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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.

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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 WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

676 comments

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5:43AM PDT on Aug 10, 2014

thanks

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

11:17PM PDT on May 25, 2014

Oh, yes it was lemon eucalyptus, not just eucalyptus. I'll have to buy some more.

11:13PM PDT on May 25, 2014

I use Neem oil for plant fungus or pests, but it says to be careful about contact with skin. So knowing the right concentration would be very important. The eucalyptus oil repellants work well for me in some places, but not others (the mosquitos in Guatemala loved it, but it worked well in Haiti). When I lost my eucalyptus repellent though, I had to use the DEET. Can't sleep when being eaten and another colleague had to be sure because she's had dengue fever before and couldn't afford to get it again as it can become hemorrhagic. But at least it wasn't long time use… I'm the best mosquito repellent for everyone else though since they love me.

5:16PM PDT on May 3, 2014

Also cultivate any local bat population. Instead of being the terrors they're made out to be, they eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes a night! Be careful in using Neem oil, especially a concentrated one with young children. It's very easy to overdose and make everyone sick.

11:21AM PDT on Apr 28, 2014

Thank you for this info.

12:55AM PDT on Apr 26, 2014

Thanks!

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