There is significant research that suggest natural ingredients and essential oils are effective at repelling mosquitoes. This could benefit people who want to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals (unless really necessary) or sensitive people like children and pregnant women.
Mosquitoes bites are nasty and cause skin irritations like itchiness, irritation, or swelling. Essential oils can repel insects to varying degrees. Experiment with different essential oils and combinations of essential oils to see which one works best for you.
There are some essential oils that can help with mosquitoes for regular outdoor activities. If you’re not visiting places where mosquitoes can carry diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, or the Zika virus, natural repellents might be a better option. In case of visiting countries where mosquitoes carry diseases, please follow closely your doctor’s advice as natural repellents are ineffective.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention approved lemon eucalyptus oil as an active ingredient in insect repellents. A study showed that a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95 percent protection against mosquitoes for three hours.
Other essential oils that repel insects to varying degrees are: citronella, eucalyptus, cinnamon, clove, thyme, patchouli, peppermint, geranium, tea tree.
DIY Natural Mosquito Spray
- 12 oz witch hazel
- 15 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- 15 drops citronella essential oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
- An empty spray container
Add the witch hazel and the essential oils in the spray bottle and mix.
Before each use just shake up a bit. You can spray the fluid onto your skin or clothing, on the outdoor furniture or plants.
Essential oils should never be put on the skin directly especially in high quantities as they can irritate your skin. Especially since proper repellents require a high percentage of essential oil.
Special caution against using essential oils on children under 3 years old. You can spray the fluid around your children, on the outdoor furniture or plants.
A major problem is the fact that essential oils are very volatile (they evaporate quickly). You need to reapply often or use other thicker base such as witch hazel, sunflower oil, olive oil.
Protect your skin by covering it with long pants and sleeves from natural fabrics (cotton or linen). Only apply the repellent to exposed skin or on your clothes directly. Test the product on a small section of your skin and wait an hour or two to rule out skin irritations. Keep away from reach of children and avoid contact with eyes.
If you’re visiting places where mosquitoes carry diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, or the Zika virus, please follow closely your doctor’s advice as natural repellents are ineffective.