Essential Oil To Repel Mosquitoes: Chemical-Free Ways To Keep Bites At Bay

Mosquitos and their bites can be incredibly frustrating, but they are an unfortunate part of life we need to deal with every summer. 

A lot of people use chemical products and DEET, a common insect repellant, to eliminate these pests, but if you would like a more natural solution, essential oils can work well at deterring mosquitos from your home. 

Essential Oil To Repel Mosquitoes Chemical-Free Ways To Keep Bites At Bay

You’ll learn more about essential oils and how they can repel mosquitoes in this post, including the most effective ones that you can use in your home.

Some of these essential oils don’t just deter pests, they can aid irritated bug bites too. 

Keep reading to find out how essential oils can solve your mosquito problem, once and for all!

Can Essential Oils Get Rid Of Mosquitos?

Chemical products that are used to get rid of insects work by affecting the pest’s sense of smell. 

The mosquito in question is first drawn by the carbon dioxide humans breathe out, then tries to bite after they sense lactic acid on the skin.

If the smell is covered by a different odor, the mosquito loses its aim and will have to move on. 

The compounds and fragrances inside essential oils can work in the same way as chemical products.

For instance, citronella conceals the lactic acid and carbon dioxide that humans give off, the two smells that mosquitoes find appealing. 

Other compounds in essential oils, such as linalool in lavender, emit a smell that mosquitoes detest. Research has found that linalool and DEET affect a mosquito’s smell senses in the same way. 

A different study also found that geraniol, a substance present in geranium oil, worked better at deterring mosquitoes than citronella and linalool. 

If you’d prefer to swap chemical products for a more natural solution, essential oils may work well at eliminating mosquitoes from your home. 

However, keep in mind that essential oils evaporate rapidly, so it’s best to mix them with a carrier oil for a topical application, or use them in a diffuser to spread the oils throughout your home.

These solutions work better than homemade insect repellent spray, as they need to be reapplied frequently.

Essential Oils That Repel Mosquitos

Now that you know more about how essential oils may work well at repelling mosquitoes, here are some examples of essential oils that you can try for yourself at home. 


If you have any medical health issues, always consult your doctor or medical provider before using essential oils. 

Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil before applying them to the skin. If you have any allergies, carry out a patch test before using the essential oil treatment to check for any adverse reactions.  


Citronella essential oil works well at repelling mosquitos, fleas, moths, and ticks. This oil is sourced from lemongrass and contains a lot of effective insect repellents, like limonene, citronellal, and geraniol. 

Other essential oils repel insects with their scent, but citronella covers up the scents that insects find attractive. 

An overview of several studies found that a mix of citronella oil and vanillin, a substance found inside vanilla beans, repelled mosquitoes for a maximum of three hours. 


Thyme essential oil isn’t just good at repelling mosquitos, it’s great at keeping house flies at bay too. 

Thyme essential oil contains five potent insect repellents: thymol, linalool, carvacrol, alpha-terpinene, and p-cymene.

These have been shown to have mosquito-deterring effects, while two of the substances were found to work better than DEET. 

Lemon Eucalyptus

Lemon eucalyptus contains large quantities of well-known insect deterrents: eucalyptol, citronellal, and limonene. 

Eucalyptol has been found to repel mosquitoes and ticks well. A different study also discovered that three types of eucalyptus worked well at deterring blood-feeding sandflies.  

Lemon eucalyptus oil and OLE, oil of lemon eucalyptus, are two different things. OLE contains more of a substance known as PMD.

This is very effective at deterring mosquitoes and has been shown to work as well as DEET.

Nevertheless, lemon eucalyptus essential oil, as well as eucalyptus essential oil, are nice choices to use as insect repellents. 

Essential Oils That Deter Insects And Aid Bites

Some essential oils can keep mosquitoes away and simultaneously aid sore insect bites.

For example, a large amount of linalool is present within lavender essential oil, and is also present in smaller amounts in other essential oils, like thyme.

Linalool has a lot of effects, like improving sleep, aiding stress, and soothing inflammation and pain. 

This is why essential oils can work well at easing any irritation from insect bites, as well as perform as an effective insect repellent. 

However, if you plan on applying essential oils to the skin, always dilute them with a carrier oil beforehand.

