Which scents keep mosquitoes away from your home — Crystal’s student essay

Which Scents Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Home?

Mosquitos are annoying little creatures that can cause terrible, itchy bites. I don’t know one person who likes them. However, they are more than pesky, they can cause infections, sometimes serious, even transmit deadly diseases. So, thinking about scents that keep them away from our homes is an important decision.

Humans have long used plants and plant derivatives to repel insects or treat the bites they leave behind. Ancient Greek and Roman scholars wrote about using plants on skin and clothing, Many natural scents that are appealing to humans actually repel mosquitoes, including lavender, peppermint, basil, and eucalyptus.

Several scents can keep mosquitos away from your home. Let’s explore some of those scents. If you are wanting to go a more natural route, which would be a better option if you have sensitive skin or nasal problems, including allergies, then something like citronella, basil, peppermint, garlic, rosemary, lemon balm, lemon grass, lavender, neem, marigold, catnip, bergamot, eucalyptus are the best options. I am highlighting a few cents that may not be familiar to many people or they may not be aware of exactly what they are or how they repel.

Lemon Balm contains high levels of a compound called citronellal, which gives it its lemony aroma and flavor that bugs find so unpleasant. … The lemon scent, which repels the bugs, is powerful. It rubs off very well onto the skin. Lemon balm repels mosquitoes and gnats.

man use fumigation mosquitoes machine for kill mosquito carrier of Zika virus and dengue fever

Neem is a natural herb that comes from the neem tree, other names for which include Azadirachta indica and Indian lilac. The extract comes from the seeds of the tree and has many different traditional uses. Neem is known for its pesticidal and insecticidal properties, but people also use it in hair and dental products.

Garlic, this member of the onion family has been used for many years as an edible repellent. When consumed, garlic’s active ingredient, allicin, interferes with our natural scent and masks us from mosquitoes. However, garlic can be used to deter mosquitoes even without eating it.

Tiger Mosquito

Citronella is naturally occurring oil that repels insects. It is distilled from two types of grass, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. … The article explains that products with a citronella base are only effective as a mosquito repellent for about two hours, because the oils rapidly evaporate. Plants might not be as effective as you think. 

Despite the claims made on “Mosquito Plants” (lemon-scented geranium or “citronella plant”) the plants themselves don’t repel mosquitoes. It’s the oil inside the leaves that have properties that can repel mosquitoes. You would have to crush the leaves to extract these oils. Then you would have to rub these oils on your skin. Planting them in your landscape will do little to repel mosquitos.

Catnip is a perennial herb from the mint family. Researchers report that nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET — the compound used in most commercial insect repellents.

Citrus bergamia, the bergamot orange, is a fragrant citrus fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow or green color similar to a lime, depending on ripeness. It’s important to note that bergamot is very phototoxic, so you should not use it outside as a topical insect repellent, but rather an aromatic insect repellent spray for inside or to spray around you outside.

Lavender in particular has a pleasant aroma, so it won’t smell like you are repelling mosquitos, it will just smell natural. Crushed lavender flowers produce a fragrance and oil that can repel mosquitoes. An animal study on hairless mice found lavender oil to be effective at repelling adult mosquitoes. Lavender has analgesic, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities.

You can use these scents in different ways, as an oil you can wear it on your skin, use an oil diffusor. You can also burn candles with these scents. For not so natural scents, you can use dryer sheets or detergent with water.

Overall, there are many options out there. It’s just a matter of finding out, which one is best for you and your family. Please, also keep your pets in mind.

Author: Crystal Cary

Pima Community College


  • https://www.mosquitosquad.com/blog/2019/july/essential-oils-mosquitoes/
  • https://gardencenterohio.com/herbs-2/herbs-repel-bugs/#:~:text=Lemon%20Balm%20contains%20high%20levels,that%20bugs%20find

  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325048
  • https://www.today.com/home/how-repel-mosquitoes-summer-do-citronella-candles-really-work-t127599#:~:text=Citronella%20is%20naturally%20occurring%20oil,the%20National


  • https://www.mosquitomagnet.com/articles/10-scents-that-repel-mosquitoes#:~:text=GARLIC,mosquitoes%20even%20without%20eating%20it.
  • https://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu/faqs/which-plants-repel-mosquitoes/
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/kinds-of-natural-mosquito-repellant#:~:text=Lavender,%2C%20antifungal%2C%20and%20antiseptic%20qualities.

Student Scholarships

Every year Thrive Pest Control hosts an essay contest and the reward is a 1-year scholarship at a 4-year university in the United States. This blog post is one of those scholarships.