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What Smell Do Mosquitoes Hate?

March 13, 2024   |   Mosquitoes

mosquito on leaf picture for blog titled what smell do mosquitoes hate

Mosquitoes. The mere mention of their name can conjure up itchy welts and sleepless nights. These persistent pests find ways to disrupt outdoor gatherings, just by their mere presence! And if that wasn’t enough, they also transmit dangerous diseases. While swatting may offer temporary relief, a more strategic approach lies in understanding what repels these unwelcome visitors. Many people are looking for natural mosquito repellent. There are “mosquito repellent plants” that some folks like to incorporate into their gardens. But do they really work? And what smell do mosquitoes hate?



Natural Mosquito Repellent Plants


While lavender’s calming aroma is pleasing and beneficial to humans, some believe that mosquitoes can’t stand it! Lavender is considered to be a popular mosquito repellent plant because not only does it add beauty, but allegedly it can help deter mosquitoes. It attracts beneficial pollinators like bees and butterflies, which is great for your garden, but don’t rely on this to keep your yard mosquito-free. You would need to rub the lavender’s essential oils on your skin or burn it to create smoke for any mosquito-repellent benefits to be plausible.



This classic mosquito repellent is found in candles, torches, and oils. Lighting citronella candles on your lanai or using this natural repellent in diffusers can be helpful for local mosquito control when used in combination with other, more effective products. Its strong aroma is not as impactful as we would like for it to be, as you can read about in the New York Times. Keep in mind that citronella is toxic to dogs if you plan on using this plant or products that have it.



The strong, spicy scent of cloves is claimed to be another natural mosquito repellent. Clove oil includes compounds like eugenol, which has the potential to deter mosquitoes. You might find this scent in homemade repellent sprays or essential oil blends. A few drops in a diffuser might help keep mosquitoes away, but simply planting it in your garden won’t help.



Peppermint is a decent natural mosquito repellent. This scent contains menthol, which is refreshing and invigorating for humans, but not a favorite of mosquitoes. Another benefit of peppermint is the cooling sensation of its oil which will soothe itchy mosquito bites if (and when) you get bitten. But again, simply planning them in your garden will not achieve your desired result. This is best used as part of a mosquito repellent you apply on your person, not to provide mosquito control for large areas.



The earthy, woody scent of cedarwood serves as a natural mosquito repellent. You might find cedarwood chips or essential oil used in outdoor sprays or diffusers. Its compounds, cedrol and thujone, might help to keep mosquitoes at bay.



The fresh, menthol-like aroma of eucalyptus is another scent we benefit from, but mosquitoes dislike. Using eucalyptus oil in diffusers can help create a mosquito-free zone. Its compounds include citronellal and p-cymene, which studies have shown to control mosquitoes effectively in your backyard. For us, the natural scent of eucalyptus can help clear sinuses and improve respiratory function.



Another mosquito-repellent plant is lemongrass. Lemongrass contains citronella, a natural mosquito repellent, helpful for local mosquito control. Planting in pots or using lemongrass oil in sprays might help keep mosquitoes away from your outdoor space. For a treat, try lemongrass tea as a relaxing beverage (this won’t help with mosquitoes, it’s just tasty).


Pine Oil

The scent of pine oil can evoke feelings of being in the great outdoors, which is great for humans – not so much for mosquitoes due to its unfriendly compounds like alpha-terpineol and beta-pinene.



Besides adding vibrant color to your garden, marigolds may help deter mosquitoes with their distinct scent. Marigolds are made with compounds like pyrethrin, which are natural insecticides. Plant marigolds around your home for local mosquito control as part of your complete plan. The cheerful blooms will undoubtedly brighten up your day, but they can’t keep your yard mosquito-free on their own. Consider using this in combination with professional mosquito control services.


Essential Oils

Ultimately, these plants are best used in their essential oil form if you’re looking for all-natural mosquito repellent. If you use any essential oils and have a pet, please be sure to check with your vet to see if it’s pet-friendly. Many essential oils are not good for our four-legged friends.



The scent of smoke, whether from a campfire or a citronella candle, can temporarily mask human odors and confuse mosquitoes. Smoke has compounds that interfere with mosquitoes’ ability to find their next victim, but remember, mosquitoes are attracted to the CO2 we exhale. That means mosquitoes will still be able to follow the CO2, stink or no stink.


Backyard Mosquito Control Systems

We want you to enjoy the great outdoors without the annoyance of buzzing mosquitoes.

When you get to the point where you need a professional backyard mosquito control system, give us a call. We offer a one-time service or regular visits for even greater results.


What Is The Best Method For Controlling Mosquitoes?

For effective, local mosquito control look to Turner Pest Control. We offer innovative automated misting services for the best outdoor mosquito repellent system you can find on the market. Utilizing innovative technology to target and eliminate mosquitoes, we will provide you with lasting relief from these pests.

Ask about our mosquito misting service near you.

For professional mosquito control in your community call us at (800)225-5305 or schedule a free inspection here.

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