What smells do mosquitoes hate?

by | Last updated Jun 29, 2023 | Mosquitoes

What smells do mosquitoes hate? Mosquitoes are one of the most annoying insects that can easily ruin a perfect day out.

They have a superior sense of smell that they use to track their preferred prey.

Taking preventive measures is essential in protecting yourself from painful bites, not forgetting fatal diseases.

Although you can always use chemical sprays to get rid of these insects, such harsh solutions are harmful to humans and the environment.

Just like mosquitoes are attracted to certain scents, there are some smells mosquitoes don’t like. These include natural smells found in essential oils, flowers, and herbs.

The ingredients are safe for use even on children and pets.

So, what smells do mosquitoes hate? Read on to learn about the best natural repellents.

What smells do mosquitoes hate?.

1. Citronella

Are you looking for herbs to burn to repel mosquitoes? Citronella scent is usually associated with outdoor candles.

So far they prove effective in keeping mosquitoes and other insects away. Insects find the natural citrus like smell undesirable.

However, ensure that the citronella product you buy does not contain floral fragrance as it may even increase mosquito attacks.

Apart from the candles, you can also apply citronella oil on your skin as a repellant. Planting citronella at the base of plants, or on the balcony also keep these annoying bugs away.

2. Garlic

Garlic has been used as an edible mosquito repellant for many years. Mosquitoes are known to hate everything about this member of onion family.

It contains an active ingredient known as allicin that masks our natural smell, hence making it difficult for mosquitoes to locate their prey. Although it is not scientifically proven that eating garlic keeps mosquitos away, some people swear on its effectiveness.

You can save yourself from the torture of forcing raw garlic down and just rub it on your skin.

Another alternative is to mix garlic with other liquids or essential oils to make repellant sprays for your body and yard.

These bloodsuckers won’t stand the smell or attack you.

3. Eucalyptus

This is probably one of the best natural mosquito repellants approved by the CDC. Like citronella, eucalyptus feature a strong smell that interferes with human scent.

Not only does it protect from mosquitoes, but also other pests like sandflies, ticks and midgets. You can plant the trees in your yard or even apply its oil directly on skin to keep these annoying insects away.

Besides, mixing eucalyptus oil with ethanol allows easy spraying of plants and flowers for optimum protection from various insects.

4. Lavender Oil

Looking for practical ways to keep bugs away during summer? Then this is the solution. Even though most people love the scent of lavender plant, mosquitoes detest it.

The physical presence of the plant itself is enough to keep mosquitoes at bay while making your lawn beautiful. More so, you can always extract its oil for various applications around the house.

This ingredient has soothing element that is even useful in healing mosquito bites.

 5. Peppermint

Peppermint is more than just tea flavors or popular breath of freshness in chewing gums.

It is a common ingredient in insecticides and repellants. Mosquitoes find this minty fragrance unpleasant thus it keeps the pesky insects away. You can use the leaves as repellant by crushing then rubbing them on your skin.

Oil extraction is also an excellent idea. Nursing an itchy bump? Peppermint’s cooling effect is bound to distract you from the pain.

Even though peppermint can grow in almost all types of soil and condition, it requires regular pruning due to its fast growth rate.

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6. Catnip

Catnip gets its name from the fact that cats find its unique order attractive. This plant has gained its popularity in recent years as an excellent repellant.

Its essential oil called nepetalactone is ten times more effective than DEET, which is a commercial repellant. Planting catnip is a great backyard defense against mosquitoes.

Also, you can rub the crushed leaves directly on your skin or even use it in your tea for natural healing.

7. Basil

Basil has versatile uses aside from seasoning delicious caprese salad. Its oil can be extracted and is proven to have excellent insect repelling properties.

The plant emits a strong aroma that mosquitoes find irritating and intolerable. Basil is among many aromatic herbs that you can plant on your home for protection against these disease carriers.

Why not utilize basil’s essential oil to make homemade body sprays?

8. Neem

Studies show that neem is an excellent natural repellant with mixed results on its effectiveness. It offers about 70% of protection against mosquitoes for a period of three hours.

This means that you have to reapply it every now and then. It is used to manufacture cosmetic products like body lotions, soaps and hair sprays.

Not only do the body creams have lasting effect, but also comes with added benefits like skin treatment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What can you burn to keep mosquitoes away?

If you want to have a wonderful camping experience, consider burning certain plants on the camp fire.
Sage, coffee grounds or rosemary emits pleasant smell that mosquitoes and other insects don’t find appealing. Burning such plants keeps you safe from itchy mosquito bites.

Q2: Are there any potential risks in using natural repellants?

Yes, there are. When using essential oils, always ensure to dilute them with carrier oil like almond oil. Putting essential oils directly on the skin is dangerous and cause a serious allergic reaction. When buying new product, be sure to test it on a small section of your skin for any sign of burning or irritation of the skin.

Q3: Does lemon balm repel mosquitoes?

Lemon balm is an excellent curative oil as well as insect repellant. Its compound known as citronellal gives it a bitter citrusy scent that mosquitoes find unpleasant.

So, what smells do mosquitoes hate? There are various proofs that natural ingredients are effective in repelling these insects.


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These natural remedies are not only safe for environment, but also humans. They are the best protective solution when it comes to sensitive people like children, pregnant women and the elderly.

You can also use traps to keep these biters away.

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