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What Smells Do Mosquitoes Hate & Like? (Must Read)

Why do you need scents to repel mosquitoes?

According to a study presented in mosquitoes can carry & transport viruses, parasites, worms, and deadly infections in your body. In selected parts of the United States, mosquitoes had successfully transmitted deadly viruses such as dengue, chikungunya, West Nile, and Zika.

As per, over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year.

The reason behind showing all these studies is quite simple, you need to be aware of what a single bite of a mosquito can do to you when you’re completely involved in a camping & hiking trip.

It is often seen that the so acute olfactory receptors of mosquitoes can detect the smells or scents that are up to 100 feet away.

What Smells Do Mosquitoes Hate

Though there are several ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes using DEET-based sprays and paste but the harm a DEET can cause to your health in a long run, is better not to imagine.

That’s why today I am going to share with you all the available smells or scents that you can use to repel mosquitoes and you’ll get a list of smells that mosquitoes like the most so that you can be safe from both sides.

However, as a side note, you should take other measures as well to protect yourself from these tiny creatures. The best thing you can do is to download the pdf given below to know some effective ways you can use it along with scents.

23 Smells that mosquitoes hate or dislike?

There are many scents that mosquitoes hate and those with pungent smells are more effective, don’t think that essential oil is a flop solution because the working behind essential oil is just this – they release scents in the surroundings and makes a barrier around you which will repel or deter the mosquitoes naturally as they hate the smells of them.

It’s good to wear loose clothes so that proboscis (their special mouthpart) find it difficult to reach the skin. Though apply the essential oil on clothes also, especially if you wear resonably tight clothes.

List of 23 natural smells that mosquitoes hate. You can use these smells to protect you from mosquitoes. All these smells are scientifically proven

Read Also: Best Products To Keep Mosquitoes Away (DEET Free)

  1. Neem Oil: To use neem oil as repellent apply some neem oil from top to bottom then it will protect you from mosquitoes for around 3 hrs. Warning – keep neem oil aside from the tongue of infants and small children. If you have time, read this study on the effectiveness of DEET vs Neem oil.

    Spoiler the DEET is a winner but again I don’t recommend you to use it as it has so many ill effects but Neem – whether you eat it or drink will only be beneficial for you – that’s guaranteed as I personally chew 3-5 neem leaves very often.
  2. Camphor: Camphor’s scent is one of the few smells that have very long lasting effect on keeping mosquites away. Just add some camphor tablet in small bowl filled with water and place it near your sleeping bag or bed.

    It will repel the mosquitoes entire night. Another thing you can do is to burn some camphor tablet inside your tent after closing all the windows and doors and let the smell of it inside for about 30 minutes to make your tent smell like camphor and thus deter mosquitoes.
  3. Neem Smoke: It is good if you can find a neem tree on your campsite, but it is even better to pack some leaves of neem before leaving your home and then burn them close to your tent or wherever you sit and sleep.

    Let the neem’s smoke do their work for a minimum of 5 minutes near every place you sleep, sit, and eat.

