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Natural Mosquito Repellents That Work (Plus Plants That Repel Mosquitoes)

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Mosquitoes can ruin time outside and transmit disease. In this post, we’ll discuss what attracts mosquitoes, natural mosquito repellents (including mosquito spray recipes), plants that repel mosquitoes, mosquito control tips for your yard, and ways to avoid getting bit.

neem oil and catnip plants

Why bother with mosquito control?

What’s the most dangerous creature on earth? Without question the answer is: the mosquito. Mosquitoes and the diseases they spread have been responsible for killing more people than all the wars in history.

Even today, mosquitoes transmitting malaria kill 2 million to 3 million people and infect another 200 million or more every year. Tens of millions more are killed and debilitated by a host of other mosquito-borne diseases, including filariasis, yellow fever, dengue and encephalitis.

In the United States Encephalitis, meningitis and other diseases can develop from the bites of mosquitoes infected with certain viruses. These include the viruses of West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis, LaCrosse (California) encephalitis, and Eastern equine and Western equine encephalitis. (source)

With the zika virus scare, avoiding mosquito bites is in people's minds more than ever. The Center for Disease Control notes that since 2013, chikungunya virus has spread to 45 countries with over 2 million cases reported. This mosquito-borne virus can cause severe joint pain.

It’s frustrating to work so hard at making my yard a place to relax, only to be attacked by blood sucking mosquitoes when I go outside! I swear I emit a homing device to mosquitoes as soon as I walk out of my house. My husband on the other hand, can stand by a swamp all day and never get bit!

This motivated me to research what caused mosquitoes to bite me more than others and how to get rid of mosquitoes.

What Attracts Mosquitoes?

Why do mosquitoes bite? Only female mosquitoes bite, because they need to drink your blood to develop and lay eggs. You're a nice hot lunch. (The males drink flower nectar.)

According to the Smithsonian article “Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others?“, there are several different factors that cause mosquitoes to bite you and not your neighbor, a few of them are:

  1. You talk too much (This made my hubby laugh hysterically)  – Mosquitoes are attracted to Carbon Dioxide, those who exhale (talk/breathe) more than others attract more mosquitoes.
  2. Blood type O – According to a published study on “mosquito landing preferences”, Those with type O blood attract more biting insects than those with A, B, or AB Blood.
  3. Sweating – People who sweat or with higher body temperatures send signals to mosquitoes that the buffet is now open.
  4.  Mosquitoes Are Alcoholics – For unknown reasons, mosquitoes are attracted to those who consume alcohol more than those that don’t. If you like to have an evening cocktail, it’s best to stay indoors.
what attracts mosquitoes - two bottles of beer

So if you don’t drink, sweat, breathe or have the wrong blood type, you should be able to enjoy the outdoors without getting bit this summer!

If you’re unable to do that, I do have some mosquito control alternatives and ways to avoid getting bit that have worked for me throughout the years.

We choose natural mosquito repellents and plants that repel mosquitoes because DEET has been linked to nerve damage.

What’s the Best Natural Mosquito Repellent?

Repel Natural Insect Repellent is the top rated DEET free mosquito repellent by Consumer Reports, but you can also make other effective options. (See below.) Repel uses oil of lemon eucalyptus as the active ingredient.

In upcoming product development, Rutgers University has developed specialized catnip for commercial farmers that increases yield to make it more cost effective to produce.

James Simon, professor in the Department of Plant Biology and Pathology at the Rutgers School of Environment and Biological Sciences, notes that “Research conducted by others shows that the oil from the catnip plant is as efficient if not better than DEET, the most common pesticide in standard mosquito repellent.” We always like to include catnip in our herbal mosquito repellent blends.

In a 1995 field study, a 2% neem oil mixed in coconut oil provided 96-100% protection from mosquitoes.

5 Tips for Mosquito Control and Avoiding Mosquito Bites

#1 – Control Mosquitoes by Removing or Treating Standing Water

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water that is stagnant, shallow and high in organic matter. Get rid of the standing water, and you get rid of the mosquito eggs.

Mosquitoes complete three stages of their life cycle in the water (egg, larva and pupa) in about 4 to 14 days. As a result, standing water must remain stagnant for a minimum of 4 days in order to support the mosquito’s life cycle. Elimination of potential mosquito breeding sites is the primary control measure used to reduce mosquito populations.

