MOSQUITOES have a very keen sense of smell. In fact, it’s the primary reason that they are drawn to humans and other animals as a blood source.
The carbon dioxide and many of the fragrances we emit are irresistible to these annoying pests. Mosquitoes likewise find a variety of smells unappealing. These aromas can be used to keep mosquitoes at bay without the use of chemicals and other harsh deterrents. Here are six common scents that repel mosquitoes:
This is likely the first thing that comes to mind when you think about mosquito repelling scents. Citronella oil, which comes from the lemongrass plant, is commonly used in commercial bug sprays and candles. It features a lemon-like citrusy scent that is irritating to mosquitoes, but wonderfully pleasant to people. Lemongrass can be planted outside your home as an attractive, yet effective repellent. Additionally, citronella oil can be applied directly on your skin or paired with other essential oils to make your own natural deterrent.
Like citronella, eucalyptus has a powerful smell that interferes with mosquitoes’ delicate senses and can make it difficult for them to locate their food sources. The oil from these trees also repels other insects such as ticks, midges and sand flies. While the presence of the plant itself will work as a repellent in your yard, the oil can be applied directly to the skin as well, but should be applied regularly for optimum protection.
Minty fragrances are unpleasant to a mosquito’s keen senses. The mere presence of peppermint plants can ward off these pesky flying insects to some degree. You can also turn peppermint into a personal repellent by crushing the leaves and rubbing them on your skin. Mosquitoes won’t be able to tolerate your presence! Additionally, if you do get a bug bite you will find that peppermint oil is effective at relieving itches.
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. Cut garlic cloves into slivers and scatter them around your outdoor living areas, or combine with oils and other liquid ingredients to make a repellent spray for your yard. Furthermore, you can blend garlic with essential oils to make a mosquito repellent spray for your body. Mosquitoes won’t be able to stand the unappealing smell.
Another multipurpose herb, rosemary can be used for many things other than seasoning. This aromatic plant works wonders when planted in your garden, easily tackling small mosquito infestations. When barbecuing, place a few sprigs of rosemary on the grill to keep mosquitoes away as the scent wafts through the yard. In addition, rosemary can be infused into lotions or sprays to create simple repellents for your body.
This versatile plant isn’t simply a tasty herb used for seasoning your favourite Italian fare. It can also be used as a handy natural repellent. The essential oils contained in the basil plant emit a powerful aroma that is irritating to these bothersome biters. Take full advantage of basil’s repellent properties by growing it in your yard as well as creating homemade sprays from its essential oils.