    You can easily find some neem on frost-free zones of California and Arizona. My healthy advice is – buy a neem tree or seed and plant it in your garden then for sure you will have much better air to breathe. You can also buy a mini tree if you have less space. If you have time then read this scientific research on neem smoke as a mosquito repellent.
  4. Lavender: place some lavender plants (5-10) surronding the area where you don’t want the mosquitoes to come. Now whenver you feel like mosquitoes coming, extract the oil from some leaves by crushing it and the aroma of it will hinder the olfactory recepetors of mosquiotes. You can also apply the lavender oil extract in your exposed body part, though if your skin irritates then don’t apply it on your skin.
  5. Peppermint: Do you know a simple peppermint essential oil can protect you from mosquito bites for around 150 minutes? The study of April 2011 clearly gives honor to peppermint as a dengue mosquito repellent. Apply some peppermint oil by crusing the peppermint leaves or essential oil available at your local or online store on the exposed body parts or on clothes and this will protect you from the bites for hours to come.
  6. Lemon Eucalyptus:study of 2014 clearly shows that a solution containing 32% lemon eucalyptus oil can give you at least 95% protection from yellow fever mosquito and malaria-carrying mosquitoes for about 3 hours. You can easily find a good lemon eucalyptus essential oil on Amazon.
  7. Aloevera Gel & Olive Oil: How about mixing two of your favorite natural beauty products to make a scent to repel mosquitoes. According to a research published in 2016 when these two things are mixed taking the concentration as per skin senstivity. For this, you must not be allergic to aloe vera. Find some aloe vera gel and cream online or at local grocery stores.
  8. Geranium Oil: On it’s own geranium oil don’t produce any scents that are great at repelling bugs but when mixed with Lemon eucalytus oil they together can produce a good medium power mosquito repelling smell.
  9. Lemongrass: If you love lemon tea, you may also have a lemongrass plant in your garden. Just take the grass and extract the oil from it and store in a small spray bottle. According to a study in thailand lemongrass oil produces a powerful mosquito repelling scent that is safe for both human and animal use exculduing mosquitoes.
  10. Tea Tree Oil Smell: Either you can spray the tea tree oil around your tent or you can apply it directly on skin or clothes after diluting it with carrier oil and it will not allow the mosquitoes to bite you.
  11. Thyme: This plant shows excellent mosquito repelling properties. The idea is simple, cursh the leaves to release the essential oil in surrounding and place it near your tent or patio or apply it on your skin and clothes to deter the mosqitoes.
  12. Vetiver: Extract the Vetiver oil from the roots of vetiver grass or buy it online, just spray the oil in air and it will deter the mosquitoes naturally. According to an experiment published in, the Vetiver oil consist hundreds of componets, and six of them shown insect repelling properties.
  13. Clove oil: According to an study published on pubmed, undilluted clove oil when applied direclty on skin shows 100% repellency against all three species of mosquitoes for 2 to 4 hours. However, using raw clove oil can cause headache and skin irritation that’s why you should use clove oil and coconut oil mixture which a research shown to have about 80 minutes of mosquito protection.
  14. Garlic: Take 6-10 pieces of a garlic and cover them with mineral oil and let them sit for 24 hours. After that remove the garlic and add 1-2 cups of water and 1-2 tsp lemon juice. filter the the soultion using a filter cloth and put it into spray bottle. Now whenever you camp, spray the solution around your tents and may be on your clothes. Just make sure garlic has a tough smell which not everyone likes.
  15. Citronella: Citronella is not a new name in mosquito deterents. According to Malaria Journal, 100% Citronella can protect you from host-seeking mosquitoes for about 120 minutes but this can cause skin irritation, that’s why it is available in 5-10% concentration in market to eliminate skin sensitivity.

    But because citronella that contains citronellal, citronellol, geraniol, citral, α pinene, and limonene can evaporate too quickly so for this either you can mix it with Cymbopogan to reduce the release date. Or you can purchase citronella candles which will will burn slowly but only porvides 50% of mosquito protection.
  16. Sage: You can plants sage in your garden to add colors and textures. And when you go to your next camping trip, just pack some sage leaves and either apply them by rubbing on your skin or put the dried sage leaves in your campfire to create a cloud that contains natural scents to repel mosquitoes.
  17. Cinnamon Bark Oil: If you think that ther’s a source of still water near your campsite or house that contains mosquites eggs, then have some Cinnamon bark oil with you and spray it over the source. According to National Taiwan University, Cinnamon has an aldehyde group that is effective at stopping the growth of larvae of yellow fever mosquitoes.
  18. Catnips: Take some catnips leaves and crush them, the oil you get from this act, apply it on your clothes, tents, or other fabrics because it’s an EPA approved and according to it has shown near to same effecienty as DEET.
  19. Pine Oil: Dillute pine oil and put it into the diffuser in hiking trips where you can sense the mosquitoe’s presence. A study conducted in 2005 noticed that Pine Oil provided 100% protection against nopheles culicifacies for 11 hours and 97% protection against Culex quinquefasciatus for 9 hours.
  20. Rosemary: Add 1 cup of dried rosemary in 4 cup of water then boil it for 30 minutes and put 4 cup of cold water into another container. Now strain the rosemary water into container. Use this solution to spray around your campsite, tent, or patio to repel the mosquitoes with its pungent smell.
  21. Basil Oil: The author of 2011 review noted that Basil oil provided 100% protection against yellow fever mosquitoes for more than 6 hours. You can find basil oil easily on amazon.
  22. Vanila: The smell of Vanilla is one of the major mosquito repellent because it hinders their ability to hone with food sources.
  23. Vinegar: Because of it’s powerful smell, vinegar seem to work well as mosquito repllent. Apple cider vinegar, and red vinegar are great options but a vinegar as cheap as white vinegar can also help repel mosquitoes only after it is mixed with enough water, red or apple cider vinegar.
  24. Coffee Beans: Drop some coffee beans in an stagnant source of water and it’s pungent smell will bring out the mosquito eggs from water and as they are not getting enough oxygen the breeding will end.

