If you have ever been outside during the spring or summer, you have most likely searched for the best mosquito repellent to avoid getting bitten by these pests. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommend using mosquito repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, or other EPA-registered products, many people opt to use natural products such as essential oils to keep these pests at bay. But do essential oils actually work as mosquito repellents?
Here are some common essential oils that people use as natural mosquito repellents and how effective they really are:
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus: Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) is a proven mosquito repellent. While it is technically a natural product, OLE is EPA-registered and one of the CDC’s recommended products for preventing mosquito bites. According to one study, oil of lemon eucalyptus can be up to 95% effective in protecting against mosquito bites.
- Lavender oil: Lavender is another popular option for people who want to use natural products to avoid mosquito bites. The smell of lavender alone is unappealing to mosquitoes, making them less likely to bite you if you are wearing lavender oil. Lavender oil can also be used as relief for mosquito bites due to its soothing effects.
- Citronella: If you’ve ever spent a summer night outside, you have probably used (or seen other people using) citronella candles. Although many people use citronella oil, it is not as effective as you might think. While other natural products like OLE can provide substantial protection against mosquitoes, citronella oil is only about 50% effective.
- Thyme oil: Research has shown that thyme oil could be useful in protecting your skin from mosquito bites. For example, one study conducted by the National Institute of Health revealed that thyme oil can be up to 91% effective in repelling mosquitoes.
In addition to being an effective mosquito repellent as an oil, thyme might also be useful when burned. Another study has shown that burning thyme leaves can offer up to 85% protection against these pests.
Are there any drawbacks to using essential oils instead of chemical insect repellents?
While essential oils do provide people with natural options for mosquito bite prevention, they might not be the best mosquito repellents. Because they are not registered with the EPA and do not have to be approved by the Food and Drug Association (FDA), the true effectiveness of essential oils as mosquito repellents is unknown (with the exception of OLE). The CDC strongly recommends using EPA-registered insect repellents so you can properly protect yourself from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.
How does Mosquito Authority protect me from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry?
At Mosquito Authority, we use proven methods of mosquito control that ensure you won’t be bothered by these pests in between your treatments. Our Barrier Spray services are the best line of defense against invading mosquitoes, and our 21-day treatment cycle is designed to break the mosquito life cycle. We also offer all-natural mosquito control services that are effective in freeing your outdoor space of mosquitoes. When using our all-natural option, we operate on a 14-day treatment cycle.
Don’t wait until your yard is overrun with mosquitoes to do something about it. Find your local mosquito control company here.