I have been a college teacher and journalist. As a freelance content writer, I research the subject to write without prejudice and malice.
The bites of mosquitoes and insects damage the skin and cause several diseases. Some insects also cause infections and irritation.
The people use different repellents to get rid of insects and mosquito. But the topical application of chemical repellents is harmful to the skin. Whereas the electric or burning repellents adversely affect the lungs and are harmful to those having respiratory problems.
The two most common chemicals used in mosquito repellents are Permethrin and DEET or N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide. The former is a neurotoxin, while the latter is a highly toxic pesticide. About 15-20% of these chemicals percolate into the bloodstreams through the skin and cause neurological problems, reproductive disorders, nervous and genetic disabilities with tremors, restlessness, skin irritation and even the damage to brain cells.
These chemicals are not suitable especially for children and pregnant women. Besides the mosquitoes and insects are becoming immune to these chemicals.
On the other hand, natural repellents are safe for health and are easily available. The oils of lemongrass, lemon eucalyptus, catnip, neem or margosa, soybean, and citronella, etc. are the best natural repellents. These oils are used with carrier oils like coconut, soy or almond oil.
Catnip or Nepata Herb
The herb Nepeta cat-aria, also known as catnip, catswort, or catmint is a species of the genus Nepeta. The entire feline family especially cats enjoy sitting near this ornamental house plant and hence the name catnip.
It contains nepetalactone which is the main constituent of several commercial repellents. It is eight to ten times more effective than DEET or other available repellents in the market.
The catnip oil is extracted from the herb through steam distillation. It acts as a mosquito, bug, aphid, termite, cockroach and flies repellent.
The oil is applied to the exposed parts of the skin before going out in the mosquito or insect prone places.
The citronella or Cymbopogon Nardus oil is obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of lemongrass is used as a non-toxic bio-pesticide. It is also used in perfumes and mosquito repellent soaps. It was the shortage of citronella that inspired the discovery of DEET during the times of World War II.
It is also used as a food flavoring due to its citrus flavor and the herbal tea is used for cough and nasal blockage. The plant attracts the bees and keeps the garden insects at a bay. The citronella oil is used as a preservative and the presence of the plant in the fields helps in the growth of tomatoes and broccoli without the use of pesticides. In India, the lemongrass oil was used to keep the brittle palm leaf manuscripts soft in ancient times.
It is commonly used in natural or herbal mosquito repellents. The anti-fungal properties of citronella oil kill the termites and are effective against leeches or head and body louse. This herbal oil is less effective than catnip but it saves the skin from the bites of mosquitoes and insects. It has been verified that the citronella oil is very effective on the mosquitoes causing dengue fever, but it needs to be re-applied after each hour.
Put essential oils in a spray bottle with 90 ml of water and or alcohol especially vodka and shake the bottle before use.
The mosquitoes dislike the flavor of garlic and are thus driven away from it. The garlic paste could be applied to the insect or mosquito-bitten area to alleviate the pain and inflammation.
To prepare the garlic oil just infuse four cloves of garlic overnight in a cup of warm, not hot olive oil and put the lid on the container. The oil is used and the residue is discarded.
The garlic oil could be applied to naked parts of the body. The smell of garlic disappears in half an hour, but the mosquitoes remain away due to their strong sense of smell about ten thousand times more than humans.
Those allergic to garlic should not use this remedy as contact dermatitis; a common inflammatory skin condition caused by coming in contact with garlic oil has been reported in some cases.
It is a sweet-scented analgesic and antiseptic oil used in medicines to reduce tension, migraine, anxiety, depression, nerve exhaustion, hypertension, indigestion muscular pain, and respiratory or urinary disorders. It is completely natural and has a sleep-inducing effect. The lavender oil was used to protect clothes and linens from the infestation of moths and other insects in ancient times.
Lavender oil is less viscous in comparison to almond and coconut oils and is the best mosquito and insect repellent. The insects remain away when the lavender oil mixed with aqueous cream is applied to the skin. But it needs to be reapplied after every two hours. Mixing it with citronella and eucalyptus oils makes its effects lasting.
