9 Scents That Mosquitoes Hate (And How To Use Them) - Pest Pointers (2023)

It’s summertime and you are enjoying the outdoor patio with your family and friends. The evening skylight looms in the distance and everything is beautiful. All of a sudden, your arm is itchy. You look down and what do you see? A mosquito biting you!

Mosquitoes have an incredibly strong sense of smell, which they use to find accessible food sources. You can repel mosquitoes by using scents they hate, like lavender, peppermint oil, geranium oil, cinnamon bark oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, catnip, rosemary, and pine oil.

If you are looking to be rid of those annoying mosquitoes for good, then settle in, grab a cup of tea, and enjoy reading this post. We will share exactly how to use each scent so you can deter mosquitoes from coming into your yard, garden, and home!

Just to add – when you shop using links from Pest Pointers, we may earn affiliate commissions if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

What Are Mosquitoes Attracted To?

So how do mosquitoes enter our yard, garden, or even the inside of our homes? What is it that attracts them to these places?

First off, mosquitoes tend to be a problem at night, from dusk until dawn. This is most likely why you see them at night.

Mosquitoes are attracted to lights, therefore explaining why you often find them buzzing around your porch or deck lights.

They also fly to standing water and breed in this area. This should lead you to do things like cleaning out any fountains or small bodies of water, like a birdbath, which you have in your backyard.

Mosquitoes just love to bite people! They are attracted to certain things that are on people’s skin including their sweat. It is not a pleasant thought, right? But, hey, that is just what they do!

What Scents Do Mosquitoes Hate And How Can You Use Them?

Let’s dig into why you are here. Let’s learn all about the various scents that mosquitoes hate and how you can use them effectively.

Get ready to take notes!

9 Scents That Mosquitoes Hate (And How To Use Them) - Pest Pointers (1)

Lavender Repels Mosquitoes

Ah, do you smell that wonderful scent? What could it be? Lavender, you say? Wow, it smells fantastic!

(Video) 10 Plants That Mosquitoes Hate (And We Love) | Backyardscape

However, guess what? Mosquitoes absolutely hate the scent of lavender! It’s true!

Let’s say that you have a beautiful garden in your yard. What you should do is buy some lavender plants and plant them somewhere outside.You’ll notice that many of the mosquitoes that visited your home, stay away.

Now, it’s important to note that you should plant as many lavender plants as possible, not just a few. The aroma of one plant itself won’t be enough to repel mosquitoes.

So, to repel mosquitoes with lavender, plant or place 5-10 plants in areas you want to repel them. The more plants, the better. At times when you need to repel mosquitoes, crush some of the lavender to release the lavender oil inside, which will help to repel mosquitoes.

Well, what if you do not have a garden at your home or can’t get plants? That is totally okay because you can use lavender in other ways.

You can always look into some terrific products like the Plant Therapy Essential Oils in Lavender. Make sure you have an essential oil diffuser, then once the lavender essential oil arrives at your doorstep, get it set and press start!

The scent of lavender will waft through the air and help repel mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes Hate Peppermint Oil

Do you enjoy peppermint sticks or peppermint candy, especially at Christmas time when these products are in abundance everywhere?

Well, you may or may not enjoy the taste or fragrant smell of peppermint, but mosquitoes, they definitely hate the smell!

So what can you do if you want to use peppermint to repel mosquitoes?

Research published in the Journal of Medical Entomology showed that high concentrations of peppermint oil can repel mosquitoes. Researchers found that small concentrations of peppermint oil (5% and 10%) did not repel mosquitoes, but that only high concentrations of peppermint oil were effective.

I really wanted to recommend a product here, but it’s better for other insects and rodents instead of mosquitoes.

So that being said, if going by the research, placing peppermint essential oil in a diffuser near areas where you’d like to repel mosquitoes outdoors may be strong enough to keep mosquitoes away from your immediate area.

(Video) 8 All-Natural Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away

Peppermint plants most likely won’t work for this one, but if you do want to go that route, make sure that you crush up the peppermint plants at peak times when you want to repel mosquitoes.

Geranium Oil Repels Mosquitoes

One essential oil that you may not think of as a typical mosquito repellent is geranium oil.

