What Smells Do Mosquitoes Hate? Keep Mosquitoes Away From the Area

Mosquitoes are a nuisance to both animals and humans alike and can cause a variety of health concerns. Mosquitoes are attracted to the smells we naturally produce, such as lactic acid, carbon dioxide and other compounds. Fortunately, mosquitoes don’t seem to like certain smells either. To help you cope with these flying pests, here’s an overview of what smells mosquitoes hate.

It’s important to note that no single scent will repel all mosquitoes—different species have different tastes. Knowing which scents work best can make all the difference in keeping them away from your outdoor gatherings or your yard, as well as preventing mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus or Zika virus.

So what exactly do mosquitoes not like? Below is a list of some common smells that some species of mosquitoes may find unappealing:


Repellent Smells

Mosquitoes have some scents that they will fly away from when they encounter them. Many people use certain scents and smells to ward off mosquitoes. But what are the smells that mosquitoes hate? This article will explore the different scents that mosquitoes find repellent. We will also talk about how to use these smells to keep away mosquitoes.

The scents that mosquitoes hate include:

  • Lemon eucalyptus oil
  • Citronella oil
  • Garlic
  • Lavender oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Cedar oil
  • Clove oil
  • Rosemary oil
  • Lemongrass oil
  • Geranium oil



Citronella is one of the most popular natural mosquito repellents. It is an oil that comes from lemongrass and it is often used along with other compounds to create insect repellent products. Citronella candles are especially popular, as they are easy to use and can provide hours of protection from mosquitoes.

The smell of citronella will only ward off mosquitoes and other flying insects for a short period of time, however, so it is best to reapply regularly for full effectiveness. Citronella oils can also be used in diffusers or vaporizers to provide more continuous coverage in large outdoor areas.



Garlic has been known to be an effective form of natural mosquito repellent for many years. Bees, wasps and mosquitos don’t like the smell of garlic and will avoid it as much as possible.

The main compound in garlic, Allicin, is what makes it such a successful repellent. Research has shown that when garlic is chopped or crushed, allicin is released into the air in the form of a gas. This gas has been known to repel insects and pests naturally at different levels depending on the strength or amount used.

Garlic can be blended with many other ingredients to create an even stronger form of mosquito repellent that may work well for extended outdoor activities such as camping, fishing or hiking. Popular mixes include:

  • Essential oils such as citronella or lemon eucalyptus combined with garlic and water to create a spray or mist that can help keep mosquitos away from you while you are outdoors.



Lavender is a popular option for repelling mosquitoes and other insects. This fragrant natural oil, distilled from the lavender flower, is known to repel flying insects like gnats, moths, and of course, mosquitoes. Studies have suggested lavender’s effectiveness in repelling insects includes both its scent and its taste.


Interestingly enough, some species of mosquitoes are actually repelled by the aroma of lavender and other flowers.

Research done in India suggests that application of lavender oil on exposed skin reduced the bites of Aedes mosquito species by almost 95 percent over a three-hour period. Additionally, combining five drops each of lemongrass oils and peppermint oil along with one tablespoon of jojoba oils has shown to keep mosquito bites away for hours due to its strong smell. Not only does lavender smell great but its sweet aroma has truly been found to be effective at deterring annoying pests like mosquitoes.



Peppermint is a popular choice for an insect repellent, especially against mosquitoes. The strong, refreshing minty aroma of peppermint has some serious mosquito-repelling power. According to research conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), peppermint is one of the eight essential oils that are effective in repelling mosquitoes. Plant oils (including peppermint) have been found to be more effective for repelling mosquitoes than chemical options such as DEET.

Planting peppermint around your patio or in containers can help to keep your outdoor areas mosquito-free all summer long. Peppermint oil can also be used as an either a topical solution directly on the skin or burned in oil diffusers to disperse its scent, both will provide aromatherapy while helping you avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Additionally, you can mix other strongly scented plant oils such as eucalyptus and citronella with the peppermint oil for added potency.

For those who don’t want to invest in essential oil products or prefer something less intense, simply crushing or rubbing these plants together yourself may help too!



Rosemary is an effective mosquito repellent due to its high concentration of the chemical compound, camphor. A study published in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association found that fresh rosemary when burned produced more than 80 percent protection from mosquitoes for up to two hours. Burning dried rosemary, however, only provided 25 percent protection. When paired with other strong odors such as citronella and lemongrass, rosemary can provide even greater defense against pesky mosquitoes.


Lemon Eucalyptus

Lemon eucalyptus is a plant-based spray that has been used as a repellent for mosquitoes and other insects. It contains an active component called p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD) which has been proven to be effective in repelling mosquitoes. PMD has been approved by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an effective non-chemical ingredient in mosquito repellents, providing protection from bites similar to products containing DEET. The CDC recommends using regularly reapplying lemon eucalyptus spray every two hours if you plan on spending extended periods outdoors where mosquitos are present.

In addition to its effectiveness in repelling mosquitos, the scent of lemon eucalyptus can also provide additional benefits when it comes to refreshing and freeing areas of offensive odors like body odor and pet smells. Many people report that wearing or spraying a lemon eucalyptus product helps them feel naturally cool and refreshed during the summer months when temperatures are high. This is why lemon eucalyptus is becoming increasingly popular with people seeking a natural way to get relief from the heat without compromising their health or the environment they live in by using chemical products like deodorant sprays or air fresheners with strong fragrances.



Cloves are a popular spice that has been used for centuries in cooking and medicine. They are also known to have mosquito-repellent properties. The strong and pungent aroma of cloves is believed to be a natural deterrent for mosquitoes.

