- 7 Natural Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites
- 1. Lemon Eucalyptus
- 2. Catnip Oil
- 3. Peppermint Oil
- 4. Lemongrass Oil
- 5. IR3535
- 6. Use a Fan
- 7. Eliminate Standing Water
- 10 Scents That Repel Mosquitoes
- Protecting Yourself from Mosquitoes
- 10 Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitos
- 11. Tansy
- 12. Cloves
- 13. Lavender
- 14. Organic Soy Oil
- 16. Thyme Oil
- 17. Greek Catnip Oil
- 18. Wormwood
- 19. Eucalyptus
- 20. Rosemary
- 21. Marigolds
- 22. Tea Tree Oil
- 23. Citronella
- Was this article helpful?
- How can we improve it?
- We appreciate your helpul feedback!
- Natural Homemade Mosquito/Insect/Bug Repellent
- Homemade Mosquito Repellent
- Homemade Mosquito Repellent Spray
- Homemade Insect Repellent Video
- Homemade Mosquito Repellents
- Natural Mosquito Repellent Remedies
- 1. Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
- 2. Peppermint Oil And Coconut Oil
- 3. Neem Oil And Coconut Oil
- 4. Apple Cider Vinegar With Essential Oils Spray
- 5. Tea Tree Oil And Coconut Oil
- 6. Citronella Oil And Alcohol Spray
- 7. Cinnamon Oil Spray
- 8. Lavender Oil, Vanilla, And Lemon Juice Spray
- 9. Lemongrass And Rosemary Essential Oil
- 10. Mouthwash And Epsom Salt Yard Spray
- 11. Baking Soda With Vinegar Mosquito Trap
- 12. Rubbing Alcohol Spray
- 13. Garlic Spray
- 14. Cloves With Lime
- Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
- What to Eat to Repel Mosquitoes
- What to Eat
- What to Avoid
- Prevent Mosquitoes from Making a Meal of YOU
- Your Solutions
- What to Eat to Avoid Mosquito Bites
- Why Do Mosquitoes Like Certain People?
- Does Garlic Keep Mosquitoes Away?
- Which Foods will Help You Avoid Mosquito Bites?
- Other Ways to Avoid Mosquito Bites
- Cheers to mosquito-borne disease
- Snacking your way to a bite-free summer?
- Beating bloodsuckers with vitamin B?
- DIY Fixes and Tips
- 11 All-Natural Ways to Repel Mosquitoes
- 3 Factors That Make You More Attractive To Mosquitoes
- How to Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Outdoor Living Spaces
- Other Home Hacks to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
- How to Be Less Desirable to Mosquitoes
- Using Essential Oils to Keep Mosquitoes Away
- Making Your Own Mosquito Repellent Products
7 Natural Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites
Warmer weather means reveling in outdoor activities like hiking, sunbathing, and barbeques. Along with these plusses comes one tiny nuisance: mosquitos. These pesky pests, which thrive in warm weather, can put a damper on anyone’s summer fun. But there are ways to deter mosquitos, so you can enjoy the sunshine.
The most common method used to repel mosquitoes is DEET spray, according to a survey published in July 2018 in Peer J — The Journal of Life and Environmental Sciences. DEET spray has the longest lasting effect against mosquitos, but there have been some concerns over potential side effects of the spray, including skin irritation, redness, rash, swelling. Joseph Conlon, a retired U.S. Navy entomologist and technical adviser for the American Mosquito Control Association, says there is no need to worry, though.
“DEET is a product registered by the EPA , and poses no unreasonable risk,” Conlon says. “If you use it judiciously there should be no problem — I mean, don’t drink it.”
But there are other ways to thwart mosquitoes if you don’t want to use a synthetic repellent. In fact, according to the survey, 36 percent of people prefer to use natural repellents.
“The results show that in the future, there won’t just be a marketplace for synthetic repellents, but for natural repellents as well,” says Immo Hansen, PhD, who worked on the survey.
When using natural repellents that are applied directly to the skin, it’s important to use EPA registered ones and always check the labels, reminds Conlon. If you have sensitive skin or known skin allergies, it’s a good idea to test your skin first by applying a small drop of essential oil on the inside of your forearm.
Here are 7 natural ways to prevent mosquito bites:
1. Lemon Eucalyptus
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified lemon eucalyptus, an EPA registered repellent, as an active ingredient in mosquito repellent. In a study published in June 2014 in the journal Fitoterapia, lemon eucalyptus essential oil was found to provide 100 percent protection against mosquitoes for up to 12 hours.
“It is a very good repellent,” says Conlon. “Just do not use it on kids younger than three years old; it hasn’t been approved for them.”
Bonus: Lemon eucalyptus also helps relieve the symptoms of the common cold, like congestion and coughing.
2. Catnip Oil
What most people know about catnip is its effect on cats. But it can also be used as a culinary herb or smoked like a cigarette. And research shows that it can be used to repel mosquitos, too.
Yet this does not mean that catnip oil, which is acquired from catnip by steam distillation, will make you suddenly attractive to cats, according to Stephanie Maslow-Blackman, wellness advocate and essential oils instructor.
“The difference between the oil and the plant is that when you extract the oil from the plant, the oil won’t have the side effects the plant might have. For example, if you’re allergic to trees and use cedarwood oil, you won’t be experiencing an allergic reaction,” Maslow-Blackman says.
So if you want to have more cat friends, you’ll have to find another way. But this oil is EPA-approved and will give you seven hours of protection from mosquitos, according to Conlon.
3. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is a natural insecticide and a mosquito repellent, according to the American College of Healthcare Sciences, based in Portland, Oregon. You can mix this oil with other scents, like lemon, and rub them onto your skin for a minty scent. But, Maslow-Blackman stresses, “Peppermint oil is a hot oil,” which means it can cause a warm sensation when applied directly to your skin and might cause a skin rash. To prevent this, she suggests diluting the peppermint oil with a carrier oil, like canola oil.
4. Lemongrass Oil
According to a study published in July 2016 in the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, lemongrass oil is comparable to commercial mosquito repellents. According to Maslow-Blackman, combining lemongrass oil with another essential oil (like cinnamon bark oil) will make its repelling effect stronger.
IR3535, a synthetic amino acid, is one of the most common active ingredients in insect repellents. Repellents containing IR3535 come mostly in cream form, and are available in most drugstores. The amino acid messes with the insects’ sense of smell and is an excellent repellent, according to Conlon.
“It has no toxicity and gives you eight hours of protection,” he says.
6. Use a Fan
David Shetlar, an Ohio State University professor of urban landscape entomology, told Cleveland.com that mosquitos are bad fliers. So if you’re sitting outside on a summer day, bring an electric fan with you to keep the mosquitoes away.
7. Eliminate Standing Water
Any pools or puddles around your home or yard can quickly become a mosquito breeding ground, according to the Mayo Clinic. Tips to keep the area around your home free from these insects include:
- Unclogging roof gutters
- Emptying any kids’ pools
- Changing the water in any bird baths weekly
- Making sure rain is not accumulating in trash can lids
- Storing flower pots or any other unused containers upside down
10 Scents That Repel Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes have a very keen sense of smell. In fact, it’s the primary reason that they are drawn to humans and other animals as a blood source. The carbon dioxide and many of the fragrances we emit are irresistible to these annoying pests. Mosquitoes likewise find a variety of scents unappealing. These aromas can be used to keep mosquitoes at bay without the use of chemicals and other harsh deterrents. Here are 10 common scents that repel mosquitoes:
This is likely the first thing that comes to mind when you think about mosquito repelling scents. Citronella oil, which comes from the lemongrass plant, is commonly used in commercial bug sprays and candles. It features a lemon-like citrusy scent that is irritating to mosquitoes, but wonderfully pleasant to people. Lemongrass can be planted outside your home as an attractive, yet effective repellent. Additionally, citronella oil can be applied directly on your skin or paired with other essential oils to make your own natural deterrent.
Minty fragrances are unpleasant to a mosquito’s keen senses. The mere presence of peppermint plants can ward off these pesky flying insects to some degree. You can also turn peppermint into a personal repellent by crushing the leaves and rubbing them on your skin. Mosquitoes won’t be able to tolerate your presence! Additionally, if you do get a bug bite you will find that peppermint oil is effective at relieving itches.
This versatile plant isn’t simply a tasty herb used for seasoning your favorite Italian fare. It can also be used as a handy natural repellent. The essential oils contained in the basil plant emit a powerful aroma that is irritating to these bothersome biters. Take full advantage of basil’s repellent properties by growing it in your yard as well as creating homemade sprays from its essential oils.
This member of the onion family has been used for many years as an edible repellent. When consumed, garlic’s active ingredient, allicin, interferes with our natural scent and masks us from mosquitoes. However, garlic can be used to deter mosquitoes even without eating it. Cut garlic cloves into slivers and scatter them around your outdoor living areas, or combine with oils and other liquid ingredients to make a repellent spray for your yard. Furthermore, you can blend garlic with essential oils to make a mosquito repellent spray for your body. Mosquitoes won’t be able to stand the unappealing smell.