While there isn’t significant scientific evidence to support geranium oil for repelling mosquitoes, geranium oil has been thought of as an age old DEET alternative for repelling mosquitoes.

While geranium oil on it’s own most likely isn’t enough to repel mosquitoes, it can be useful when used with other mosquito repelling ingredients such as lemongrass eucalyptus and rosemary. Take a look at SALLYEANDER No-Bite-Me Natural Bug Repellent which contains a mixture of 16 different mosquito repelling essential oils.

Cinnamon Bark Oil Can Help Eliminate Mosquito Eggs

Cinnamon often makes people think of warm, cozy winter nights when you are huddled in a blanket at home, with a cup of hot chocolate drizzled in cinnamon spice in your hands.

However, cinnamon bark oil has an alternative use as an effective mosquito elimination tool.

Cinnamon bark oil has a warm and spicy scent. According to research published by research published out of National Taiwan University, researchers found that Cinnamaldehyde, the primary organic compound in cinnamon was effective at inhibiting the growth of larvae of yellow fever mosquitos.

So, if you find a grouping of mosquito eggs, spraying cinnamon bark oil on the larvae may be an effectie solution to stunting mosquito growth near you.

Oil of Lemongrass Eucalyptus Deters Mosquitoes

9 Scents That Mosquitoes Hate (And How To Use Them) - Pest Pointers (2)

Lemongrass is found everywhere, from ingredients to sprays to candles to lotions. Some people love its smell, others not so much. For mosquitoes? They hate the scent of citronella.

In truth, the oil of lemon eucalyptus is recommended by the CDC to prevent tick and mosquito bites on adults. It’s one of the only plant based repellents to be recommended to repel mosquito bites. The key ingredient, oil of lemon eucalyptus, is stronger in concentration that the base plant itself and can repel mosquitoes.

Upon searching the EPA database for registered mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus, you’ll find Coleman Botanicals Insect Repellent, which claims to repel mosquitoes as a DEET alternative for up to 6 hours. While not an endorsement from the EPA, it is a registered product.

Try out that essential oil and let us know if it works for you! Either way, you will get to enjoy the wonderful aroma of lemongrass in and around your home.

Citronella Repels Mosquitoes

Citronella candles are such an amazing thing to use on warm summer evenings when all you want to do is relax outside. Why should you use them? Well simply, citronella affects the scent glands of mosquiotes.

(Video) When Tested See Which Repellents Keep Mosquitoes Away Best?

In truth, citronella blocks the scent receptors of mosquitoes. When citronella is applied topically or released into the air, mosquitoes are unable to find a proper food source and stay away from the area. You can apply citronella based mosquitoes topical repellents, or use a citronella candle.

There is a great product called the Cutter Citronella Candle that comes in a copper cup and it is about 20oz.

All you need to do is get this candle set up outside and light it!

Once you get the candle burning, it will create a perimeter within its surrounding area which the mosquitoes will not be able to permeate.

So if you want to protect yourself and your family from a night of getting bitten relentlessly by those irritating mosquitoes, take a look into some citronella!

Catnips Repels Mosquitoes Similar To DEET

Do you use catnip? Maybe you do, and maybe you do not, but let me drop some knowledge on you.

Catnip is one of the strongest forms of repellent against mosquitoes! Get some catnip leaves and crush them into small pieces. Once these release a natural oil, you can take that oil and rub it on various rags or similar fabrics.Catnips has been shown to be almost as effective as DEET.

Spread these rags outside and let the catnip do its magic! If you weren’t sure what DEET was, it’s an EPA approved chemical compound that hides your scent from mosquitoes. So, catnip works the same way and can be just as effective when properly applied.

The Strong Scent Of Rosemary Repels Mosquitoes

Rosemary is the last scent we recommend you use to get rid of those darn mosquitoes!

Mosquitoes hate the strong scent of rosemary.

In truth, mosquitoes are repelled by the strong scent of rosemary as its pungent aroma doesn’t indicate a food source and masks potential food sources simultaneously. To use rosemary as a mosquito repellent, you can crush leaves or keep small plants around areas mosquitoes frequent.

