Few things can be as frustrating as listening to mosquitos when trying to drift off to sleep or being bitten by one of these, not to mention the danger that some mosquito bites pose as well.
Fortunately there are plenty of natural mosquito repellents that you can use to ward off these creatures, get a peaceful night’s sleep and protect yourself from their bites.
1. Eucalyptus Oil
A study was done in India on the repellent activity of Eucalyptus oil and Azadirachta indica seed oil against the filarial mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus). Their results showed excellent repellent action from these oils “The A. Indica seed oil provided 90.26% and 88.83% protection, and the Eucalyptus oil 93.37% and 92.04%, at concentrations 50% and 100% (v/v), respectively, with the protection time up to 240 min .
There was no bite within 120min and 180min respectively, due to the action of Eucalyptus and A. Indica seed oil, and thus 100% protection from the bite of Cx quinquefasciatus mosquito was achieved.”
2. Catnip and Osage Orange Essential Oil
A study was done to determine the repellent effect of these two substances compared with the commercial standard DEET against the northern house mosquito. It was found that although catnip had a high repellent effect initially, this tended to decrease significantly over the test period. The Osage Orange essential oil on the other hand had a lower potency initially but had more significant results over the entire period .
Citronella is another common aromatherapeutic insect repellent and according to a study done on the repellency of volatile oils from plants against three mosquito vectors and published in the Journal of Vector Ecology, “Citronella + Vanillin demonstrated a repellency equivalent to the standard repellents, DEET and DEET+vanillin, with at least six hours complete protection against Ae. Aegypti.”
Another repellent considered in the above study with citronella was turmeric. According to this study, “For An. Dirus turmeric oil alone showed outstanding efficacy among the test repellents without vanillin. In fact, turmeric oil provided protection for at least eight hours, whereas DEET gave only six hours for this species.” 
5. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil has excellent repellent properties and according to a study in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine by Sarita Kumar, et al “Our investigations also revealed the excellent repellent properties of M piperita essential oil against adults Ae. Aegypti resulting in 100% protection till 150 min. After next 30 min, only 1-2 bites were recorded as compared with 8-9 bites on the control arm.”  This study also found excellent properties against the larvae of the mosquito.
6. Thyme Oil
In a study in the Journal of American Mosquito Control Association, a number of different essential oils were tested with regards to their efficacy in protecting mice from being bitten by mosquitoes. They found that thyme oil was the most effective of the oils tested: “Four essential oils (0.5% in 0.1% ethanol) prevented mosquito biting in comparison with controls.
Numbers biting control mice at 5min after exposure to mosquitoes were zero, but after 1h total numbers of bites were 17.2+-1.64. On the other hand total bites by mosquitoes at 1h after exposure to mice treated with eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary and thyme were 5.2, 6.0, 4.0, and 1.6 respectively. Thyme essential oil was the most effective repellent amongst the test materials and provided 91% protection from mosquito bites. Thyme oil also showed 3.7-fold stronger protection time (65.4min) than the control(17.8min) until 3 bites by mosquitoes.” 
Using DEET and other commercially available mosquito repellents can have harmful side effects, especially if used over a prolonged period of time. However, these natural essential oils are much gentler and many of them also benefit us in other ways while we use them to repel the mosquitoes and get protection from them.[mks_toggle title=”sources” state=”close “]
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