What is Organic Mosquito Repellent?

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  • Written By: Tracey Parece
  • Edited By: Kathryn Hulick
  • Last Modified Date: 01 June 2019
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Mosquito repellent is a product which deters mosquitoes from being attracted to a particular area. By repelling the mosquitoes, the user is able to avoid being bitten. Organic mosquito repellent works without chemicals and relies on natural ingredients like garlic and citronella to discourage mosquitoes. It masks the human scent to which mosquitoes are attracted, primarily carbon dioxide and lactic acid, with a scent mosquitoes avoid naturally.

Organic mosquito repellent often contains essential oils like spearmint oil, peppermint oil, or eucalyptus oil. Lemon balm oil, pennyroyal oil, and tea tree oil are other common ingredients. Mosquitoes have a sense of smell up to 10,000 times more powerful than humans so these oils may continue to repel them even after the users can no longer detect the scent.

Many people select organic mosquito repellent because some users of commercial bug spray have reported side effects including eye irritation, rashes, and swelling. According to reports, there are potentially fewer adverse side effects associated with organic mosquito repellent than with commercial preparations. When it comes to insect repellent for babies, many parents want to use an organic insect repellent on their infants because of the possible side effects of products containing chemicals like N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET) or picaridin, a chemical considered almost as effective as DEET. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) actually recommends commercial mosquito repellent containing DEET or picaridin for anyone over the age of two months.


Mosquito repellent plants can be an effective way to protect a large outdoors area from being affected by mosquitoes. Planting Thai lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus) helps keep mosquitoes away because it contains a substance similar to citronella oil which naturally repels mosquitoes. A benefit of planting this grass is that the oil contained within the stalks can be applied to exposed skin as an organic mosquito repellent.

Controlling the population of mosquitoes and killing adult mosquitoes are other options which may be used in conjunction with organic mosquito repellent to maximize protection from mosquito bites. To control the mosquito population, it is important to drain or remove standing water in the area where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Killing adult mosquitoes can be more difficult, but many people find mosquito traps to be effective. These devices attract the mosquitoes through a combination of infrared heat, lights, and carbon dioxide.

In addition to using organic mosquito repellent, people may find it useful to avoid things that attract mosquitoes. Wearing dark clothing and scented products like perfume, skin lotion, and hairspray can draw mosquitoes. It is preferable to wear light-colored or white clothing and stay away from scented hygiene products.



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