When it comes to natural remedies for insects, neem oil is among the most effective. Although neem oil does not smell pleasant, the odor is part of why it is an effective mosquito repellent. Find out how to use neem oil to repel mosquitoes with help from our article.
Mosquitos are biting insects that feed on blood to mate and lay a new generation of eggs in their life cycle. This habit of feeding on blood makes mosquitoes a severe threat to humans as mosquitoes serve as vectors for diseases like malaria.
The oil from neem seeds contains a chemical compound called azadirachtin. Once ingested, this compound interferes with the nervous system of pests. The interference that neem oil causes in mosquitoes results in them being unable to progress to the following stage in their life cycle and being unable to mate and lay eggs. Continue reading to discover ways to keep mosquitoes away using neem oil.
- Homemade Neem Oil Mosquito Repellent
- The Effect of Neem Oil on Beneficial Insects
- Other Natural Scents to Try with Neem Oil
Homemade Neem Oil Mosquito Repellent
As an oil, neem oil works best when combined with a carrier oil or another base. These additions allow you to apply neem oil to the skin or your home to keep mosquitoes away.
Where Does Neem Oil Come from?
Neem oil is a type of oil that comes from cold-pressing fruits and seeds of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) native to South Asia and India, where neem oil has historical use in folk medicine.
Cold-pressed neem oil is available in its pure state or a pre-mixed ratio, ready for use around the home. Pre-mixed solutions with water are excellent for use in the yard as a spray, whereas pure neem oil is beneficial when used on skin or in the air as a mosquito repellent.
Neem Oil Insect Repellent
Neem oil has a garlicky smell. Just like the essential oil inside garlic plants, the smell is not one that mosquitoes enjoy and it’s one of the best things to repel mosquitoes. Garlic is one way to ward off mosquitoes, but creating a homemade neem oil mosquito repellent also works.
Create a foliar spray to coat plants with foul-smelling oil to keep mosquitoes away and use it to kill squash bugs that may be invading your garden.
To make a natural spray to kill mosquitoes in your backyard or garden, fill your sprayer with water, followed by your liquid dish soap, which lowers the surface tension of the water, allowing you to mix in the neem oil. Soap allows the oil to stick to the leaves of your plants.
Slowly pour in your neem oil and mix until combined. Apply neem oil to soil and plants, including the tops of leaves, where mosquitoes might stop to rest.
Using Neem Oil on Mosquito Larvae
Unmoving, stagnant water fosters the growth of bacteria, and this type of water is where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Adult mosquitoes lay numerous eggs on the surface, and once they hatch, the larvae live off of microorganisms in the water.
Pools of standing water include bird baths, buckets or containers in the yard, and even small ponds on your property. One way to avoid mosquitoes taking over your space is to avoid stagnant water. Tip-over containers that hold water or use neem oil drops in the water and stir well to kill larvae living there.
Essential Oil Spray
Tea tree oil is good for repelling mosquitoes, and its anti-inflammatory properties allow it to relieve the itch of mosquito bites. Its strong smell alongside neem oil makes them a perfect homemade neem oil mosquito repellent.
There are many recipes for homemade repellents – here’s a favorite natural mosquito repellent spray for skin. Be sure to test it first to ensure there’s no skin irritation.
Add the ingredients carefully into a glass spray bottle. Spray areas around the house and outdoor space to keep mosquitoes away.
How to Use Neem Oil to Repel Mosquitoes
To use neem oil in a long-lasting form, combine it with other powerful mosquito repellents to make a candle. Aside from the harsh smell of neem oil, mosquitoes hate citrus scents like lemon eucalyptus oil and other smells that are pleasant to humans, like peppermint oil.
Cut the lime and lemon into slices and add them to a large Mason jar. Add the essential oils before filling with water. Place your floating candle inside and light it to warm the water and the oils to release the fragrance.
Neem Oil Body Lotion
Mosquitoes come equipped with many methods for finding meals, like following the scent of carbon dioxide that humans emit. These biting insects track humans by body heat and perspiration, making us targets when spending time outside in the summertime.
To avoid a bug bite, use neem oil with lotion to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Add neem oil via a dropper to your favorite lotion before working the lotion onto your skin.
Note: Using neem oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil is an alternative to lotion.
Does Neem Oil Kill Mosquitoes?
Due to its antifungal properties, neem oil effectively treats powdery mildew, but does neem oil kill mosquitoes? The main ingredient in neem oil, azadirachtin, makes it effective against various pests.
This chemical compound is fatal for soft-bodied insects. When insects ingest azadirachtin or contact it, it disrupts their nervous system. For some insects, it prevents them from feeding on treated plants, and for others, like mosquitoes, they are unable to mate or advance to the next stage in their life cycle.
The Effect of Neem Oil on Beneficial Insects
Because neem oil has such devastating effects on insects, anyone using it outside may have concern over its effects on beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, and ladybugs. When treating plants in your garden, it’s natural to assume these plants become covered in neem oil as helpful insects visit them.
Fortunately, beneficial insects are not often bothered by neem oil because they do not feed on the leaves of treated plants. Most beneficial insects visit plants for pollen and move on to help pollinate other flowers.
To avoid accidentally spraying bees as they pollinate, use neem oil treatments at dawn or dusk when most beneficial insects are inactive.
Other Natural Scents to Try with Neem Oil
Many amazing smelling essential oils are efficient at repelling mosquitoes; however, some may not mix well with neem oil when used together. Test different oil combinations to find one that is both effective and appealing to you.
The benefit of most essential oils is that they are easily diluted with water in a spray bottle and made safe to wear on the skin. Another option is to combine them with a base like witch hazel or olive oil.
Mosquitoes are more than just summertime pests. The Malaria Research Centre dedicates time to problem-solving the spread of malaria, which mosquitoes are a known carrier. Protect yourself and your guests during mosquito season by using a natural form of pest control to keep mosquitoes away.
If you discovered how to use neem oil to repel mosquitoes with help from our guide, please share our pest control tips with your family on Facebook and Pinterest to answer their questions like, “Does neem oil kill mosquitoes?”