People looking for alternatives to synthetic mosquito repellents may find that some natural repellents are effective in protecting them from bites. These products are also likely to be less toxic to humans and the environment.
Natural repellents and some essential oils may be effective in keeping mosquitoes away because they block their sense of smell, making it harder for these insects to land on a human to feed.
Permanently Get Rid Of Mosquito
Citronella is a well-known mosquito repellent. In a dose by dose comparison, citronella is initially as effective as DEET. However, citronella oil evaporates quickly, meaning that it is only effective for a short time. Also, high concentrations of citronella can cause skin irritation.
Research has shown that the topical application of 100% citronella can provide complete protection against three types of mosquito for up to 120 minutes in a laboratory setting.
People traveling to areas where mosquitoes carry diseases may wish to use a more effective synthetic repellent than citronella.
2. Lemon eucalyptus
Lemon eucalyptus essential oil contains 85% citronellal. It is a popular product in the cleaning and cosmetics industries due to its fresh scent.
The findings of both field and laboratory studies show that lemon eucalyptus oil can effectively protect against several species of malaria-carrying mosquito as well as the yellow fever mosquito.
A 2014 study found that a formula containing 32% lemon eucalyptus oil provided at least 95% protection from mosquitoes for 3 hours. However, it has a shorter protection time than DEET as it evaporates more quickly.
Many people use cloves either alongside cinnamon in baking or as an aromatic addition to drinks with lemon and sugar. However, cloves may also help prevent bothersome mosquito bites.
In a 2013 study, researchers mixed clove essential oil with bases of olive and coconut oil, which volunteers then applied topically to their skin.
The clove oil mixtures protected against yellow fever mosquitoes for up to 96 minutes.
Other research suggests that a component of cloves called methyl eugenol could be a carcinogen, but these claims require further research.
Using peppermint may be another natural way to repel mosquitoes. The authors of a 2011 review concluded that high concentrations of peppermint essential oil are effective, but they could not find any research on lower concentrations.
A study in 2011 found that peppermint essential oil was effective against mosquito larvae and provided 100% protection against bites from adult yellow fever mosquitoes for up to 150 minutes.
Lemongrass is an herb with a subtle citrus flavor. It is a popular ingredient in tea and several Asian cuisines.
In a 2015 study, researchers found that a combination of lemongrass essential oil and olive oil provided 98.8% protection against the southern house mosquito.
Other research found that topical application of lemongrass essential oil provided 74–95% protection for 2.5 hours against two types of mosquito during a field study.
Basil is a common ingredient in many cuisines, but it may also be a moderately effective mosquito repellent.
The authors of a 2011 review looked at several studies testing basil as a repellent. Some field studies in Kenya found that just the potted plant provided nearly 40% protection against a type of mosquito that can carry malaria.
The authors also noted that in a laboratory study, basil essential oil provided up to 100% protection for more than 6 hours against yellow fever mosquitoes. The researchers applied the oil topically.