Does Lavender Repel Mosquitos? What Type Works Best?
Mosquitos can be a real problem if you have many backyard barbeques or spend time on the patio, but many people don’t like to use harmful chemicals or expensive fogging machines to get rid of them. Fortunately, there are a few natural methods, like plants. Many people wonder if lavender will work. The short answer is yes. Lavender works well to repel mosquitos, but there are many different forms, so keep reading as we explain the best way to obtain and use it.
Does Lavender Work to Repel Mosquitos?
Yes. A few studies have been conducted that show that lavender is quite effective at repelling mosquitos. A 2009 study¹ on the lavender plant’s ability to repel mosquitos found it capable of reducing numbers by as much as 53% when you grow them outside around the house. Results are even better indoors, and you can expect a 93% reduction in numbers when you have lavender indoors. Another study¹ in 2019 found that the essential oil from the lavender plant can reduce mosquitos in the area by up to 80%.
What Kind of Lavender Works Best?
Lavender is easy to grow outdoors in growing zones 5–8, and it also grows well indoors. It produces a strong pleasant fragrance that works well to repel mosquitos, and you can expect to see 50% fewer mosquitos. It looks fantastic, has many flowers, is safe for pets, and attracts helpful insects.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil can reduce mosquitos in your area by up to 80%, and you can take it with you if you are traveling, so you are never vulnerable. There is a large number of commercial products that you can purchase that contain lavender essential oil, from soaps to sprays. You can even buy pure lavender oil¹ and apply it to your clothing or put it in critical areas around your property after you dilute it with a carrier oil. Mix one to two drops per ounce into coconut, avocado, or similar lightweight oil to dilute it.
DIY Lavender Essential Oil Spray
If you have lavender essential oil, you can make a DIY mosquito repellent spray that you can spray over a larger area than the oil alone. Pour about 1 teaspoon of lavender essential oil into a 16-ounce spray bottle, then fill the rest of the bottle with water and shake well.
DIY Lavender Homemade Essential Oil
If you have lavender growing on your property, you can create a homemade essential oil.
- Heat 15 cups of olive oil to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Stir in 2 cups of chopped lavender buds and stems.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Cool and strain.
- Place in an airtight container.
- Refrigerate until it becomes cloudy.
Is Lavender Essential Oil Safe for Pets?
The lavender plant is not toxic to pets, but the essential oil is much more concentrated and can cause health problems for cats, dogs, and horses. If you need to use essential oils to eliminate mosquitos, make sure you only use them outdoors, where your pets can’t get any of the oils on their skin or paws.
Are There Other Plants That Can Help Reduce Mosquito Populations?
Yes, besides lavender, there are quite a few plants that you can put in your garden or around your property that will work well to reduce the number of mosquitos that you encounter. These include basil, citronella, mint, thyme, catnip, and marigold.
Lavender repels mosquitos quite well, and planting it around your property can help bring significant relief. It’s easy to grow outside and you can even grow it indoors. The lavender essential oil works even better, and you can find it in many forms, from pure oil to soaps and creams. The only downside to the essential oil is that it can harm your pets, especially if they get it on their skin, so you will need to keep it out of reach and use it only outdoors.
Featured Image Credit: katerinavulcova, Pixabay