Best Mosquito Repellent

What is the Best Mosquito Repellent?


best mosquito repellent no bugs If you’re like me, mosquitoes seem to find you out of nowhere and land on you gladly.

I needed to find the best mosquito repellent.

In order to be the best, it had to

  • Repel mosquitoes (obviously!)
  • Be non-toxic to me
  • Be earth friendly or eco friendly too.

It took a bit of searching.


Easy ways to avoid being bitten

  1. Don’t wear strong perfume
  2. If possible, use a fan.  Fans help to repel mosquitoes – and keep you cool too!
  3. If you are having a barbecue, place sprigs of rosemary or sage on the coals.


Things you can do at home to minimise mosquitoes

  1. Get rid of any standing water, even small amounts.   Look for unused flower pots, old tyres, buckets or pails.  Clean clogged gutters.  If you have a bird bath, change the water often.

    catnip plant is one of the best mosquito repellents


  2. Grow the best mosquito-repellent plants.  Marigolds, catnip (perhaps not if you have cats! But it’s really easy to grow), rose-scented geraniums, Citrosa geranium, lemon balm and neem are all good at repelling mosquitoes.   One disadvantage though is that if the wind is blowing against the advancing mosquitoes, the smell from the plants won’t be as effective.   You can also rub your hands on the leaves as you pass, and even crush the leaves for additional protection.


Best Mosquito Repellent Candles

In addition to plants and sprays, you can also place the best mosquito repellent candles close to you to further repel mosquitoes.

best mosquito repellent candlebest mosquito repellent candle Most candles are made from paraffin wax, because it’s cheap.  But it’s made from petroleum, and some of the wicks contain lead.   So I prefer to buy soy candles – they burn cleaner and do not emit petroleum toxins.  They do cost a little more but they are sustainable – soy candles are made from soybeans, a renewable resource.  Plus, they burn for longer than paraffin candles, so this helps to offset the extra cost, and they are biodegradable.

One brand I particularly like is BioCare.  Their Bio Care Naturals 15 Oz Mosquito Soy Candle (Sold in packs of 12)Biocare best mosquito repelllent  is large (15 oz) and comes in a glass jar which is recyclable, prevents the wax dripping out, and resists tipping over.  Each candle lasts for 60 hours.

The mosquitoes are repelled by the essential oils (lemon grass oil and geraniol).  It is effective against a wide range of mosquitoes.

The ingredients are delightfully simple:

  • 2.7% lemon grass oil
  • 0.3% geraniol
  • 97.0% hydrogenated soy bean oil (soy wax)

As you can see, Amazon sells them in boxes of 12 candles, giving you a total of 720 hours of safe, sustainable mosquito repellent.


The best mosquito repellent Oils and Sprays to make yourself

I don’t like chemical sprays.  Many of them contain DEET which is effective but toxic .  Many repellents now are using Picaridin, also known as Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus  – don’t be fooled, it’s still a chemical (it just sounds better!).  Picaridin doesn’t melt plastic (DEET does) but I still don’t like chemicals on my skin.  The US Military use Permethrin on their clothes, it’s toxic on skin, yet it’s approved for use on clothes (which go on your skin).

Finding a non-chemical spray is difficult – some say they’re non-toxic but then when you look at the ingredients……

You can make your own mosquito repellent oil or spray – it’s surprisingly easy!

best mosquito repellents contains essential oilOil: mix 2 tablespoons olive oil with 10 drops of essential oil.  Stir to mix, then store in a glass jar.  Dab a few drops on your clothes or skin.  Re-apply regularly.

(Caution:  pregnant women should consult with their doctor before using).

Essential oils are available from health food stores or chemists.  For best results, choose from:

basil, eucalyptus, cloves, geranium, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, pennyroyal.

Experiment a little with these – each person has different body chemistry so different oils work better for certain people.

Tip:  if you find a combination of oils that you like and that works for you, but you don’t like the smell, simply add some peppermint oil.

