If you’re wary of using insecticides in your home, or unsure about what’s in a store-bought mosquito repellent, essentials oils are a good natural alternative.
Unlike off-the-shelf sprays and lotions, repellents made from essential oils are suitable for infants and children as they do not contain harmful chemicals, says KK Tang, owner of online essential oil boutique Unikk. While the oils will not kill the insects, it will deter them. Here are four essential oils to stock up on – you can either use each on its own, or combine them, to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Citronella oil is obtained from the leaves and stems of a type of grass called cymbopogon nardus. It is officially recognised as a plant-based, non-toxic bio-pesticide in the United States. You can use it around the home without worrying about it having any adverse effects on your pets or the environment. In fact, because citronella oil repels many insects – including mosquitoes, black flies, fleas and ticks – it is a popular ingredient in many insect repellent products sold off the shelf, from mosquito patches to scented candles.