  • Treat water with mosquito dunks. Mosquito dunks slowly release Bacillus thuringiensis v. israelensis (BT) in water. BT is toxic for mosquitoes but considered safe for humans
  • Remove any objects around your yard that may collect water, such as buckets or toys with openings that hold water
  • Place screen with small holes over rain barrels
  • Use a pump or fountain in ponds to aerate the water (This solar fountain will let you aerate small areas without running electricity)
  • Replace any standing water in pools or bird baths once a week
decorative garden pool with standing water

#2 – Provide Habitat for Animals that Eat Mosquitoes for Mosquito Control

For backyard mosquito control, invite animals that eat mosquitoes to your yard, such as:

  • Bats
  • Frogs
  • Fish
  • Turtles
  • Birds
  • Dragonflies

Hang bird feeders, build a bat house, invert broken terracotta pots to make frog houses, and add a few fish to the pond. All of these amazing creatures will help control your mosquito population.

A note on bats: While mosquitoes do not make up a large percentage of a typical bat diet (only 2-3%), they make impact mosquito reproduction, eating blood filled females who fly slower and are easier to catch. (They also make a more substantial meal.)

Michigan researchers tested this hypothesis with two enclosures in a wooded area, one with bats and one without, where insects could come and go freely. Within the enclosure, they placed standing water containers suitable for mosquito breeding areas.

Each day they counted the eggs laid in the standing water. At the end of the two month study, the enclosures with bats had 32% fewer mosquito eggs. (Source) Bats also eat common garden pests like corn earworm moths, cucumber beetles and june bugs.

#3 – Use Plants that Repel Mosquitoes

Several herbs, and some flowers, have been known to deter mosquitoes and other biting insects. Herbs make a great addition to yards or vegetable gardens because they are visually pleasing, can be used in cooking, and repel biting insects.

Not that long ago I participated in an herb sale at a local nursery, several of the volunteers and customers were complaining all day of the biting insects and how bad they were. I realized I wasn’t getting bit (which is HIGHLY unheard of for me) and noticed I had been playing with herbs all day; rubbing them, tasting them, crushing their leaves, and brushing my hand over the top. I was in a constant state of releasing their oils and scents all day, thus protecting me.

Plants that repel mosquitoes work in a number of ways, so we have a whole section dedicated to their use below.

#4 – Avoid Peak Mosquito Feeding Times

The most common mosquito species feed at dawn and dusk and a few hours into the night, while some aggressive species feed all day. Avoid peak feeding times to reduce your risk of getting bit.

#5 – Wear Light Clothing

Light outfits provide more protection from mosquitoes than dark outfits. Why?

Mosquitoes aren’t strong flyers, so they stay low to the ground. This means that they look up to target their prey. Dark colors stand out, while light shades blend into the sky. “Large, dark moving thing” usually means “food” to a mosquito.

plants that repel mosquitoes - sage

Plants that Repel Mosquitoes

These plants have a history of use as natural mosquito repellents:

  • Lemon scented plants, including citronella grass, citronella plant, lemon grass, lemon balm, and lemon verbena
  • Scented geranium
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Anise
  • Mint family plants, including (but not limited to) peppermint, spearmint and bee balm
  • Marigolds
  • Catnip
  • Sage
  • Wormwood
  • Lavender
  • Cedar
  • Tansy
  • Cloves

6 Ways to Use Plants for Mosquito Control

  1. Plant herbs in your garden anywhere and everywhere you can squeeze them in, the more the better.
  2. Make mosquito planter pots. Protect the high use areas of your yard with planter pots. Choose a couple of the plants mentioned above and create container plantings to place by the entry doors, by your grill, by the pool and on the deck. Encourage friends and family to brush against the plants.
  3. Potpourri. Dry the herbs and place in little bowls all over outside where you hang out and randomly run your fingers through the dried herbs to release the scent when you walk by.
  4. In the dryer. Put a couple of drops of essential oils (any of the ones mentioned above) on an old cotton cloth and throw in the dryer with your clothes, it will give your clothes a natural insect repellent without putting anything on your skin
  5. When camping – add a small bundle of herbs to your campfire to create an herbal smoke.
  6. Make a Natural Mosquito Repellent (see below)

