January 30, 2022
Coconut oil has been a recent health food craze that has taken the market by storm. It’s used in a variety of applications from haircare to cardiovascular health. The question is, does coconut oil repel mosquitoes? We’re going to answer that.
Does Coconut Oil Repel Mosquitoes?
Coconut oil by itself has little evidence for being an effective mosquito repellent.
However, the United States Department of Agriculture has concluded that some of the fatty acids in coconuts repel mosquitoes at a rate that’s even more effective than DEET. The list of fatty acids includes lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid.
Is Coconut Oil More Effective than DEET?
Studies have shown a coconut oil compound made up of fatty acids was almost twice as effective as DEET against mosquitoes.
This compound effectively repelled stable flies for four days, and bed bugs and ticks for two weeks. It also had a 90% repellency rate against mosquitoes. Compared to DEET’s repellency rate of 50%, coconut oil seems like a much safer, more effective alternative.
Despite coconuts containing these compounds, the concentration in coconut oil you find on the shelves at the grocery store is far too low for coconut oil alone to repel mosquitoes.
Coconut Oil as a Carrier Oil for DIY Mosquito Repellent
While slathering coconut oil on won’t repel mosquitoes, coconut oil is commonly used as a carrier oil for essential oils in homemade mosquito repellants.
If you’re looking to make your own topical mosquito repellent using essential oils, you’ll need to dilute them with a carrier oil. Coconut oil is a great choice because its high saturated fat content causes it to evaporate slowly.
What Oils Repel Mosquitoes?
Many plants naturally repel aggravating insects like mosquitoes. When essential oils are extracted from them, they can be used as an effective natural mosquito repellent. Some of these oils include:
Looking for an Effective Mosquito Repellent?
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