If you’re looking for a commercial solution, take a peak at Wondercide’s Rosemary Mosquito, Tick, and Insect Repellent Spray.

Pine Oil Repels Mosquitoes

One of the most tried and true rural methods for repelling mosquitoes actually has some scientific backing to it. Thats right, pine oil.

(Video) 15 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Yard

Pine oil will repel mosquitoes. Research from the Malaria Research Centrefound that pine oil provided 100% protection from Anopheles culicifacies and 97% protection from southern house mosquitos, which are most commonly found in tropical climates.

While you may not be reading this from the tropics, it’s important to note that using pine oil as a mosquito repellent has been a homestead method for many years, and has some scientific validity to boot. While the study above looked at pine oil on the skin there are other ways that this may be effective.

For instance, a diffuser! Simply put, you can properly dilute pine oil and place it in a diffuser outside whenever you need to keep those pesky mosquitoes away.

9 Scents That Mosquitoes Hate (And How To Use Them) - Pest Pointers (3)

Conclusion: Let’s Do A Quick Recap!

Thanks so much for sticking with us during this blog post!

We hope you learned a lot and know exactly what to do the next time mosquitoes start bothering you or invade your personal property.

Just to be on the safe side, let’s do a quick recap of all the scents we covered so you know just what to look for:

  • Lavender: This can be used as an essential oil, or even as a plant. Many lavender-scented sprays target insects. Try these out and we are sure one of them is bound to work for you!
  • Peppermint Oil: This scent can be found in a product that is mentioned above which helps eradicate mosquitoes from the surrounding areas.
  • Geranium Oil: When used with other mosquito repelling scents, geranium oil can be a powerful mosquito repellent.
  • Cinnamon Bark Oil: Candles are a great way to go in this circumstance.
  • Lemongrass Eucalyptus Oil: Try out a lemongrass essential oil in your diffuser. It should definitely work!
  • Citronella Oil: Citronella candles are a classic solution to getting rid of many insects, especially mosquitoes.
  • Catnip: Get a hold of some leaves, crush them, collect the oil, put the oil on rags, and spread those rags around outside.
  • Rosemary: Use a lot of rosemary plants, or rosemary oil for an effective repellent.
  • Pine Oil: Dilute pine oil, and place it in a diffuser where you need to repel mosquitoes.

Well, that’s a wrap for us! Woohoo!

If you’re looking for more mosquito tips, check out our piece on how to keep mosquitoes out of your house for good.

Thank you so much for stopping by. See you soon for your next pest problem!


Barnard, D. R. (1999). Repellency of essential oils to mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of medical entomology, 36(5), 625-629.

Cheng, S. S., Liu, J. Y., Tsai, K. H., Chen, W. J., & Chang, S. T. (2004). Chemical composition and mosquito larvicidal activity of essential oils from leaves of different Cinnamomum osmophloeum provenances. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 52(14), 4395-4400.

Cilek, J. E., & Schreiber, E. T. (1994). Failure of the” mosquito plant”, Pelargonium x citrosum’van Leenii’, to repel adult Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus in Florida. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 10(4), 473-476.

Clemens, A. N. (2011). The biology of mosquitoes.

(Video) 7 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes and Other Insects

Tucker, A.O., & Maciarellg, N.M.J. (1996). Essential oil analysis and field evaluation of the citrosa plant “Pelargonium Citrosum” as a repellent against populations of Aedes mosquitoes. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 12(I):69-74

Piyaratne, M. K., Amerasinghe, F. P., Amerasinghe, P. H., & Konradsen, F. (2005). Physico-chemical characteristics of Anopheles culicifacies and Anopheles varuna breeding water in a dry zone stream in Sri Lanka. Journal of Vector Borne Diseases, 42(2), 61.


9 Scents That Mosquitoes Hate (And How To Use Them) - Pest Pointers? ›

You can repel mosquitoes by using scents they hate, like lavender, peppermint oil, geranium oil, cinnamon bark oil, lemon eucalyptus oil, citronella oil, catnip, rosemary, and pine oil. If you are looking to be rid of those annoying mosquitoes for good, then settle in, grab a cup of tea, and enjoy reading this post.

