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6 Ways to Beat Mosquitoes Naturally

6 Ways to Beat Mosquitoes Naturally

‘Tis the season for sunshine, barbecues, and mosquitoes.

Before you grab that DEET-based mosquito repellent in an effort to keep the mosquitoes at bay, consider that research at Duke University links diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) use to brain damage —no wonder the mosquitoes leave at the first scent of it.  Perhaps we’d be wise to follow their lead and stay clear of the stuff.  Check out my article tomorrow on the dangers of DEET mosquitorepellents.

Here are six natural options that mosquitoes hate and you’ll soon love.  You don’t have to worry about DEET-induced brain cell damage or scratching yourself to death.  And, if you still think that natural means less effective, keep reading.  Some of these mosquito repellents are MORE EFFECTIVE THAN DEET!

1.  Citronella
The old standby.  Be sure you’re using pure essential oil, not fragrance oil, which is ineffective and potentially dangerous.  Most mosquito repellent products “containing citronella” are made with fragrance oil and should be avoided.  If you’re applying citronella to your skin, dilute it in a carrier oil or natural moisturizer.  A few drops per tablespoon of oil or cream is all that is needed.

2. Catnip
Research at Iowa State University found that catnip essential oil 10 is times more effective than DEET at repelling mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes will hate you and cats will love you.  Like citronella be sure to use it diluted in a carrier oil or natural moisturizer.

3. Lavender essential oil
Smells great and is a commonly used and effective mosquito repellent.

4. Soy oil
Better yet, choose organic soy oil as the carrier oil for catnip, lavender, and citronella essential oils.  According to research published in The New England Journal of Medicine soybean oil-based mosquito repellents are as effective as DEET-containing repellents.

5. NEEM seed oil
“Neem oil” is extracted from a plant that grows in India.  An ingredient in Neem seed oil has also been found to be more effective than DEET by researchers at the Malaria Institute in India.  Both the US National Research Council and the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association have confirmed this finding.

6. Garlic
Eat lots of fresh garlic—mosquitoes will steer clear of you since they hate the stuff.  As an added bonus, so will vampires.


Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook

Read more: Alternative Therapies, Babies, Children, General Health, Green, Health, Health & Safety, Mental Wellness, Michelle Schoffro Cook, Natural Remedies, Nature, Smart Shopping, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and her new book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World's Healthiest News at to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.


+ add your own
2:33AM PST on Feb 17, 2015

Good to use something natural instead of chemicals

3:38PM PST on Nov 6, 2014

lemon waterered down put into a spray bottle, a little sprits on your pet will keep a lot of bugs away, healthier alternative.

9:26AM PDT on Oct 19, 2014

Caution with pets and Mosquitoes. West Nile is very dangerous !

2:10PM PDT on Oct 16, 2014


12:03AM PDT on Sep 23, 2014

Interesting article, thank you!

5:43AM PDT on Aug 10, 2014


9:54AM PDT on Jul 15, 2014

Very useful info! Does anyone know which method (apart from the neem) would be safe for use on a baby (less than 1 year old?)
Also, has anyone tried any of these in the tropics to ward off malaria, dengue and yellow-fever carrying mosquitoes?
Many thanks!

5:58AM PDT on Jun 14, 2014

very informative

11:27AM PDT on Jun 12, 2014

Years ago I was babysitting my cousins and had read that garlic would keep mosquitos away. They came in complaining of being bit, so I fed them all garlic bread and all these years later, that's one of the things they remember me for!

2:37AM PDT on Jun 1, 2014

Im getting some lavender oil as I am allergic to fly sprays

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