Essential oils are very potent and can irritate when applied neat to the skin. Examples of nice carrier oils include avocado, coconut, and sweet almond oil. 

Here are some examples of essential oils that can both deter mosquitoes and ease itchy bug bites:


Clove essential oil can ease pain, itching, and swelling from bites and stings, but it shouldn’t be used on broken skin. 

Clove oil is known for its anesthetic properties, as it was often used to soothe pain related to sore teeth. These effects can be great at soothing bites, but the oil is also a fantastic insect repellent.

A study found that clove oil deterred mosquitoes for two to four hours, while another discovered that it repelled bugs for one and a half hours. 


Lavender essential oil has analgesic properties that can ease swelling, irritation, pain, and redness from bug bites. 

As it is also one of the most gentle essential oils, it can be used on children, provided that it is diluted with a carrier oil first.

Lavender oil can relieve a lot of insect bites, like mosquito bites, but it’s also good for easing bee stings and spider bites.

Lavender essential oil also deters mosquitoes as the insects detest its noticeable smell. The oil contains 25% linalool, an effective ingredient that affects mosquitoes just like DEET. 

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. It can decrease swelling and be used to fight mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. 

Tea tree oil is often used in insect bite treatments as it can help stop itching. Another study found that the oil (in its diluted form) worked well at treating itchy bites in dogs. 

A different study looked at seven essential oils and found that tea tree oil worked better at deterring mosquitoes compared to DEET. 

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil has a strong scent and cooling properties. This makes it a great choice to deter several insects, like mosquitoes, but it’s also effective at soothing painful insect bites.

A study also found that undiluted peppermint essential oil protected against mosquitos for 150 minutes.

You should always avoid applying essential oils to the skin without diluting them with carrier oil, but these effects are promising (see also “Best Carrier Oils For Lips“). 

DIY Insect Repellent And Bite Relief Blends

Here are some insect repellent and bite-relief blend recipes to try yourself at home.

Insect Repellent

This repellent works well at deterring mosquitoes and other insects.

  • Mix 30 drops of citronella oil, 30 drops of geranium oil, 20 drops of lavender oil, 20 drops of lemon eucalyptus oil, and 10 drops of rosemary oil into a dark amber bottle.
  • Add a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol or vodka to the bottle, then shake to mix the contents. Pour half a cup of natural witch hazel, then shake again.
  • This step is optional, but adding a teaspoon of vegetable glycerin will help the oils combine. Pour half a cup of water, then shake the bottle again.

Shake the repellent well before every application, as the water (see also “How To Make Your Own DIY Florida Water“) and oils will separate as time goes on.  

Rollerball Soothing Salve

This is a quick recipe that works well at relieving mosquito bites. 

  • Mix five drops of peppermint essential oil, three drops of lavender essential oil, and a drop of tea tree oil with one tablespoon of sweet almond oil.
  • Keep the contents in a dark-colored, glass rollerball bottle. Remember to shake well before every application.  

Insect Bite Relief Spray

This recipe can be sprayed on the body to heal mosquito, or other insect, bites. 

  • Add ten drops of tea tree oil and ten drops of peppermint oil to a little spray bottle (see also “Can You Spray Peppermint Oil On Plants?“). Fill up the rest of the container with fractionated coconut oil. 
  • Shake the bottle well, then spray onto the insect bite. Carefully rub the treatment into the skin. 

Do not apply this treatment to broken skin, as peppermint oil can be irritating. 

Insect Bite Relief Balm

  • Mix ten drops of lavender essential oil, ten drops of peppermint essential oil, a tablespoon of pure aloe vera gel, and a teaspoon of vegetable glycerin. 
  • After mixing the contents well, store the mixture in a small, well-sealed container. 

The Bottom Line

Mosquitoes can be frustrating, but if you want to avoid using DEET, or other chemical deterrents, essential oils can work just as well as chemical mosquito repellents! 

You may want to mix a few different oils when making your repellent, as this can make the treatment more effective.

The essential oils in this post may work well at keeping mosquitoes at bay, but remember to use safety precautions when handling the oils.

Keep small children and pets away from your oils, and keep an eye out for any signs of allergic reactions when applying your treatment. 

We hope that you have fun making these essential oil treatments and that they work at keeping mosquitos at bay!

Mia Greene
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