It is also used in natural mosquito repellents and gives best results when diluted in carrier oils like apricot, almond, coconut oil, etc. Add about 25-30 drops of lavender oil to three tablespoons of coconut oil and apply on the skin.
It nourishes the skin and has no side-effects like synthetic repellents.
The smell of crushed lavender flowers and its oil can also be used to keep the mosquitoes and insects away. Rub the crushed flowers and then apply the lavender oil to repel the mosquitoes.
Soak a ribbon with few drops of lavender oil and hang it around the open door or window to keep the mosquitoes away.
Plant the herb in the garden to keep the surroundings free from insects and mosquitoes.
Margosa or Neem Oil
The Margosa or Neem tree is known as Indian Lilac and has several health benefits. In the garden, the Margosa plant helps in pollination and absorption of nutrients. It has no ill effect on beneficial insects like butterflies, bees, and even the earthworms.
The Margosa oil extracted from the seeds of the Neem is like a curse against fly, mosquito, flea, tick, and insects. It saves from malaria, dengue fever, plague, and Lyme disease.
For overnight protection against mosquitoes, prepare the mixture of 18-20 drops of Neem oil in half a cup of coconut oil and apply on the exposed skin. Avoid applying the Neem oil on cuts or wounds.
The mixture of coconut oil and Margosa oil gives complete protection from mosquito bites.
The kerosene lamp containing 2% mixture of Neem oil keeps the mosquitoes away from the living room.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
The lemon eucalyptus oil is not the blend of eucalyptus or lemon. It is more effective than DEET as its strong smell disturbs the sense of direction of mosquitoes and insects. The lemon eucalyptus oil is commonly used in Europe, Australia, Asia, and Latin America. It needs to be reapplied like citronella for lasting effects.
A mixture of 35 percent lemon eucalyptus oil in base oil gives 95% protection against mosquitoes for three hours.
The application of lemon eucalyptus oil is the best option against mosquitoes and insects for those disliking the smell of citronella oil. The soft pleasant smell and feel on the skin make the Lemon eucalyptus oil the preferable mosquito protection for sensitive skin and irritable sense of smell.
Add 8-10 drops of Lemon eucalyptus oil in half cup of coconut oil and apply on skin.
One part lemon eucalyptus oil could be added to 10 parts of sunflower oil or witch hazel or aqueous cream to prepare the application of it.
The most effective Mosquito Repellent
The natural insect repellent essential oil could be prepared by mixing 50 ml of soybean or coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract with 10 drops each of the catnip, neem, citronella, lavender, lemon eucalyptus oils. The oil could be sprayed on exposed skin, curtains and clothes for effective protection against mosquitos.
The organic soy oil is considered to be an important option against the infection causing insects and mosquitoes.
It acts as a moisturizer and is as effective as DEET, but needs to be reapplied after 4 hours.
It is very effective against insects and mosquitoes when used with lemongrass oil. The topical application of soy oil retards the growth of hair.
The cinnamon oil can kill the mosquito eggs and larva.
Add a teaspoon of cinnamon oil in 100 ml water and spray it on skin, clothes, household items, plants or standing water.
It is the natural mosquito and insect repellent.
Thyme oil is very effective against malaria-causing mosquitoes.
Add 4-5 drops of thyme oil to every teaspoon of coconut oil or any other base oil like olive or jojoba or sesame oil.
The thyme oil spray can be prepared by adding 5-6 drops of it in 50 ml water.
Black Pepper Oil
Black pepper or Piper Nigrum is an excellent mosquito repellent when 5 to 6 drops each of catnip, citronella, lavender, Neem or Margosa, and black pepper oil are mixed in 100 ml base oil and the contents are rubbed on the skin.
It keeps the mosquitoes at bay and also acts as a moisturizer.
Precautions to Use Natural Repellents
1. Never use 100% pure essential oils on your skin; always dilute it. In skin applications, it is better to use no more than a 5% concentration of essential oil. It is better to use one part of the essential oil with 10-20 parts of carrier oil.
2. Always buy high-quality oils from a natural food store for the best results on the skin.
3. Test the repellent on a small patch of skin for 24 hours to see if it causes any irritation because of skin allergies or oil sensitivities.
