Is Lavender Good for Repelling Mosquitoes? An In-Depth Analysis

Is Lavender Good for Repelling Mosquitoes? An In-Depth Analysis

Have you ever found yourself basking in the warm glow of a summer evening, only to have the serene moment ruined by the persistent mosquito hums and bites? Besides causing itchy rashes, the bites can result in deadly diseases like malaria, Zika, dengue, and yellow fever. 

Rather than giving up your time outdoors, the obvious solution is to reach for a mosquito repellant. Nowadays, natural repellants have become the go-to choice for those seeking a gentler approach to keeping mosquitoes at bay.

One hailed option in the natural repellent arena is lavender, a fragrant herb with a variety of uses. But is lavender good for mosquitoes? This article explores everything you need to know about lavender’s ability to repel mosquitoes.

Understanding Lavender and Its Properties

Lavender, also called Lavandula, is a bitter herb belonging to the mint family. Plants in this family set themselves apart by their pleasant and distinctive scents. Known for their slender stems, linear leaves, and spikes of small, fragrant flowers, this plant comes in different varieties, each with unique shades of flowers ranging from pale lilac to deep purple. The plant's aesthetic appeal makes it a popular choice in gardens and landscapes.

The chemical responsible for lavender’s sweet floral scent is called linalool. Its strong aroma has insect-repellant properties, disrupting the little buzzers’ sense of smell and making it difficult for them to locate food sources or hosts.

Lavender is native to the Mediterranean region and thrives in well-drained soils and sunny environments. However, due to its adaptability, it grows well in different parts of the world with similar climates. 

The Effectiveness of Lavender Against Mosquitoes

Chemical-based mosquito repellants mostly consist of DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). One scientific study has found this chemical to be unsafe for public health. As a result, many people have been shifting to natural alternatives like lavender.

Although these natural products might be safer, it’s necessary to understand their efficacy. This way, you’ll be assured they’ll keep the mosquitoes away, and you won’t be risking suffering from any of the diseases that these little buzzers transmit.

In a study conducted in 2019, researchers tested the efficiency of plant-based essential oils that were thought to be insect repellants. They used lavender oil, citronella oil, camphor oil, cinnamon oil, rosemary, chamomile, eucalyptus, and more.

From the experiment, they found out that these essential oils are capable of repelling different species of mosquitoes for up to eight hours. However, even with their effectiveness, these essential oils are volatile compared to the chemical options. As such, improving the extract formulation would be beneficial to ensure their effect last longer.

In another study, researchers found out that lavender, eucalyptus, and orange essential oils have a mosquito repellency of 65% to 85% five minutes after application. From these findings, it’s evident that you can depend on natural essential oils to fight mosquitoes. NATPAT’s BuzzPatch, which uses natural essential oils for repelling mosquitoes, can be an ideal complementary option.

How to Use Lavender for Mosquito Repellency

You can use lavender in different forms. Some of them include growing lavender plants, using lavender essential oils, or making homemade lavender sprays. Let’s explore these options.

Growing Lavender Plants

Lavender is a bright and fragrant addition to any garden. You can plant it as seeds in your backyard or buy one and replant it. However, getting starter plants is recommended since growing lavender seeds can be challenging. Here are the steps to follow when planting:

  1. Choose a plant with well-developed roots.
  2. Select a suitable place with adequate sunlight and well-drained soil. If planting in a container, choose a large one and make holes to drain excess water.
  3. Make a hole that is twice the size of the root ball of the lavender. If you’re transplanting several plants, keep the holes 2-3 feet apart.
  4. Place the lavender plant gently into the hole and fill in the extra space with soil while patting it lightly all around.
  5. Water the plant to compress the surrounding soil. Make sure not to pour too much water since water-logged soil can cause roots to rot.

Using Lavender Essential Oils

Lavender essential oils are effective in repelling mosquitos and act as a natural outdoor protection. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Purchase lavender essential oil from a retailer.
  2. Use carrier oils such as avocado oil or coconut oil with the essential oil to reduce skin irritation.
  3. To dilute, mix 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil with around 30 milliliters of any carrier oil.
  4. Apply the mixture to your body as a moisturizer. You can also increase the amount of lavender oil according to your body’s tolerance.

Making Homemade Lavender Sprays

Lavender essential oils also make great mosquito repellent sprays as an alternative to harmful chemical ones. Here is how to make them:

  1. Put 30-40 drops of lavender essential oil in a spray bottle.
  2. Fill up the bottle with around 45 milliliters of clean water and mix it well. 
  3. Spray the repellent on yourself or your clothes.

Benefits Beyond Mosquito Repellency

Apart from being a potent mosquito, flea, and bug repellent, lavender also has a myriad of other benefits. First off, it has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce stress, soothe the skin, and induce calming effects when rubbed on.

Inhaling lavender’s sweet scent is therapeutic, helping to reduce anxiety, improve the quality of sleep, and stimulate the immune system.

However, although lavender’s aroma is a welcome fragrance to human beings, mosquitoes and other bugs find it repulsive. These insects use their antennae to smell carbon dioxide and lactic acid on a person’s skin, which guides them to bite you. Lavender overloads and blocks their smell sensory organs, thereby disrupting the odor-sensing activity.

Potential Risks and Considerations

Lavender plants are sometimes in various foods and taken as medicine. However, lavender essential oil is toxic in high concentrations. It is known to irritate the tongue, throat, and the soft lining of the upper palate. It can also cause constipation and severe headaches.

