How To Fight Mosquitos Naturally This Summer

How To Fight Mosquitos Naturally This Summer

Summer is a time for camping, backpacking trips, barbecues, and long evenings with friends and family by the lake. However, nothing ruins a beautiful day outdoors like the swarms of mosquitoes that can leave you itching and uncomfortable!

While DEET-based repellents are undoubtedly the most effective, they come with several drawbacks. They have an unpleasant smell (messing with your coconut body spray! ), can cause skin irritation, may contain cancer-causing ingredients, and are not necessarily environmentally friendly.

If you’re cautious about what you put on your and your family’s skin, exploring natural remedies to combat mosquito bites is your answer. Continue reading to learn how you can protect your family naturally!


1. Essential Oils

Essential oils are a popular choice for natural mosquito repellents.  Here are some of the most effective ones:

Lavender Oil: Contains compounds like limonene, linalool, eucalyptol, and camphor, all known to repel mosquitoes. Its pleasant fragrance is an added bonus.

Eucalyptus Oil: The primary compound in eucalyptus oil, eucalyptol (1,8-Cineole, has strong insect-repelling properties. It is effective at masking the scents that attract mosquitoes to humans, such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid.

Tea Tree Oil: Known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, it can prevent and heal mosquito bites quickly. Its strong aroma also repels mosquitoes.

Peppermint Oil: Peppermint oil contains limonene and menthol, compounds that deter mosquitoes. It can be mixed with water and sprayed on the skin or around the home.

Thyme Oil: A study showed that 5% thyme oil provided a 91% protection rate on hairless mice. Burning thyme leaves also offers significant protection.

Citronella oil: Derived from lemongrass and contains compounds like citronellal, geraniol, and limonene that exhibit mosquito-repellent properties. It is almost as effective as DEET and can be enhanced by mixing with alcohol. This mixture leverages the thiamine in alcohol, which has a smell that repels mosquitoes.

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil: Recognized by the CDC as an effective mosquito repellent, lemon eucalyptus oil contains compounds like citronellal and PMD (p-methane 3,8-diol). A 2014 study found that a mixture of 32% lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95% protection for up to 3 hours.

*Scroll down for notes on using essential oils and other remedies.


2. Neem Oil

Derived from the seeds and fruits of the neem tree, neem oil has natural mosquito-repelling properties. A study showed that 2% neem oil combined with coconut oil provided significant protection against various mosquito species.

3. Soybean Oil

Soybean-based products, such as Bite Block Kids (2% soybean oil), offer long-lasting protection from mosquitoes. According to the University of Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, these products can be effective for several hours.

4. Coconut Oil

When mixed with essential oils, coconut oil can be an effective repellent. It contains unsaturated fatty acids and emulsifiers that slow down the evaporation of the repellent molecules in essential oils.


5. Pure Vanilla Extract

Pure vanilla extract, when mixed with water and a few cinnamon essential oil drops and then applied to the skin, can deter mosquitoes due to its pleasant yet repelling aroma.

6. Garlic

Garlic contains allicin, a compound that repels mosquitoes due to its strong aroma. Eating garlic may make your sweat less attractive to mosquitoes and a garlic-infused solution can be sprayed around your home (this is admittedly not the best smell!)

7. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Drinking a tablespoon of ACV mixed with water can make your sweat less appealing to mosquitoes. When combined with essential oils, it creates a natural spray that promotes the repellent activity of the oils by creating a slightly acidic pH on your skin, luring mosquitoes away.


8. Cloves

Clove is another herb that effectively repels mosquitoes. Its strong aroma and the presence of eugenol give it repelling properties. A common homemade mosquito repellent involves cutting a lemon in half, inserting 5-6 cloves into each half, and placing them in the room where you want to repel mosquitoes.

9. Camphor

Burning camphor can drive mosquitoes away from your home. Its strong scent is highly effective in repelling insects.

10. Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol enhances the effectiveness of essential oils by dissolving them better than water. When applied topically, it can also heal mosquito bites and is often used in homemade bug sprays.

11. Mouthwash and Epsom Salt Spray

Many mouthwashes contain eucalyptol, menthol, and thymol, that act as mosquito repellents. A popular homemade mosquito repellent involves combining beer, mint mouthwash, and Epsom salt, as demonstrated by YouTuber Bill, who claimed it was an effective and economical solution. See how to make it here

12. Baking Soda and Vinegar Trap

When baking soda reacts with vinegar, it releases carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes and can be used to trap and kill them. Here’s how to make a trap:

  1. Take an empty bottle and cut it in half.
  2. Add baking soda to the bottom part of the bottle.
  3. Invert the top part of the bottle to create a funnel.
  4. Pour vinegar into the funnel and place the trap outside your room.

13. Herbs and Plants

Certain herbs and plants can also help keep mosquitoes at bay. Plant the following herbs and plants around your garden beds and in containers for some added protection around your home:

Lemon Balm: Planting lemon balm in your garden or pots can help repel mosquitoes. You can also rub the leaves on your skin.

Catnip: Contains nepetalactone, a strong mosquito repellent.

Marigolds: Emit a smell that mosquitoes find unpleasant.

Basil: Effective when planted in your garden or placed indoors.


Natural Mosquito Repellent Patches

Natural Insect Repellent Spray

Herbal Armor- Insect Repellent

Bug Soother Herbacious Formula

Notes When Using Natural Mosquito Remedies

  • To ensure essential oils are effective, they need to be pure and used at a concentration of 20% or ideally higher. This may lead to some essential oils being too strong for certain skin types and having a very strong smell.
  • Essential oils can be very irritating to the skin so they should always be diluted with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil at a ratio of 3-5 drops to 1 ounce oil. You can also mix 10–20 drops with 100–250 ml of water, rubbing alcohol, witch hazel toner, vodka, or apple cider vinegar. 
  • A water-based carrier will work better for making sprays and an oil-based carrier for applying directly to your skin.
  • As these remedies are natural, you need to apply them more often than DEET products. Do a patch test first and be wary of essential oil remedies that can become irritating if applied too often.
  • To prolong the efficacy of the homemade repellent, use darker-colored containers or spray bottles and replace it after a week or two.
  • DEET-containing products are always best for high-risk areas or disease-causing mosquitoes.
  • These natural remedies are not regulated or approved by the relevant authorities. Limited research has been done on many of these suggestions, and should always be used with caution.