With the threat of malaria and dengue looming large, you’d be remiss not to find an effective mosquito repellent. Problem is many of those synthetic mosquito repellents smell like you’ve doused yourself in a vat of noxious chemicals. Plus, they are often toxic to skin and the environment. So, here’s our solution: natural mosquito repellents and essential oils that keep you bite-free by blocking those buzzy pests’ sense of smell, making it much harder for them to land on you and suck your blood (literally).
Did you know dose for dose Citronella can be as effective as DEET, the highly toxic anti-pest product? Research suggests topical application of 100% Citronella provides complete protection against three types of mosquito for up to 120 minutes in a laboratory setting. However, citronella oil evaporates quickly, which means it’s effective for a short time only. Reapplying it frequently can lead to skin irritation. Therefore, using the oil in a diffuser at work or home might be a better option.
The star ingredients in this beautifully packaged product are Lemongrass, Vetiver, Neem and Citronella. Lemongrass, a popular ingredient in tea and Asian cuisine has a subtle citrus flavor. A 2015 study found a combination of Lemongrass and Olive oil provided 98.8% protection against the house mosquito, and up to 95% protection for two-and-a-half hours against two types of mosquitoes.
This multi-purpose gel works equally well on blemishes and scars as it does on insect bites, cuts and itchy rashes. Basil is also a common edible ingredient that’s moderately effective as a mosquito repellent. Field studies in Kenya found that just the potted plant provided nearly 40% protection against a type of mosquito that was a malaria carrier. The authors noted that basil essential oil provided up to 100% protection for more than six hours against yellow fever mosquitoes.
Eucalyptus has a strong, earthy aroma. It repels insect bites and is a powerful decongestant with antimicrobial, antiseptic properties. A 2011 study tested the effectiveness of Eucalyptus oil with a Coconut oil base and concluded that it offered 93% protection against the filarial mosquito in India for up to four hours.
This skin and hair loving natural ingredient is also a powerful mosquito repellent. In a 2015 study, researchers tested Neem oil to compare its mosquito-repellent properties with those of DEET mosquito repellent and found that a concentration of 20% Neem oil provided 70% protection for three hours between dusk and dawn. DEET provided a similar level of protection, but for about eight hours.
Apart from its well-known benefits as a muscle relaxant and stress reliever, Peppermint oil is a great natural way to repel mosquitoes. A 2011 review concluded that high concentrations of Peppermint essential oil are effective against mosquito larvae and provided 100% protection against bites from adult yellow fever mosquitoes for up to 150 minutes.
7. ALOE VERA
This all-natural Citronella and Aloe Vera formula shields you and your kids from deadly fevers including dengue, chikungunya, malaria, filaria and encephalitis for up to eight hours. The formula masks the distinctive body odour that human skin emits, making you virtually invisible to mosquitoes. The milky lotion spreads evenly on skin and is safe for babies as well.