaces mosquito-free.

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past six years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including practical household advice, recipe articles, and product reviews, working closely with experts in their fields to cover everything from heating to home organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.