Top 7 Essential Oils to Repel Mosquitoes

by Kirby Drake

Summer is just around the corner, and with it comes mosquito season! These pesky insects can quickly turn a pleasant evening outdoors into a nightmare of itchy bites and annoying buzzing. While there are many mosquito repellent products available on the market, many people are looking for more natural alternatives. Essential oils are a great option for those who want to avoid the chemicals, like DEET or Permethrin, found in traditional insect repellents. In this blog post, we will discuss the top 7 essential oils to repel mosquitoes.


MOXĒ Natural Mosquito Insect Repellent sitting on corner of outdoor table


Top 7 Essential Oils to Repel Mosquitoes

1. Citronella Oil

Citronella oil is perhaps the most well-known essential oil for repelling mosquitoes. It is derived from the leaves and stems of the citronella plant, which is native to Asia. Citronella oil is a natural insecticide and has been used for decades as a mosquito repellent. It works by masking the scent of the human body, which mosquitoes are attracted to. Citronella oil can be used in candles, diffusers, or directly applied to the skin.

2. Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

Lemon eucalyptus oil is another effective essential oil for repelling mosquitoes. It is derived from the leaves of the lemon eucalyptus tree, which is native to Australia. The active ingredient in lemon eucalyptus oil is citronellal, which is also found in citronella oil. Lemon eucalyptus oil has been shown to be as effective as DEET, the chemical found in many insect repellents. Making this a great alternative to DEET, it is noted that some people experience rashes or irritated skin after using DEET, and it can irritate eyes if you spray it too close.

3. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is not only refreshing and invigorating, but it also works as a mosquito repellent. The strong scent of peppermint oil masks the scent of the human body, making it difficult for mosquitoes to locate their target.

4. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is known for its antiseptic properties, but it is also an effective mosquito repellent. It works by masking the scent of the human body and confusing the mosquito's sense of smell. Tea tree oil can be applied directly to the skin or added to a carrier oil. Field testing studies have shown that repellents containing tea tree oil are effective against mosquitoes, bush flies, and biting midges.

5. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is known to have insect repellent properties, particularly for mosquitoes, flies, and moths. The scent of lavender is believed to be unpleasant to insects, which can help to deter them from approaching.

One of the main active compounds in lavender oil that is responsible for its insect-repelling properties is linalool. Linalool has been found to have a repellent effect on mosquitoes, as well as other insects such as houseflies and cockroaches.

6. Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon oil has been found to have insecticidal and insect repellent properties. The essential oil derived from the bark of the cinnamon tree contains a high concentration of cinnamaldehyde, which is the main compound responsible for its insecticidal properties.

Cinnamaldehyde works by disrupting the nervous system of insects, leading to paralysis and death. Insects that come into contact with cinnamon oil or its vapors may be deterred from approaching or laying eggs in the area due to the strong scent and toxic effects of the oil.

It's important to note that cinnamon oil should be used with caution, as it can be irritating to the skin if used undiluted or in high concentrations.

7. Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil is derived from the lemongrass plant, which is native to India and Southeast Asia. It contains organic compounds called aldehydes and has a citrusy scent that mosquitoes find repulsive. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and many other biting insects are repelled by Lemongrass' natural repellency. 


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How to Use Essential Oils to Repel Mosquitoes

Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways to repel mosquitoes. Here are some tips for using essential oils as mosquito repellents:

  1. Topical application: Dilute a few drops of your chosen essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or jojoba oil and apply to exposed skin or clothing. 

  2. Diffusion: Add a few drops of essential oil to a diffuser and diffuse in the room or outdoor area where you want to repel insects. This method is particularly useful for indoor areas.

  3. Spray: Mix a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle and use to mist clothing, skin, or outdoor areas. Shake well before using, as the oil and water will naturally separate.


In conclusion, essential oils can be a great natural alternative to traditional mosquito repellents. Citronella oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, tea tree oil, lavender oil, cinnamon oil, and lemongrass oil are all effective at repelling mosquitoes. They can be used in a variety of ways, such as applied directly to the skin or used in a diffuser. However, it is important to note that essential oils should not be relied on as the sole means of protection against mosquito-borne diseases. It is always recommended to take other precautions, such as wearing long-sleeved clothing and using mosquito nets. With these tips and essential oils, you can enjoy your summer evenings outdoors without the annoyance of pesky mosquitoes.

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