5. LEMON BALM
A member of the mint family, lemon balm has a calming, strong lemon scent that many undesirable insects find incredibly unpleasant. However, bees, butterflies and humans alike seem to love the fragrance. Grow this attractive plant in specific areas you want to deter mosquitoes or apply the crushed leaves to your skin for personal repellent. For even more versatility of use, you can add leftover leaves to your favorite herbal teas for stress relief benefits.
Though lavender may be a favorite scent of many people, mosquitoes would disagree. They detest the pungent scent of the purple flower, and stay away at all costs. Like most of the plants on this list, lavender can be used by extracting the oils and applying to the skin directly or making a body spray. You can also simply plant it in your garden. Best of all, the beautiful purple flowers are sure to liven up your landscape.
This vibrant plant is well known for its pungent aroma. Some people find the smell overwhelming and so do mosquitoes. Plant these golden flowers in various places around your yard to keep mosquitoes at bay. You can periodically cut the flowers off to add to vases around the house to prevent mosquitoes from migrating indoors. As an added benefit, the flowers of the marigold plant make a colorful addition to your garden and are edible as well.
In recent years, this has become a very popular method of repelling mosquitoes. A study in Science Daily even suggests that Nepetalactone, the plant’s essential oil, is approximately ten times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes. Therefore, much less of this oil is needed to be effective. Plant catnip in your garden as a backyard defense, or crush the leaves and rub them directly on your skin. Some people even use the leaves in their tea for natural healing. Of course, you can also provide surplus leaves to the very thankful felines in your home.
Another multipurpose herb, rosemary can be used for many things other than seasoning. This aromatic plant works wonders when planted in your garden, easily tackling small mosquito infestations. When barbecuing, place a few sprigs of rosemary on the grill to keep mosquitoes away as the scent wafts through the yard. In addition, rosemary can be infused into lotions or sprays to create simple repellents for your body.
Similar to citronella, eucalyptus has a powerful smell that interferes with mosquitoes’ delicate senses and can make it difficult for them to locate their food sources. The oil from these trees also repels other insects such as ticks, midges and sandflies. While the presence of the plant itself will work as a repellent in your yard, the oil can be applied directly to the skin as well, but should be applied regularly for optimum protection.
Protecting Yourself from Mosquitoes
Have you tried any of these natural scent repellents? Or, do you have other scents that should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments below or tell us about it on your next visit to Mosquito Magnet on Facebook!
Looking for a more foolproof way to rid your backyard of mosquitoes? Cut down on the number of breeding mosquitoes looking for blood by using Mosquito Magnet® mosquito traps. Our traps use carbon dioxide to attract and reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard over time, helping to lower your risk of getting mosquito bites.
Also, be sure to subscribe to our e-newsletter, which will provide links to other helpful articles and clue you in how our traps can effectively take back your favorite outfoor spaces!
10 Natural Ways To Repel Mosquitos
November 1, 2017
Share this post
No one is a fan of mosquitoes; they bite you and make you itchy and irritated. Some people may be discouraged to spend time outside if their home has a mosquito problem. It is best to always be prepared to get rid of those pesky bloodsuckers. We are going to learn 10 natural ways to repel mosquitoes from around our home and bodies.
Eliminate standing water
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in any standing water they can find. Be vigilant in checking your property for water that does not regularly flow or evaporate quickly after rainfall. This includes ponds, puddles, animal watering bowls, and gutters. Monitor these areas frequently to reduce standing water
Plants that repel mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are powered by their sense of smell, so naturally, there are some smells they do not like. By growing these plants around your home, you should see a decrease in mosquito traffic.
One smell mosquitoes especially don’t like is lavender. You can utilize lavender in many ways as a repellent. You can grow the flower around your home, apply the oil to your skin, and burn candles. The oils can also be applied to mosquito bites as a natural way to relieve the skin irritation.
Lemon eucalyptus oil
Lemon Eucalyptus oil has been approved by the CDC as a proven method to repel mosquitoes. It can also be utilized in many of the same ways that lavender can be used.
Rosemary on barbecue
While grilling up your next barbeque try throwing on some fresh stalks of rosemary into your grills. If you are using coal or wood, throw the stalks right onto them. They will not only keep mosquitoes away from your cookout but also add flavor to your meal.
A mosquito trap is a quick way to eliminate your current population of mosquitoes. It is also a simple DIY project that involves things you already have lying around your home.
You may be familiar with citronella candles as they are often sold in stores. For a fun DIY project you can have a go at making your own.
Now, this may sound weird, but if you eat a lot of garlic, mosquitoes will not want to eat you. Mosquitoes do not like the smell of you after consuming garlic because of the garlic oil that is produced by your body as an aftereffect.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is also not well liked by mosquitoes. You can drink the vinegar or spray it in the air or on you to keep the pests away.
Mosquitoes, of course, have natural predators. You can create an environment in your backyard that attracts and allows these predators to thrive and eat your pests. Here are just a few mosquito predators you can invite into your backyard.
Give It a Try
Now that we have gone over some ways to get rid of mosquitoes naturally, try out a few options. Once you have found your favorite you can spend more time outside enjoying nature.
This is a beautiful golden flower that would definitely add some color to your property. Be advised though, that it can invade your property.
So be wise in where you plant it. If you don’t want it to consume a certain area, you might be better off planting it in a pot.
Cloves are good for so many things. You can cook with them (they taste great on a ham), or you can use them for a toothache too.
But I bet you didn’t know that cloves could help deter mosquitoes. Well, they can. So keep them in a little sachet in your pocket every time you are outdoors. You’ll smell great and be bug-free.
via The Paleo Diet
Lavender looks gorgeous and smells great too. You can grow it pretty easily, and it should deter mosquitoes.
But for use on yourself, you can either choose to use lavender essential oils (under the direction of an essential oils expert), or you can crush the leaves and rub them on your skin.
14. Organic Soy Oil
If you can find organic soy oil, it is another one that can help deter mosquitoes. Keep in mind that some people have soy allergies so you’ll need to make sure you aren’t one of them.
But even if you are going to purchase mosquito repellent, try to find the brands that are soybean oil based because they are usually more effective.
Lotus is a plant that grows in water. This is great because mosquitoes breed in water. This means, the more you grow, the fewer mosquitoes you will have around your property.
But not only does it deter adult mosquitoes. It also kills the larvae. So it truly is a two for one deal!
16. Thyme Oil
If you’ve ever used thyme to cook, then you know it is some potent stuff. You can use the essential oil to deter them from your body.
But if you don’t want to apply it, you could always toss thyme leaves into a fire if you are hanging out around a fire pit this summer.
17. Greek Catnip Oil
I already shared with you that catnip would be a great herb to have around you or on your property because of how well it works to deter mosquitoes.
However, Greek catnip oil is another natural mosquito repellent that you may want to try. It has actually been said to be 10 times more effective at fighting mosquitoes than DEET, and should keep you mosquito free for 2-3 hours after use.
This is a very powerful herb. It has tons of benefits like fighting mosquitoes and helping to fight off cancer.
So if you are looking for a herb that you want to grow, carry around, or cook with, then you may have just stumbled across the right one.
I already mentioned that the CDC has signed off on lemongrass eucalyptus oil, and it has been proven effective in store-bought mosquito repellents.
Well, eucalyptus is part of that equation. This means you can use the essential oil or grow the plant to make it work to keep you mosquito free.
Rosemary is a beautiful herb that is super strongly scented too. It is also very powerful to cook with.
Which is why it should come as no surprise that mosquitoes don’t like it. You can carry the herb around with you, grow it in your yard to deter mosquitoes, consume more of it to deter mosquitoes, or even use the essential oil as a convenient and portable mosquito fighting method.
via Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Marigolds are wonderful little flowers. You can plant them in your garden to help deter pests and snakes.
But you can also grow them to deter mosquitoes. If you’ve ever grown marigolds then you know they give off a distinct smell. A distinct smell that mosquitoes dislike.
22. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of those oils that just seems to be good for everything. You can put a little dab on your shoulder in crowded areas to deter lice from jumping on you.
But you can also use it to deter mosquitoes, as an anti-inflammatory, and as an antiseptic. You get a lot out of this one product.
via Bonnie Plants
This is one that most everyone knows, but citronella really is probably the most effective natural deterrent of mosquitoes.
So if you would like to keep mosquitoes away from you, grow citronella in your yard, make your own Citronella candles, or carry some citronella leaves around with you because mosquitoes hate the scent.
Well, you now have 23 natural options for mosquito repellent this summer. They will all work a little differently for each person because you may have 2 of the factors that attract mosquitoes, while another person may have only 1 or all 4.
So just keep trying them out until you find the right combination of natural repellents that work for you and your family.
But I’d like to know what you use as a natural insect repellent? What combinations have you found to be most effective in protecting yourself and your family?
We love hearing from you so please leave us your comments in the space provided below.
Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?
We appreciate your helpul feedback!
Your answer will be used to improve our content. The more feedback you give us, the better our pages can be.
Natural Homemade Mosquito/Insect/Bug Repellent
This natural homemade mosquito repellent works for mosquitos, flies and other annoying warm season insects. Apply your DIY mosquito repellent with confidence.
