Saskatchewan seems to have two seasons. Winter and mosquito season. We all know what season we are in now!
Mosquitos are the bane of the summer fun we all want to have! They buzz in our ears, and if we don’t get them in time, we are left with lovely, red parting gifts from our buggy friends.
There are a handful of mosquito repellents; however, many come with the health risks of using aerosols and DEET!
Here, I will give you 10 fantastic options for natural mosquito repellents!
1. Lemon eucalyptus oil
Used since the 1940s, lemon eucalyptus oil is one of the more well-known natural repellents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have approved eucalyptus oil as an effective ingredient in mosquito repellent.
A 2014 studyTrusted Source showed that a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95 percent protection against mosquitoes for 3 hours.
You can create your own mixture with 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil to 10 parts sunflower oil or witch hazel. Researchers from the University of Florida caution against using the mixture on children under 3 years of age.
Crushed lavender flowers produce a fragrance and oil that can repel mosquitoes.
An animal study from 2002Trusted Source on hairless mice found lavender oil to be effective at repelling adult mosquitoes.
Lavender has analgesic, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities. This means that in addition to preventing mosquito bites, it can calm and soothe the skin.
You can grow lavender in an outdoor garden or in indoor planters. Crush the flowers and apply the oil to bite-sensitive areas of the body, such as your ankles and arms. Also, drop some lavender oil on a clean cloth and rub it onto the skin.
3. Cinnamon oil
Cinnamon is more than just a great topper to applesauce or oatmeal. According to a study in Taiwan, cinnamon oil can kill off mosquito eggs. It can also act as a repellent against adult mosquitoes, most notably the Asian tiger mosquito.
To make a diluted 1 percent solution, mix 1/4 teaspoon (or 24 drops) of oil for every 4 ounces of water. You can spray the fluid onto your skin or clothing, around your home, and onto upholstery or plants. Be careful when applying cinnamon oil, as a concentrated dose can irritate your skin.
4. Thyme oil
When it comes to repelling malarial mosquitoes, thyme oil is one of the best at providing protection. In one animal study from 2002Trusted Source, 5 percent thyme oil applied to the skin of hairless mice provided a 91 percent protection rate.
You may also want to throw thyme leaves into a campfire. ResearchTrusted Source shows that burning thyme leaves offers 85 percent protection for 60 to 90 minutes.
For a homemade brew, combine 4 drops of thyme oil to every teaspoon of base oil, such as olive or jojoba oil. Mix 5 drops of thyme oil with 2 ounces of water for a spray.
5. Greek catmint oil
Nepeta parnassica, a member of the mint family related to catnip, can ward off mosquitoes. The white and pink flowers grow up to 18 inches, but the extract and oil from the bruised leaves are the most valuable.
In one study Trusted Source found that oil from the plant could repel mosquitoes effectively for 2 to 3 hours. Researchers at Iowa State University also found catnip to be 10 times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes.
6. Soybean oil
According to the University of Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, soybean-based products like Bite Block Kids (2 percent soybean oil) could provide long-lasting protection from mosquitoes.
In addition to soybean oil, you can also add a little lemongrass oil to your home mixture. The combinationTrusted Source has been tested to guard against different species of mosquitoes.
Citronella is a common natural and effective essential oil that works against mosquitoes. Made from a mix of herbs, it’s an ingredient in many mosquito repellents. When outdoors, citronella candles can provide up to 50 percent extra protection.
Research from 2011Trusted Source says that the formulation of citronella is important to how effective it is. When the product is formulated correctly, it’s as effective as DEET and can protect you for up to 2 hours. If the formula isn’t right, citronella can evaporate quickly and leave you unprotected.
8. Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is a popular essential oil from Australia. This oil is known for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. But studies also suggest that tea tree oil may be an effective insect repellent.
Field testingTrusted Source shows that repellents containing tea tree oil are effective against mosquitoes, bush flies, and biting midges.
Geraniol is a type of alcohol used as a fragrance or flavour. It’s from plant oils like citronella, lemongrass, and rose. As an ingredient in mosquito repellent, it’s known to be effective for 2 to 4 hours, depending on the species.
Keep this oil away from your eyes, and try to avoid using it if you have sensitive skin. Geraniol may cause eye and skin irritation.
10. Neem oil
Although neem oil is advertised as a natural alternative, there are mixed results about its effectiveness. A 2015 study trusted Source about the effectiveness of neem oil in Ethiopia found that it offered more than 70 percent protection for 3 hours.
Neem oil is not approved as a topical repellent because it can cause skin irritation. It’s still best to use DEET when travelling to a country that’s high risk for mosquito-borne diseases.
To repel mosquitoes with neem oil, dilute 50 to 100 milliliters of neem oil in water, oil, or lotion. It’s also important to choose extra virgin, cold-pressed neem oil.