Mosquito bites are known to spread deadly diseases such as zika virus, dengue, and malaria which have been a cause for millions of deaths around the world. The problems associated with mosquito bites and buzzing becomes more prominent during the summer season - mostly in the tropical regions of the planet. In this part of the world there are high statistics of deaths from mosquito bites. Hence, it is important that there is an emphasis on constant vigilance and protection from an infestation of mosquitoes.
There are several factors that need to be looked into in order to avoid contact with virus-transmitting mosquitoes. Foremost, it is important to use the right form of mosquito repellents available in the market. The majority of them have chemicals and toxic gases which are considered dangerous to be used for a long period of time. These ingredients include N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), Cyfluthrin, Permethrin, and Pyrethroids. DEET is associated with several cases of neurotoxicity which causes memory disorders, seizures, skin blisters and irritation, shortage of oxygen, and imbalance in motor skills. It can also contaminate drinking water. Cyfluthrin interferes with sodium and potassium levels in the body, causes muscle trembling and behavioral changes, especially in children. Permethrin causes nervous impulses in low doses. In high doses, it can cause seizures, issues with memory and motor skills and negative changes to the behaviour. Pyrethroids are the most dangerous chemical included in the repellents. They cause toxicity in the nervous system. There are reports of severe poisoning, asthma-like reactions, shortage of breath, irritation to skin and inflammation.
Why Is It Important To Use Essential Oils As Mosquito Repellent?
Mosquitoes are attracted to human sweat and the carbon dioxide released while breathing. The insects have the ability to smell these substances from a great distance and target their victims. Most mosquitos that bite are female because they require human blood to procreate. Hence, it is important to take the right measures to keep the mosquitos away without causing any further harm to health. Most fragrant essential oils have natural mosquito-repelling properties because they include compounds like eucalyptol, Linalool, Citronellol, Limonene, thujone, geraniol, citronellal, and pinene. These substances are highly volatile and can provide protection from mosquitoes and other insects for up to 4 hours. However, they will require a regular application for effective protection. It is best to combine the essential oils with a non-volatile carrier like witch hazel to prolong the protection from mosquitoes. Another advantage associated with using essential oils instead of chemical repellents is that they are chemical-free, naturally occurring, distilled and organically harvested. Like all natural things though, use essential oils in moderation. Pure essential oils are highly concentrated and hence we need to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil or another medium before use.
Which Essential Oils Can Be Used As Mosquito Repellents?
1. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil has a refreshing scent which instantly cools and energises the mood. The aroma of peppermint is not too strong and overwhelming which makes it the perfect fragrance for people who have issues with strong smells. Potent aromas can cause headaches, asthma, shortage of breath and migraines. It has naturally occurring mosquito repellent properties. It can be used in an air diffuser or in a room spray to repel insects.
2. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is known for having calming and soothing effects on the human mind. It effectively helps with the quality of sleep and in the regulation of healthy sleeping patterns. Besides that, the lavender essential oil has a strong aroma which instantly wards of mosquitos and other insects. It can be used as a spot application or room spray before bedtime. It is the most popular essential oil for its versatility. It can be the perfect replacement for mothballs.
3. Basil Essential Oil
Basil essential oil is a natural insecticide containing high levels of larvicide which kills insects in the larvae stage. It has a sweet and spicy scent which targets the mosquitos effectively. It should be applied either topically or in the diluted form for best results. It can also be used in an air diffuser or room spray along with a combination of other mosquito repellent essential oils.
4. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil has antibacterial and antiseptic properties which makes it the best essential oil for treating skin infections, fungal growth, swelling, pimples and scarring. Hence, it can be used as a natural treatment for painful mosquito and bug bites. It has medicinal properties and herbal aroma which makes it a natural mosquito repellent.
5. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil is extracted from a gum tree. It is a favorite among natural mosquito repellents for its ability to protect from tick bites. It also lasts longer on the skin and in the air. Hence, it can be a cost-effective method for repelling mosquitoes from home without splurging on synthetic repellents which are half as effective in nature. Eucalyptus also has a lemon variant which is extracted from lemon smelling gum tree. It has a refreshing and cooling sent which can be used in a room spray.
6. Vetiver Essential Oil
Vetiver essential oil has a woodsy and earthy aroma which calms the senses. It is mostly used as an industry material in manufacturing doormats, carpets, rugs and baskets. The perennial grass is mostly found in the tropical regions. The concentrated extract from vetiver can be used as a natural mosquito repellent. However, it is best to combine it with other essential oils for best results.
7. Pine Essential Oil
As compared to other chemical insect repellents, pine essential oil has given better results in protecting the indoors from mosquitos and other bugs. It has no synthetic substances which can be negative for human health. Pine essential oil also has a distinct aroma which makes it perfect for people who don’t like conventional smells.