4. Apply the repellent oils on the face with hands and always wash the hands with soap and water after the application. Avoid these getting into the eyes, nostrils, mouth, open sores, wounds or cuts.
5. Conduct a patch test on clothes for stains and do not use soy or coconut oil base for articles of clothing, but these oils are best for the skin. Some oils may permanently stain the leather, vinyl or similar fabrics.
6. Avoid the use of natural mosquito repellent oils on children below 3 years as they may rub the eyes or lick the treated skin.
7. The oils are not DEET but are not to be ingested.
8. Consult the family physician before using these oils.
1. Instead of using poisons, it is better to follow some evasive measures.
2. Avoid using perfumes, fragrant sunscreens, creams or body lotions, as the mosquitoes get attracted to sweet flowery smells.
3. Always cover the arms and legs with tight-fitting light-colored clothes made of tightly woven materials as the mosquitoes get attracted to dark articles of clothing.
4. Burn citronella candles and incense near doors and windows to keep the mosquitoes and insects away.
5. Use mosquito nets of the thin mesh without leaving any entry point for mosquitoes.
Banana Peel for Mosquito and Insect Bites
The peels of banana are beneficial for the treatment of mosquito bites, scars, swells, and itching sensations. Apply water and sanitize the part of body affected by mosquito bite. Hold the peel tightly and open up the inside part. Rub it softly on the swollen skin for 10-15 minutes to heal the swelling and get relief from the itching sensation of mosquito and insect bite.
Burn few seeds of nigella stevia or kalonji and let the smoke remain in the room to get rid of house insects.
The flowers of marigold repel the mosquitos.
Plant Mosquito Repelling Plants
Another good option to keep away the mosquitoes is to plant the insect-repelling plants in the garden near the house. Lotus or Nelumbo Nucifera is an effective mosquito repellent and kills the mosquito larvae too. It grows in water and is a good option to keep the mosquitoes away.
There are some of the plants which are excellent and natural repellents, as they give off an unpleasant smell which drives away the mosquitoes and other insects. The following plants, shrubs, herbs, and trees could be planted in the backyard.
Mint or Mentha
Bee Balm or Monarda
Tea Tree or Melaleuca
Garlic or Allium sativum
Wormwood or Artemisia
Catnip or Nepeta cataria
Cedars or Thuja species
Tansy or Tanacetum vulgare
Catmint or Nepeta faassenii
Basil or Ocimum americium
Vanilla Leaf or Achlys tri phyla
Cloves or Syzygium aromaticum
Pitcher Plant or Nepenthes alata
Nodding Onion or Allium cernuum
Lemon Balm or Melissa officinalis
Lemon Thyme or Thymus vulgaris
Mexican Marigold orTagetes Lucida
Lavander or Lavandula angustifolia
Lemon Verbena or Aloysia tri phyla
Snow-brush or Ceanothus velutinous
Sweet Fern or Comptonia peregrina
Wild Bergamot or Mondarda fistulose
Rosemary or Rosmarinus officinalis
Floss Flower or Ageratum Coumarin
Cadaga Tree or Eucalyptus torelliana
Stone root or Collinsonia Canadensis
Thai Lemon Grass or Cymbopogon citrates
Pineapple weed or Matricaria matricarioides
Lemon Scented Geranium or Pelargonium crispum
Ultrasound Scares Away the Mosquitoes and Rats
The mosquitoes, fleas, house fly, spiders, a cockroach can hear sounds from 300 Hz to 44,000 Hz. The sound beyond this level irritates them and they are forced to run away from the sound source or hide behind the shelters.
Similarly, the rats can hear high-frequency sounds which are beyond the audible range of human beings. The hearing range of rats is between 200 Hz and 80 to 90 kHz, and the frequencies beyond this range scare away the rats.
The ordinary rat traps put near the nest holes of the rats are generally not very effective. The only long-term solution is to use an ultrasound signal generator. The high-frequency ultrasound waves scare away the rats, but those with the young ones will take some time to abandon the place, as the young ones become old enough in a month or so.
