6 Natural Mosquito Repellents That Work

by DailyHealthPost Editorial

natural mosquito repellents

3. Citronella


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.”[3]

4. Turmeric


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.” [3]

5. Peppermint Oil

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.” [4] This study also found excellent properties against the larvae of the mosquito.

6. Thyme Oil

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.” [5]

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.