Mosquitoes represent a pin-sized peril that we should all be aware of. Not only are mosquitoes incredibly smart (did you know they can even pierce your skin through your clothing?) but they are prolific; the United States alone hosts over 200 of the 3,000 species that exist on the planet today.
It’s only the females that will target you; according to the American Mosquito Control Association, mosquito males differ from females by having feathery antennae, and their mouthparts are not designed for piercing skin. Believe it or not, a mosquito’s main food source is nectar or a similar sugar source.
Not only are mosquito bites infinitely irritating, but they could in some cases be responsible for transmitting deadly diseases like malaria, dengue, and yellow fever.
There are chemical sprays on the market that will kill mosquitoes, but the toxins in them aren’t good for you or your family either. We’re here to tell you that there’s an effective, natural home remedy that’s easy to make, and it even smells amazing.
This particular essential oil blend might just be the secret to a mosquito-free summer, and the magical active ingredient is something you can find in the natural foods or vitamin aisle of most grocery stores: lemon eucalyptus oil.
There’s scientific backing to prove just how effective this chemical-free solution really is. The American College of Clinical Pharmacy says that lemon eucalyptus oil can easily give DEET and picaridin a run for their money.
ACCP researchers discovered that DEET can give up to 84 percent protection against mosquitoes in a four-hour period. A lemon eucalyptus oil blend, on the other hand, can provide 97 percent protection in the same time period. It contains an active ingredient called menthoglycol, which is not harmful to people but mosquitoes can’t stand it!
So, why not ditch the chemicals and have a go at mixing your own natural, effective, and delicious-smelling spray at home? Here’s the super simple, three-ingredient recipe.
30 drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
4 ounces (approx. 113 grams) of witch hazel, rubbing alcohol, or vodka
Mix the ingredients together in a small spray bottle and that’s it; you’re all set! Remember that this concoction will only give you active protection for up to four hours, so reapply throughout the day.
If these particular scents are not to your liking, then you do have other options. Geranium oil is another common essential oil used in natural repellents, according to Verywell Health, and it’s rendered even more effective by mixing it with coconut oil. This mixture smells particularly yummy.
Citronella and lemongrass-based repellents have also been found to be as effective as DEET. The main problem with citronella is that the oil is prone to evaporate within one to two hours, so you need to reapply the formula twice as regularly.
Peppermint oil has an effective, potent aroma that will help to deter the biting insects. Likewise, thyme and clove oils work well in sending mosquitoes on a dinner detour.
As with any health-based home hack, it’s always good to speak with your physician before committing to a home remedy. And as essential oils are highly concentrated, always use a carrier oil (such as witch hazel or coconut) to dilute the potency, and try a skin test first.
You can give this spray a try. There’s no need for your own health to suffer in the battle against mosquitoes, so get mixing and share these delicious recipes with your friends.