Note: Some of the compounds in plants that repel mosquitoes are volatile (they react with air and will evaporate), so it’s important to note that natural mosquito repellents should be reapplied throughout the day for best results. If you’re working with fresh plants, think about my experience at the herb sale – lots of contact, herbs used inside and outside. Enjoy that spicy food!

bundle of plants that repel mosquitoes

Natural Mosquito Repellents – 2 Recipes

I am giving you two recipes natural mosquito repellents because recipe #1 includes fresh herbs (my personal choice) and there are those that do not like to use (or can’t use) essential oils. I believe it is best to use the entire herb/flower whenever possible. However, I realize not everyone has a plethora of herbs growing in their garden, so recipe #2 uses essential oils for those who have limited access to herbs. For further information, see “Herbs or Essential Oils – Which is Better?“.

You can use or include as many of the herbs and flowers mentioned above to create your own mosquito spray and it will work just fine. This is a recipe that has worked for me (blood type O, excessive talking woman).

Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipe #1

You will need:

  • Empty, Clean Glass Jar w/Lid
  • Rubbing Alcohol, Vodka or Witch Hazel
  • Herbs: Mint, Eucalyptus, Lemon Balm and or Lemon Grass, Rosemary, Lavender, and Catnip

Directions

Coarsely chop herbs and place the herbs in your glass jar (fill as full as you can). Cover with alcohol or witch hazel, leaving ½-3/4” space at top. Seal with a secure lid.

Set jar in sunny location and leave for two weeks (can leave longer if desired). Try to shake jar every once in a while. Strain herbs and transfer liquid to a spray bottle. Shake before use.

plants that repel mosquitoes

Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipe #2

Note: Some essential oils can cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals, especially mint and lemon. Spot test on a small area, or spritz on clothing instead of directly on skin.

You will need:

  • Empty, Clean Spray Bottle (I used a 16oz spray bottle) (Buy a glass spray bottle online.)
  • Rubbing Alcohol, Vodka or Witch Hazel
  • Distilled Water
  • Essential Oils:
    • Mint (10 drops)
    • Rosemary (5 drops)
    • Eucalyptus (5 drops)
    • Lemon (citronella) (10 drops)
    • Lavender (5 drops)
    • Clove (5 drops)

Directions

Fill Spray bottle ¾ with alcohol or witch hazel, add your essential oil drops, and add distilled water to fill. Shake before use.

Note:  For more information on safe use of essential oils, visit: National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy- Safety Information and IFPA Guidelines for Aromatherapists working with pregnant clients.

mosquito repellent spray with essential oils

I hope these mosquito control tips help you enjoy your time outside with minimal damage from bloodsucking insects. If by chance you find this post after you've already been bit, check out “15 Home Remedies for Bug Bites and Stings – For Mosquito Bites and More“.

Did I miss some natural mosquito repellents that you swear by? Leave a comment and let me know! Pins and shares always much appreciated!

More Pest Control Information

You may also find useful:

Amber Bradshaw

This post is by Amber Bradshaw of My Homestead Life.

Amber and her family moved from their tiny homestead by the ocean in South Carolina to forty-six acres in the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.
While building their off-the-grid homestead, they live like the days of old – cooking without electricity, collecting water from the creek and raising chickens, goats, pigs, turkeys, bees, and guineas. They've recently filmed their journey for a TV show on the Discovery Channel and the DIY Network/HGTV called Building Off The Grid: The Smokey Mountain Homestead.

First published in 2015, last updated in 2019.

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107 Comments

  1. I think she leans “peak” time for Mosquitos meaning high, not ” peek”
    meaning look at quickly.

    1. I think Thomas means means not leans. Maybe Thomas should take a peek at his own spelling skills before correcting others 😉

      1. lol – I wasn’t going to mention that. 😉 Truly, with over 600 posts on the site, there are bound to be some typos, and I’d rather people mention them politely so I can catch them.

      2. LOLOLOL there always has to be “that one” person!!! Too funny! Thank you for the giggle!
        BTW GREAT article!!!

      3. I thought the same, Jenny. I knew what she meant even though she used the wrong spelling. But I didn’t care as long as I got the message.
        #nitpic

        1. I pride myself on being able to read the silly things on face book that are written upside down and backwards so noticing the type errors didn’t faze me at all. LOL

      4. Bravo Jenny, I wouldn’t even notice any of these if it wasn’t mentioned. What a small thing to pay so much attention to.