Spray:  pour 1 cup of boiling water over half a cup of chopped fresh rosemary .  Let it steep for about an hour.  Once it is cool, put it into a spritz bottle and keep it in the fridge.  Spray it on yourself as needed.

Photo Credits:
No entry mosquitoes –

Catnip – wikipedia

Oils –

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • ChaRA Apr 11, 2014, 5:42 am

    can i knw what are d disadvantages of a insect repellent candle??

    • Clare Delaney Apr 11, 2014, 12:18 pm

      The wax of an insect repellent candle is normally made from petroleum, so it’s not good for the environment. The smoke from the burning candle may cause health issues – formaldehyde, particulate matter getting into the lungs. Some candles contain DEET as the repellent which is not healthy for us. And of course candles carry a risk of fire. Hope this helps!

  • Octavio Apr 23, 2012, 3:01 am

    If I am in a stadium with 50,000 people and there is just one mosquito in it, the mosquito will go after me.
    I have been waiting for a reppelent for years. Do you a repellent for cases like me?

    • Clare Delaney Apr 23, 2012, 7:38 am

      LOL Octavio, isn’t it nice to be so popular? Do try experimenting with the different options in the post – some will always work better than others for different people. I’m sure you’ll find one that genuinely work for you, and then as long as you re-apply it regularly (more often than commercial stuff), you’ll be part of the 50,000!

  • Annie Born Apr 20, 2012, 11:38 am

    Hi Clare,
    Ever gotten into bed, and hear a mozzie.
    Yet again amazing information and so many options!
    Looking forward to tomorrow!

    • Clare Delaney Apr 20, 2012, 11:48 am

      LOL Annie, yes, that high-pitched buzz is not pleasant at any time, but especially not once you’re comfortably in bed, thanks for your comment!

  • Eva Palmer Apr 20, 2012, 3:35 am

    Hi Clare!
    I thougth perfume was already a mosquito repellent!
    I was wrong!

  • Mil Apr 19, 2012, 11:03 pm

    What do you think about candles made with beeswax and those oils?

    We were hiking in Southern Oregon a couple years ago, and I couldn’t believe how those mosquitoes would bite through our t-shirts! We had brought along all kinds of natural repellents and they did not work. I will have to try your recipe sometime.

    • Clare Delaney Apr 20, 2012, 9:52 am

      I think beeswax candles would be absolutely wonderful! I didn’t recommend a beeswax product though as I know (from your site) that bees world wide are under threat, and I don’t know enough about them to know if demand for beeswax candles would cause bigger problems or encourage more bee-keeping. What are your thoughts as a bee expert?

      • Mil Apr 22, 2012, 8:13 am

        I would like to encourage beekeeping in order to build more genetic diversity in the bee population. It would be better to have a bunch of small backyard bee yards than having these more corporate bee yards and their limited and controlled genetics.

        More beekeeping means more honey harvesting, hence more wax due to the cut wax cappings. Apparently, bees wax candles give off the healthful negative ions which is like the same effect as being in a pine forest.

        As you know, I can go on and on about bees, so I’ll stop here! 🙂

        • Clare Delaney Apr 22, 2012, 8:27 am

          Hi Mil, thanks for your expert advice, I’m delighted you feel that increasing the demand is good – hopefully resulting in more beekeeping (sustainable, rather than corporate bee yards). Yes, beeswax candles are fabulous, I’ll recommend them now, thanks!

  • Sonya Lenzo Apr 19, 2012, 4:27 pm

    Clare, its not that we have so many mozzies, as you call them…in fact, no one I know seems bothered by them. But if there is ONE in town he finds me, and due to my compromised immune system, I swell up like a bee sting from a mozzie bite. I think the mozzies from Minnesota have a tracing system….

    • Clare Delaney Apr 19, 2012, 5:12 pm

      No mozzies – another excellent reason to move to Costa Rica!
      I really hope the non-chemical remedies help, you certainly don’t want to get bitten, I’m sure you’ll manage to ward them off naturally!