Homemade Mosquito Repellent
If you are heading outside for picnics, sporting events, yard work, or relaxing on the patio, chances are you’ve seen a bug or two already. While covering up is the best option for decreasing bug bites, it’s not always realistic. After all… summer can be HOT!
In the past I have reached for cans of commercial bug spray lying around during cookouts and camping excursions; I figured it was better than dancing around like a wild turkey, slapping myself, and shouting at bugs while friends shot strange looks at me. However, I never felt quite right about it.
Matt has boycotted poisonous DEET solutions for years in favor of essential oil solutions, with great success.
The more I educate myself about DEET and other chemicals, the more I’m convinced I have to be proactive about finding better alternatives. (If you’re new to the DEET issue, you might be interested in reading this article.) I try to treat my skin with the respect it deserves as it performs the difficult job of protecting my insides. Thank goodness I have discovered the power of essential oils and their ability to deter bugs!
Before you get desperate and spray on commercial bug sprays (that may contain some nasty chemicals), take some time to consider the better alternative; a natural DIY mosquito repellent that smells wonderful is effective and takes only minutes to whip up.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil as a Natural Homemade Insect Repellent
The main ingredient in our homemade mosquito repellent is lemon eucalyptus oil. Which the CDC and EPA agree are safe and as effective as DEET, though not as long-lasting.
Further, citronella, lemon, and eucalyptus oils are common homemade insect repellents and are registered by the EPA and have been approved for topical use in humans.
Lemon eucalyptus oil has been found to be the most effective natural DIY mosquito repellent. Studies have found that the efficacy of this particular oil falls third in line, behind DEET and picaridin. It is the only natural repellent that is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for effectiveness and human safety.
Different oils repel different bugs, so it’s best to use a combination of essential oils to ward off several types of biters. Don’t let a fear of being eaten alive keep you inside this season. Instead, invest in a few hard-hitting essential oils and test out this natural alternative to chemical sprays.
Homemade Mosquito Repellent Spray
Author Matt Jabs
- 2 tablespoons of one or a combination of the following: witch hazel or vodka (find witch hazel here)
- 2 tablespoons of one or a combination of the following: grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, or neem oil (which contains natural insecticidal compounds) – (where to buy these oils)
- ½ teaspoon vodka as a preservative (if not already using)
- 100-110 drops essential oils (where to buy 100% pure essential oils)
- Add carrier liquids to a small spray bottle (3 or 4 oz. works well so there is room for shaking).
- Add essential oils and shake well before each use.
Natural bug repellent will need to be reapplied every few hours for maximum effectiveness.
Sample Bug-Repelling Essential Oil Blend:
- 55 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil (Reported by the CDC to be a good natural substitution for DEET in repelling insects but not recommended for use on children under 3 yrs.)
- add 15 drops cedarwood essential oil
- 15 drops lavender essential oil (If using, choose Lavandula angustifolia – “Lavender (40-42) essential oil” does not have the same insecticidal qualities.)
- 15 drops rosemary essential oil
This natural homemade mosquito repellent is great for mosquitos, flies, and other annoying warm season bugs. Tweak to your liking and apply with confidence.
Homemade Insect Repellent Video
Other Bug-Repelling Essential Oils:
- tea tree
- rose geranium
(You can find these 100% pure essential oils here.)
Homemade Mosquito Repellent Tips and Warnings:
- As always with essential oils, women who are pregnant or nursing should consult a health practitioner before using.
- Extreme caution should be used when using essential oils on young children.
- Always perform a patch test to check for an allergic reaction before using essential oil for the first time.
- Always label homemade products well.
- Dark-colored bottles work best for products containing essential oils. Store in a cool, dark place when not using.
Note: This natural homemade mosquito repellent is great for mosquitos, flies, and other annoying warm season bugs. Tweak to your liking and apply with confidence.
- Mi Young Lee. Essential Oils as Repellents against Arthropods. PubMed. October 2018.
- Cathy Wong. Which Natural Mosquito Repellent Works Best? VeryWellHealth.com. December 2017.
- Insect Repellent and Prevention of West Nile Virus. CDC.gov. December 2018.
(photo credit to Diane Jabs)
14 Best Natural Homemade Mosquito Repellents Shaheen Naser Hyderabd040-395603080 May 13, 2019
Who doesn’t like picnics or camping? Traveling and trekking are becoming the ‘in thing’, and so are the itchy mosquito bites. Apart from the common bacterial and viral infections, mosquito-borne diseases are on the rise. Forget traveling or camping, you can be bitten and infected by these tiny but menacing creatures right at your home. This calls for immediate measures to stop them right in their tracks. And guess what? You can do that by using a few essential oils and natural ingredients available right in your kitchen cabinet.
Mosquitoes are usually less active in the morning as they cannot withstand the rays of the sun. In fact, they may even get dehydrated and killed when exposed to too much sunlight. However, it is a different story in the evening. The moment the sun begins to set, mosquitoes begin their hunt for their next host. Do you want to steer clear of them in the best and natural way possible? Read on to find some exceptional remedies to repel these pesky creatures and make your own homemade mosquito repellent.
Homemade Mosquito Repellents
- Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
- Peppermint Oil And Coconut Oil
- Neem Oil And Coconut Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar And Essential Oil Spray
- Tea Tree oil And Coconut Oil
- Citronella Oil And Alcohol Spray
- Cinnamon Oil Repellent
- Lavender Oil, Vanilla, And Lemon Juice
- Lemongrass And Rosemary Essential Oils
- Mouthwash Epsom Salt Spray
- Baking Soda With Vinegar
- Rubbing Alcohol
- Garlic Spray
- Cloves With Lime
Natural Mosquito Repellent Remedies
1. Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
You Will Need
- 10 mL of lemon eucalyptus oil
- 90 mL of any carrier oil (olive or coconut oil)
What You Have To Do
- Take a 100 mL bottle and add 10 mL of lemon eucalyptus oil to it.
- Add 90 mL of any carrier oil to the lemon eucalyptus oil and mix well.
- Apply this mixture directly to the affected area.
How Often You Should Do This
Reapply this mixture periodically, especially when you are outside.
Why This Works
Lemon eucalyptus oil contains compounds like citronellal and p-methane 3,8-diol (PMD). While citronellal is believed to show a little repellency against mosquitoes, PMD is highly effective against these tiny creatures (1), (2).
PMD is present only in trace amounts in lemon eucalyptus oil, and hence, this essential oil needs to be processed and purified to convert some of its citronellal into PMD. Processed and purified lemon eucalyptus essential oil can be highly effective against mosquitoes when applied topically.
Back To TOC
2. Peppermint Oil And Coconut Oil
- 12 drops of peppermint oil
- 30 mL of coconut oil
- Mix peppermint oil with coconut oil.
- Apply this mixture directly to your hands and legs.
Do this 2-3 times before you go out.
Peppermint oil is another essential oil that works well in repelling mosquitoes. Combining it with coconut oil enhances its mosquito repellent potential and basically makes it your very own natural bug repellent. While peppermint contains compounds like limonene and menthol that keeps mosquitoes at bay, coconut oil contains unsaturated fatty acids and emulsifiers that slow down the evaporation of the repellent molecules of peppermint oil (3), (4).
Back To TOC
3. Neem Oil And Coconut Oil
- 10 drops of neem oil
- 30 mL of coconut oil
- Add neem oil to coconut oil.
- Mix well and apply this directly to the exposed areas of your body.
Apply this at least twice a day.
Neem oil is derived from the seeds and fruits of the neem tree. It is believed to have natural mosquito repelling properties due to its composition and strong aroma. In fact, a study has proved that 2% neem oil, when used in combination with coconut oil, provided significant protection against different species of mosquitoes (5).
Back To TOC
4. Apple Cider Vinegar With Essential Oils Spray
- 50 mL of apple cider vinegar
- 50 mL of water
- 10-12 drops of essential oil (clove, citronella or eucalyptus oil)
- Mix apple cider vinegar and water in equal proportions.
- Add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice and mix well.
- Store this solution in a bottle with a pump.
Spray this on yourself before you head out.
Apple cider vinegar is an effective and mess-free base that can be used to increase the repellent potential of certain essential oils. When you use a carrier oil with an essential oil, it can end up becoming oily and messy and make you feel uncomfortable. In such situations, a non-oily base is appreciated. ACV promotes the repellent activity of essential oils by creating a slightly acidic pH on the surface of your skin, which can lure mosquitoes away from you (6), (7).
Back To TOC
5. Tea Tree Oil And Coconut Oil
- 10 drops of tea tree oil
- 30 mL of coconut oil
- Mix tea tree oil with coconut oil.
- Apply directly to the exposed areas of your skin.
You can do this 2 to 3 times before going out.
Tea tree oil is widely used for its medicinal properties. Its powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties are said to prevent and heal mosquito bites quickly (8). The strong aroma of tea tree oil is another factor that keeps mosquitoes at bay. However, it is quite strong and hence should be used in combination with a good carrier oil like coconut oil.
Back To TOC
6. Citronella Oil And Alcohol Spray
- 10 mL of alcohol
- 10 drops of citronella oil
- 90 mL of water
- Mix alcohol and water in the specified proportions.