What smells do mosquitoes hate the most? ›

Mosquitoes hate the smell of lavender, citronella, clove, peppermint, basil, cedarwood, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass and rosemary.

What scents help keep mosquitoes away? ›

Here are the natural scents that help repel the mosquitoes:
  • Citronella.
  • Clove.
  • Cedarwood.
  • Lavender.
  • Eucalyptus.
  • Peppermint.
  • Rosemary.
  • Lemongrass.
Sep 4, 2020

What smell kills mosquitoes? ›

Citronella oil is a natural mosquito repellent that will kill mosquitoes and drive them out of your house. Look for citronella candles or use citronella essential oil in your vaporizer or oil diffuser.

Does Pine Sol keep mosquitoes away? ›

Mosquitos. Pine-Sol is an effective natural way to keep the mosquitoes at bay. To keep the mosquitos away, use diluted Pine-Sol cleaner to spray on crevices, soffits, and other potential places where mosquitoes may breed.

How do you make homemade mosquito repellent? ›

Gather the ingredients.

You'll need half a cup of distilled water, half a cup of witch hazel, rubbing alcohol, or vinegar, and 30 to 40 drops of essential oil of your choice. (Rubbing alcohol may be irritating if sprayed on the skin, and witch hazel is the gentlest option for sprays.) 2.

What attract mosquitoes most? ›

Mosquitoes are attracted to potassium, salt, and lactic acid released by your body, so it helps to avoid salty and potassium rich foods like bananas, avocados, and dried fruit. Fragrances are known to attract mosquitoes. Floral scents are especially attractive.

Does Irish Spring soap keep mosquitoes away? ›

No, there is no scientific backing from the EPA or CDC that Irish Spring soap repels mosquitoes.

Do mosquitoes hate the smell of lemon? ›

There are several essential oils that have demonstrated mosquito-repellent properties. A few of the best include: Lemon eucalyptus – The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has credited lemon eucalyptus oil as a reliable mosquito repellent. If you enjoy the bright smell of lemon, this oil is worth a try.

How does coffee grounds get rid of mosquitoes? ›

Sprinkle coffee grounds around garden plants and trees where water pools. This will help prevent mosquito larvae from taking over. For those places around the yard with standing, stagnant water, add 3 tablespoons of coffee grounds per 1 cup of standing water.

How do lemons get rid of mosquitoes? ›

The easiest way to use lemon juice as a mosquito repellent is by combining six fresh-squeezed lemons and a quart of water. Bring to a boil and let steep for an hour. After the mixture steeps, let it cool down and add it to a spray bottle. Make sure that you avoid your eyes and any open cuts when spraying this mixture.

What kind of lotion keeps mosquitoes away? ›

Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent is one of the best mosquito-repelling lotions we've ever tried. This completely unscented lotion comes in a 4 oz bottle — a great size for stashing into your luggage or overnight bag. The lotion uses Picaridin instead of DEET as its main repelling ingredient.

Do mosquitoes hate the smell of vinegar? ›

Mosquitoes dislike the smell and taste of the vinegar, and will leave you alone so you can enjoy your BBQ. So if you're interested in seeking a natural insect repellent, try out this recipe which uses apple cider vinegar as a base! Fill your spray bottle with half water, and half apple cider vinegar.

What colors do mosquitoes hate? ›

They also found that mosquitos ignored green, purple, blue and white. When a researcher inserted their hand into the chamber wearing a green glove, mosquitos ignored it, even when it was sprayed with CO2. Unfortunately, avoiding mosquitoes isn't as easy as choosing the right color of clothes.

Do mothballs keep mosquitoes away? ›

The label of any pesticide product, including mothballs, tells you exactly where and how a product is supposed to be used. Using the product in any other way could put you and others at risk. Besides, they have little or no effect as repellents. Many years ago, mothballs may have been made out of different chemicals.

Does Irish Spring soap keep flies away? ›

This viral Facebook post reveals that a strong-smelling bar of soap, like Irish Spring, will keep bugs away with its strong scent. Irish Spring is known for its classic “invigorating” scent, and there are plenty of success stories on the internet from people using it to banish flies.