    2. For all we know she could be someone who leans and peeks at the same time.. I would imagine that a good peeker would want to remain unseen and that might require some. Leaning from time to time. Ithanks for the tips . With all of the floods and fires this year ( I’m I. So cal ). The skeeters are going to be out In Force and I’ll bet there going to be infected with all kinds Of infectious diseases. Courtesy of the Center for disease control more like the center for population control

      1. Shano didn’t know how right post was in 2018, nail on the head Shano!
        Great articles, spiders, snakes and mosquitoes oh my!

  2. Going to try mosquito herb repellent, do you know something that will work for ticks. My dogs keep getting them. I live in the Ozarks. Just sick of tick bites and mosquito bites, guess what, I am type o blood. Never knew that bugs love this blood.

    1. The herbal repellents should slow down the ticks, too, but I’ll ask Amber if she has tick specific suggestions. Thankfully, we have blessedly few ticks in our area, although up north by my mom’s they are terrible.

      1. Would Love any help with Tick repellant. I live in New England and not to far from the “home” of Deer ticks that carry the Lyme Disease. Within the past 2 years my friend contracted Lyme 2x, mother 1x, and now my husband. We have used “Off” and other commercial repellants but obviously they don’t work all the time. Natural home brew repellant would be great.

        1. The same strongly scented herbs *should* help keep ticks at bay, too, but of course there are no guarantees. Chickens, ducks or guinea hens on patrol in the yard can help keep their numbers down, too.

        2. Hi,
          So sorry to hear your family got Lyme disease, That is terrible.
          Eucalyptus is the best in my experience. Some Chilean people gave me Eucalyptus liquid when I was travelling. They extracted it from a tree in the jungle. I don’t know for it was leaves or sap from the bark…
          It was the best repellent of my life.
          Nothing came near me, not bugs, ticks, ants, mosquit’s not even flies. All insects avoided me.
          It was incredible and natural.
          I found some Eucalyptus oil in a shop… I am not sure how pure it was but I places it in my clothing and around doors and windows and even that worked pretty darn well.
          I hope this helps.
          Be well

    2. I get bit by mosquitoes: Asian, delicate skinned. My husband gets bit by ticks. He’s a big, burly, bear-haired California blond (I think the mosquitoes can’t work through both his shirts and his curly coat, while they dig right through a couple of layers of finely woven cotton covering my back during feeding frenzy time.

      This year I had far less mosquito bites after starting a routine of misting my whole body daily with a very dilute solution of organic Madagascar vanilla and filtered water. My skin reacts to most essential oil formulas, and when I have experimented with them the oils dissipate far too quickly for comfort, then I get a rash. I use an Outdoor Research head net, neck scarf, gloves, arm gauntlets and barn boots during feeding times. Sometime I’ll give you a laugh by describing exactly how much bug armor I wear when spending long hours in the garden.

      Our diets are similar, but this year I began a practice of eating at least one clove of finely chopped raw garlic a day, usually at lunch or dinner. My husband likes garlic, but is not so consistent. I have developed the habit of covering up well before going out. My usual score of one or two ticks a year has dropped to zero in a very rainy year.

      I have also noticed that the mosquitoes will flee if I blow a quick breath at any who buzz by when the head net is not deployed.

      1. Photos! Photos! I like the idea of a vanilla bean mist. I love the smell of vanilla. I’m quite sure body hair is protective for mosquitoes, as my husband is quite fuzzy, too, and doesn’t get bit on his body nearly as much as I do.

      2. “I have also noticed that
        the mosquitoes will flee if
        I blow a quick breath at
        any who buzz by when the
        head net is not deployed.”
        .
        Wow! LOOL…
        Really?
        I should try this one. Though I leave in a low risk area. We have lots of these blood suckers.

    3. Hello, as a natural non herbal remedy, raw amber collars are very effective against ticks and flea for dogs and cats, I’ve personally tested them on my 30+ dogs (I run a dog rescue place) and since three years I’ve been only using these to keep them free from parasites. Some say they are effective also against mosquitoes but I haven’t had the chance to test them for this.