- To this, add citronella oil and mix well.
- Put this in a bottle and spray on the exposed areas of your body.
You must do this 2 to 3 times daily before you go outside.
Citronella oil is obtained from the leaves of the lemongrass plant. It contains many compounds like citronellal, geraniol, citronellol, citral, and limonene that exhibit mosquito repellent properties. It is almost as effective as DEET (a widely used chemical-based mosquito repellent). When mixed with alcohol, the efficiency of citronella oil increases. This is because of the presence of thiamine in alcohol, the smell of which repels mosquitoes (9), (10), (11).
Back To TOC
7. Cinnamon Oil Spray
- 10 drops of cinnamon oil
- 30-40 mL of water
- Mix the cinnamon oil with water.
- Mix well and spray this solution on the exposed areas of your body.
Do this before you head out.
Cinnamon oil is extracted from cinnamon bark and is one of the widely used homemade mosquito repellent. Four components of cinnamon oil, namely, cinnamyl acetate, eugenol, cinnamaldehyde, and anethole have the strongest mosquito repelling properties against the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. And out of these, cinnamaldehyde exhibits the strongest activity (12).
Back To TOC
8. Lavender Oil, Vanilla, And Lemon Juice Spray
- 10-12 drops of lavender oil
- 3-4 tablespoons of vanilla extract
- 3-4 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1-2 cups of water
- Mix the lavender oil with vanilla extract and lemon juice.
- Add this mixture to two cups of water.
- Shake this solution well and spray it on your exposed body parts.
You can do this 2 to 3 times daily if you live in a mosquito-prone area.
While the smell of lavender essential oil has a calming effect on us, it is quite repelling to mosquitoes. Lavender oil contains compounds like limonene, linalool, eucalyptol, and camphor, all of which are known to naturally repel mosquitoes and insects (13), (14). Vanilla has natural insect repelling properties, and lemon juice has high acid content that helps in keeping mosquitoes at bay.
Back To TOC
9. Lemongrass And Rosemary Essential Oil
- 10 drops of rosemary essential oil
- 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil
- 60 mL of any carrier oil (coconut or jojoba oil)
- Mix the essential oils with the carrier oil.
- Apply this mixture directly to the exposed areas of your body.
- You can also add these essential oils to 60 mL of water and use the solution as a spray.
Do this at least twice daily.
Lemongrass and rosemary essential oils are amazingly effective natural mosquito repellents (15), (16). Lemongrass essential oil contains mosquito repelling components like limonene and citronella, while rosemary oil gets its mosquito repelling properties due to the presence of compounds like eucalyptol, camphor, and limonene in it.
Back To TOC
10. Mouthwash And Epsom Salt Yard Spray
- A large bottle of mouthwash (preferable mint flavored)
- 3 cups of Epsom salt
- 12 oz can of beer (optional)
- Take a large bottle of any store-bought mouthwash and add Epsom salt to it.
- Mix well until the salt dissolves.
- You can also add about 12 oz of beer to it for additional benefits.
- Spray this solution around your home.
You can spray this outside or around your home twice daily.
Most mouthwashes have compounds like eucalyptol, menthol, and thymol that act as mosquito repellents (17), (18), (19), (20), (21). Some mouthwashes also have high alcohol (ethanol) content, which aids in repelling mosquitoes. Epsom salt can help ward off insects and other microbes in addition to the mosquitoes.
Back To TOC
11. Baking Soda With Vinegar Mosquito Trap
- 1 cup of vinegar
- 1/4 cup of baking soda
- Take an empty bottle and cut it into half.
- Add baking soda to the bottom part of the bottle.
- Take the top part of the bottle and invert it so that it looks like a funnel.
- Place the inverted half of the bottle on top of the bottom half.
- Pour vinegar into this and place it outside your room.
Do this whenever there is an increase in the number of mosquitoes in your area.
When baking soda comes in contact with vinegar, the reaction between the two releases carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide attracts mosquitoes and hence can be used to trap and kill them (22
Back To TOC
12. Rubbing Alcohol Spray
- 10 drops of any essential oil
- 30 mL of water
- 1 tablespoon of alcohol
- Mix the essential oil with rubbing alcohol and
- add water to this.
- Pour this solution into a spray bottle and shake well.
- Spray this solution on the exposed areas of your body.
Do this 2 to 3 times daily.
Rubbing alcohol dissolves oils better than water. Hence, the repellency potential of essential oils is more when they are used in combination with it. Rubbing alcohol can also heal mosquito bites when applied topically. It is also used in combination with vegetable oils to repel and kill insects and bugs. Use this trick to make a homemade bug spray.
Back To TOC
13. Garlic Spray
- 5-6 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon of mineral oil
- 1 teaspoon of lime juice
- 2 cups of water
- Mince the garlic cloves and add a tablespoon of mineral oil to this.
- Soak overnight and strain the garlic.
- Collect the infused oil and add lime juice and water to it.
- Spray this solution on the plants around your homes.
- You can also spray this garlic solution on the exposed parts of your body.
Do this 2 to 3 times daily.
Garlic contains a compound called allicin that exhibits a strong repelling action against mosquitoes. Additionally, garlic also has a strong aroma that repels mosquitoes (23). It is also widely used as a natural insect repellent (24). The acidic nature of lemon juice enhances the repelling properties of garlic.
Back To TOC
14. Cloves With Lime
- 10-12 cloves
- 1 lemon
- Take a lemon and cut it into half.
- Insert 5-6 cloves into each half of the lemon.
- Place this in your room or wherever there are too many mosquitoes.
- Alternatively, you can also mix clove oil with a carrier oil and apply it to the exposed areas of your body.
You can do this twice daily to steer clear of mosquitoes for the rest of the day.
This is one of the most widely used homemade mosquito repellent. Clove is another herb that is quite effective in repelling mosquitoes and various insects. The strong aroma of clove and the presence of a compound called eugenol give it its repelling properties. Studies have also proven clove essential oil to be one of the best natural insect repellent (25).
Back To TOC
Clove oil can be quite irritating, and it also has a strong fragrance. Hence, it must be used only in combination with a carrier oil for topical application.
All these remedies can be used either as standalone solutions or in combination to repel mosquitoes in the easiest and most natural way possible. However, be careful while using essential oils as a few of them could cause skin irritation. It is recommended to use essential oils only in combination with a carrier oil or some other safe solvent while applying them topically. Wait no more and start using these remedies against those tiny blood-sucking creatures and let us know if you were successful in getting rid of them for good.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Which are the plants that help with mosquitoes?
Plants like lavender, rosemary, citronella, and basil act as natural mosquito repellents.
Do electronic mosquito repellents really work?
There is an ongoing debate on whether electronic mosquito repellents really work or not. While scientists have not found any supporting evidence, many individuals have testified that these electronic mosquito repellents work. However, the sound of the ultrasonic electronic mosquito repellents can be quite irritating.
- 20 Effective Home Remedies For Mosquito Bites
- Malaria: Causes, Symptoms, Natural Remedies, And Prevention Tips
- 15 Home Remedies To Cure Dengue Fever
The following two tabs change content below.
- Latest Posts
Latest posts by Shaheen Naser (see all)
- V-Line Surgery – Everything You Need To Know – August 19, 2019
- Home Remedies For Managing Anal Fissures – July 26, 2019
- Arthritis In The Hands – Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment – July 25, 2019
- What Happens When You Quit Smoking – A Timeline – July 5, 2019
- What Is Endometriosis? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, And Diet Tips – June 24, 2019
Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetic Counseling. Her passion for writing and her educational background have assisted her substantially in writing quality content on topics related to health and wellness. In her free time, Shaheen loves to explore the world and the different flavors/cuisines it has to offer. Photography is another hobby she has developed of late.
What to Eat to Repel Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes mostly rely on their keen sense of smell to identify their favorite food source: People.
If you aren’t already aware, and you don’t happen to have the smelling capabilities of a mosquito, the things you eat can greatly affect the chemicals you release and, therefore, your scent. Some of the fragrances created by your diet are unappealing to mosquitoes or otherwise mask your natural aroma.
Mosquito repellent foods can make it more difficult for mosquitoes to find and feast upon you. Below are some quick and easy methods to keep mosquitoes at bay, without having to cover yourself head-to-toe in unappealing chemicals.
What to Eat
These 7 mosquito repellent foods can be easily incorporated into your normal diet to combat your persistent insect bite problems.
1. Garlic and Onions
How it works: Garlic is perhaps the most well-known food linked to deterring mosquitoes. This popular Italian food ingredient releases a compound known as allicin, which is released through your pores when you consume it.
Allicin interferes with your natural scent, therefore helping to mask you from those persistent pests. Onions and other members of this plant family, such as leeks, shallots, and chives, also emit allicin when consumed, so they can be used interchangeably.
How to use it: Because allicin depletes the longer it is exposed to heat, many people suggest that this repellent method works best when these foods are cut into slivers and consumed raw.
However, if eating uncooked garlic and onions is unappealing to you, both make a great addition to your favorite pastas and tomato-based dishes. They can even be used to add some flavor to stir-fry, rice, and baked chicken!