What to put in standing water to prevent mosquitoes? ›

Dish Soap, Shampoo, or Oil

A millimeter per gallon of standing water will kill the mosquito larvae in about a day. Oil is a super quick solution when it comes to killing mosquito larvae. If you have vegetable oil, extra-virgin olive oil or even cinnamon oil, pour 1 teaspoon of oil per gallon of water.

How do I get rid of mosquitoes in my house fast? ›

Use an indoor insect fogger or indoor insect spray to kill mosquitoes and treat areas where they rest. These products work immediately, and may need to be reapplied. When using insecticides, always follow label directions.

What household items repel mosquitoes? ›

Choose your preferred base and favorite scent among the following recipes to create a homemade mosquito repellent that is effective and DEET-free.
  • Witch Hazel. – 1/3 cup witch hazel. ...
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. – 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. ...
  • Coconut Oil. – 1/3 cup coconut oil. ...
  • Isopropyl Alcohol. ...
  • White Vinegar. ...
  • Lemon Juice.
Apr 30, 2021

What are 3 things that attract mosquitoes? ›

Mosquitoes are Attracted to Water, Nectar and Blood

Mosquitoes feast on blood as well as nectar. Furthermore, mosquitoes are drawn to water as it provides hydration as well as a hospitable area to lay eggs.

What kind of soap repels mosquitoes? ›

It is best to choose a DEET and/or permethrin-based soap as they have been scientifically tested. Furthermore, DEET and permethrin are EPA-registered insect repellents.

Does dish soap get rid of mosquitoes? ›

Dish of Soapy Water

This is a home remedy to trap mosquitoes. Whenever you are entertaining outdoor, place a dish outside with soapy water in it. You can use dishwashing or detergent soap to create bubbles. Mosquitoes are attracted to water and once they are in the water, they get trap in the bubbles and die.

Is there a body wash that repels mosquitoes? ›

Sallye Ander No-Bite-Me Soap - Bug & Insect Repellent Soap - 1 Bar - Safe for Kids and Infants - Repels Mosquitoes, Black Flies, Fleas, and Ticks.

Do mosquitoes hate cinnamon? ›

"You can use cinnamon on any indoor or outdoor space as protection against pest infestations." Cinnamon doesn't only scare away ants, but also cockroaches, spiders, fruit flies, rats, wasps, earwigs, silverfish, mosquitoes, and even bed bugs, according to Barrett.

Do mosquitoes like vanilla scent? ›

Repel biting insects

Biting insects also hate the smell of Myrtle, Basil, and woodsy notes like Cedar or Fir. Oddly enough Mosquitos hate the smell of all these notes, but in particular, Vanilla is a major Mosquito repellent as it interferes with their ability to hone into food sources (us).

Do mosquitoes hate vanilla? ›

Use pure vanilla extract to deter mosquitoes and gnats.

Pure vanilla extract does the trick — anything else may attract bugs instead of repel them. Mix one tablespoon of vanilla extract with one tablespoon of water and apply to your skin with a cotton ball.

How do I stop getting bitten by mosquitoes? ›

Insect Repellents

applied to all areas of exposed skin not covered by clothing. applied after sunscreen; be aware that the SPF protection of your sunscreen may be reduced. reapplied regularly, particularly if you notice mosquitoes flying close to your skin. reapplied after swimming, washing or excessive sweating.

Why do mosquitoes bite me and not my husband? ›

In fact, about 85 percent of why mosquitoes are attracted to you comes down to your genetics, researchers say. Things like your blood type and how much lactic acid you have on your skin play a big role.

Do mosquitoes hate vinegar? ›

Acetic acid makes vinegar an excellent tool for pest control, repelling some of the most common backyard nuisances and even killing weaker insects. It's most effective against ants, spiders, and mosquitos. You can keep spiders from entering your home by spraying vinegar around your property's perimeter and entryways.

What attract mosquitoes most? ›

Mosquitoes are attracted to potassium, salt, and lactic acid released by your body, so it helps to avoid salty and potassium rich foods like bananas, avocados, and dried fruit. Fragrances are known to attract mosquitoes. Floral scents are especially attractive.


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