If you are planning to spend your evening peacefully sitting outside, first, you need to know how to keep mosquitoes away. Mosquitoes are typically attracted to strong scents, dark colors, and warm body temperatures. These uninvited tiny guests not only bite you and leave itchy patches, but also carry various diseases like dengue and malaria. Even though there are various strategies to avoid mosquito bites such as mosquito nets, lighting coils, and plugging an electric vaporizer, most of them are limited to indoors. That is why you need to learn more about natural mosquito repellents.
Unlike certain electrical devices, natural mosquito repellents do not kill mosquitoes. Instead, they chase them away with strong fragrances. Most natural mosquito repellents are found in the form of essential oil. Using an essential oil mosquito repellent is effective and convenient. At first, you need to consider a few factors when deciding which natural mosquito repellent to use.
Factors to be Considered When Choosing a Natural Mosquito Repellent
- How long will you be outdoors
- The mosquito population in your area
- The risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases in your area
- Your allergies and special skin conditions
- Presence of children and pets in the vicinity
In general, most natural mosquito repellents are mild, plant-based, and safe to use. Nevertheless, knowing what is best to use can give you better results. Here are 5 popular natural mosquito repellents that you can find on the market.
1. Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
Lemon eucalyptus is a plant, of which the oil is used as a common mosquito repellent. It is an effective mosquito repellent with low concentrations of DEET (6.65%). The lab-produced version of the oil of lemon eucalyptus is called PMD, and the oils containing OLE or PMD provide protection for up to two hours. However, you need to remember to buy the insect repellent OLE instead of pure OLE (essential oil) as they do not act the same. In general, it is advised not to use OLE on children under the age of 3.
This is a chemical that is found in citronella, lemongrass, and rose oil. The oils containing geraniol can keep mosquitoes away for a short while. However, for better results, the repetitive application is needed.
3. Catnip Oil
Extracted from the nepeta cataria plant, catnip oil offers mosquito repelling powers for about seven hours. If you are planning to stay outdoors for a long time, this can be the ideal choice to keep mosquitoes at bay.
4. Cinnamon Oil
Studies say that cinnamon oil makes you less attractive to mosquitoes, and provides you mosquito repelling powers for about an hour and a half, longer than many other natural mosquito repellent oils.
Identified as a strong insect repellent, nootkatone is made of extractions from grapefruit skin and cedar trees. It is an effective mosquito repellent, and works for several hours protecting you from mosquito bites.
Many other natural ingredients are also being studied as natural mosquito repellents. Some of them are:
- Clove oil
- Celery extract
- Neem oil
Does Citronella Essential Oil Repel Mosquitoes?
When learning about natural mosquito repellents, one cannot forget to mention citronella oil. Being the most popular natural mosquito repellent among Asian countries, citronella oil protects you from mosquitoes for a considerable period.
Citronella is an essential oil that is made from the distillation of the Asian grass plant. It gives a strong, floral, citrus-like aroma. Apart from repelling mosquitoes, citronella oil comes with many other benefits. For over centuries, citronella has been used:
- As an insect repellent
- As an antifungal agent
- To treat parasitic infections
- To heal wounds
- As a stress-relief
- In perfumes and food flavor additives
How to Use Citronella as a Mosquito Repellent?
1- Spray: Less concentrated citronella oil can be directly sprayed on your bare skin on arms and legs that are exposed to mosquitoes. However, unlike DEET, you may need to reapply frequently for effective results.
2- Diffuser: Essential oil diffusers are also used to spread the fragrance of citronella oil to repel mosquitoes. As diffusers typically come with a set of instructions, you need to follow the right steps carefully.
3- Essential oil roll-on: Citronella oil can be found in the market as mosquito-repellent roll-ons. As roll-on bottles fit perfectly in your pocket, they are ideal to carry to spend a mosquito-free evening outside. Using citronella roll-on is simple. Applying a few drops on your arms and legs is absolutely enough to keep mosquitoes away from you. However, make sure not to roll it on sensitive skin as it can cause irritations at times.
Citronella is commonly used in Asian households as an effective natural mosquito repellent and is considered to be harmless for children as well. However, as it contains a strong scent and powerful chemicals, it is better to keep citronella essential oil away from direct contact with your pets and toddlers.
If you are considering getting an effective mosquito repellent, we recommend using Eagle Brand Naturoil Citronella Oil. It contains 100% natural citronella oil and it is effective in repelling mosquitoes and soothes insect bites. It is DEET-free, alcohol-free, non-greasy and non-toxic. Get 1 now at your nearest pharmacy or supermarket or you can also purchase our products online at our Eagle Brand official store on Lazada and Shopee.