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
How it works: Apple cider vinegar has been a commonly used natural mosquito repellent for many years. Like most of the other ingredients on this list, apple cider works by altering your scent. This makes you less appealing to those pesky mosquitoes.
Don’t worry – it won’t affect the way you smell to other people!
How to use it: Many tales claim that taking an undiluted tablespoon of apple cider vinegar at least once per day is just what you need to keep mosquitoes away for good. For a more pleasant experience, you can mix the dose with honey.
You might also try incorporating apple cider vinegar into soups, homemade salad dressings, and even cocktails and other beverages.
How it works: Lemongrass contains an oil known as citronella, which is a popular natural bug repellent that is generally applied to the skin or used in other forms. Eating lemongrass has been shown to provide similar protection as well.
All of these methods are effective because this fragrant plant helps to conceal your natural odors, which makes it harder for mosquitoes to identify you.
How to use it: Lemongrass is frequently used in many styles of Thai cooking and makes a great addition to soups and curries.
If you want to protect guests at your backyard barbecue, try serving some delicious lemongrass wings!
4. Chili Peppers
How it works: One word: capsaicin. This potent, heat-producing compound is the active element of the chili pepper, which produces its signature spiciness. Capsaicin is an irritant for many species, which is why you experience that burning sensation when you eat it. Because it is such a renowned irritant for many types of bugs, capsaicin is already used as a natural insecticide in many parts of the world.
In addition, mosquitoes are repelled by the smell that you release upon eating capsaicin-containing foods, so they steer clear.
How to use it: Chili peppers are a great way to add a little heat to your favorite foods. They are popularly used in chili, hot sauce, Pico de Gallo and other salsas, as well as many other tomato-based dishes.
How it works: Tomatoes are one of several foods that are rich in thiamine, also known as vitamin B1. Many people suggest that a diet abundant with thiamine can be very effective at deterring mosquitoes and some other bugs, though this has faced some debate in recent years. Thiamin-rich tomatoes make you less enticing to mosquitoes and prevent them from biting.
If you still get bit, you can rub the juices from your leftover tomatoes on the affected area to stop the itching!
How to use it: With so many ways to use them, tomatoes can easily be incorporated into your daily meal routine. Try some simple favorites such as tomato soup and freshly tossed salads, or top your favorite pasta with a zesty tomato sauce – bonus points if you throw in some garlic and onions!
You could even make some bite-sized tomato and cheese cups to share with your friends at the next outdoor event.
How it works: Not only is this juicy fruit an excellent source of vitamin C and health-boosting antioxidants, grapefruit has been linked to deterring mosquitoes and is also effective against ticks. It has been suggested that it may repel other insects such as bed bugs and head lice as well.
This is because of a compound contained in grapefruit called, nootkatone, which is used as both an insecticide and natural pesticide.
How to use it: Citrus fruits can make a great addition to your daily meal routine. Try eating half a grapefruit for breakfast before you start your day, or combine it with other citrus fruits to create a fresh fruit salad.
For an on-the-go dessert to keep you protected no matter where you are, you can whip up some grapefruit cupcakes.
7. Beans and Lentils
How it works: Beans and lentils work in a similar way to that of tomatoes. All of these foods are rich in thiamine, and release a smell that is repellent to bugs when consumed.
How to use it: Beans and lentils can be added to just about anything to add some needed flavor or texture. Whether you use them as a side dish to complement your entree, create spreads such as hummus, or add them to your favorite spicy foods such as chili or burritos, these popular legumes are a great way to enhance you meals and shield you from mosquitoes.
What to Avoid
These 3 common food types have been shown to create a scent that is more appealing to mosquitoes, making you a prime target for unwanted feasting.
Researchers still aren’t exactly sure why beer seems to attract mosquitoes; they just know that it does. Consuming even small amounts, such as a single 12 oz. bottle, has still proved appealing to mosquitoes and invites lots of bites.
2. Salty Foods:
These types of food produce high amounts of lactic acid, which has been shown to attract mosquitoes. This is the same reason that you are more prone to mosquito bites during exercise.
3. Sweet / Sugary Foods
This one is under a lot of debate. Some people suggest that consuming foods with high sugar content makes our skin sweeter and more appealing to mosquitoes, while others say that it has no affect. But if you plan to spend a lot of time outside, you might just want to cut your losses and skip the sugary foods.
Prevent Mosquitoes from Making a Meal of YOU
Planning the right meals during mosquito season is a great, natural way to prevent these unwanted pests from feasting upon you and your family. However, if you spend a lot of time entertaining guests in your backyard you might consider a Mosquito Magnet® trap, which can help drastically reduce mosquito populations around your home.
Do you have your own secret tricks to deterring mosquitoes? Whether it’s a tried and true classic method or personal discovery, let us know in the comments below or visit us on Mosquito Magnet® on Facebook.
Also be sure to subscribe to our E-Newsletter, which will clue you in on our new products and provide you with the expert advice on everything you need to know about mosquitoes.
What to Eat to Avoid Mosquito Bites
Mosquitoes find their victims by smell. Specifically, their sensory organs are trained to zero in on sources of carbon dioxide and lactic acid because these chemicals lead them to warm-blooded animals, like you and me.
Chemical repellents like OFF! repel mosquitoes, but not because mosquitoes don’t like the smell of these repellents. Rather, it’s because the chemical DEET is very effective at masking the smell of carbon dioxide and lactic acid. When you’re wearing DEET, the mosquitoes can’t smell you and so they leave you alone. Natural repellents like geranium oil or citronella work the same way, they just don’t seem to be quite as effective as DEET.
Why Do Mosquitoes Like Certain People?
You’ve probably noticed that mosquitoes seem to be more attracted to some people than others. That is also because of smell—and not because mosquitoes prefer certain blood-types, as people sometimes say.
Each of us has a distinctive smell, a sort of aromatic fingerprint. There are about 400 or so different aromatic compounds that make up the human scent—and about 30 of them appear to have a masking effect. If any of these compounds happen to be prominent in your aromatic fingerprint, it tends to make you less visible to mosquitoes. Other compounds act as attractants, making certain people not just visible to mosquitoes but bona fide mosquito magnets. About 10% of the population are mosquito magnets.
So, is there anything you can do to manipulate your smell in a way that makes you less appealing to mosquitoes? Is there any truth to the old wives’ tale that eating garlic can repel mosquitoes? Actually, there is.
Does Garlic Keep Mosquitoes Away?
Eating garlic offer mild protection from mosquitoes, both from the odor on your breath as well as sulfur compounds that you emit through your skin.
The smell of garlic is known to repel mosquitoes. For example, you can buy garlic sprays to put on your garden if you don’t mind the yard smelling like an Italian restaurant. Smearing your body with garlic-scented lotion is apparently effective as well, although it will probably repel more than just mosquitoes. Eating garlic may also give you some mild protection, both from the odor on your breath as well as sulfur compounds that you emit through your skin when you eat garlic.
In the end, though, scientists estimate that genetics account for about 85% of our attractiveness to mosquitoes, so we mosquito magnets may have to reconcile ourselves to our fate.
Another way to be less visible or less attractive to mosquitoes is not to exert yourself too much when mosquitoes are around. When you exercise, you give off more lactic acid and more carbon dioxide, which brings them running (well, flying). This will be the one and only time when I’ll be advising you to be more sedentary, so make the most of it!
Which Foods will Help You Avoid Mosquito Bites?
According to chemistry professor Anne Helmenstine, eating certain foods, especially foods that are salty or high in potassium, also increases the amount of lactic acid that you off-gas. I trust you know which foods are salty. As for potassium, the richest dietary sources are fruits and vegetables and I don’t think I can quite bring myself to recommend that you eat fewer fruits and vegetables—not even to save you from the mosquitoes. The farthest I’m willing to go is to suggest that you select blueberries, apples, watermelon, cucumbers, cabbage, and green peppers, which are relatively low in potassium, instead of potatoes, prunes, raisins, spinach, bananas, lima beans, and acorn squash, all of which are particularly high in potassium.
Other Ways to Avoid Mosquito Bites
You can also do yourself a favor by wearing light-colored clothing and staying indoors during mosquito rush hours, which are early morning and twilight. But if all of that, plus the string of garlic cloves around your neck and the natural repellent sprays, isn’t keeping them at bay, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Although you don’t want to be exposed to DEET any more than necessary, the dangers of mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus are even more of a concern.
To limit your exposure to DEET, wear long sleeves or pants to cover up as much of your skin as possible. Then, spray a DEET-based repellant on your clothing as well as to any exposed skin. Finally, remember to wash the repellent off your skin as soon as you come inside and toss the clothes in the laundry!
Garlic may repel pests (Colorado State University)
Why do mosquitoes bite some people more than others? (Wisegeek)
Are you a mosquito magnet? (WebMD)
Natural Mosquito Repellents (Dr. Anne Helmenstine)
Mosquito image courtesy of .
The warm weather is beckoning us into the backyard but pesky bloodsuckers are waiting. Insect repellents are safe and effective but many people are reluctant to rub what they perceive to be smelly or sticky on their skin. Wouldn’t it be great if there was something you could eat or drink to protect yourself from mosquito bites?
