1. Education

Discuss in my forum

Readers Respond: Natural Mosquito Repellents That Work

Responses: 62



Ok so if you buy lemon eucalyptus as a liquid incense it is far more cheaper than buying the oil, as you can dilute the incense in baby oil or mix it with body lotion & apply. And this way it is cheaper and probably better for your skin as with the oil it wasn't really designed for the skin but for oil burners. As well another good technique if you have a baby is to just spray a little on their teddy/doll or something they sleep with. And yes lemon eucalyptus does work (personal experience).
—Guest kandii

Dakota Free Outdoor Gel

Why go to the trouble (and experience dissappointment) to make your own when you can let someone else do the work? I get Dakota Free's Outdoor Gel from www.dakotafree.com. It is Gluten free, perfume free, pesticide free, citronella free and DEET free. Works great and is safe!
—Guest gjjknopp

mosquito repellant

I hear that spraying oneself and area with the reg. listerine helps get rid of mosquitoes. I hope this helps.
—Guest audrey

essential oil caution

When using any essential oil, mix a small amount first and test it on your wrist. If you have a bad reaction, don't use it! The only oil I have issues with is Lemon. Cinnamon Oil has been a favorite of mine for other uses, so will be trying it as a mosquito repellent tonight. I'm guessing the camphor and eucalyptus in Vicks is what does the trick against mosquitos.

Listerine & Dryer Sheets

I live in Northern California. We have mosquitoes. I spend a lot of time in the woods and attract the little buggers like crazy. I have found Regular Listerine( buy the cheaper generic brands ) and even clothing softener sheets work very well . I see where the mouth wash contains eucalyptus oil and I prefer it to the sheets . I just use it undiluted in a spray bottle..Apply it every couple of hours.
—Guest Jim

All Natural Bug Deterrent Candle

I make soy wax candles and have been wanting to make a "Be Gone Bug" one, esp living in the Southeast! I'll let ya know how it turns out...
—Guest Heather Jernigan

Repellent Alternative

I like the idea of making my own insect repellent but I don’t always have the time (or all the ingredients) to do so. I did some research and learned that Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE) is the only plant based product recommended by the EPA and CDC for use as an insect repellent. (Check out http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/RepellentUpdates.htm if your interested in what they have to say) OLE is proven to work as well as DEET without the harmful effects. If anyone is interested in trying it, Cutter and Repel both make an OLE product
—Guest Ashley

mint leaves and vicks can help

I've found Vicks very useful as the mosquito repellent. What's the annoying chemical in it for mosquitoes? For other insects such as house flies, I found mint leaves dipped in a bowl of water are very effective.
—Guest irfana aamir

Mosquito repellents

I have used Avon's repellent also, but I discovered if I get some mosquito fish and put them in water around the outside or see standing water and dump it out it helps keep them down. I know some parts of our country are just mosquito prone. I wish everyone could get some fish that eat this kind of pest.
—Guest Anna Elizabeth Wooten


I found that if I apply Vicks on a few places on my legs, arms and forehead I have no problem the whole night.
—Guest AK4Services

Minty Idea

I am curious to see if some of the local indigenous aromatics (i.e. mint, catnip, eucalyptus, creosote, etc) would work in a pinch if rubbed upon the skin.
—Guest thomcomstock

Dangerous Cinnamon Oil!

This is dangerous! I am warning readers not to try cinnamon oil, even diluted 20 to 1, as a mosquito repellent. At that ratio I sprayed some on my face and shoulders (luckily not in my eyes) and in seconds my skin was red and burning. I was in agony as I tried to wash it off, and covered my skin with bicarbonate of soda (a base). I can't believe a PhD would recommend this as a treatment without probably trying it herself. This seems highly irresponsible. Imagine if someone, perhaps a child, sprayed themselves with a cinnamon oil repellent and was nowhere near a source to wash it off? Again, This is a highly dangerous substance: WARNIING, DO NOT USE CINNAMON OIL! (or at the least, the kind I purchased - Chinese Cassia Cinnamon Oil made by a company called Now Foods, in Bloomingdale Il. However, I have had success with a lemon-eucalyptus combination cut with witch hazel.
—Guest Keithgvp

The Listerine Remedy

I've tried Listerine on and around my doors to keep mosquitoes away. It works just fine. Although you do have to reapply every couple of days, it sure beats spending big $$ on commercial repellents. The old tried and true Skin So Soft (Avon)works well also, in conjunction with one of the oils. Skin so Soft works well on my grandson. But if we are going out for a LONG time, I will lightly spray his clothing BEFORE he is dressed with Off. I just find using a variety of methods is quite efffective.
—Guest Mellinpie

Listerine for Mosquito control

I too have heard of using Listerine around the deck and on the screens and windows. Has anyone else heard of this? If so, how well does it work and why?
—Guest James Talley

Mosquito Repellent

For a couple of backyard events, before guests arrived, we sprayed equal parts of lemon-flavored ammonia mixed with lemon Joy or Dawn (liquid dishwashing soaps) in one of those Miracle Grow hose dispensers, and sprayed around the yard and bushes. This is a temporary fix, but seemed to help.

Mosquito Repell: Does anyone know...

Two emails have been received lately that say that spraying Listerine around the deck, yard (but not on wood) keeps them away, for a reasonable period of time)? if so, WHY? Anyone know anything about this? I haven't tried it yet...

Favorite Natural Mosquito Repellents

The easiest repellent to make, for me, has been cinnamon oil in olive oil or another vegetable oil. Unlike most of the other mosquito-repelling oils, I actually have cinnamon oil in the cupboard to use as a flavoring for cooking. A little goes a long ways... don't over the cinnamon, especially if you are going to use the product on your skin. If you rub it in your eyes it will burn. My favorite natural mosquito repellent, in terms of effectiveness and scent, is lemon eucalyptus oil in either vodka (non-greasy) or else a mix of vodka and vegetable oil. Another really good natural mosquito repellent is lemon oil. If you aren't up for making your own insect repellent, I've seen lemon oil available commercially as a Burt's Bees bath oil.

Share Your Experiences

Natural Mosquito Repellents That Work

Receive a one-time notification when your response is published.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.