      1. Is this the amber that results from pine pitch petrifying or amber perfume, which is commonly marketed as a thick liquid resin or semi-solid cake. Some people are familiar with this scent from using amber scented incense sticks.
        I had a friend whose husband formulated amber perfume cakes to sell in her boutique. This formula included benzoin, a plant resin that has many of the same coumarin chemotypes that are found in vanilla flavoring.
        Where we live dog fleas are not common, but ticks are very common on properties where hairy animals live. Down the road we have friends who had a dog (just passed) and have kept a mostly free range flock of 2 to 3 dozen chickens for the past three years. Ticks are pretty bad there this year.
        Because of their experience, I am resisting the desire to keep a dog on our property.
        If we could have a dog that smelled like vanilla and a well guarded, happy flock of chickens, that would be the key to permaculture heaven for us!
        Alternately, if the amber collar is made with tree resin amber, it would be really easy for me to make a collar of not very fancy amber beads. Heck! I’d string up beads for the whole family and go barefoot once in a while.

    4. My big hairy German Shepard would be covered in ticks, then I started feeding her Brewer’s Yeast each night on her dinner (dry food, and cooked liver and rice). I think I’ve only picked 1 or 2 off her this year, where normally I’d have pulled dozens off by now.

    5. Try Herbal Defense by Only Natural Pet. I live in So. Calif. near hiking trails, lakes and coast line. Every single time I took my pups out for their walks, they would have at least one tick or more on them. I had one on my scalp!! I tried every natural product and then found Only Natural Pet. We have not had a flea or tick near us for going on four years now! I use the Easy Defense Herbal Shampoo, Herbal conditioner and the Herbal Spray on my pups and it smells great! You can also use spray on your clothes if needed.

  3. eat garlic! you can get the caplets or tablets, a couple a day keeps vampires and skeeters at bay. Works for critters too.

    1. At least one study I found showed no correlation between garlic consumption and mosquito repellent action, but eating enough garlic will certainly keep other humans out of your personal space.

      1. I have also heard brewer’s yeast helps. I take 3 tabs a day and it seems to cut how often I am getting bit. Not perfect but seems to help a bit.

        1. I eat lots of nutritional yeast on my salads and eat plenty of garlic, plus a capsule. I’m B blood type and cannot walk out my door without getting swarmed by mosquitoes. They are terrible this year and my dogs who eat Brewers Yeast every day are covered with mosquitoes, but essentially no ticks.

          1. Interesting: This post said that type ‘O’ are the target for mosquitos and that they will usually leave the other types alone!
            Brewers yeast has been a well know remedy for years. I just have an issue with any yeast right now…

      2. Garlic seems to work for me, too. My immune system is compromised so I eat a lot of garlic to help stave off any pesky bugs in the area. Even though I’m also a Type O, they bother me a whole lot less when I’m having a Garlic-Fest dinner. Perhaps the garlic itself doesn’t repel them, but the scent of it after being processed through the human body does? Any scientists out there want to test this?

  4. My girls have weird skin allergies. So I’m worried about putting the essential oils mosquito repellent on them and am not confident in making the one with fresh herbs. So my question is…if I used the method of putting a few drops of essential oil on a cotton cloth in the dryer do you think the actual oil will get on their clothing? Or will just the scent cling to the clothing? I’m desperate. An reply would be helpful

    1. Maybe try a single item of clothing that covers only a small area of their bodies for a short time, and keep a close watch for any signs of a reaction? I know I have to be very careful what I use on my skin, too. This year I got hit with a round of psoriasis. For me, I tend to stick with the fresh herbs, or herbal concoctions. I react less to them than to EOs. I’m also working on healing my gut, as often allergies and skin issues are tied to gut health.

  5. Not sure about the reasons why mosquitoes bite me…I am exactly the opposite of all the things you mentioned. I’m not a talker, don’t drink alcohol, my blood type is B and only sweat if it’s too hot and walked far or did some heavy weeding…and mosquitoes prefer biting me than my husband! I have herbs and marigold in my garden and I still get bit!

    1. Mari: We fit very similar profiles. I was also severely ill one year as a child and spent most of my life struggling with dysbiosis until learning about gut healing and detoxifying mercury. Still working on it, but feeling much better and having way more fun.

      Distilled vinegar is not so good for me, but I do take a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar mixed with honey and a little warm water diluted with 6 to 8 oz. of water before meals. Look this up to see what conditions it balances, worth a try.

      Due to the dysbiosis, I tend to react to yeasty stuff, so have never taken brewer’s yeast enough to notice results. For some reason, the cloudy mother in raw vinegar has not bothered me.