One way to use cloves to repel mosquitoes is to burn them. Simply light a few cloves and place them in a bowl or on a plate. The smoke produced by the burning cloves will help keep mosquitoes at bay. Another way to use cloves is to make a natural mosquito repellent spray. To do this, boil a handful of cloves in water for about 10 minutes. Strain the mixture and transfer it to a spray bottle. You can then use the spray on your skin or clothing to repel mosquitoes.

Cloves can also be used in combination with other natural mosquito repellents, such as basil and geranium. Mixing cloves with these other ingredients can help enhance their mosquito-repellent properties. Additionally, cloves can be used in a variety of dishes to add flavor and provide natural mosquito protection.



Basil is a popular herb that is commonly used in cooking. However, it is also known to repel mosquitoes due to its strong scent. The strong aroma of basil is believed to mask the scent of carbon dioxide, which is one of the primary ways mosquitoes locate their prey. This makes it difficult for mosquitoes to find humans and animals to feed on.

Basil can be used in various ways to repel mosquitoes. One way is to plant basil in your garden or in pots around your patio or deck. This will help to keep mosquitoes away from the area. You can also crush fresh basil leaves and rub them on your skin as a natural insect repellent. Alternatively, you can make a basil-infused spray by boiling basil leaves in water and then straining the liquid. This spray can be used on your skin or as a room spray to repel mosquitoes.

It is important to note that while basil is an effective mosquito repellent, it may not be as effective as other options such as DEET or picaridin. Additionally, the effectiveness of basil may vary depending on the species of mosquito and the concentration of basil used.


Geranium Oil

Geranium oil is another essential oil that is believed to repel mosquitoes. It is extracted from the leaves and stems of the geranium plant and has a sweet, floral scent. Geranium oil is a common ingredient in many insect repellent products and is also used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation and reduce stress.

Studies have shown that geranium oil can be effective in repelling mosquitoes for a short period of time. However, it may not be as effective as other essential oils such as citronella or lemon eucalyptus oil. It is also important to note that the effectiveness of geranium oil may vary depending on the species of mosquito and the concentration of the oil used.

To use geranium oil as a mosquito repellent, it can be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and applied to the skin. It can also be diffused in a room or added to a spray bottle with water to create a natural insect repellent spray.


Attractant Smells

Mosquitoes are often attracted to certain smells, such as those emitted by flowers or decaying fruit. But there are some smells that mosquitoes dislike. Some plants, like citronella and marigolds, have natural repellent properties that can help keep mosquitoes away.

In this article, we’ll explore what other smells mosquitoes hate and how you can use them to keep your home and garden free of pesky mosquitoes.


Carbon Dioxide

Mosquitoes are naturally attracted to carbon dioxide that is exhaled from humans and animals, as well as other plants. One way to keep mosquitoes away from your home or yard is to reduce carbon dioxide overload by ensuring there are no stagnant pools of water around your property.

Additionally, plants such as citronella, marigold and lemon balm give off strong scents that tend to repel mosquitoes. You can also mask the odors emanating from carbon dioxide with a variety of scents like lavender, peppermint, cedarwood and lemon grass. Lemon grass has been known to have a more lasting effect than the other scents due to its ability to repel mosquitoes more frequently and effectively than shorter-lived scents.


Lactic Acid

Fortunately, there are some smells that can help humans ward off mosquitoes without relying on potentially toxic chemicals. One of those smells is lactic acid, which is the main component of sweaty human skin. In fact, sweat contains a variety of acids that the mosquitoes find unappealing and will encourage them to avoid you.

Lactic acid can be applied directly to the skin or even incorporated into other natural repellents like citronella due to its ability to naturally repel mosquitoes. For an easy application, try using lactic acid-infused wipes or insect repellent sprays that are specifically designed to keep mosquitoes away.



Octenol, also known as 1-octen-3-ol, is a chemical that is used in many mosquito traps. It is produced naturally by certain trees, such as pine, oak and poplar and by animals like cows. It is produced in grain starch and can last up to six months making it convenient to use in traps.

Octenol works as an attractant for certain species of mosquitoes and other biting insects. In laboratory studies it has been shown to be more attractive than other chemicals to the Asian tiger mosquito, the aggressive day biter Aedes aegypti, and the common house mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus.

Furthermore, octenol has been studied for its attractiveness to several species of ticks including Ixodes scapularis (the blacklegged tick) which transmits Lyme Disease. By using octenol in various traps with baiting agents such as CO2 which represents human breath it can lure in these dangerous biters from up to 50 meters away. This allows for increased areas to be covered by mosquito control strategies reducing their population drastically with minimal effort.



In conclusion, several natural oils and scents are effective at deterring mosquitoes. While citronella and eucalyptus oils seem to be the most popular choices due to their fresh scent and potency, many others such as lavender, peppermint, tea tree oil, lemongrass essential oil, or lemon balm have also been found to be effective repellers. Moreover, some recent research suggests that certain foods such as garlic may also be used as a makeshift mosquito repellent.

Ultimately, each individual should find what works best for them depending on their preferences and allergies. For example, if you have an allergy to citrus you should avoid using citronella or lemongrass essential oil. Everyone should take care to use the proper dilutions of the oils so that it is strong enough to do its job but not too strong which could cause skin irritation or even eye damage if splashed in your eyes.

It’s also important to note that no natural repellent will protect you from mosquito bites in the same way that a bug spray containing DEET will – you’ll need an additional repellent if your goal is total bite-prevention. Keeping these points in mind should help ensure you properly choose and safely use mosquito-repelling scents!


Frequently Asked Questions

What smells do mosquitoes hate?

Mosquitoes tend to dislike a variety of smells, including lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and citronella. Additionally, many people have found that burning sage or rosemary can be effective in keeping mosquitoes away.