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What are Some Natural Mosquito Repellents?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 August 2018
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Though DEET is still the most effective of mosquito repellents, some people prefer to use naturally derived substances. In some cases, you can’t use DEET. Infants, in particular can’t be treated with this substance, but some natural mosquito repellents are also not recommended for use on young children.

One of the new mosquito repellents that many people find effective is picaridin or piperidine. This is derived from pepper, though it is chemically produced. It doesn’t have odor like DEET does, and it can be used on younger children. Some people may have eye irritation when using picaridin, but many report no skin irritation. People often prefer use of this product to DEET and it is probably the next best of the mosquito repellents on the market. You can find picaridin in a number of commercially manufactured repellents.

There are many suggestions for other natural mosquito repellents, but unfortunately, testing on many of these products proves them to be minimally or not at all effective. Some products people have used include combinations of lemon and eucalyptus oil, neem oil, geranium oil and citronella oil. Tests of lemon and eucalyptus oil conducted by the independent test agency, Consumer Reports, finds this combination is not effective and it is moreover not recommended for children under the age of three.

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Similarly, citronella oil shouldn’t be used on children under the age of six months. However, it has some mosquito and insect repelling properties. Another product, neem oil, which is derived from seeds, may also have some limited effectiveness in repelling insects but it should never be used by pregnant women. Like pennyroyal, neem oil contains some elements that might cause miscarriage.

A few other naturally derived substances may potentially limit mosquito bites. Clove oil might be effective, but you can’t simply apply this to skin without causing irritation. Thyme oil is another possibility, but again may irritate the skin. Other people focus on the idea that you can ingest certain substances to keep mosquitoes from biting.

Some theories on oral mosquito repellents include the ideas that taking various vitamin B substances or eating plenty of garlic may help keep mosquitoes at bay. Others swear by eating brewer’s or nutritional yeast as a means of fighting off mosquitoes. There are few studies on the overall effectiveness of these methods, though from an anecdotal perspective, some might be tried without harm to self. Still, the risk of disease contraction from mosquito bites should not be underestimated. If you cannot find effective natural mosquito repellents, you may be best be served by using one that is chemically derived to prevent contraction of certain diseases.

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Discuss this Article

anon279285
Post 2

i just bought mozi-q today directly from Xerion homeopathie. It did not work. The instructions (and the lady at the store who sold it to me) told me to take it 30 minutes before i went outside. She said to chew the pill a tiny little bit and then place it under my tongue so it can be absorbed sublingually, so I let it fully dissolve. It says it will work for three to five hours. I took it at 8:30 p.m. and I went outside at 10 p.m., braved the outdoors in my backyard of urban suburban Calgary, and I got 11 big mosquito welts in 15 minutes … and then ran inside frantically searching for my Afterbite.

So $26

.24 for 60 tabs. I should have wasted that money at Stampede instead, so now I'm going back to my citronella spray with essential oils of eucalyptus and tea tree oil, since that at least worked for me for the most part.
anon278025
Post 1

The homeopathic remedy Staphysagria, taken in 4DH potency 30 minutes before exposure and repeated every two to three hours, works as an oral mosquito repellant. Also, Xerion Dispensary has released a homeopathic combination called Mozi-Q that is being marketed in Canada as an oral insect repellant.

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