Few bugs can ruin a backyard barbecue or a swimming pool party faster than mosquitoes. Not only are these bloodsuckers annoying (as are their itchy bites), but they may carry diseases.
You want to keep your family safe this spring and summer. That said, you’re not so sure about store-bought bug sprays. Why should you feel comfortable using a product with ingredients that are practically written in another language?
We understand where you’re coming from. That’s why we recommend using essential oils instead. This form of natural mosquito control acts a great repellent to these insects.
Here are 10 essential oils for better natural mosquito control. Use one or more of these for a bug-free spring and summer.
You typically associate the strong, minty scent of peppermint with Christmas time. While the smell brings back dreamy memories of holidays of yore, mosquitoes don’t share the same sentiment.
In fact, the smell repels them.
You can use the leaves if you happen to have them handy. Peppermint leaves have no adverse effects on the skin but actually soothe it.
You can also make a peppermint essential oil for natural mosquito control. To do so, combine some water (a quarter cup) with peppermint (a tablespoon).
Pour it into a spray bottle and bring it with you wherever your adventures take you this summer!
Another Christmas time staple is cinnamon. Its spicy-sweet scent is evocative of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven. Well, yet again, mosquitoes aren’t a fan of this scent.
Why? It turns out that any members of the Laurel plant family are a big no-no to mosquitoes. These include cassia, camphor, and of course, cinnamon.
If you have any cinnamon sticks lying around, you can always put a few of these in the backyard or wherever you’ll be spending time outdoors.
You can also make cinnamon essential oil. To do so, you’ll need a few cinnamon sticks and olive oil.
Put these ingredients together in a jar and let them sit. You will have to be patient, though. To extract all oils from the cinnamon, you have to wait three weeks or longer.
3. Clove Oil
One of the best essential oils when used for natural mosquito control, clove oil lasts a while and is quite strong.
This is one essential you’re going to want to have on hand this spring and summer. So how do you make clove oil?
Mix extra virgin olive oil with whole cloves. You may already have cloves in your garden. If not, you can buy them from your nearest grocer.
Much like making cinnamon essential oil, you have to wait on the clove oil. Find a unlit room for it and give it about two weeks. You can then use your clove oil all season long.
If you do have a garden, make sure you’re growing dill. Whether you use the whole plant or an essential oil, mosquitoes will steer clear.
Not only can you keep mosquitoes away from your yard, but you’ll also prevent spider mites, squash bugs, and aphids from coming around. A bug-free season is within your reach.
As a bonus, dill is also edible. It’s often used as a garnish.
5. Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Most lemon-scented essential oils act as a great form of natural mosquito control. Among them are lemon eucalyptus oils.
Extracted from the Corymbia citriodora tree, the citronellol in this oil will keep mosquitoes far away from your backyard soiree.
That said, you do have to be careful when buying lemon eucalyptus oil. Make sure to avoid oil of lemon eucalyptus. This is a distilled product, which limits its effectiveness.
Most of the essential oils on this list so far are known for their pleasant scents. That’s not so with galbanum. What this lacks in scent though it gains in warding off bugs.
Not only will mosquitoes stay away when you put out this essential oil, but so too will ants, cockroaches, and flies. That’s a lot of bugs!
Galbanum comes in many forms for natural mosquito control. Try it as a vaporizer, freshener spray, or even incense sticks.
We already discussed citronellol, which is where citronella gets its name from. You’ve probably heard of citronella being used for pest control. Perhaps you’ve even used a citronella candle yourself once or twice.
The reason this oil is so widely used is because of its effectiveness. You don’t even have to make your own citronella essential oil if you don’t feel up to it. You can simply buy this at a store.
Let’s double back to lemons. While lemon eucalyptus oil works well, so too does lemongrass.
As an essential oil, the citronellol in lemongrass is a proven mosquito repellent. This is a good alternative to lemon eucalyptus oil. You can also buy this premade, saving you time so you can focus on summer fun.
You know what other essential oil has plenty of citronellol in it? Yes, you guessed it, geranium.
Found in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, the Pelargonium graveolens shrub grows the geranium used for the oil.
It makes sense that mosquitoes don’t like the smell of this oil, as sometimes it has a flower-like scent and other times it’s more lemony.
10. And Our Last Essential Oil for Natural Mosquito Control? Litsea
Saving the best for last, there’s one essential oil that often is regarded high above the rest as a great form of natural mosquito control.
Derived from Asia’s Litsea cubeba tree, the fruits produce the oil. This oil can be used alone to keep mosquitoes away. That said, it’s at its best when combined with lemongrass or lemon eucalyptus oils.
Sometimes called the May Chang essential oil, you’ll love its scent. It has citrusy notes, blending orange and lemon.
If you need some extra help repelling mosquitoes this spring and summer, check out Bug Zapperz. This resource teaches you all you need to know about bug zappers, with reviews and information about the major zappers and traps on the market.