8. Lemongrass Essential Oil
Lemongrass essential oil is derived from a perennial aromatic plant which is closely associated with C. Nardus. The latter belongs to the Poaceae grass family from which the citronella mosquito repellent is made. Lemongrass oil has the necessary insecticides that are needed in repelling harmful insects and mosquitoes.
9. Thyme Essential Oil
Research has shown that applying Thyme essential oil is highly beneficial in repelling mosquitoes and other deadly insects. It should be used as a spot applicator or in a diluted form. Thyme essential oil also helps in effectively treating painful skin inflammation caused by insect bites.
10. Catnip Essential Oil
Catnip essential oil has a refreshing minty aroma which is addicting for cats. It is derived from a perennial herb and is considered an excellent repellent for mosquitoes and other insects such as cockroaches and red ants. Historically, hunters rubbed the leaves of catnip on their bodies before going into the forest for a hunting trip.
How To Use Essential Oils To Repel Mosquitoes?
There are several ways to use essential oils to repel mosquitos and protect the indoors from infestation. Below are some simple and cost-effective recipes and hacks for making homemade candles, air diffusers, room sprays and body lotions for repelling mosquitos and other insects.
1. Diy Mosquito Repellent Diffuser
Making a homemade diffuser is more effective than buying an expensive electric diffuser available in the market. Below are the ingredients, materials and the process for making a mosquito repellent diffuser at home.
- 1 narrow glass jar
- 1 cup of carrier oil (safflower or sweet almond oil)
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- 7 drops of pine essential oil
- 7 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
- 8-10 reeds
How To Make
Combine all the ingredients inside the narrow glass jar. Stir or shake the mixture well before adding the reeds to the jar. Let the mixture sit for a while. This will help in blending all the essential oils and the carrier oil together. The reeds will help in diffusing the mosquito repelling aroma across the room.
2. Diy Mosquito Repellent Candle
Making a homemade candle from scratch is actually pretty quick. Believe it! All you need is a few simple ingredients and your favourite mosquito repellent essential oils. They not only protect the indoors from mosquito infestation but also spread a refreshing aroma across the home.
- 1 glass jar (Mason, preferably)
- 15 drops of lavender essential oil
- 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil
- 10 drops of basil essential oil
- 1 lemon
- 1 lime
- 4 basil leaves
- 1 tea light candle
- 1 cup of water
- 1 mixing bowl
How To Make
Add cut basil leaves to a glass jar. Then slice the lemon and lime into thin slices. Place 2-3 slices of each in the glass jar. In a mixing bowl, mix 1 cup of water and essential oils. Stir well before adding the mixture to the glass jar. Now place the tea light candle on the top. A homemade mosquito repellent candle is ready for use.
3. Diy Mosquito Repellent Spray
It is super easy and convenient to make your own mosquito repellent spray at home. It is both inexpensive and effective. Below are the ingredients and process for making the mosquito repellent spray.
- 1 and a half cups witch hazel (You can also use water, carrier oil or alcohol as an alternative)
- 12 drops of lemongrass essential oil
- 12 drops of lavender oil
- 8 drops of peppermint essential oil
- 8 drops of tea tree oil
- 1 funnel
- 1 empty spray bottle
- 1 empty bowl for mixing ingredients
How To Make
Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Transfer the mixture to an empty spray container using a funnel. Let the solution sit for a while before spraying it across the house. Make sure to spray the repellent in dark corners of the house where there is heavy mosquito infestation.
4. Diy Mosquito Repellent Lotion
Creating a body lotion for repelling mosquitos and other deadly insects away during the bedtime is easy and less expensive. Below are the ingredients and materials required in making the homemade lotion.
- 1 cup of shea butter
- ½ cup of jojoba oil
- ½ cup of aloe vera gel
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- 7 drops of tea tree essential oil
- 1 Vitamin E capsule (for preservation)
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 dark glass container with a tight lid
How To Make
Melt the shea butter in a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. Transfer it to a mixing bowl. Let it cool for a while before adding the jojoba oil to it. Stir the mixture well together. Now add the aloe vera gel and essential oils. Squeeze in the contents of the vitamin E capsule. Pour the mixture in a dark glass container in order to avoid rancidity. Shut the container tight and store it in a cool place. The mosquito repellent body lotion is ready for use!
Why stay away from chemical-based mosquito repellents and instead use natural mosquito repellents.
Most of these mosquito repellent essential oils can be used using a home diffuser too. Learn here about how to choose a diffuser for home.
Many natural insect repellents in the market contain Citronella Oil. Find out all the ways to use Citronella Oil for mosquito repellent.
Neem oil may have a little pungent smell but it is highly effective in many remedies including its ability to keep mosquitos and insects away. Learn the recipe to create effective mosquito repellent using Neem oil.
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