6 Natural Ingredients That Repel Mosquitoes
If you’re doing things like taking a hike, hanging out in your backyard, or taking a camping trip, natural repellents might be a better option. This can be especially true for children, who are more sensitive.
Used since the 1940s, lemon eucalyptus oil is one of the more well-known natural repellents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have approved eucalyptus oil as an effective ingredient in mosquito repellent.
A 2014 study trusted source showed that a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95 percent protection against mosquitoes for 3 hours.
You can create your own mixture with 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil to 10 parts sunflower oil or witch hazel.
Caution against using the mixture on children under 3 years of age.
Crushed lavender flowers produce a fragrance and oil that can repel mosquitoes.
An animal study from 2002 on hairless mice found lavender oil to be effective at repelling adult mosquitoes.
Lavender has analgesic, anti-fungal, and antiseptic qualities. This means that in addition to preventing mosquito bites, it can calm and soothe the skin.
You can grow lavender in an outdoor garden or in indoor planters. Crush the flowers and apply the oil to bite-sensitive areas of the body, such as your ankles and arms. Also, drop some lavender oil on a clean cloth and rub it onto the skin.
Cinnamon is more than just a great topper to applesauce or oatmeal. According to a study in Taiwan, cinnamon oil can kill off mosquito eggs. It can also act as a repellent against adult mosquitoes, most notably the Asian tiger mosquito.
To make a diluted 1 percent solution, mix 1/4 teaspoon (or 24 drops) of oil for every 4 ounces of water. You can spray the fluid onto your skin or clothing, around your home, and onto upholstery or plants. Be careful when applying cinnamon oil, as a concentrated dose can irritate your skin.
When it comes to repelling malarial mosquitoes, thyme oil is one of the best at providing protection. In one animal study from 2002 trusted source, 5 percent thyme oil applied to the skin of hairless mice provided a 91 percent protection rate.
You may also want to throw thyme leaves into a campfire. Research trusted source shows that burning thyme leaves offers 85 percent protection for 60 to 90 minutes.
For a homemade brew, combine 4 drops of thyme oil to every teaspoon of base oil, such as olive or jojoba oil. For a spray, mix 5 drops of thyme oil with 2 ounces of water.