Essential oils have been used for decades as a natural repellent for mosquitoes and other bugs. If you’re an experienced essential oil enthusiast, you know there are many great applications for essential oils that go far beyond smelling AH-MAZING.
Looking to ward off swarms of mosquitoes that are conspiring to ruin Family Fun Day at the park? Products made with essential oils might be exactly what you need.
So grab a notepad, and take a look at what we’ve found!
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are oils extracted from the parts of plants that carry their aroma. They have tons of benefits, from enhancing sleep to clearing your sinuses.
Most essentials require a carrier oil or another dilution method for safe use when placing them directly on the skin, but they’re a natural and safe tool when used correctly.
Read on to learn about how you can use our favorite oils as mosquito repellents.
Essential Info on Essential Oils
It’s no secret that essential oils are powerful. That’s why it’s not recommended to take a bottle of these super oils and plop them right on your kiddos’ skin.
If you’re unfamiliar with essential oils, it might help to learn a little about the best way to use each and their powerful benefits.
If you’ve ever seen a candle in the camping section of a store or used one yourself, you’ve probably seen the name “Citronella.” Citronella is a popular essential oil for mosquito repelling. It has a very strong scent that masks human odor, which is the way mosquitoes find us.
According to research, if you use a good source of Citronella, you can effectively repel mosquitoes at a level comparable to DEET without worrying about DEET’s adverse effects.
Citronella is often diluted at a 1:1 ratio in a carrier oil like olive oil. That dilution can then be incorporated into a lotion or spray that is applied to the skin, or you can buy a specially formulated Citronella lotion to ensure that you’re getting the most out of its superpowers.
Lavender is often used for its calming and therapeutic reputation, and it’s an all-time fave at bedtime for kids and parents alike.
Did you know that lavender also repels mosquitoes? Like Citronella, lavender masks the odors our bodies naturally produce that mosquitoes love.
Thankfully, lavender is a smell that we’re more than happy to wear. It’s so easy to find lotions, shampoos, and soaps with lavender that can be used daily for 24/7 mosquito protection. Keep in mind that certain lotions and fragrances are like a beacon to mosquitoes, so shop carefully. Again, specially-formulated essential oil lotions can repel mosquitoes better than guesstimating on your own.
Lavender grows across many growing zones and climates, so you can also use it as a consistent source of repellent outside. Regardless of your space outdoors, lavender could be incorporated into your backyard, patio, or balcony landscaping.
This oil is on the list of approved mosquito repellents by the Environmental Protection Agency, in addition to being a favorite among parents who are trying to keep their kids bite-free.
Catnip is good for a lot more than entertaining the family feline. It smells similar to mint but tends to be less reactive for people with sensitive skin or allergies. Plus, it does a fantastic job at keeping away bugs.
Additionally, like lavender, catnip has been used for many years for other calming or therapeutic purposes.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is often used for its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. But did you know that studies have also shown its effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes and other bugs?
While tea tree oil’s strong smell isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it’s fantastic at covering up our distinctly human scent. Human body odors are a calling card to mosquitoes. If they can’t find ya, they can’t bite ya.
This one might not be in your essential oil stash... yet. Get ready for your new favorite all-natural repellent. Soybean oil has shown great effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes, according to recent studies.
Keep in mind; soy is a common allergen. If you choose to use this as a topical lotion, spray, or blend with other oils and want to share it with your friends, make sure to let them know there’s soybean oil in the mix.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Lemon eucalyptus oil might be one of the most well-known oils for warding off mosquitoes. This blend is a natural alternative to the dangerous DEET and Picaridin formulas.
Lemon Eucalyptus oil has been used as a repellent for decades and is a favorite among parents for skin application because of its typically gentle nature.
This oil smells exactly how you’d expect: kind of like a citrusy eucalyptus. This bright oil is more pleasant than some of the more pungent substances on this list (tea tree oil, we’re looking at you) but still strong enough to ward off mosquitoes.
Of course, it can also be used in conjunction with these smellier alternatives to mask their scent for a double-duty punch.
Cinnamon is so much more than a way to spice up your oatmeal, coffee, or tea. Essential oils derived from cinnamon are fantastic at repelling bugs, and they smell wonderful.
Cinnamon doesn't just repel our least favorite critters. Research into mosquitoes has shown that cinnamon oil can actually kill the eggs of mosquitoes, too.
You can mist a bit of this oil dilution over any areas in your yard that might be hiding a mosquito breeding ground, such as puddles, tree stumps, or that spot under your kid’s swing set that never seems to dry to reduce the number of bugs in the yard. How cool is that?
Time and thyme again, thyme has shown its benefits for being used as a mosquito repellent. Its scent is fairly subtle, and it’s shown great promise as an effective repellent in several studies. Thyme oil can be applied through lotions or sprays onto the skin, or you can get a bit more creative.
If you’re enjoying a nice campfire, some people actually like to toss thyme leaves onto the fire to provide a continuous source of repellent for the entire area of the campfire. Now, you can stay warm and toasty without becoming itchy too.
Geraniol oil is a bit of an oddball on this list. It’s not necessarily derived from one specific plant or even a consistent blend of plants, like Citronella. Instead, it’s actually an alcohol that can be derived from a very large range of aromatic plants.
Studies have shown that it’s an effective insecticide, and this is another oil like lemon eucalyptus that can likely be found in commercially sold natural repellents at a local store. Some people actually believe that it works even better than Citronella as a candle or lotion.
BuzzPatch: The Perfect Blend
Essential oils are great for so many things. Many of us already have these oils around the house. They smell great, they keep the bugs away, and they can do other pretty great things for us, too.
Looking for the perfect blend of essential oils for the ultimate mosquito repellent? Love the natural, environmentally and kid-friendly powers of essential oils but want a simple, easy, and FUN way to apply them?
Look no further than BuzzPatch. These all-natural mosquito repellent patches made with a Citronella essential oil blend smell beautiful, look cute, and have your family’s back. All. Day. Long.
These patches are made by a team of entomologists from all over the world: created by scientists, backed by parents.
Thanks for reading, and we hope you learned something new about how you can use essential oils as a mosquito repellent for you and your kiddos!