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Does Lavender Essential Oil Lotion Repel Mosquitoes?

Are you tired of swatting mosquitoes away on warm summer nights? You may have heard that lavender lotion is a secret weapon against these pesky insects, but does it really work? 

In this article, we attempt to answer the question, “Does lavender lotion repel mosquitoes?” 

We’ll explore the evidence behind this claim, share a homemade lavender lotion recipe, and provide tips for keeping mosquitoes at bay so that you can enjoy your time outdoors without worrying about itchy bug bites.

Lavender cut in bucket next to mortar and pestle and a bottle of purple liquid.
Lavender flowers in rustic bucket. Photo credit: Envato Elements.

A Brief History of Lavender: Traditional Uses and Remedies

Lavandula Angustifolia, commonly known as lavender, has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all recognized the plant’s healing powers and used it in various forms to treat a wide range of ailments. Lavender was also used as a perfume, a flavoring agent, and a natural insect repellent.

In medieval Europe, lavender plants were cultivated for their essential oil, which was used to treat everything from headaches and stomach aches to skin infections and respiratory problems. The oil was also used to disinfect wounds and prevent infection. 

During the Renaissance, lavender was considered a symbol of love and devotion, and it was used in love potions and perfumes.

Today, lavender is still used in many traditional remedies and natural therapies. Its calming and relaxing properties make it a popular ingredient in aromatherapy, where it is believed to reduce stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Lavender oil is also used topically to relieve painsoothe skin problems and treat minor burns, cuts, and insect bites.

So, while lavender may be best known today for its pleasant fragrance, its healing properties have been recognized for centuries. 

Whether you’re using lavender-scented body lotions to repel mosquitoes or incorporating lavender essential oil into your self-care routine, you’re tapping into a long history of traditional uses and remedies that have stood the test of time.

A woman upset with bug bite on her arm.
Woman upset with bug bite. Photo credit: Canva.

Lavender: A Natural Insecticide?

Lavender has been touted as a natural mosquito repellent for years, but what does the scientific evidence say? Several scientific studies have suggested that lavender essential oil may indeed repel mosquitoes, making it a promising alternative to chemical insecticides with harsh chemical ingredients.

One study conducted in Thailand found that a combination of lavender and citronella pure essential oils was more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, the most commonly used mosquito repellent in the world.

So, what makes lavender an effective insect repellent?  It turns out that the plant has natural insecticidal properties that make it unappealing to mosquitoes. 

The main compounds responsible for this effect are linalool and linalyl acetate, which are found in high concentrations in lavender essential oil. 

These compounds interfere with the mosquitoes’ sense of smell, making it difficult for them to locate their human targets.

Overall, the evidence suggests that lavender may indeed be an effective natural insecticide and mosquito repellent. However, it’s good to keep in mind there could be some limitations to the studies. 

Additionally, it’s possible some people may be allergic to lavender or experience sensitive skin irritation when using lavender-based products. It’s always a good idea to test a new personal care product on a small patch of skin first, before applying it to a larger area. 

A child with mosquito bite on leg.
Child itching mosquito bite on leg. Photo credit: Canva.

Beyond Lotion: Other Natural Ways to Prevent Mosquito Bites

While lavender lotion may be one natural way to keep biting insects away, but it’s not the only option when you want to avoid commercial insect repellents.

Here are some different ways to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Wear protective clothing – Covering up with long sleeves and pants can help prevent mosquito bites during outdoor activities. The best practice generally chooses lightweight, breathable fabrics, so you can stay cool and comfortable in hot weather.
  • Use mosquito nets – Mosquito nets can be a great option for protecting yourself while you sleep. A fine mesh wraps around the entire bed area, creating a veil mosquitos cannot penetrate.
  • Avoid peak mosquito activity times – Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, so try to avoid being outside during these times if possible.
  • Eliminate standing water – Adult mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so getting rid of standing water around your home can help reduce the mosquito population. This includes emptying out bird baths, cleaning gutters, and covering trash cans.
  • Use other natural repellents – While lavender is a popular natural mosquito repellent, there are other options to consider. Lemon, eucalyptus, citronella, and neem essential oil are some of the other best essential oils to use as natural repellents. Apply them topically by mixing a few drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle. Then, spray the mixture on your skin and clothing for added protection.
  • DIY mosquito traps – You can make your own mosquito trap using a plastic bottle, brown sugar, and yeast. The carbon dioxide produced by the yeast will attract mosquitoes, who will then become trapped in the bottle.
  • Herbs and plants – Certain herbs and plants, such as catnip, basil, and marigolds serve as botanical repellents. Planting these around your yard, in an herb garden or keeping them inside can help keep mosquitoes at bay.
  • DIY citronella candles – You can make your own citronella candles using beeswax, citronella oil, and wicks. Burn the candles on an outside table while entertaining, eating, or playing. It’s a good choice for adding an enjoyable ambiance with therapeutic natural scents while also keeping annoying mosquitoes away.

