Mosquitos are one of the most annoying blood-sucking insects, and unfortunately, some people attract mosquitoes more than others. Being a mosquito magnet is no fun — who likes to have itchy bumps on their skin?
And while we typically associate mosquitoes with summer, factors like heat, humidity, light, and scent all play in role in the concentration of mosquitoes in an area. The good news is there are easy and fragrant remedies to get rid of these insects. It’s just a matter of knowing what smell repels mosquitos!
16 Smells That Repel Mosquitoes
While lavender is known for its soothing and relaxing effects on the human mind, it has a very different effect on mosquitos. The fragrance these flowers produce is enough for mosquitos to stay far away.
Lavender has analgesic, antiseptic and antifungal properties and can also help soothe your skin in case of a mosquito bite.
#2. Cinnamon Oil
A study conducted in Taiwan concluded that cinnamon oil can not only repel adult mosquitos but also exterminate mosquito eggs. This is notably successful in the Asian tiger mosquito.
Use cinnamon oil in a diffuser or mix it with water to spray it around your house.
#3. Citronella or Lemongrass
When you think of natural mosquito repellants, citronella tops the list. Citronella oil, sourced from lemongrass, is commonly used in candles and bug sprays.
What’s best about citronella is that it is easy to plant and grow, making it a practical choice for making your home and backyard attractive and mosquito-free.
Another fragrance that’s not pleasant to mosquitos is the minty scent of peppermint. The mere waft of peppermint can ward off mosquitos. If you are prone to mosquito bites, using lotions with peppermint scents can help prevent future bites.
Peppermint is also recommended for soothing mosquito bites, so it’s a win-win!
#5. Pine Oil
The woody and comforting aroma of pine oil makes it one of the most favored essential oils.
Surprisingly, the scent of pine oil can be overwhelming for mosquitoes and limits their capacity to detect or smell you, which reduces the chances of them biting you!
Garlic is heavenly on the nose, especially in the kitchen. It’s a promise of something delicious! And eating garlic can alter your natural scent and make you unpleasant to mosquitos. Allicin, a compound in garlic, is responsible for making you smell less delicious to mosquitos.
Even if you don’t consume garlic and use it around your home, mosquitos will still stay away.
Basil is commonly used in cooking, but it is also very useful outside the kitchen. For mosquito-prone people, this is another must-have plant because of its natural mosquito-repellant properties.
The scent of basil is too powerful for mosquitoes. So, if you live in an area where mosquitos swarm, it’s a good idea to plant basil on your property. You can also place some basil bundles near your windows and incorporate basil into your homemade sprays.
#8. Lemon Balm
Lemon balm, to us, has a refreshing scent, but mosquitos find lemon balm repulsive. So, it’s a good idea to plant it on your property.
You can use it as an effective mosquito repellant by crushing the leaves of this plant and applying a thin layer on your skin. You can also brew the leaves for an aromatic and soothing tea!
Another kitchen staple, rosemary also has other purposes apart from seasoning. This aromatic herb is an effective mosquito repellant for small infestations.
You can place rosemary bundles on your BBQ grill for a delicious meal while also keeping mosquitos away. You can also add rosemary to your homemade sprays and spray it around your home.
These pretty golden flowers are a natural reminder of the sun and the fields, but they also have a reputation for their strong smell. If the scent of this flower overwhelms you, then mosquitos feel or smell the same way.
Plant a handful of these highly toxic flowers in your garden near the entryways or windows, and you can also keep a vase inside the house.
Eucalyptus has the same effect on mosquitoes as lemongrass — the strong eucalyptus smell alters the insect’s senses, making it more challenging for them to find a food source.
Not only is this applicable to mosquitos but also to other pests like sandflies, ticks, and midges.
#12. Thyme Oil
Thyme has been proven to be an effective repellent, especially for malaria mosquitos. In a study conducted in 2002 where thyme oil was applied to hairless mice, the oil showed a 91% protection rate in the subject specimens.
If you’re going camping and want to keep your campsite mosquito free, throw some thyme leaves into your campfire. It’ll protect you for up to 1.5 hours at night — enough time to share stories and even roast some marshmallows!
#13. Tea Tree Oil
Also known as Melaleuca oil, tea tree oil is one of the most popular oils for skin and hair concerns as it has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties.
Most commercial repellants include this in their main ingredients because the smell is intolerable for mosquitos, midges, and bush flies.
#14. Greek Catmint Oil
A member of the mint family that’s associated with catnip, the Greek Catmint oil is highly effective at keeping mosquitos away. The scent of this natural oil can ward off mosquitos for up to three hours.
#15. Grapefruit Oil
Perfect for summer, this vitamin C-enriched fruit is also a powerful mosquito repellant, thanks to its nootkatone compound. Use grapefruit oils in a spray form to keep mosquitos at a safe distance from you.
One of the most potent smells that can repel mosquitos, geraniol is a kind of alcohol that’s found in many essential oils, including citronella, lemongrass, and rose. When used as a mosquito repellant, it can keep you safe from mosquito bites for up to four hours.