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

Which Scents Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Home?

The Smells that keep mosquitos away.

Mosquitoes are one of the most unpopular, but well known insects in the world. They plague everyone. Usually they are just an irritating buzz or itchy bump, but they can carry some of the deadliest diseases as well! We almost all agree they are a nuisance, but we don’t all agree on what works to keep these bloodthirsty freaks away. Some say lemon, lavender or mint oils, others say marigolds and citronella plants, and yet others say you just have to use chemicals from an aerosol can. I myself, have plenty of experiences and done plenty of experiments attempting to find the end all be all cure for the summer mosquito plagues.

Healthlines article called “Natural Mosquito Repellants” suggests several Essential Oil scents will do the trick. Including the recently mentioned lavender, but also mentions 9 others including tea tree, lemon eucalyptus, cinnamon, and thyme. They also mention citronella oil, like the plant itself mentioned earlier. My own experiences with various oils seemed to back up the claim, though I have not tried all 10 natural scents mentioned in the article. 

I would highly recommend lemon oil, lavender, and citronella. The down side of these “skeeter” repellent smells is that you should be cautious about how much oil you use, and should never put it directly on the skin unlike a spray or lotion from the store.

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

My personal favorite mosquito deterrents are naturally growing plants. I love the simple, sweet smell of citronella plants, the fun to keep mint plants, and the bright colorful marigold flowers, which dont have quite the same charming smells, but are known to make more than just the mosquitoes think twice. Check out this convincing quote from Christine Yoo’s article called 12 mosquito repellent plants, on Garden Designs website. “ Marigolds are also a popular addition to borders and vegetable gardens. According to NYBG, not only can they keep away mosquitoes, but they also dissuade aphids, thrips, whiteflies, Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, and tomato hornworms.” I love using marigolds and especially citronella. In my experience nothing works better. Though transporting a plant with you on your next camping trip is far fetched, you can rub the leaf of the citronella plant on your skin and it works almost just as well. Owning one of these mosquito repellent plants is well worth the investment.

Tiger Mosquito

My least favorite, but probably most common tool I use to repel those tiny winged vampires is spray can mosquito repellants. They can contain chemicals that affect the insects we want around, but unlike essential oils they are safe to spray or rub on the body. The success of these seems to depend from brand to brand and person to person. I have not found 1 type that seems to work the best, and I constantly find myself having to apply it. If this is the option you have I suggest using the most environmentally friendly brand you can find.

There seem to be a ton of smells that claim to repel mosquitos, but in order to find what really works for you, and in your area I suggest trial and error. The most consistent mentions across the internet seemed to be: Mint, Lavender, and citronella. Most mosquito repellant spray cans contain 1 or more of those scents as well. I suggest trying multiple kinds until one works consistently. My grandpa swears by citronella and sitting in campfire smoke. I second the citronella, but cant suggest you sit in campfire smoke. I believe your best chance of repelling the nasty mosquito is trying any one or combination of natural oils and plants.

Author: Mark Reneau

Western Governors University

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.