The use of an ultrasound generator is a very effective as a mosquito or cat repellent and it can even stop the dogs from barking. The sound generated by each repellent unit can cover an average size room up to 400 square feet.
The audible range of the upper frequency of several animals is higher than that of the human beings and they can hear those sounds which are inaudible for men. The human adults can’t hear the tones above 15,000 Hz.
Avoid the long-time use and the use at the mega-volume for an ultrasound.
Do not use earphones or headphones.
Discontinue the use of ultrasound on an appearance of adverse effects including a headache etc.
Audible Range of Different Species
|Species||Audible Range in Hertz|
7. Human Being
How Ultrasounds Travel
The high-frequency ultrasound waves are called sound but these waves behave more like light waves than sound.
Consider the sound speaker as a floodlight to get the idea that how the ultrasound waves travel. They radiate outward in the shape of a cone and throw shadows behind solid objects like furniture etc., and cast little illumination in the room as is done by light.
The ultrasound waves get reflected by hard surfaces and are absorbed by soft ones. The ultrasound bounces more effectively in the rooms containing hard surfaces as is found in the kitchen.
The 5-in-1 Home Sentinel ultrasonic, electromagnetic indoor pest control insect and rodent repellent available on Amazon drives away the pests, rodents, spiders, cockroaches, ants, snakes, and mosquitoes. The insect repellent sound is inaudible to human and pets. Its effective coverage area is 1200 Square Feet. But the ultrasonic waves can not travel through metal and walls. This repellent with ionizer gives automatic light at night through three inbuilt LED lights. The sensor automatically turns on at night and it turns off during the daytime.
These natural herbs are just to avoid and repel the mosquitoes.
It is better to minimize the presence of mosquitoes in and around the dwelling houses.
The slum areas and the places with severe sanitation problems need to be cleaned.
These herbs are not remedies for malaria and dengue.
Don't allow the water to remain standing around the houses and flower pots as these places are the breeding grounds of mosquitoes.
© 2015 Sanjay Sharma
Sanjay Sharma (author) from Mandi (HP) India on October 13, 2015:
Thanks Anita Saran for the visit and the compliment.
Anita Saran from Bangalore, India on October 12, 2015:
Sanjay, this is a very informative and well-written hub. Thank you for sharing!
Sanjay Sharma (author) from Mandi (HP) India on February 02, 2015:
Thanks aviannovice for the visit and the comment. I completely agree with you. The organic things are far better than the chemicals.
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on January 31, 2015:
I do favor natural and organic. Thanks for this very effective piece for those of us that don't agree with the use of chemical agents.
Sanjay Sharma (author) from Mandi (HP) India on January 26, 2015:
Thanks peachpurple for the visit and the comment.
Sanjay Sharma (author) from Mandi (HP) India on January 24, 2015:
Thanks DDE for the visit and the comment. I myself have tried some of these remedies and have found them effective.
peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 23, 2015:
thanks for th tips, i overtturn cans and tins , make sure no water, and change the toilet water too. Must buy catnip, voted up
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 23, 2015:
A useful hub. In the summer time we do have these problems. To keep these creatures out is the best idea and you suggestions are so helpful.
Sanjay Sharma (author) from Mandi (HP) India on January 17, 2015:
Thanks CrisSp for the visit and the comment.
Instead of killing, the spray of lemongrass oil will keep the fruit flies away. Add 10 drops of Lemongrass essential oil in a spray bottle containing 50 ml of hot water and spray on windows, doors etc. It has a nice refreshing smell.
You can try the following to get rid of them.
Take the mixture of 500 ml milk, 100 gram raw sugar, 50 gram ground pepper in a pan and simmer for 10- 15 minutes. Add 2-3 drops of dish soap to it. Put the mixture in a shallow plates and place it around the house. The fruit flies are drawn towards the mixture to get drowned in it.
CrisSp from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on January 17, 2015:
This is awesome and much as I love spring and summer, I don't like mosquitoes and other bugs alike specially, fruit flies. We always have them in the summer and I trap them with apple cider vinegar but my hubby hates the smell of it. Any other tip to actually get rid of these pests?