9 Smells that mosquitoes like?

It is not enough to know the smells that mosquitoes hate, if you want the ensured protection from bites it is better that you don’t keep or use those things with you on camping & hiking trips whose smells mosquitoes love the most.

  1. Perfumed:
    1. Haircare products
    2. Aftershave
    3. Shampoo
    4. Cologen
    5. Body sprays
  2. Deodrant & perfumes
  3. Scented lotions
  4. Floral scents are biggest mosquito attractor
  5. Flowery fragnance is something that female mosquitoes loves the most.
  6. Orched scents
  7. Carbon di-oxide is the main cause why mosquitoes are attracted to humans & mammals breath. Yeast is one of the source of CO2.
  8. Don’t get too Sweaty as it will invite mosquitoes to bite you.
  9. According to, mosquitoes need sugar, infact, both male and female mosquites need sugar more frequently than blood for survival.

FAQs about smells & mosquitoes

What natural smells do mosquitoes hate?

As said the natural smells that mosquitoes hate are: Citronella, Neem, Thyme, Peppermint, Aloe vera gel with olive oil, Rosemary, Pine oil, Lavender, Sage leaves, Geranium, Lemongrass, Lemon Eucalyptus, Vetiver, etc, These are just some names as I’ve covered more than 21 smells that mosquitoes hate so be sure to read & note them all.

Read Also: Smells That Repel & Attract Bears?

What to burn to repel mosquitoes?

There are three things that I like the most to repel mosquitoes and some other bugs during my camping night outside and they are effective inside the house too.

Dry neem leaves, sage leaves, and citronella are the best things you can burn tonight to repel mosquitoes naturally. I like neem leaves the most, so today give them the first shot if possible as neem is the best thing you can burn to repel mosquitoes.

Do mosquitoes hate vinegar?

Yes, mosquitoes hate vinegar not because it has repelling substances but because of its powerful smell it acts as a good mosquito repeller[source]. The only exception is white vinegar which needs to mix with water to gain 100% effectiveness.

Also if you consume enough apple cider vinegar, can strengthen our own body’s natural odor to repel mosquitoes.

Do mosquitoes hate Smoke?

The mosquitoes have no problem with smoke but because it hinders their olfactory receptors which makes it hard for them to smell you as long as you’re within the smoke zone. However, you can increase its effectiveness to another level by adding neem leaves in your fire pit because mosquitoes hate the smell of neem and neem smoke.

Do mosquitoes hate Perfume?

No mosquitoes don’t hate perfume in fact, they like its smell. The only perfume that is shown to repel mosquitoes for about 2 hours is Bombshell perfume[source].

Do mosquitoes hate Camphor?

Yes, mosquitoes hate camphor because of its smell. So the best way to use it as a repellent is to burn some camphor in your house after closing all the doors and windows and let its smell be inside your house or camping tent for about 30 minutes.

Also, you can put some camphor tablets in a small bowl filled with water and keep it near your bed. This will keep the mosquitoes away for the entire night.

Do mosquitoes hate hand Sanitizers?

A source, says, that they use hand sanitizers mildly on legs and arms to repel mosquitoes and it worked every time. Because it’s an experience-based study done by an individual so I can say yes, hand sanitizers will work well at least for some time as hand sanitizers are alcohol-based and thus evaporate quickly.

Why do mosquitoes hate Citronella?

Mosquitoes hate Citronella not because it has some powerful scents but it creates a cacoon to carbon dioxide and lactic acid scents that mosquitoes are fond of.

Do mosquitoes hate the smell of Citrus?

Yes, mosquitoes hate the minty smell of citrus as it gives a pungent feel to them.

Does Vicks Vapor Rub repel mosquitoes?

Yes Vicks Vapor Rub contains methanol and that’s why the scent of it helps repel the mosquitoes, however, it will be effective only for a short period. Though, you can apply it on mosquito stings for quick relief.