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1. Lemon Eucalyptus
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified lemon eucalyptus, an EPA registered repellent, as an active ingredient in mosquito repellent. In a study published in June 2014 in the journal Fitoterapia, lemon eucalyptus essential oil was found to provide 100 percent protection against mosquitoes for up to 12 hours.
“It is a very good repellent,” says Conlon. “Just do not use it on kids younger than three years old; it hasn’t been approved for them.”
Bonus: Lemon eucalyptus also helps relieve the symptoms of the common cold, like congestion and coughing.
2. Catnip Oil
What most people know about catnip is its effect on cats. But it can also be used as a culinary herb or smoked like a cigarette. And research shows that it can be used to repel mosquitos, too.
Yet this does not mean that catnip oil, which is acquired from catnip by steam distillation, will make you suddenly attractive to cats, according to Stephanie Maslow-Blackman, wellness advocate and essential oils instructor.
“The difference between the oil and the plant is that when you extract the oil from the plant, the oil won’t have the side effects the plant might have. For example, if you’re allergic to trees and use cedarwood oil, you won’t be experiencing an allergic reaction,” Maslow-Blackman says.
So if you want to have more cat friends, you’ll have to find another way. But this oil is EPA-approved and will give you seven hours of protection from mosquitos, according to Conlon.
3. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is a natural insecticide and a mosquito repellent, according to the American College of Healthcare Sciences, based in Portland, Oregon. You can mix this oil with other scents, like lemon, and rub them onto your skin for a minty scent. But, Maslow-Blackman stresses, “Peppermint oil is a hot oil,” which means it can cause a warm sensation when applied directly to your skin and might cause a skin rash. To prevent this, she suggests diluting the peppermint oil with a carrier oil, like canola oil.
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4. Lemongrass Oil
According to a study published in July 2016 in the World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, lemongrass oil is comparable to commercial mosquito repellents. According to Maslow-Blackman, combining lemongrass oil with another essential oil (like cinnamon bark oil) will make its repelling effect stronger.
IR3535, a synthetic amino acid, is one of the most common active ingredients in insect repellents. Repellents containing IR3535 come mostly in cream form, and are available in most drugstores. The amino acid messes with the insects’ sense of smell and is an excellent repellent, according to Conlon.
“It has no toxicity and gives you eight hours of protection,” he says.
6. Use a Fan
David Shetlar, an Ohio State University professor of urban landscape entomology, told Cleveland.com that mosquitos are bad fliers. So if you’re sitting outside on a summer day, bring an electric fan with you to keep the mosquitoes away.
7. Eliminate Standing Water
Any pools or puddles around your home or yard can quickly become a mosquito breeding ground, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Thanks for the reading.
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