Need to get rid of mosquitoes? Forget about toxic chemicals — you can do it safely and naturally.
While DEET-based insect repellents are usually recommended for keeping mosquitoes away from you, they can be harmful to both you and the environment. DEET repellents may be necessary if you’re in an area with mosquito-borne diseases, but you can use effective insect repellents made from essential oils if you’re just hanging out at home!
Here are seven essential oils that are scientifically proven to repel mosquitoes!
7 Essential Oils That Repel Mosquitoes
If you’ve never used essential oils before, let us give you a quick rundown. (If you have, feel free to skip ahead!). Essential oils are derived from plants and are a concentrate of said plant. It’s important to note that not all essential oils are created equal — some will be of higher quality and be held to rigorous testing standards, while others might not be as natural as you think.
Also, essential oils can be pretty potent. Instead of applying the oil directly to your skin, it’s always recommended to dilute it with a carrier oil first. You can either use essential oils topically, diffuse them with an essential oil diffuser, or create a natural spray.
1. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is one of the most effective natural mosquito repellants. Lavender contains a compound called linalool, which is responsible for the strong scent lavender has. While it’s pleasing to us, mosquitoes hate this smell! In a 2009 study, linalool was found to have a 93% repellent rate indoors and a 58% repellent rate outdoors.
How to Use Lavender Oil to Repel Mosquitoes
It can be used in many ways to repel mosquitoes: dilute lavender essential oil with a carrier oil and apply it topically for a natural repellent, place fresh lavender plants in and around your house, or burn strong lavender candles.
2. Citronella Essential Oil
Citronella is an essential oil made from leaves and stems of lemongrass. While citronella candles and plants aren’t potent enough to act as highly effective mosquito repellents on their own, citronella oil can work pretty well.
When it comes to citronella, the way it’s created is vital. Studies have shown that high-quality citronella oil can protect you as effectively as DEET for up to two hours.
How to Use Citronella Oil to Repel Mosquitoes
Make sure you’re using only high-quality citronella oil. We’ve researched the best ways to use citronella as a mosquito repellent, and you can use a strong citronella oil spray or lotion. Citronella oil spray can also be used to create mosquito-proof clothing!
3. Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Essential oil from lemon eucalyptus trees is one of the most effective natural ways to repel mosquitoes. One study concluded that lemon eucalyptus oil, at a 30% dilution rate, produces anywhere from 90-96% repellency rates depending on the species of mosquitoes. Plus, it protected participants for 4-6 hours, which is much longer than citronella oil!
Another study found that a 32% lemon eucalyptus oil solution provided around 95% protection for about three hours.
How to Use Lemon Eucalyptus Oil to Repel Mosquitoes
Purchase some high-quality lemon eucalyptus oil and dilute it with carrier oil to apply topically, spray it around the room to deter mosquitoes in your house, or diffuse it with an essential oil diffuser.
4. Catnip Essential Oil
Now this one might surprise you (it definitely surprised us!). Scientific studies have shown that catnip oil is roughly 10 times more effective than DEET. Yeah, you heard that right! And it’s completely natural. The potency of catnip oil is much higher than DEET, as it takes a higher concentration of DEET to repel the same amount of mosquitoes as a small amount of catnip oil.
How to Use Catnip Oil to Repel Mosquitoes
In addition to repelling mosquitoes, you can also use catnip oil to get rid of houseflies and cockroaches — talk about an all-purpose solution. While you can grow catnip plants both inside and outside, the plant itself might not be enough to repel mosquitoes.
You’re going to want to purchase some strong essential oil and use it in an oil diffuser, as a spray, or as a diluted topical solution.
5. Peppermint Essential Oil
One study found that peppermint essential oil showed repellency rates ranging from 84-100% depending on the species of mosquito. It also discovered peppermint oil can kill mosquito larvae in standing water with just a few drops!
How to Use Peppermint Oil to Repel Mosquitoes
The best way to use peppermint oil to get rid of mosquitoes is to create a natural spray. Simply mix about two cups of water with 10-15 drops of high-quality peppermint oil, and that’s it! Spray it in and around your house, around doorways, and windows.
You could also dilute a few drops of peppermint oil in a carrier oil, such as coconut or olive oil, and apply it to your skin for an all natural bug repellent!
6. Basil Essential Oil
Basil is an herb of many talents: it smells amazing, makes for a delicious pasta dish, and it keeps insects away? Don’t take our word for it — this 2009 study discovered basil is highly toxic to mosquito larvae. Another study found basil leaves to have up to a 79% repellency rate, and a 100% repellency rate when applied topically.
How to Use Basil Oil to Repel Mosquitoes
Basil plants are one of the few plants that repel mosquitoes in their natural form, meaning simply having the plant around is enough to deter pesky insects. The plus side is that basil isn’t that difficult to grow, it just likes plenty of sunlight and nice, moist soil.
You could also use basil essential oil topically (once you dilute it of course!).
7. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Used as a medicine for centuries, tea tree oil has been proven to be effective at repelling all kinds of insects. While most studies conducted measure tea tree oil’s efficacy against insects like beetles and flies, most products that repel those insects also repel mosquitoes.
Tea Tree essential oil also helps prevent bacterial infections and can stop mosquito bites from itching.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil to Repel Mosquitoes
You can mix tea tree oil with water in a spray bottle and spray it around your house, windows, and doorways to keep mosquitoes out. You can also apply it topically, after diluting it with a carrier oil, for a fresh-smelling mosquito repellent.
Try Mosquito Magician’s Safe & Natural Mosquito Repellent
If you want to get rid of mosquitoes without using toxic chemicals, we have the perfect product for you. Our Mosquito Magician concentrate is a blend of natural essential oils including cedar, citronella, lemongrass, and garlic. Use it to safely treat your yard this summer so you can enjoy the outdoors sans mosquito bites!