  • Kevin Hogan Apr 19, 2012, 2:23 pm

    People love being around me on summer nights, simply for the fact that mosquitos absolutely adore me. Thank you so much for these natural repellants. How does the rosemary work for repelling the pests, anyway?

    Mark Hogan

    • Clare Delaney Apr 19, 2012, 2:30 pm

      Hi Mosquito Magnet, mozzies don’t like the smell of rosemary, and when it’s heated on the bbq, the smell is even more potent. (Unless of course whatever-you-have-that-they-like is so incredibly attractive to them that they’ll overcome their hatred of rosemary just to meet you). But normally it works pretty well.

  • Clare Delaney Apr 19, 2012, 1:00 pm

    The NJ State Bird – I love it!
    Thanks April!

  • Dan Apr 19, 2012, 8:47 am

    mosquitoes are the only beings on the planet that i can kill without remorse! The fresh chopped rosemary is a great idea – thanks!

  • G.E. Moon II Apr 19, 2012, 7:39 am

    I’ve heard that drinking apple cider vinegar (mixed with pure water) can act as a natural mosquito repellent. Have you ever heard of this?

    Yours In Health!

    G.E. Moon II

    • Clare Delaney Apr 19, 2012, 12:59 pm

      Hi Gary, I didn’t know about drinking it, but certainly adding crushed parsley to a small jar of apple cider vinegar, then refrigerating it, and dabbing it onto your skin helps. You can also dip a handkerchief into the mix and then use it as a hatband or around your neck. I just didn’t like the smell particularly, but apple cider vinegar obviously works!

  • Dr. Wendy Schauer, D.C., R.K.C. Apr 19, 2012, 7:18 am

    I didn’t realize that candles are made from petroleum. I certainly don’t want to be breathing in those vapors. Thanks for the easy do it yourself spray. Effective and great smelling, works for me.

    Yours In Health!

    Dr. Wendy

    • Clare Delaney Apr 19, 2012, 12:54 pm

      It’s actually surprising what comes from petroleum. See this article

  • Jc MacKenzie Apr 19, 2012, 7:06 am

    Great idea. I guess I am lucky; I’ve never been much bothered by insects, but my girls are constantly waving them away.


    Be Well

  • Sabrina Apr 19, 2012, 5:48 am

    My oldest son is a mosquito magnet! I’ll have to make him some homemade mosquito repellant. Thanks for the tips.

    Sabrina Peterson, NASM CPT, CES

    • Clare Delaney Apr 19, 2012, 12:52 pm

      I’m sure your son will be happier! (It’s so annoying when you’re the person that mozzies like).

  • Neil Dhawan Apr 19, 2012, 3:58 am

    Hi Green Goddess,

    Well this article really strikes a chord. Summer is on its way and, though we don’t have a bounty of mosquitoes where I am, they still are around. Thank you for also enlightening me about candles and why it is better to pay a bit more for the soy ones … I did not know that 🙂

    Stay Amazing, Neil

    • Clare Delaney Apr 19, 2012, 12:50 pm

      Even just a few can be very annoying!
      They’re a bit of a pest where I live so I’m always aware.

  • Peter Tamosaitis Apr 19, 2012, 3:37 am

    Thanks for a basket load of great advice in time to prepare for the mosquito season. Great article, looking forward to more.
    Regards Peter

  • Lyle R. Johnson Apr 19, 2012, 2:38 am

    Thanks, this explains it … I chew Cloves for breath … and the mosquitos rarely get near my mouth. So I shall try your EVOO and Cloves recipe.


    • Clare Delaney Apr 19, 2012, 12:48 pm

      I love the smell of cloves!

  • Sonya Lenzo Apr 18, 2012, 11:26 pm

    What AB FAB ideas!!! I cant wait to try them all out!!
    I think this is my favorite (and most necessary blog) that you have ever written.
    Sonya Lenzo

    • Clare Delaney Apr 19, 2012, 12:46 pm

      Glad you like the post Sonya!
      Let me know which ones you most prefer / work best for you.
      It sounds as though you get plenty of mozzies in sunny Costa Rica, as I do on my little tropical island.