Some people have a low tolerance to lavender and other essential oils and develop rashes when the oil is directly applied to their skin. To avoid this, it is advisable to dilute lavender essential oils to keep the concentration below 5%.

Carrying out patch tests for both adults and children is also recommended before using or applying essential oils to the skin. The test helps you to know how your skin will react to a certain oil before using it extensively.

In the event that you develop skin irritation from the use of an essential oil, wash the affected area thoroughly with mild soap and water. After washing, press a wet, cold cloth on the skin to relieve itching or apply a hydrocortisone cream.

If the oil was sprayed into the air, open windows and doors to allow fresh air in and diffuse the irritant.

Comparing Lavender With Other Mosquito Repellents

Below is a chart comparing lavender to citronella and DEET, some of its common alternatives.






  • Non-toxic when diluted as recommended by the manufacturer

  • Can cause skin irritation to allergic individuals

  • Safe for the environment
  • Non-toxic when diluted as recommended by the manufacturer

  • Can cause skin and eye irritation to allergic individuals

  • Can result in throat irritation and coughing when ingested

  • Safe for the environment
  • Safe when used as directed by the manufacturer

  • Can cause skin irritation to allergic individuals

  • Pollutes the environment


  • Moderately effective for up to 8 hours after application
  • Moderately effective for 9 to 11 hours after application
  • Highly effective for up to 10 hours after application


  • Pleasant, floral scent
  • Rich, crisp, lemony aroma
  • Faint plastic-like odor

Preferred scenario

  • Outdoor activities, such as gardening, hiking, or relaxing on a patio

  • Preference for natural products
  • Outdoor gatherings, picnics, camping, or relaxing in the backyard

  • Preference for natural products
  • High mosquito activity areas like camping or hiking

  • When prolonged protection is needed

Generally, lavender, citronella, and DEET use the same mechanism to deter mosquitoes. Rather than directly killing them, these products mask the scent and carbon dioxide on your skin, making it difficult for them to detect you.

When used in the recommended concentration, lavender, citronella, and DEET are safe. You apply them on your skin and spray them on your clothes or house. While lavender and citronella are ingestible, DEET is not. Using it orally can lead to stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. In addition, as natural products, lavender and citronella have no effects on the environment. Conversely, the chemicals in DEET can be slightly toxic to animals.

Since DEET remains active for a long time, it’s more suitable in areas where the mosquito population is high. On the other hand, lavender and citronella are ideal where mosquitoes are not plentiful and you're planning on spending less time in their environment. In terms of smell, lavender and citronella are typically preferred for children and pregnant women.

Incorporating Lavender in Your Mosquito Repellent Strategy

Besides being an essential oil for fleas, lavender is a reliable mosquito repellant. Here are some creative and practical ways to incorporate it into your home:

Planting Lavender in the Garden

Planting lavender in your garden is one of the simplest and most effective ways of getting rid of mosquitoes in your space. The purple flowers not only add beauty to your landscape but also emit a strong fragrance that naturally deters mosquitoes. You can plant it around seating areas or near doorways and windows.

Using Lavender-Scented Products

Another option is adding lavender-scented personal care products into your daily routine. Look for soaps, lotions, and body oils infused with lavender essential oil. Not only will these products leave you smelling fresh, but they will make your sweat and body scent undetectable by mosquitoes. In addition, you can use mosquito stickers on your clothes or around your home.

Placing Lavender Sachets Outdoors

Sachets are small bags filled with dried lavender flowers or lavender essential oils. Placing them in outdoor areas such as patios, decks, or picnic areas can help ward off mosquitoes while adding a lovely scent to the air.

Lavender stands out among traditional repellents because you can use it in different ways. Unlike synthetic options such as DEET, lavender offers a more subtle scent and is generally considered safer for regular use, even when you have kids around.

If you’re looking for natural mosquito repellants, some of the best products to consider are NATPAT’s mosquito patches for kids and mosquito patches for adults. Moreover, you can find MagicPatches for relieving an itch in case you get bitten.

Opt for a Natural Repellent

If you’re looking for a natural mosquito repellant, you can’t go wrong with lavender. When you apply it on your skin, spray it on your clothes, or in your house, it remains effective for around 8 hours. It also has an appealing scent that keeps the air fresh. Moreover, it gives health benefits such as relieving anxiety and stress, soothing the skin, improving sleep quality, and boosting the immune system.

If you're ready to dive into the world of all-natural bug repellents, check out NATPAT's selection.


How effective is lavender against mosquitoes?

Lavender in any form is effective in repelling mosquitos. However, lavender essential oil is more potent, with an 80% effective rate for eight continuous hours.

What smell do mosquitoes hate?

Mosquitos are generally turned off by strong natural smells such as lavender and peppermint, citronella, cedar, lemongrass, catnip, and patchouli.

Is peppermint or lavender better to repel mosquitoes?

Both lavender and peppermint are effective mosquito repellents, although the peppermint scent lasts longer.

Are mosquitoes attracted to the scent of lavender?

No. The lavender scent, while pleasing to human beings, is intolerable to mosquitoes and keeps them at bay.

Mosquito Patches for Kids

Mosquito Patches for Kids

A scientifically formulated and tested blend of highly effective, all natural essential oils that have been used for hundreds of years by indigenous communities to repel mosquitos.

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