There are plenty of “mozzie busting” gadgets and gimmicks marketed as alternatives to topical formulations. From wrist bands to smartphone apps, the range of products reflects the demand among the public for these products. Unfortunately, few of these provide effective protection.
We know some people are more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes than others, with the bacteria on our skin playing a crucial role in our attractiveness to mosquitoes. Studies indicate our parents are mostly to blame, not our diets.
Read more: Health Check: why mosquitoes seem to bite some people more
Many myths surround the food and drink that may keep mosquitoes at bay but, when it comes to the science behind these theories, it all becomes a bit too hard to swallow.
Cheers to mosquito-borne disease
Love a gin and tonic? There was once a time you could sip your way out of a malaria-induced fever. It was more about the tonic than the gin. A key ingredient in tonic water is quinine. Derived from the bark of a cinchona tree, quinine had been identified as a treatment for malaria in the 1960s and although it’s currently not recommended as a first-line treatment, historically it was critically important in battling the parasites that cause malaria.
It’s important to note that while it’s thought to be toxic to the parasites, there was no evidence it actually stopped mosquito bites. Also, modern tonic water hardly contains any quinine.
Booze and mosquito bites may actually make a good match. Studies in Africa have demonstrated drinking beer can make you more attractive to mosquitoes. After downing a few glasses of beer, volunteers were found to attract more mosquitoes than those drinking just water.
Why? It didn’t seem to be due to body temperature or the amount of carbon dioxide exhaled. Perhaps mosquitoes are evolving to bite drunk people less able to swat the bloodsuckers away?
The ‘Aussie Backyard Mozzie’, Aedes notoscriptus, taking a bloodmeal. Stephen Doggett (NSW Health Pathology)
Read more: The best (and worst) ways to beat mosquito bites
Snacking your way to a bite-free summer?
One of the most commonly suggested foods to eat to avoid mosquito bites is the humble banana. Problem is, it seems as many people think eating bananas will make you more attractive to mosquitoes than not! There isn’t the science to support either claim, but it’s unlikely eating bananas would substantially change the way mosquitoes pick you out from a crowd.
If garlic can keep mythic blood suckers away, what about those buzzing about in real life? Nope. Our breath may smell a bit after a garlic-rich meal but a study has shown it does nothing to lessen our attractiveness to mosquitoes. It may actually make us more attractive to vampires, according to science!
Beating bloodsuckers with vitamin B?
Perhaps one of the most pervasive home remedies perceived to prevent mosquito bites is taking vitamin B. Anecdotal reports, and many personal testimonies, of the effectiveness of this approach abound, but there a few scientific investigations testing the claim.
Studies dating back to the 1940s failed to provide proof of protection from mosquito bites after taking vitamin B. More recently, a 2005 study showed there was no evidence it influenced the attraction of mosquitoes to human skin-derived chemicals from volunteers taking vitamin B supplements. There is simply no evidence taking vitamin B will offer any significant protection from mosquito bites.
In reality, if there was even moderate scientific evidence that taking a vitamin supplement could prevent mosquito bites, our supermarket shelves would be full of “mosquito repellent pills”. It would be wonderful to be able to pop a pill a day to stop mosquito bites but we’re unlikely to have that luxury any time soon.
Read more: Chemical or natural: what’s the best way to repel mozzies?
In fact, products marketed as oral insect repellents are not recognised by some government agencies given the lack of any compelling evidence to support the claims.
Don’t use mosquito bite prevention as an excuse to boost your intake of vegemite either. It may be a staple in most Australian households, but it won’t make our summer backyard activities any less bite-prone, no matter how much vitamin B it contains (or how much you spread on your toast).
The reality is, if there was great science supporting any of these mosquito bite-blocking claims associated with food and drink, countless companies would be cashing in on selling “mosquito repellent vitamins” and I have little doubt topical insect repellents would disappear from our supermarket shelves. I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
DIY Fixes and Tips
Mosquitoes are quite annoying to have in your home. Not only do they put one at risk of contracting Malaria, the bites cause redness, swelling and uncontrollable itching. Depending on the species, they are drawn to light, humidity, heat, odors, carbon dioxide and even sweat.
While many people turn to store bought repellents, a lot of them contain a pesticide known as DEET that is harmful to human health. Heavy use of DEET puts one at risk of memory loss, fatigue, headaches, muscle pain and shortness of breath. To avoid this, you can use natural ways to repel mosquitoes. Here are 8 safe ways to ward off mosquitoes you can try.
1. Use Lavender Body Oil
Take about 30 drops of lavender oil and mix it with 2 tablespoons of a vegetable oil such as olive or coconut oil. Apply this mix to your exposed skin. This will prevent mosquitoes from landing on you at the same time it will leave your skin smelling beautiful and moisturized. Lavender oil has analgesic, antifungal and antiseptic qualities which mean that in addition to preventing mosquito bites, it can calm and soothe the skin.
2. Burn Rosemary
Did you know that certain smells keep mosquitoes away? One of those is rosemary. If you are having a barbecue and the mosquitoes will not stop feasting on you and your guests, simply throw some rosemary sprigs on the coal to burn. The aroma will effectively ward them off.
3. Eat More Garlic
If you increase your garlic intake, garlic oil will eventually be released from the pores of your skin. This oil will act as a barrier between your skin and the mosquitoes.
4. Eliminate Stagnant Water
Standing water creates a great environment for female mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Look around your property and eliminate any stagnant water, no matter how little. Even a cup full or rainwater or a pet bowl full of water can act as a breeding place for mosquitoes so drain all water.
5. Soak ribbons in tea tree oil
Flying insects such as mosquitoes hate the smell of tea tree which makes it a great repellent. Soak some ribbons in tea tree oil and hang them around windows and doors to prevent any entry by mosquitoes. You can also use lavender oil for this.
6. Use baby oil
Another smell that mosquitoes hate is the smell of baby oil. In the evenings, slather your skin with baby oil. This will make it harder for mosquitoes to bite your skin as it is covered in oil. The oil also makes it difficult for the mosquitoes to alight on a spot and bite due to the barrier it creates on your skin. Apply the baby oil in the evenings as applying it during the day can cause sunburn in direct light.
7. Use fans
Mosquitoes are very weak flyers and even the slightest draft can keep them away. Make sure to prop fans around the area where you are sitting so as to keep the air around you moving and keep the little creatures away.
8. Plant lemongrass and other mosquito repelling herbs
Herbs such as lemongrass, rosemary, lavender and basil contain a smell that mosquitoes hate. A study showed that a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95 percent protection against mosquitoes for three hours.
Grow a pot of either of these herbs or all of them and place the pots near windows and doors. This will prevent entry of mosquitoes. The herbs are also great for creating home remedies to ward off mosquitoes such as candles and sprays.
Using these tips will keep the environment around you as unfriendly to mosquitoes as possible and you can enjoy a bite free day. To treat bites at home you can rub apple cider vinegar on the bite or place a slice of freshly cut garlic or raw onion on the bite for some relief.
Do not miss out on the latest news. Join the Eve Digital Telegram channel HERE.
11 All-Natural Ways to Repel Mosquitoes
Summer is without a doubt many people’s favorite time and for obvious reasons. However, with summer there comes mosquitoes, and the itchy agony of getting bitten by them! The bite of a mosquito can also cause health problems too. West Nile virus has been a particular problem in recent years – an unpleasant virus with symptoms that include anything from flu-like aches to deadly encephalitis. Store-bought repellents containing ingredients such as DEET (Diethyltoluamide) are very effective at repelling bugs, but they are also full of chemicals which have been linked to serious health problems in both adults and children. The good news is, insects are also repelled by natural methods, without using noxious substances. Read on for a complete explanation of these methods and how they could help you stay bite-free all summer.
#1 Check around your property for any standing water – even tiny amounts
Have a look round your property for any sources of standing water – make sure you look carefully. A female mosquito only requires tiny amounts of water to lay her eggs in – even a bottle cap full of rainwater is enough. Drains that aren’t working properly are a habitat that mosquitoes find ideal, so make sure all of your drains are flowing freely. Even pet bowls are a source of standing water for mosquitoes to breed in, so move them inside.
#2 Destroy habitats favorable to mosquitoes
Look around your property for any loose piles of dry leaves or vegetation and keep them clear as these are also an ideal breeding ground. If there are any places where water collects after rain, consider using bark chips to keep it absorbed. Keep grass and weeds trimmed as mosquitoes love to hide out in overgrown vegetation.
#3 Plant lemongrass, lavender, basil and rosemary around doors and windows.
Mosquitoes hate the smell of certain plants and herbs – even if you don’t have a garden, most of these are ideal for growing in a pot or container near doors and windows. These also are also ideal ingredients for any home-made remedies you wish to make yourself to keep mosquitoes away, such as candles or sprays. If you are having a barbeque or outdoor event, a couple of sprigs of rosemary placed on the hot coals will keep any unwanted flying guests away!
#4 Soak ribbons in tea tree oil and stick them around your window frames and doors
Mosquitoes and other flying insects hate the smell of tea tree oil, so soak ribbons of any material in it, and stick them around your windows and doors to discourage them from entering. If you don’t like the smell of tea tree oil, use lavender instead.
