Does Neem Oil Repel Mosquitoes - How to Use Neem Oil as Mosquito Repellent
Neem oil repels mosquitoes because of its azadirachtin content, whose smell and taste deters mosquitoes from biting. Neem oil can be either applied on skin or used in a neem oil lamp for mosquitoes.
If you are looking for natural ways to prevent mosquitoes bites, neem oil might be your best ally. According to the WHO, over 1 million people die from mosquito bites complications each year. The pharmaceutical answer to preventing mosquitoes bites is DEET, which was found to possibly negatively effect the neurological system and have a huge impact on the environment. It is very important to find a more sustainable way to repel mosquitoes. The answer is given by mother nature: neem oil to prevent mosquitoes bites. In this oneHOWTO article we will talk about neem oil mosquito repellent: we will talk about what is neem oil, how to use neem oil as mosquitoes repellent, and give you a neem oil mosquito repellent recipe. Look no further to discover: does neem oil repel mosquitoes and how to use neem oil as mosquito repellent.
What is neem oil
Neem oil is an oil extracted from the seeds of the neem tree's fruit. Neem trees grow in India and other parts of Asia. Neem oil is golden in color, has an unpleasant taste and odour (which is why neem oil repels mosquitoes) and is used for many purposes:
- Neem oil is anti-fungal
- Neem oil is antibacterial and antimicrobial
- Neem oil is analgesic
- Neem oil is anti-inflammatory
- Neem oil is insecticide, it repels and kills insects and bugs, that is why neem oil is used for lice
- Neem oil is mosquitoes repellent
As you can see, neem oil can be used for a variety of purposes. However, while diluted topical use is safe, you should contact your doctor before deciding to ingest neem oil, as it might be dangerous. Also, only buy pure, organic neem oil as sometimes commercial neem oil is mixed with dangerous substances.
Let's now discover: does neem oil repel mosquitoes?
Is neem oil mosquito repellent?
Neem oil repels mosquitoes because of its pungent smell. Moreover, the azadirachtin contained in neem oil repels and kills all kinds of insects. That is why neem oil is also used on plants for gardening.
Insects do not like azadirachtin, which modifies their hormonal system, preventing them from mating, laying eggs and growing. Because neem oil acts on hormones (contrarily to DEET), insects cannot develop resistance to it. So neem oil is an effective and sustainable way to repel mosquitoes and bugs.
However, neem oil might be more effective with some types of mosquitoes. With anophelines mosquito type, among which is the one carrying malaria, neem oil gives around 95-100% protection. For the aedes type (responsible for dengue), neem oil is about 85% effective. For culex mosquitoes, effectiveness can range between 60 and 95%, but for armigeres, it is only 35% percent effective. So, while neem oil can be an amazing anti mosquito in India and tropical countries, it might be less effective in other parts of the world. Do your research before using neem oil as mosquito repellent.
Now that you know the neem oil is mosquito repellent, and how it works, let's discover how to use neem oil as mosquito repellent.
How to use neem oil as mosquito repellent
As we already mentioned, neem oil's smell is strong. Moreover, neem oil can be aggressive on sensitive skin. That is why it is always recommended to dilute neem oil in a carrier oil before applying on skin.
The best oil to mix with neem oil to repel mosquitoes is coconut oil. Studies have shown best results when the two are combined, probably because coconut oil is also a mild insect repellent. Apart from that, pleasant smelling oils such as peppermint are often added to neem oil insect repellents.
When using neem oil as mosquito repellent, never mix it with water or other liquids, unless you use it immediately. Neem oil looses its properties when mixed with water (including hazel and rose water) in less than 24 hours.
Neem oil is not effective in repelling mosquitoes for as long as DEET, that is why you should apply neem oil to your skin every two hours to effectively repel mosquitoes.
For best results, it is advisable to start applying neem oil on skin 10 days before exposure to mosquitoes, that way your skin will develop a strong unpleasantness for the little insects.
Other measures you should take, in combination with using neem oil as mosquito repellent are:
- Apply neem oil to your clothes too
- Do not wear dark colors
- Avoid going out at dawn and dusk
- Avoid clothes that make you sweat
- You can mix a small amount of DEET in the mixture
You now know all the facts about how to use neem oil to prevent mosquito bites. We can now move on and teach you how to make homemade neem mosquito repellent.
Neem oil mosquito repellent recipe
As we said in our previous section "how to use neem oil as mosquito repellent", coconut oil is the best carrier oil for neem oil to prevent mosquito bites. So, here is our homemade neem mosquito repellent:
What you need
- 50 ml neem oil
- 50 ml coconut oil
- a few drops eucalyptus or mint oil (do not use essential oils on children)
- mix all ingredients in a glass container and mix well
- apply to clothes and skin (including ears so that mosquitoes do not wake you up) every 2 hours
It is so easy to make the homemade neem mosquito repellent, then why use DEET?
Other ways to use neem oil to prevent mosquito bites are:
- neem oil lamp for mosquitoes: just burn neem po; in a lamp, candle or flare
- burning neem leaves against mosquitoes: you can use it as in incense.
So, does neem oil repel mosquitoes? Yes! Now we know how to use neem oil as mosquito repellent too!
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