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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

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Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional 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 The Phytozyme Cure. 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
1:32AM PDT on Apr 3, 2014

very informative

6:49PM PDT on Apr 2, 2014

Thank you!

10:25AM PDT on Sep 11, 2013

Thank you!

5:25AM PDT on Jul 31, 2013


3:14PM PDT on Jul 19, 2013

Thank you

7:22AM PDT on Jul 19, 2013

Installing a Purple Martin House works really well in keeping the critters out of circulation.

martins can eat a boat load and keep the population down. Also make sure you don't have standing water lying around for more than a couple of days; great place for Mozzie eggs to hatch

7:43AM PDT on Jul 2, 2013

The garlic sounds like the best one for me. I also read somewhere that bananas attract Mosquitoes. So if your going to be outside skip the banana and wait till you are going to be at home.

7:25PM PDT on Jun 30, 2013

thnx for the info. I love lavender so I'll have to try that one as well as the mint. Mint (or tea tree oil) is great as a diluted water spray to keep lice at bay as well for anyone out there who has school age children.

8:31AM PDT on Jun 30, 2013

As a person who has always been on the menu for mosquitoes, I can say that neem oil definitely works and smells better than some of the others! Mint works well too so you can mix some mint oil with the neem and have double the protection!

4:14AM PDT on Jun 29, 2013

Thank you..

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