What Scent Do Mosquitoes Hate: Learn How to Deter and Prevent Them

Find out which scents mosquitoes hate most to prevent their bites.
By
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
reviewed
Reviewed By
Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: January 10, 2023
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It’s hard to enjoy the summer months when mosquitoes keep biting you. While on the patio with your friends and family, feeling itchy on your hands or legs can spoil the fun. Mosquitoes have a powerful sense of smell, which they efficiently use to find food sources. You can keep mosquitoes away using scents they hate, like lemongrass, rosemary, geranium oil, and lavender.

It’s important to note that while some scents keep mosquitoes away, you could be creating a counter effect by having things that attract them. These include lights and water, which is why they are found in small bodies of water or on your porch.

8 Scents That Deter Mosquitoes

There are different scents that you can use to keep mosquitoes away. Read below to know these scents and how you can use them efficiently.

1. Lavender

What Scent Do Mosquitoes Hate: Learn How to Deter and Prevent Them
Lavender oil repels mosquitoes due to its chemical makeup. The main compound in lavender oil, linalool, has been shown to be effective at repelling mosquitoes.

Lavender is known for its pleasant scent, but this isn’t the case for mosquitoes. If you’re tired of bites and wondering in despair: “what scent do mosquitoes hate the most?” Lavender is a top choice. To take advantage of this, you can buy lavender plants and plant them in your garden.

If you decide to plant lavender, you shouldn’t use only a few sparse plants. Instead, you should plant as many as possible so that the aroma can repel the mosquitoes effectively.

To deter mosquitoes with lavender, place between five and ten plants in the areas where they gather the most.

Furthermore, you can repel mosquitoes by crushing some of your lavender plants to let out the lavender oil. The oil will enhance the aroma, which will then repel mosquitoes.

2. Lemon eucalyptus

What Scent Do Mosquitoes Hate: Learn How to Deter and Prevent Them
Lemon eucalyptus repels mosquitoes due to its high citronellal content. This compound has been shown to be effective at repelling mosquitoes.

Another scent that you can use to deter mosquitoes is lemon eucalyptus. It is a popular scent in lotions, candles, sprays, and other products. While you might like this pleasant smell, mosquitoes hate it.

The oil from lemon eucalyptus helps to prevent mosquito bites. Even the CDC recommends using lemon eucalyptus Trusted Source Prevent Tick and Mosquito Bites | Division of Vector-Borne Diseases | NCEZID | CDC Information on prevention of tick and mosquito bites. www.cdc.gov to get rid of mosquito bites. It is often found in plant-based repellants. Repel 94109 is DEET-free and doesn’t leave a greasy residue, so you can purchase one and rub it on your body when you’re outside during the summer.

Look out for registered mosquito repellants containing lemon eucalyptus on the EPA database.

3. Marigold

What Scent Do Mosquitoes Hate: Learn How to Deter and Prevent Them
Marigold is known to be effective at repelling mosquitoes due to its high limonene content.

Marigold is another fantastic plant-based way to get rid of mosquitoes. Known for its intense aroma, this plant has a pretty overwhelming smell, and mosquitoes also recognize this.

You can use this plant to deter mosquitoes by planting them in your yard or garden. It’s important to grow them in areas where you have noticed mosquitoes the most. You can also cut the flowers off and place them around the house with the best indoor mosquito killers so that you can keep the mosquitoes away from entering the house.

Aside from helping you with deterring mosquitoes, Marigold is also an attractive plant that will make a colorful addition to your garden. Furthermore, they are edible, so you won’t be planting them mainly for the pesky mosquitoes.

4. Rosemary

What Scent Do Mosquitoes Hate: Learn How to Deter and Prevent Them
Rosemary contains compounds like camphor and limonene which are known to repel mosquitoes.

You can also get rid of annoying mosquitoes with the scent of rosemary. Mosquitoes hate how rosemary smells because the pungent aroma does not signify a food source. Furthermore, the scent of rosemary will mask the smell of potential food sources, so mosquitoes stay away from areas with this smell.

To effectively keep mosquitoes away from rosemary, you can get small plants or seeds and plant them around the areas where you often find these insects. It’s also a good idea to crush the leaves and keep them in and around your house.

5. Peppermint oil

What Scent Do Mosquitoes Hate: Learn How to Deter and Prevent Them
Peppermint oil repels mosquitoes due to the high concentration of menthol. Mosquitoes avoid menthol because of its intense smell that irritates their senses.

Peppermint oil is another recommended way to deter mosquitoes from your home and surroundings. The fragrant smell of peppermint can be found in candy, peppermint sticks, and even candles, but mosquitoes hate this smell.

High concentrations of peppermint oil will help repel mosquitoes. Researchers reported in the Journal of Medical Entomology Trusted Source Repellency of Essential Oils to Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) | Journal of Medical Entomology | Oxford Academic Abstract. The repellency of different concentrations (5, 10, 25, 50, 75, and 100%) and combinations of 5 essential oils (Bourbon geranium, cedarwood, clove, pep academic.oup.com that only high peppermint oil concentrate is effective, but small concentrates aren’t.

Based on this, Mighty Mint Insect & Pest Control Peppermint Concentrate is an effective way to get rid of mosquitoes, as it contains 50% peppermint oil. Peppermint plants are less effective, but you can crush up the plants to increase the smell.

