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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil to Repel Mosquitoes

By June 3, 2007

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Heidi Winslet wrote me with some information about a natural mosquito repellent:

"I located additional information on this topic. The principal addition is the effective use of Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus [p-menthane 3,8-diol (PMD)]. Your article, and the follow-up by Robert Stone, does not cite Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus as a "natural" mosquito repellent."

Updated Information Regarding Insect Repellents (Excerpt)
[Repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus [p-menthane 3,8-diol (PMD)], a plant-derived active ingredient, are also registered with EPA. In two recent scientific publications, when repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus were tested against mosquitoes found in the US they provided protection similar to repellents with low concentrations of DEET. Note: This recommendation refers to EPA-registered repellents containing the active ingredient oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD). “Pure” oil of lemon eucalyptus (e.g. essential oil) has not received similar, validated testing for safety and efficacy, is not registered with EPA as an insect repellent, and is not covered by this CDC recommendation.]

Thanks Heidi! I have the Cutter™ Insect Repellent which lists oil of lemon eucalyptus as its active ingredient. The product states that it repels moqsuitoes and ticks. I don't have any personal experience with the repellent and ticks, but it's highly effective against mosquitoes. The product isn't greasy or sticky, though it feels oily when you first spray it on. However, the odor is distinctive. I wouldn't say it's unpleasant, but it's noticeable. When I tried this repellent, all four of my kids asked, "What's that smell?" when they walked by me. Anyway, the active ingredient works and it smells different from DEET.
Photo: Mosquito on Human Skin, USDA Add to Technorati Favorites

Comments

July 24, 2008 at 8:14 pm
(1) iyanna ramos says:

thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!hehehe la lang !!!

August 31, 2008 at 2:41 pm
(2) Brian Johnson says:

I live in the tropics where mosquitoes are a significant problem, exacerbated by the fact that dengue fever (a mosquito-borne disease) is near epidemic. We use Repel brand lemon eucalyptus repellent and it works very well for us. Unfortunately, its not sold here in Mexico, so I load up at REI when in the US.

June 20, 2010 at 8:56 pm
(3) REY MANGCUCANG says:

I FOUND MYSELF SO ATTRATCTIVE WITH THE MOSQUITOES ANYWHERE I GO, WHILE MY WIRE AND OTHER KIDS WHERE NOT IT WAS SO DISSAPPOINTING.THANKS FOR THE INTERNET AND YOU HAVE THIS ITEM, THIS IS SO USEFUL FOR ME AND TO OTHER ATTRACTIVE TOO.

October 27, 2012 at 9:26 am
(4) R. Krishnamachary says:

Recently I tested pure eucalyptus oil applied on my face and feet and I had a nice sleep without any mosquito bites and I found harmless and there is no any side-effects.

November 29, 2012 at 7:04 am
(5) tsnii says:

Hi. Was reading yr post. Im from australia the home of eucaliptus, its our native tree& grow all over th entire country. It is what th native aboriginals use as insect repellant. They take th leaves & crush thm up in their hands & rub th leaves over their skin. Tee tree is part of th eucalypt and works alot better. Both oils combined are great. The smell is a smell i am quite used to & love. Ppl who come to australia say they know whn they r getting close to aust land, as they can smell th eucalypt. I highly recommend

November 29, 2012 at 7:07 am
(6) tsnii says:

Also, if u do think th smell is particularly strong, use lemon eucayptus oil or add lavender oil

December 16, 2012 at 9:31 am
(7) mike says:

I live in the US Virgin Islands. Currently there is an epidemic outbreak of Dengue fever. I was sitting at a bar with some friends getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. At the bar was a small bottle of lemon eucalyptus mosquito repellant. I sprayed some on me and to the delight of everyone at the bar it repelled ALL the mosquitoes. No one was getting bitten!! I haven’t been able to find a comercially available form here on St. Croix, but I bought several bottles of the essential oil when I was back on the continent recently and intend to mix my own. Thanks for the articles! I’ll experiment with mixtures with other oils, as well.

January 5, 2014 at 8:24 am
(8) Vejay says:

It’s a good business to start.. Great product to sell, soon you can become and entrepreneur

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