      Best of luck in your adventures with freedom from predation!

      1. Sandy, I also drink ACV with the Mother, honey and water. Not just before meals though. I drink at least one 24 ounce glass a day. I love the taste. Tart and sweet. Call me weird, I don’t care. I like it. And I rarely get bit by mosquitos or ticks. Hubby, the opposite.

  6. I also heard on several occasions that drinking a shot glass full of distilled vinegar was a useful mosquito repellent. I have tried it and it seemed to do the trick. Also, if you have a oscillating fan blowing where you are sitting outside, the mosquitoes get blown away and have trouble lighting on you. Hope these tips are helpful for you.

  7. Having worked in Africa for 7 years and then in the Caribbean for a further 4 we decided to develop these initially for our family as we have 2 youngsters. It’s now turned into a full-time job and we produce these super-scented bars of Lemongrass, Geranium, Cedarwood and Lavender are simple to use and contain ingredients that are known and proven (by ourselves and all our numerous customers in the Caribbean and in Florida!) to be super-effective against mosquitoes, no-see-ums and other annoying flying bugs. Additionally the Geranium bar also has infused Catnip Oil and Yarrow Extract. Just rub the bar gently between your hands to warm then apply to areas of exposed skin. These bars are safe for all the family to use, so try them! thesolidbarcompany.com/…/bug-bars

  8. I am confused by using vodka to make the repellent if mosquitos like to “get buzzed”….I was planning to make my repellent with vodka before reading your post on things to avoid. (I had found another recipe calling for vodka last week) I am a favorite when it comes to mosquitos…they love me! Unfortunately, for me and my daughter, for that matter, our mosquito bites swell up to the size of quarters! If you could shed some light on this for me, I would really appreciate it. Heading on vacation soon, and wanted to make use of all my Young Living Oils to make a useful repellent. thank you in advance 🙂

  9. I’ve heard that drinking alcohol reduces the B6 in your body and that mosquitos are driven away by B6. Also, Brewers yeast is abundant in B6 and is not the yeast as in baking. Hope this info helps w/some of the questions asked above.

  10. Gotta love natural mosquito repellents!

    (hope you don’t mind my leaving a comment here…) Just dropped by to let you know the blog post listing over 30 great homesteading/simple living sites (including yours!) sorted by state has been published. What a great resource for all our readers! I’m hoping all the blogs included on this list will share it on their site too for their readers to enjoy, as well as sharing on social media. Here’s the link –> http://taylormadehomestead.com/homestead-sites-state/ Thanks!

    ~Taylor-Made Homestead~
    Texas

    1. Wow! You are orderly on a gargantuan scale! I admire your peers who are already working like the dickens to keep their homesteads going and still make time to share their experiences and discoveries with those of us who are dog-paddling our way through new and mystery-filled waves. When looking through your list, it was helpful to have an indication of where in the states and provinces each blogger lives. If you are considering nuances you might add, would it be possible to include a note about what climate zone the blogger lives in? Would you like to hear from other bloggers who want to be in contact with your network?

  11. Wow I see why i get bite more than anyone else around me. My blood type is O- I and sweat allot. Thank you for this information

  12. Thanks so much for all the great information, Amber! My son does Civil War re-enacting – mostly here in the South. He says that the soldiers traditionally used rosemary to fend off mosquitoes. When the weather is warm and the bugs are biting, you’ll often see the re-enactors with a sprig of fresh rosemary on their caps.

  13. Thanks for the herbal recipes. I found a laundry idea. Add a drop or two of oil of anise to your wash water, right along with your detergent. Proceed with laundry as usual. Seems to work for me.

  14. This is a really helpful post thanks for sharing all the great information. I can’t wait to start my repellant pots!

    1. Yes. This is all we use but like anything else, what works for one may not work for another. I adjust the herbs sometimes to suit my personal needs. I have O blood type and attract biting insects more than my husband so I have to apply more often ans use stronger scented herbs to mask my odor (scent).

  15. Can you use dried organic herbs instead of fresh? I have heaps here but don’t want to waste them in the herbal repellent recipe if they will not be effective.

  16. We are experimenting with a lot of the natural plants you indicate here. Instead of using witchhazel or vodka, we prefer infused water and a carrier oil which is emulsified with essential oils. It is soft but not greasy, and takes a little longer to absorb, and for us that makes it more effective than the alcohol based formulas.

