Dinners on the terrace, late games in the garden, bushwalks, all these can be glorious moments if it was not for the appearance of mosquitos! To fight mosquitos, to keep them at bay or treat their bites, nothing is better suited than essential oils.
Regarding mosquitos, we are not all equal: some of us are fortunate enough not be to liked by them and seldom get bitten, others attract them irresistibly. For the latter, their skin may swell and the bite can cause severe itching that can become infected.
Rather than being bitten over and over again or to turn to chemical repellents, essential oils are natural remedies to counter the assaults of these little creatures.
Whatever the case may be, if it concerns either adults or children, you need to check if you can use EO with all family members. If you are not familiar with EO, it would be safer to carry out a few skin tolerance tests (method herewith) for each EO you are thinking of using
EO= Essential Oils // VO= Vegetable Oils
What is it that attracts a mosquito?
A mosquito is attracted by:
- Carbon dioxide that we naturally emit. The more active we are (sport, digestion), the more heat we produce and the more dioxide we emit.
- Light in your house, so as to bite you the more through the night.
- The smell of sweat, perfume (hence hit straight for the shower)…
- Coloured clothing
EO for soothing of a mosquito bite fast
Those that repel
Before being bitten, mosquitos can be repelled by diffusion of lemongrass EO (Cymbopogon winterianus). It is a natural repellent against all insects because of its acidy and sharp smell. If children are nearby, the one to chose is Ceylon Lemongrass as it is gentler. Usage: 5 to 10 drops in a water diffuser or 10 to 20 drops in a dry diffuser.
It is also possible to diffuse a few drops of EO on a cloth or a porous stone for repelling mosquitos in bedrooms. A few drops can also be used on fabrics, clothing and mosquito nets. Their effectiveness does not last over time and therefore the practice is to be repeated every 30 minutes or so.
Those that soothe – in the case of bites
If prevention has failed, you can find relief easily with EO. They have EVERYTHING to be effective on mosquito bites (even on the bites of other insects) and some also can be used in the treatment of stings.
One of the advantages of EO is that they have several virtues. As a result, one of them alone can quickly act on several unpleasant symptoms such as:
- Appease pain
- Stop itching
- Diminish swelling
- Stop infection
- Help the skin to heal…
Anaesthetic and disinfectant, it speeds up healing and is the product of miracles
It doesn’t sting, can be used on children from 6 years old onwards (before that age, Fine Lavender is to be preferred). It brings relief almost immediately which comes as a real surprise the first time you use it!
Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties are its main characteristics. With just a little Tea tree EO, pimples will neither get inflamed nor swell up. This EO is kind to the skin and overall well tolerated. It can be used purely on pimples (beware on large surfaces).
Known for its analgesic action, this is the one you need for painful bites! It will work not only on mosquito bite but also on bites by wasps, hornets, bees, spiders…
Those that do both
This EO contains also odorous molecules (such as the citronellol molecule) that repel mosquitos. Its analgesic action is an added bonus for pain and itches. It also relieves the pain of stings.
Usage: place one drop on the wound within 15 minutes or apply to the parts of the body accessible to mosquitos by adding it to your oil or lotion. Don’t forget your feet! (mosquitos look for moisture on ground level) and behind your knees (area very vulnerable and often forgotten).
In diffusion. Lemon-scented Eucalyptus EO repels mosquitos very effectively. Known for its exceptional anti-inflammatory and pain relief qualities, it also soothes stings
How to fight mosquitos with EO?
Beware. Some EO are not recommended for pregnant women and young children. Before the age of 7, it is preferable to use a hydrosol (or floral lotions) less concentrated in active molecules.
1. Diffusion to fight mosquitos
They can be used in spraying on fabrics (clothing, cushions and house linen) or in diffusion inside the home.
If you own an EO diffuser, it is ideal: just use of the EO mentioned above, or create a synergy by mixing 2 or 3 EO and put a few drops in it (depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations), diffusing it in alternation, several times throughout the evening. Find out all about EO diffusers and make an informed choice.
Reminder: avoid perfume-burners. They are attractive but are not EO diffusers. Either the flame is too close to the container and burns the EO which is dangerous because the molecules are altered and become toxic, or the flame is too far removed and the action is useless.
To be used in a mist blower (one that diffuses “dry”) or in a spraying dispenser (one that diffuses with water). For the number of drops needed, it will depend on your diffuser. In a mist blower for instance, you can easily add 20 drops in total.
In a diffuser, add the EO and diffuse 20 to 30 minutes at the end of the afternoon and in the evening in your home and in the bedrooms.
2. Skin applications to fight mosquitos
Apply a few drops of pure EO on the skin for adults and children over the age of 7. EO can also be diluted in VO. It is the ideal method for evenings outside, walking by the sea or in the forest… With repellent EO, you not only repel mosquitos but also ticks and fleas! Avoid the face and around the eyes and test the EO 24 hours before in the crook of your elbow to detect eventual allergies or irritations.
A few ideas to fight mosquitos:
For babies up to age 3: 1 drop EO (Tea tree EO, Fine Lavender or Aspic Lavender only) in 1 tablespoon of VO (or 20ml of VO). To add another EO, add another tablespoon of VO.
Shock Therapy: Large pimples, severe pain or frequent itches (adults)
In a roll-on bottle, mix 3 ml Lavender EO and add a VO. The roll-on device allows to deposit a small amount of oil and thus it can be applied often, or each time you feel the need to do so, especially on the first day. The following days you should feel an improvement and can increase the space between applications.
Dosage for an average treatment of bites, with little or no swelling, few itches using Aspic Lavender
Between the ages of 6 and 9: 6 drops of EO in 10 ml VO
Between the ages of 10 and 14: 8 drops of EO in 10 ml VO
From 14 onwards: 10 drops of EO in 10 ml VO
In an opaque bottle of 10 ml, pour the EO drops and add the VO. Close the bottle and shake gently to homogenise the mixture.
Massage the exposed parts of the body (arms, legs…) with 5 to 10 drops of the mixture. Can be repeated up to 4 times a day in the evening or at the end of the day
About 1 year away from light, heat or humidity. Keep the bottle upright. As soon as you perceive a change in odour or appearance, throw it away.
3. How to fight mosquitos with EO sprays?
- 1/4 litre white vinegar
- 1/2 litre water
- 2 tablespoons of Almond oil
- 20 drops of EO (lemongrass, geranium, lemon-scented eucalyptus, peppermint…)
4. Aromatic bracelets to fight mosquitos
EO bracelets can be a good solution if wanting to avoid direct application of the EO on the skin. It can also be a cute accessory that you recharge regularly to retain its efficiency. You can find some here
- Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women
- Not recommended for children under the age of 12
- Prudence with asthmatic or epileptic people
- Never leave an EO diffuser switched on when going to sleep
- If you have pets, allow them to leave the room where the diffuser is used