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Does Mint Repel Mosquitoes? Best Natural Way to Repel Mosquitoes

Come warm weather, mosquitoes will once again become a massive problem. They can ruin all the outside activities and their bites are at best, irritating, at worst – dangerous. There are numerous mosquito repellant sprays and gadgets, but one of the most effective things against the bugs is mint. Does mint repel mosquitoes effectively? We’ll see how to use mint to repel mosquitoes: whether it’s actually effective and how to use it right.

Does Peppermint Essential Oil Repel Mosquitoes?

Many types of mint can repel mosquitoes, and peppermint oil specifically can:

  • be very fragrant, which repels mosquitoes;
  • kill the larvae of mosquitoes and act as an insecticide;
  • act as a cooling agent if you have mosquito bites;
  • can protect your skin from certain mosquitoes for up to 6 hours.

mint plant close up photo

Will peppermint oil keep mosquitoes away?

Mint, or peppermint, is a member of the Mentha plant family. There are many different types of mint, which vary in the form of their leaves and lots of them contain menthol in their essential oils. Essential oil is the part of the plant that actually repels the mosquitoes. Mentha piperita oil, or peppermint oil, was reported to show insecticide activity against larvae of mosquitoes and the repellant activity.

Many plants like mint, vetiver, bergamot, and lavender are marketed as mosquito repellants, but, it’s worth stressing that in their plant form, they will not show any repelling activity. The essential oils that protect you from mosquitoes are contained within the plant and are only released when it’s crushed. So just keeping it in a pot on your porch won’t protect you against mosquitoes, but using mint oil-based products like peppermint spray for mosquitoes will.

How exactly does peppermint essential oil repel mosquitoes?

The menthol in peppermint oil has a very potent aroma, which in itself acts as a mosquito repellant. Many aromatic plants are listed as mosquito repellants for the same reason, so you hear about thyme, rosemary, basil, cloves, and, of course, peppermint used against mosquitoes.

What peppermint also does, though, is kill the mosquito’s larvae, as well as give long-term protection for up to 3 hours against various mosquito kinds like malaria, filarial and yellow fever kinds.

Does peppermint oil help with mosquito bites? Unlike many other essential oils, which need to be in a quite high concentration, menthol has an added benefit of a cooling effect, that can lower the irritation and itch after a mosquito bite.

How to Use Mint to Repel Mosquitoes

Peppermint oil and essential oils of other plants of the mint family are safe to use on your skin and they prove to be effective against different kinds of mosquitoes without harming your skin. The only exception is pennyroyal mint oil, which is too toxic to use on your skin in any concentration.

Let’s take a look at how mint repels mosquitoes and how you can use it.

peppermint leaves on wood

Make a DIY spray

In order to do that you’re going to need:

  • several cups of crushed mint leaves
  • spray bottle
  • rubbing alcohol

You need to crush mint leaves in a pestle and mortar to release essential oils. Combine with rubbing alcohol in a 5:1 ratio of alcohol to mint. Put it in a bottle and use it as a spray for surfaces and skin. Beware that the combination of alcohol and mint can be irritant to your skin.

If you don’t want to crush mint leaves, you can buy bottled essential oil, and mix it with rubbing alcohol in the same 5:1 ratio of alcohol to mint oil.

Use mint oil

Mint oil on its own acts well as a repellant, though it does need to be re-applied quite frequently. Additionally, when you apply it to the bite, it can cool it down and reduce the itch.

Commercial sprays

If you want to purchase a ready-made mint spray, there are many options available on the market. There are pure peppermint oils and oil solutions available, though the former is more effective.

Does Peppermint Essential Oil Repel Mosquitoes?

Many types of mint are used in bug-repellant sprays, like catnip. But, because peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint (Mentha spicata) and water mint (Mentha aquatica), it has a high level of menthone, menthol, and methyl esters which are all very effective against different types of mosquitoes. Studies have shown that undiluted, peppermint oil fully repels Anopheles annularis, An. culicifacies and Anopheles subpictus for 11, 9.6 and 7.3 h, respectively. It’s also effective against such types as An. stephensi and An. dirus, but found not at all effective against Ae. aegypti.

mosquito on a net

FAQ on Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is only one of many essential oils and plants you can use to repel mosquitoes. Let’s look at some of the common questions about how it works and how to use it correctly.

Does peppermint oil help with mosquito bites?

Yes, because the menthol in its essential oil acts as a cooling agent. Mosquito bites often get inflamed and hot and incredibly itchy, so peppermint oil will soothe that inflammation and make it better.

Which mint is best for mosquitoes?

The Mentha family has many types of plants in it, from spearmint to catnip and pennyroyal. Not all of them are effective against mosquitoes, and some of them, like pennyroyal, shouldn’t be applied to your skin, because it can be toxic. Is peppermint oil a mosquito repellent? Yes, because it has a very high concentration of aromatic ethers that repel mosquitoes and it is also the most effective type of mint against insects, not only mosquitoes.

Does mint keep flies away?

Many insects are sensitive to strong aromas which include mint. Peppermint essential oil in particular is effective against mosquitoes, fleas, beetles, flies, and even mice.

Does Mint Repel Mosquitoes?

Many essential oils are effective against mosquitoes, but peppermint has a uniquely high combination of aromatic ethers that create a strong scent that mosquitoes don’t like. It’s not only a natural repellant, it’s also an insecticide and kills the larvae of mosquitoes. If you use pure essential oil, it can successfully protect you from some types of mosquitoes for up to 6 hours. Solutions that have smaller concentrations won’t be as effective, so you might need to re-apply them more often.

Have you ever used mint as a repellant? Let me know in the comments down below!

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Nicholas Martin

Nicholas Martin

I am Nicholas Martin, and I am an entomologist. I combine the insect survey work with the consultation for private pest control agencies. My narrow specializations are both urban pests and agricultural pests. I studied their control over the previous 25 years. More about Nick

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