6. Geranium oil

What Scent Do Mosquitoes Hate: Learn How to Deter and Prevent Them
Geranium oil contains compounds like citronellol and geraniol which give off a strong fragrance that mosquitoes find offensive.

So what scent do mosquitoes hate? One more essential oil that you can use to deter mosquitoes from your immediate environment is geranium oil.

Geranium oil is not very effective but can be used with rosemary and lemongrass to repel mosquitoes efficiently.

7. Garlic

What Scent Do Mosquitoes Hate: Learn How to Deter and Prevent Them
Garlic is effective at repelling mosquitoes due to the compound allicin. Allicin is a powerful mosquito repellent that also has antimicrobial properties.

If you’re asking: “what scents do mosquitoes hate on humans?” Garlic is a good choice. This onion family member has been used for decades as an edible repellant. You can eat garlic as the active ingredient will interfere with your natural scent and protect you from mosquitoes.

But, you can still deter mosquitoes without having to consume garlic. You can do so by cutting the garlic cloves into pieces and scattering them around your outdoor space. You can combine garlic with oils and different liquid ingredients to make a strong repellant spray.

You can also combine garlic with essential oils to create a mosquito repellant spray and apply it to your body. If you don’t mind the smell of garlic, this is an effective way to protect yourself while you’re outdoors.

8. Pine oil

What Scent Do Mosquitoes Hate: Learn How to Deter and Prevent Them
The oil has a strong scent that helps to mask the human scent which is attractive to mosquitoes.

The final recommendation for scents that can deter mosquitoes is the smell of pine oil. This is a tried-and-true method for getting rid of mosquitoes. Even research done by the Malaria Research Center Trusted Source Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development and testing | Malaria Journal | Full Text Plant-based repellents have been used for generations in traditional practice as a personal protection measure against host-seeking mosquitoes. This paper presents a summary of recent information on testing, efficacy and safety of plant-based repellents as well as promising new developments in the field. malariajournal.biomedcentral.com shows that pine oil protects different species of mosquitoes like the southern house mosquito and Anopheles. You can apply pine oil to your body as a mosquito repellant.

Another way to effectively use the scent of pine oil in deterring mosquitoes is with a diffuser. You can dilute the pine oil with water and fill a diffuser with it. Then, put it outside whenever it’s time to get rid of the annoying mosquitoes in your surroundings.

What Attracts Mosquitoes

If you notice that mosquitoes bite you more than the people around you, you’re not alone. Approximately 20 percent of people are more attractive to mosquitoes than others. Some of the factors that determine the type of people mosquitoes prefer to bite include:

Blood type

Since mosquitoes land on humans to suck their blood, it’s not surprising that they find one blood type more appetizing than the other. Studies Trusted Source Mosquito Blood Type: Do Some Blood Types Get Bitten More? Research has found that mosquitoes may prefer to bite people with type O blood. Body odor, heat, colors, and alcohol can also make some people more attractive to mosquitoes. www.healthline.com have shown that mosquitoes prefer those with Type O blood to those with Type A, while people with Type B are somewhere in the middle.

Sweat

The smell of lactic acid, ammonia, and uric acid are found in sweat, and this attracts mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes also go toward people with higher body temperatures.

If you exercise often, the increased heat and lactic acid in your body make you a target for mosquitoes.

Carbon dioxide

As mentioned earlier, mosquitoes have a keen sense of smell. They can quickly locate targets by smelling the carbon dioxides emitted in their breath. Thus, people who have exhaled more of the gas over time attract more mosquitoes than others.

Color of your clothes

Although their sense of smell is strong, mosquitoes also use vision to locate humans. People wearing colors that stand out will be bitten more than others.

Tips to Prevent Mosquito Bites

If you want to minimize the chance of being bitten by mosquitoes, scents that repel these pests are an excellent option. However, you can also take some preventive measures. The clothes you wear for a start will significantly reduce the mosquitoes you attract. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Get rid of standing water close to your home
  • Use the best mosquito foggers
  • Place screens on the windows or turn on the air conditioner to keep mosquitoes out
  • Stay indoors during dawn and dusk
  • Wear light-colored loose clothing

Final Thoughts

If you’re having a problem dealing with pesky mosquitoes in your yard or patio, you can efficiently get rid of them through the scents they hate the most. From lemongrass and rosemary to peppermint and pine oil, you can either plant them in your yard, use the oils in your diffuser, or apply them to your body. You can combine these with the best mosquito killers for better results.

References

1.
Prevent Tick and Mosquito Bites | Division of Vector-Borne Diseases | NCEZID | CDC
Information on prevention of tick and mosquito bites.
2.
Repellency of Essential Oils to Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) | Journal of Medical Entomology | Oxford Academic
Abstract. The repellency of different concentrations (5, 10, 25, 50, 75, and 100%) and combinations of 5 essential oils (Bourbon geranium, cedarwood, clove, pep
3.
Plant-based insect repellents: a review of their efficacy, development and testing | Malaria Journal | Full Text
Plant-based repellents have been used for generations in traditional practice as a personal protection measure against host-seeking mosquitoes. This paper presents a summary of recent information on testing, efficacy and safety of plant-based repellents as well as promising new developments in the field.
4.
Mosquito Blood Type: Do Some Blood Types Get Bitten More?
Research has found that mosquitoes may prefer to bite people with type O blood. Body odor, heat, colors, and alcohol can also make some people more attractive to mosquitoes.
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