By taking a multi-faceted approach to mosquito control, you can reduce your risk of mosquito bites without resorting to chemical insecticides. Feel free to experiment with different natural repellents and preventative measures to find what works best for you.

A jar of homemade lavender lotion mosquito repellent next to a bottle of lavender essential oil and a plate of lavender flowers with a wooden spoon.

Homemade Lavender Lotion Recipe

Buying lotion with the scent of lavender over regular body lotion is an easy choice, simply swap on product for another and see the results. But since I love making all things homemade and while we’re on the topic of DIY options, let me share a homemade lotion recipe with you.

Tools

  • Measuring cup and spoon
  • Double boiler or DIY alternative
  • Electric mixer or hand held whisk
  • 1 (6 oz) storage jar

Materials

Step-by-step procedure on how to make lavender essential oil mosquito repellent.

Step-By-Step Directions

  1. Measure the coconut oil and beeswax. Place them in the double boiler and melt over medium-low heat.
  2. Remove from heat. Cool for 60 seconds. Add lavender essential oil. Mix well to combine evenly.
  3. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and cool completely. Look for signs the wax is beginning to solidify around the edges.
  4. Whisk with an electric mixer on medium-low or hand held whisk for five minutes. Take breaks as needed to scrape the sides of the bowl and bring the lotion back to the center.
  5. Store in an airtight container out of direct sunlight and use as often as desired.

If stored correctly, this lotion will last for at least three months.

Avoid contact with your clothing. Lotion stains are oil-based and can be tricky, although not impossible, to remove.

Prefer something more travel-friendly? Make a lotion bar instead.

DIY Mosquito Repellents: Safe and Effective Home Remedies

While lavender lotion shows promise as a natural mosquito repellent, it’s important to keep in mind that more research is needed to determine its effectiveness. 

It’s also important to remember that relying solely on lavender lotion for mosquito control may not be enough. While lavender lotion may show some potential as a natural mosquito repellent, it’s not the only option available. Combining different preventative techniques together will give the best results. Putting up a nuanced defense is the best way to protect yourself and your children.

By taking a multi-faceted approach to mosquito control and using a variety of proven methods, you can protect yourself from mosquito bites and stay safe from these pesky pests all summer long.

Lavender essential oil lotion mosquito repellent ingredients on separate bowls and containers.
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5 from 6 votes

Homemade Mosquito Repellent Lotion Recipe

Our homemade lavender lotion recipe is a delightful and effective solution to keep those annoying mosquitoes at bay. Infused with the soothing scent of lavender, this all-natural repellent will not only protect your skin but also provide a relaxing aroma. With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you can create your own aromatic lotion and bid farewell to those buzzing pests.
Prep Time2 minutes
Active Time10 minutes
Rest Time8 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Bath & Beauty
Keyword: mosquito repellent lotion recipe
Yield: 6 ounces
Author: Jessica Haggard
Cost: $6

Equipment

  • 1 Measuring cup
  • 1 Double boiler or DIY alternative
  • 1 Electric mixer or hand held whisk
  • 1 (6-ounce) storage jar

Instructions

  • Measure the coconut oil and beeswax. Place them in the double boiler and melt over medium-low heat.
  • Remove from heat. Cool for 60 seconds. Add lavender essential oil. Mix well to combine evenly.
  • Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and cool completely. Look for signs the wax is beginning to solidify around the edges.
  • Whisk with an electric mixer on medium-low or hand held whisk for five minutes. Take breaks as needed to scrape the sides of the bowl and bring the lotion back to the center.
  • Store in an airtight container out of direct sunlight and use as often as desired.

Notes

Apply by rubbing a quarter size portion on any exposed skin like ankles, wrists, and shoulders.
If stored correctly, this lotion will last for at least three months.
Tried this recipe?Please consider Leaving a Review!
Recipe Rating




Lisa

Thursday 1st of June 2023

I am so excited to read this! I always try to avoid using anything toxic on my skin, and I've tried a number of store-bought natural repellants but found the scents to be off-putting. I happen to LOVE the smell of lavender so this lotion is what I'll be using all summer long.

Jessica Haggard

Thursday 8th of June 2023

Sounds like the perfect fit for you! Thanks for visiting the blog and leaving a review, we have lots of nice ideas like this. Come back again soon!

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