Spring and summer are the perfect time to enjoy all the wonderful things warm weather allows us to do. Backyard barbeques, trips to the park, or just walking around the neighborhood are all great; that is until the mosquitoes find you. Mosquitoes are not only a bothersome pest, but they can be deadly.

Unfortunately, these flying insects thrive during the warmest times of the year. How can you take advantage of the weather when you have these nasty biting bugs to contend with?

There are a few repellents available on the market; however, for those looking to take a more natural approach, there are a few essential oils that can help ward off mosquitoes.

essential oils don't last as long as deet repellents

Essential Oils Can Help But Have Their Limits.

A go-to for many people who want to avoid heavy repellents, essentials can provide some protection from mosquitoes. Keep in mind, there are more effective ways to keep these nasty biting insects away. Repellents using DEET can not only keep mosquitoes at bay but ticks as well. Additionally, wearing long sleeves and pants can be effective too, provided the material isn’t too thin.

Still, if you aren’t keen on covering up in scorching temperatures or you are looking for a natural way to layer on protection, certain essential oils can help. Keep in mind, to get the same effect as DEET repellents, you may have to apply a greater amount of oil and more frequently. Also, while essential oils can effectively ward some mosquitoes away, it won’t work against all of them.

Why Do You Need To Keep Mosquitoes From Biting?

Mosquito bites are more than just annoying. These pesky insects need blood to fertilize their eggs, so they will constantly seek out a host. Once they poke you with their proboscis, they not only take your blood, but they can leave behind some nasty side-effects. At the very least, you might end up with a raised, red mark on your skin that is terribly itchy. At worst, you could end up with a horrible disease.

Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest creatures alive simply because of the diseases they can pass on including the Zika virus, yellow fever, malaria, and many more.

peppermint essential oil can ward off mosquitos

So, Which Essential Oils Can I Use?

It’s important to take the proper precautions when you leave your home. If you decide to try essential oils, here are your best options.

  • Citronella: Citronella is a great option. In fact, this oil is used in many repellents and candles on the market. When used as an essential oil, it is remarkably effective for short periods and is by far the most effective of all the oils on this list.
  • Lemon Eucalyptus: The citrus scent of lemon eucalyptus can keep many insects, including mosquitoes, at bay. This is another oil that needs to be applied often, even after a few hours.
  • Peppermint: If you don’t mind the sharp scent of peppermint, this can ward mosquitoes away. However, keep in mind peppermint is only useful in high concentration.
  • Lemon Grass: Keeping with the citrus theme, lemongrass can help ward off mosquitoes for a short time. However, it isn’t as effective as Citronella.
  • Basil: More than just a delicious spice, mosquitoes can’t stand the scent.
  • Lavender: This option not only smells great, but it helps chase off mosquitoes too. Plus, you can use it for additional things; the versatility is a plus.
  • Tea Tree Oil: While this option can be effective, it has been known to dry out your skin. If you are planning on using it sparingly, or for short trips outside, it is effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay.

Things To Keep In Mind

While essential oils are a great alternative treatment, there are some pitfalls to be aware of. These products don’t last as long as DEET repellents, and they aren’t as effective overall. At times, you may have to use a decent amount to keep mosquitoes away, and you must reapply often. This may end up hurting your wallet more in the long run if you don’t have a healthy stash of oils.

If you do plan on using these treatments, be careful to test them on your skin before you apply them all over. An allergic reaction can prove worse than a mosquito bite. If you don’t have a reaction, apply the oils directly on your skin; anywhere that a mosquito could possibly land. Also, remember to reapply often.

When it comes to effectiveness and long-lasting protection, take precautions based on your activities. If you are heading out in the backyard or on a short walk, essential oils might be enough. However, if you are hiking, or spending a long time outdoors, you may want to use other methods. Remember, the goal is to protect yourself from these disease-carrying pests. Weigh the options before heading out under-protected.

mosquitos are one of the deadliest creatures because of the diseases they can carry

Concluding Thoughts

When it comes to repellents, natural methods can be effective. However, remember to take the steps to stay protected while outdoors. Reapply often and the proper amounts. If the essential oils aren’t cutting it, try combining them with other methods such as long sleeves and pants, or by adding citronella candles and other repellents to outdoor areas.

If you are planning on spending more than a few hours outside, it may be best to select a repellent with DEET. Either way, get back to enjoying the outdoors, mosquito bite free!

 


 

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