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Although summer is great and we get to be outside a lot, insects can really spoil the fun.  Below are some natural insect repellants that have proven to be effective.

Natural Mosquito Repellants
Lemon Eucalyptus – A 2014 PubMed study showed that a mixture of 32 percent lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95 percent protection against mosquitoes for 3 hours.

Cinnamon – According to a study in Taiwan, cinnamon oil can kill off mosquito eggs. It can also act as a repellent against adult mosquitoes, most notably the Asian tiger mosquito.

Catnip – Researchers at Iowa State University also found catnip to be 10 times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes.

Thyme – Thyme oil is one of the best at providing protection from malarial mosquitoes. In one animal study from 2002 Trusted Source, 5 percent thyme oil applied to the skin of hairless mice provided a 91 percent protection rate.

Citronella – is a common essential oil that works against mosquitoes. It is made from a mix of herbs, and citronella candles are said to provide up to 50 percent extra protection.

Tea Tree oil – Field testingTrusted Source shows that repellents containing tea tree oil are effective against mosquitoes, bush flies, and biting midges. 

Neem oil – A 2015 study about the effectiveness of neem oil in Ethiopia found that it offered more than 70 percent protection for 3 hours.  It can cause skin irritation, so it is best to use it with other oils. [1]

Here are some simple ways to use natural oils as a repellant:

  • Put several drops of some of the above oils into a spray bottle and then fill with witchhazel.  This is better than water as it will keep longer and is easy on the skin.  Shake well and spray on body or clothing.
  • Put several drops of the above essential oils in a bottle and fill with a carrier oil, such as olive oil or almond oil. Shake and rub on skin.  Oil will last longer that the above witchhazel or water mixture. 
  • Use Herbs4You Quit Buggin mix and with a carrier.

Other Helps
What we eat does make a difference.  Since taking herbs, I rarely get mosquito bites, or if I do, they don’t affect me as much as before.  Our own body can repel insects. Often eating garlic is recommended to ward off bugs, but this can be true of other herbs as well.  

Another old time remedy for keeping bugs away is to carry crushed garlic in a mesh bag or hang it around the neck.  A remedy that I remember a friend of mine using in Japan was applying a pain relief eucalyptus patch to a cap bill.

I hope this has been helpful and interesting.  Have a great week, and stay bug free!

We’re here to help YOU!
Amy Willis MH, CTN


10 Natural Mosquito Repellents: What Works (


About the Author

Amy Willis M.H., CTN

Master Herbalist, Board Certified Naturopath
Amy is the Owner and Founder of Herbs4You. She is a Master Herbalist from the School of Natural Healing, and Board Certified Naturopath from the American Naturopathic Medical Association. Amy has 30 years experience with herbs and 15 years experience muscle testing.