    Have you done any research on the rate of absorption and how often it needs to be reapplied? Just curious.

    1. Thanks for the reply and the suggestion of the herb-infused water.
      I have never done any research nor have I found any other data on the rate of absorption. The degree of re-application would depend a lot on the individual person and it would be next to impossible to conclude a general application suggestion.
      Mosquitoes are attracted to: those with type O blood, consume alcohol, eat sugar, sweat more, heavy breathers and so on. Since I am type O blood (and talk a lot) I attract more biting insects than my husband who is type A and rarely talks, therefore, I have to re-apply more often.
      if you ever perform your own research on this matter, please let us know your findings!

  17. I made a tick repellent with vinegar, water and mint/eukalyptus essential oil for the dog and it really repelled the mosquitoes. My most skeptical friend was the first to say it worked!

    1. If you’re going to mix up a small batch and use it up right away, plastic is okay, but should be rinsed as soon as you’re done spraying. Essential oils left in a plastic bottle will break down the plastic. If you don’t use all the spray you make, place the leftovers in a glass jar for storage.

  18. Hi – Thanks for the good information. One clarification, though. It has been pretty well established that bats *do not* control mosquitoes. In fact, they’re a pretty poor predator when it comes to mosquitoes. Bats are known to prefer moths and beetles. The misinformation around bats liking mosquitoes came from a flawed study in the 1950s.

    1. I’ve updated the post with some additional information on bats. Although they may not eat the number of mosquitoes claimed by some, they can still have a positive impact by reducing mosquito reproduction.

  19. EXCELLENT article and comments! Many thanks from a currently mosquito infested homeowner who adores the short summer months of the midwest!

  20. What a great article full of really helpful tips . I live in London but we have had a really hot summer so far and Ive got lots of bites so theses are going to come in handy …thanks a lot

  21. Shoo Fly Insect Repellent

    10 drops Geranium
    5 drops Cypress
    10 drops Cedarwood
    5 drops Eucalyptus
    1/4 cup distilled water (increase amount proportionally for larger supply)

    Mix oils in distilled water and shake well. May be used in a sprayer and applied to hair, skin or clothing. Excellent for people and pets. This is for external use only. Do not ingest or get into eyes.

    Discontinue use if skin irritation or other adverse condition develops. Consult a health care practitioner before using these products if pregnant.

  22. There is another way to keep Mosquitoes away from your house. You can use Camphor as a mosquito repellant. Scientifically known as Cinnamomum Camphora, Camphor is harvested from camphor trees and later processed through steam distillation. Camphor belongs to the Laurel family, which is scientifically known as Ocotea Usambarensis. The chemical formula of this naturally occurring organic substance is C₁₀H₁₆O. A major source of camphor in Asia is camphor basil. With a melting point of 175 °C, camphor is used mainly for its scent. Camphor is used in the medical industry as an antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory. Camphor can also be used as a natural insecticide and germicide.

  23. We live next to a junk yard so keeping standing water from happening is impossible. the hubs and I attack the mosquitoes by feeding fish. We put goldfish in our rain barrels! Problem solved! At the end of summer, we have a friend come and take the fish to her small lake where they live out their lives as carp.

        1. It shouldn’t, but it’s best to test on a small inconspicuous area, just in case. With all the different clothing dyes out there, it’s a possibility that something might have a reaction.

  24. Most impressive information I have ever come across. If you are interested in this topic, please take a research about whether the indian plants or any other native plants which is help full in the mosquito repellent process. It is my humble suggestion.

    1. I’m sure there are many more plants that have been used across the globe for mosquito repellents, but these are some that are more readily available where most of my readers are from.

  25. I recently purchased a spray bottle of “marigold “ oil insect repellent from a local pet health food store. I was told this natural product was safe for both humans and pets and it worked well on our daily hike through the nearby trails on the range.
    I also found out that growing marigolds in your flower garden strategically repels insects and, you can make your own brew of it.
    Just food for thought if you would like to experiment and create another on of your wonderful articles 😌

  26. Someone was talking about ticks in New England. There flocks of guinea fowl in New England that you can rent for your property. Best way to get rid of ticks. Totally organic. You will have to watch the dogs or the hens might hurt them. LOL They are noisy.

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