natural mosquito repellents

Using essential oils as natural mosquito repellents is especially useful when you have children or like being outdoors.

Other than being vicious little suckers that love nothing more than to make our nights miserable, mosquitoes also make us sick with malaria. According to the World Health Organisation 2022 Malaria Report, there were 249 million malaria cases and 608,000 malaria deaths globally.  Africa carries a disproportionately high share of the global disease burden with 94% of malaria cases (233 million) and 95% (580 000) of malaria deaths. Also, children under 5 accounted for about 80% of all malaria deaths in Africa.

The above data underscores why malaria prevention is important and why mosquitoes must be kept at bay.

However, to prevent mosquito bites, it’s important to note that mosquitoes are drawn to different things that make some people out as more attractive prey when compared to others. People are usually prone to mosquito bites due to scent, light, heat, and humidity.

It’s easy to suggest insecticides but for people trying to reduce chemical contact as much as possible, natural mosquito repellents are more viable. This is where essential oils come in because they’re quite useful when you have children around or you like being outdoors.

Here are five natural mosquito repellents that can help you get the job done:

Spring bouquet of purple crocuses isolated

1. Lavender

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. This means that in addition to preventing mosquito bites, it can calm and soothe the skin.

Cinnamon sticks with honey and honey dipper

2. Cinnamon oil

Cinnamon is more than just a great topper for applesauce or oatmeal. According to a study conducted in Taiwan, cinnamon oil can kill off mosquito eggs. It can also act as a repellent against adult mosquitoes.

lemon eucalyptus oil is one of the more well-known natural mosquito repellents

3. Lemon eucalyptus oil

Used since the 1940s, lemon eucalyptus oil is one of the more well-known natural mosquito repellents. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States approved eucalyptus oil as an effective ingredient in mosquito repellent.

A recent study showed that a mixture of 32% lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95% protection against mosquitoes for three hours.

Above view spa elements arrangement

4. Thyme oil

Thyme oil is one of the best natural mosquito repellents. Research shows that burning thyme leaves offers 85% protection for 60 to 90 minutes.

Front view bowl with pipette close-up

5. Neem oil

Although neem oil is advertised as a natural alternative, there are mixed results about its effectiveness. A recent study in Ethiopia found that it offered more than 70% protection for three hours.

Final note

Essential oils should never be put on the skin directly. They are always diluted in carrier oil such as almond oil. The recipe is usually 3 to 5 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of carrier oil.

So, which of these natural mosquito repellents would you like to try out? Let us know in the comments.

Also read: 11 Things That Happen When Malaria Strikes

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