Mosquitoes can really ruin a trip, even if they’re not a dangerous insect! They are most active at night, so if you’re planning for a night out in a mosquito-rich area, your night can be compromised if don’t use some mosquito repellent. The DEET based repellents, the one found in most shops, are bad for your health. Almost 15% of the DEET gets absorbed directly into your bloodstream. Studies show that it damages brain cells and can even cause brain cell death. If all this scares you, then we’ve got 10 natural mosquito repellents that won’t harm you and will keep those pesky insects at bay.
Don’t laugh, we had to mention clothes, because they really are a natural mosquito repellent! There are specialized clothes for the outdoors which have layers that don’t allow mosquitoes to bite through them. There are hats, similar to the ones worn by bee keepers, with nets that will protect your face from the nasty insects.
If you’re planning for a romantic picnic in nature with your significant other, then you may want to skin this natural mosquito repellent, because it’s a stinker! But if you (and others) don’t mind the smell, then you should know that mosquitoes can’t stand the smell of fresh garlic. If you eat plenty of it, it will come out through your sweat and when that happens, you won’t see any mosquitoes around.
A new study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine revealed that the lotus flower is a very efficient mosquito repellent and will also kill their larvae. Mosquitoes need water to breed, so if you’ve got a pond and you want to avoid making it their nursery, plant lotuses and they’ll stay away.
They really hate the smell of peppermint! If you’re outside, get some fresh mint and crush it between your fingers and rub any exposed parts of your body with it. Also, peppermint will help soothe mosquito bites that itch! Just make sure you get fresh peppermint or peppermint natural oil, if you can’t find any of the fresh variety.
6. Black Pepper
A new study has revealed that black pepper extract will keep mosquitoes at bay. Black pepper essential oil also works, so go to the health store and buy some if you’re planning to go camping or staying in mosquito infested areas. No essential oil should not be put directly on the skin, as it is too strong and will irritate the skin. Dilute it with cream or water.
5. Neem Oil
Neem oil is one of the most powerful and natural mosquito repellents. According to research conducted by the US National Research Council, neem oil is even more effective as the harmful DEET. (The Malaria Institute in India also confirmed these results.) Neem is a plant native to India, but you can find neem oil pretty much in any shop which has aromatic or essential oils.
Catnip is the thing that drives cats wild and it appears that it is also driving mosquitoes insane. A new study revealed that catnip oil is 10 times more powerful than DEET is in repelling mosquitoes. Just make sure your cat doesn’t find the catnip essential oil bottle or things could turn ugly!
3. Organic Soy Oil
Another natural mosquito repellent that is just as effective as the ones containing DEET is soybean oil. As opposed to neem oil, soybean oil is much cheaper and easier to find, which makes it a great choice! Another good thing about soybean oil is that it’s also a good body moisturizer, so putting it on your body will make your skin smooth and soft. Just make sure you choose the kind that is made from soy that hasn’t been genetically modified.
It’s been known for hundreds of years that lavender works wonders in repelling mosquitoes. Lavender essential oil is recommended as it is much more concentrated and effective. Make sure you dilute it a bit and do not apply it directly on your skin undiluted. Keeping lavender flowers in your house will also keep these insects away.
Citronella is the most popular natural mosquito repellent in the world. Use only pure essential oil and not fragrance oil if you plan on applying it on your skin and not just burning it. Just keep in mind that even if this is the most popular, it doesn’t mean that it’s the best. Neem oil, catnip, and soybean oil work much better than citronella.
What you should really do is mix some of these oils together and create a super mosquito repellent! For example, mix about 5 drops of the following essential oil in an unscented natural oil or even moisturizer: citronella, lavender, neem, black pepper and catnip. Rub it on your skin before heading outdoors and you’ll be good to go!
Do you know of other natural mosquito repellents? If you do, please share them with us in the comment section below.