#5 Use fans around the area where you are sitting
Mosquitoes are very weak flyers and even the draft of a fan on low setting is enough to keep them away. Set up a couple of fans to create a perimeter of moving air around the area where you are sitting to keep the pesky little creatures away.
#6 Create some home-made natural citronella candles
Mosquitoes aren’t the only flying insect that hates the smell of citronella – it puts off other bugs too because of it’s strong smell. These easy to make candles will keep them at bay so you can enjoy your evening.
½ pound raw, settled beeswax
Pan of boiling water and metal bowl (to act as a double boiler)
Ready-made tea light wicks (available from arts and crafts stores)
10 holders for candles (dessert glasses make pretty holders for dinner parties)
Wooden chopsticks or similar (to stir mixture)
Using the knife, break the beeswax into small pieces that will easily melt. Place them in the metal bowl over the pan of hot water and stir thoroughly while it is melting. Use your thermometer to keep testing the temperature, and when it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, start adding the essential oils of your choice. Add several drops of each of your chosen oils, stirring thoroughly all the time. Beeswax has quite a strong, distinctive smell of its own so don’t be afraid to add more oil if you think it’s required. Start pouring the mixture into your holders – if you have decided to use glass, pour in a little bit of wax and allow it to cool before adding the rest. This will reduce the chances of the glass shattering. Once you have filled your holders and the mixture has cooled (look out for a slight skin forming on the top of the wax), you need to add wicks. If the wicks you are using are not pre,-dipped in wax (“primed”), you will need to do this yourself, as it ensures the candles burn for a lot longer. Place the primed wick into the wax. Your candles will be ready to use once all the wax has hardened.
#7 Avoid perfume and strong smelling shampoos
The strong, artificial smell of perfumes and shampoo attracts mosquitoes so try not to use them. Fabric conditioners and strong smelling sunscreens will also attract them – try to wear as little artificial scent as possible.
#8 Use baby oil on your skin as often as possible
Mosquitoes hate the smell of baby oil, and they also find it much more difficult to bite as when your skin is covered in oil, it’s harder for them to find an area to alight and bite. Make sure your skin is slathered in it in the evenings, a favorite time of day for mosquitoes. Be careful if using baby oil on your skin during the day, it can cause sunburn in direct light.
#9 Use a home-made mosquito-repelling body spritz
There are several recipes and lots of different ingredients you can use to create your own natural, refreshing and skin-kindrepellent spray. The only equipment you will need is an 8 oz. spray bottle for application.
4 oz. distilled water
4oz. witch hazel
Essential oils – choose from:
8oz. spray bottle
Combine the distilled water and witch hazel in the spray bottle and shake thoroughly. Add the essential oil, the more you use the stronger the spray will be. Use around 15 drops of each scent, or if you are only using one for scent use at least 30 drops. Shake the bottle thoroughly and you will have an inexpensive spray that repels mosquitoes, not other humans! Ensure when you are buying oil to put on your skin, the label must say it is safe to use on skin.
#10 Take garlic capsules
It is thought that mosquitoes are repelled by the smell of garlic; try taking odorless garlic capsules for a few weeks to see if this has any effect. The smell exuded through your sweat shouldn’t be detectable to other humans, however it should be enough to keep mosquitoes at bay. If you don’t mind a strong smell in your garden, you can buy a garlic spray.
#11 Be aware of the time of day and the clothes you’re wearing
The mosquito’s favorite time of day is early in the morning and after dusk . This is when they are most active and you have a much higher chance of getting bitten. If you are outdoors at these times, make sure you are as covered with clothing as possible.They are also strongly attracted to dark clothing, so wear light colors as often as possible.
Hopefully these tips will help you have a bite-free summer! A big difference will be made to the mosquito population on your property by making sure the habitat is as unfriendly to them as possible, thereby discouraging them from laying eggs. You will see far greater effects by doing this than by simply attempting to repel them.
- Latest Posts
HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
Latest posts by HealthStatus (see all)
- 40 Day Transformation Video – November 26, 2019
- CBD Oil for Skincare: What Does It Really Do? – July 19, 2019
- CBD Oil for Arthritis Pain: Does It Really Treat Arthritis? – July 16, 2019
Ah, summertime, time for backyard parties, swimming, fishing, camping, hiking and all the joys that warm weather, family, and friends bring. Unfortunately, with summer also comes the all too familiar battle of man against the mosquito. Depending on where you live mosquitoes can be anything from an occasional nuisance to a full-blown enemy you have declared war upon. The good news is, there are a number of safe and natural ways to keep these pesky critters away from your home and garden, and more importantly, off your skin.
Mosquitoes Carry Disease
Unfortunately, annoying buzzing and itchy bites are not the only things that make mosquitoes an unwelcome visitor. The more than 3,000 mosquito species are responsible for transporting some of humanity’s greatest diseases. Malaria is carried by the Anopheles mosquito and is reported to infect between 300 and 500 million people yearly, causing over 600,000 deaths. The Culex mosquito carries the West Nile virus, filariasis, and encephalitis. The Aedes mosquito carries yellow fever, dengue, and encephalitis.
These bloodthirsty annoyances are not just a problem in third world countries. The first case of West Nile virus in America was reported in New York City in 1999. Since this time, over 2000 people have died from the virus.
Viruses aside, mosquito bites hurt – some worse than others. A particular type of mosquito found in Florida, the Gallinipper, is the size of a quarter and can deliver a really nasty bite.
3 Factors That Make You More Attractive To Mosquitoes
Believe it or not, mosquitoes tend to be picky about their victims. Apparently, not everyone is equally tasty. In one study it was found that mosquitoes land on people who have type O blood twice as often as they landed on people with Type A blood.
Mosquitoes locate their target by smelling carbon dioxide that is released when we breathe. Not surprisingly, people who exhale more carbon dioxide, larger people, in general, get bitten more often than smaller people.
Mosquitoes also smell for lactic acid, uric acid, ammonia and other bodily substances to find their victims. When you exercise, lactic acid builds up and this can make you quite attractive to mosquitoes. In addition, genetic factors can influence the amount of uric acid and other substances we emit making some people tastier than others to mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes also like certain skin bacteria better than others. A study conducted in 2001 found that people with a higher abundance, but lower diversity of bacteria on the skin were more appetizing to mosquitoes. This is especially true, says, scientists, if the bacteria is focused on a particular area. The ankles are a great example because there are naturally more bacteria colonizing here than on other parts of the skin. How many times have you been bitten on your ankles by a mosquito?
Drinking Beer & Mosquitoes
Have you ever wondered why mosquitoes love backyard barbeques as much as you? If you drink just one 12 ounce beer you become like an instant mosquito magnet. Although researchers are not quite sure why people who drink beer become desirable to mosquitoes, they still seem to show up whenever a glass is poured.
Pregnancy & Mosquitoes
A number of studies have shown that pregnant women are bitten twice as much as non-pregnant women. This might be due to the fact that pregnant women exhale almost 21 percent more carbon dioxide and are also warmer than people who aren’t pregnant.
Clothing Color & Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are attracted to certain clothing colors more than others including black, dark blue and red. Wearing light-colored clothing will help protect you from a nasty bite. In addition, wear loose fitting clothing that covers more of your skin so that mosquitoes can’t find an exposed part.
How to Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Outdoor Living Spaces
Mosquitoes are an inevitable part of warm season months but this doesn’t have to mean an end to your summer fun. The good news is that there are several, non-toxic ways to make your favorite places in your yard and garden repulsive to mosquitoes.
1. Plant Herbs & Flowers That Repel Mosquitoes
One way to protect your outdoor gatherings from unwanted guests (mosquitoes, not your mother-in-law) is to surround your outdoor living space with plants that mosquitoes don’t like. Not only will the plants add aesthetic value to your landscape, but they will also do double duty as a natural defense screen.
Here are some top choices:
Rosemary – Rosemary is a desirable woody perennial herb that will beautify any spot in your yard. This plant contains aromatic essential oils that mosquitoes detest. Rosemary grows well in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. Just be sure to purchase the best variety for your area. Rosemary likes lots of sun, well-draining, sandy soil. Rosemary will slowly grow, maturing anywhere between 4 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet tall. I have a small gathering area in my backyard that I surrounded with rosemary – this makes a nice sheltered spot where the mosquitoes are not welcome. You can also grow rosemary in pots and in cooler regions, bring them inside for the winter.
Lavender – Lavender is another highly aromatic herb that mosquitoes are not fond of. This member of the mint family has silvery-green foliage and beautiful purple spikes from early summer into fall. Lavender makes a great addition to any landscape and is especially well suited for borders or an informal hedge. Lavender is a hardy perennial in USDA planting zones 4 through 8.
Basil – I love to adorn my backyard tables with pots of basil. Not only is basil easy to grow, but it also makes a wonderful culinary herb and mosquito deterrent. There are a number of different types of basil available. I find that cinnamon basil, lemon basil and Peruvian basil work best to keep mosquitoes at bay.
For more plants that will keep your outdoor areas mosquito free visit here.
2. Mosquito Incense
Mosquitoes are going to steer clear of any outdoor party where you are burning incense. For starters, mosquitoes are not big fans of smoke and hate aromatic smoke even more. The most effective incense sticks contain a variety of ingredients including citronella, eucalyptus, and even cloves. Look for incense products that are 100% natural such as these from Amazon.
Alternatively, save money and make your own loose incense with mosquito repelling herbs and spices. I like to use incense when I have small gatherings on my back patio or even on my screen porch where the critters seem to be able to fit through the tiniest hole in the screen.
Other Home Hacks to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
I have spent plenty of time over the years living is damp and warm climates, where mosquitoes thrive. Bound and determined not to spend the entire summer months hiding in my house, I have developed some rather strange, but effective ways to deal with mosquitoes. Yes, I have been determined not to let them steal my joy. Here are a few of my most successful hacks to a mosquito-free yard and home.
3. Coffee Grounds
I love coffee and have a lot of used grounds. To keep mosquitoes from multiplying I scatter used coffee grounds in areas of standing water (if I can’t get rid of the standing water altogether). The mosquito eggs are drawn to the surface of the water and deprived of oxygen by the grounds – thus, they don’t hatch!
4. Pinon Wood
I have always burned pinon wood in my outdoor fire pits. This wood is highly aromatic and will keep mosquitoes well away from your outdoor spaces and home. I let the embers in my fires smolder for a very long time to reap all of the benefits. Try it for yourself with this pinon firewood.
5. Use A Fan
When I have an outdoor gathering in the summer I always run a couple of oscillating fans on my patio or porch. Not only does this keep my guests cool and comfortable, but it also blows away mosquitoes.
6. Put Up Bat Houses
Bats love mosquitoes and the more bats you can attract to your yard, the fewer mosquitoes you will have. Put up bat houses throughout your yard and sit back and watch them gobble up the pesky critters at dusk.
The idea of bats eradicating mosquitoes has been slightly overdone, with some websites claiming that bats can eat 1000 mosquitoes per hour. That’s an exaggeration, but mosquitoes do make up a portion of a bat’s diet and so attracting bats is an effective way to reduce the mosquito population.
7. Create A Bird Habitat
It’s not just bats that love mosquitoes, many species of birds including purple martins, swallows and some migratory songbirds devour adult mosquitoes and also eat mosquito larvae. To encourage these birds, hang a variety of bird feeders, suet feeders and create a welcoming bird environment.
8. Build A Pond
Dragonflies and fish are also hardy mosquito eaters. Contrary to what you might think about water – a pond with an aerator or fountain and fish will draw dragonflies (AKA mosquito hawks).
How to Be Less Desirable to Mosquitoes
Swimming, hiking, riding your bike… mosquitoes always have a way of finding you when you are having fun. To make yourself less desirable to these bloodsucking mini monsters, try a few of these tried and true home tactics.
9. Use fewer beauty products when outdoors
Mosquitoes are particularly fond of most lotions, hairspray, perfume and even deodorant. If you do use lotions etc.. try using those that have a strong lavender, basil, rosemary or even eucalyptus scent.
10. Eat lots of garlic
If you consume a good amount of garlic before heading outside you may be in luck. Garlic breath may not do anything for your personal relationships, but it will mask the smell of carbon dioxide when you exhale. In addition, the sulfur compounds emitted through your skin will also make you less desirable.
11. Eat fewer bananas
If you are an avid banana eater, you might want to pause that for the summer months. When your body metabolizes the banana the scent comes out on your skin and… mosquitoes love bananas.
12. Wear light-colored long sleeve shirts and pants
If you are planning a hike or an outdoor adventure, choose clothes that will not make you a mosquito magnet. Light colors and light and loose fabrics work best – as mentioned above. A light-colored hat is also a good idea to keep mosquitoes off your face and head.
13. Take your B vitamins
People are more likely to be bitten if they have a B deficiency. Studies show that taking plenty of B1, in particular, can keep mosquitoes away. Apparently, when you take a little more vitamin B than your body needs, it can cause the excess to be sweated out through your skin. Female mosquitoes find this odor repulsive. Eat foods rich in vitamin B1, such as beef, liver, nuts, oats, oranges, pork, eggs, seeds, legumes and peas or take a vitamin B1 supplement.
14. Take a pig for a walk (Yes, really!)
I had a friend who owned a pot belly big and always brought her on walks. It seemed that whenever the pig was around I got far fewer mosquito bites. Turns out that it isn’t all in my head, pigs have a higher body temperature and mosquitoes will gravitate towards them first before biting you.
15. Spray yourself with vanilla
Vanilla is a natural mosquito repellent. Add two teaspoons of vanilla to one cup of water and put into a spritz bottle. When you are outside hiking, biking or just enjoying some fresh air, spritz yourself with vanilla. The vanilla will mask your body odor and keep mosquitoes away.
Using Essential Oils to Keep Mosquitoes Away
By now, you have probably heard about all of the dangers of using chemicals such as DEET to keep mosquitoes away. Over time, the toxic ingredients in many commercial mosquito products, build up in the body and can cause serious issues.
The good news is that many essential oils contain compounds that are as effective if not more effective than dangerous chemicals such as DEET. Many aromatic essential oils have insect–repelling properties, particularly those containing volatile substances like linalool, thujone, geraniol, citronellal, citronellol, limonene, pinene, and eucalyptol. They have been found to be effective in keeping mosquitoes at bay for a short period of 2-4 hours because of their high volatility.
Repeat applications may be necessary, but essential oils, especially the ones derived from culinary herbs, may be safer than other chemical deterrents.
Here is just a short list of a few essential oils that you should have in your anti-mosquito arsenal:
16. Clove bud oil
Clove bud oil has a warm and slightly fruity aroma but don’t let its sweet fragrance fool you, it is a powerful mosquito deterrent. In fact, one study found that just 5% of clove bud oil had a complete 100% repent action against mites – this a very promising indication of what it can do to protect you from mosquitoes.
What makes clove bud essential oil so effective is its main ingredient, eugenol. Eugenol has powerful antiseptic properties as well and is commonly used in commercial insect repellents. In addition, to be a mosquito deterrent, clove bud oil can also soothe inflammation after a bite, kill parasites, and help the skin heal. I like to mix a few drops of pure clove bud oil in some vitamin e oil and spread over my skin before heading outdoors.
17. Peppermint oil
Everyone is familiar with the fresh and sweet aroma of peppermint. While it is very pleasing to us, mosquitoes are not so fond of it. Peppermint is actually a hybrid mint between spearmint and watermint and its oil is very pungent. Besides soothing muscles, and inducing a calm and relaxed state, peppermint can also aid digestive woes and ease a headache. My favorite way to use peppermint as a mosquito repellent is to mix in a few drops of pure peppermint oil in water and place in a spray bottle. I spray my window screens in the morning and evening and this deters the pesky critters from finding their way into my home. As a bonus, my home smells fresh and sweet all day long.
18. Geranium oil
Geranium oil is another highly versatile oil that was once used widely in beauty applications in ancient Greece. It is known for its ability to calm nerves and promote healthy skin and hair. The powerful components in this oil also make it an effective insect deterrent. This is due to one of its primary components, citronellol. To keep mosquitoes from biting my head and neck, I add a few drops of Plant Therapy geranium oil to my shampoo.
Note: Be sure to test for skin sensitivity before applying any essential oils to your body. Always use a carrier oil when applying essential oil to the skin. Never ingest essential oils.
For more essential oils that keep mosquitoes away, read our full article here.
Making Your Own Mosquito Repellent Products
There are numerous products on the market designed to protect you and your home from mosquitoes. However, they cost a lot of money and often contain chemicals that are not beneficial to your health and wellbeing. The great news is that you can easily and cost-effectively make your own mosquito repellent products at home that actually work!
Here are a few of my favorite recipes that you can feel good using on yourself and your family.
19. Chemical Free Insect Home and Room Spray
I use this spray inside and out to keep insects away.
- Apple cider vinegar
- 5 drops tea tree essential oil
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil
To make: Fill a spray bottle half full of water and half full of apple cider vinegar. Add the oils. Use as a room or window screen spray.
20. Lavender “Mosquito Be Gone” Lotion
I love the light feel and fragrance of this lotion. I use it mostly when I am out in my garden.
- 12 drops lavender essential oil
- 8 drops tea tree essential oil
- 8 drops lemongrass essential oil
- 6 drops citronella essential oil
- 6 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 4 ounces fractionated coconut oil
To make: Mix all essential oils first and add them to the fractionated coconut oil. Allow the coconut oil to harden. Apply regularly before going outdoors.
21. Herb Infusion Surface Spray
I love using this spray on my countertops and outdoor tables. It cleans and disinfects while acting as an insect deterrent.
- Apple cider vinegar
- A few leaves of fresh lavender, catmint, sage, and thyme
To make: Fill a spray bottle half full of vinegar and half full of water. Add the fresh herbs and let sit overnight. Shake and use liberally on surfaces.
Bonus: Try making our herbal mosquito repellent spray. Many readers have tried it already and loved it.