Natural mosquito repellent

Aunt Fannie’s has a  essential oil based mosquito repellent that is worth trying.    Aunt Fannies seems to  keep away the mosquito that live in the over watered community that I also try to call home, if those insects would only let me!

Many of us are in swimming pools a lot in the summer.  If the pool is chlorinated, we have chlorine damaged skin.  DEET works, with out question.  Do any of us what DEET seeping into our circulation through our damaged skin?

Aunt Fannie’s Active Ingredients:

20.00%……….Soybean Oil
1.50%…………Cedarwood Oil
1.00%…………Peppermint Oil
1.00%…………Lemongrass Oil
1.00%…………Geranium Oil
73.00%……….Other Ingredients*

* Isopropyl Myristate & Vitamin E

Cedarwood Oil

Cedar Oil is kind of an generic term that can apply to any member of  the pine or cypress (Cupressaceae) family members.

John Carroll and other scientists at the USDA  (Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD)  conducted a rather extensive study that should have a lot of us cheering.  These authors tested three varieties of cedarwood oil

Juniperus communis
Cupressus funebris
Juniperus chinensis

They list the chemical composition of each of these oils they obtained from Chinese universities.  They tested them for them to repel ticks ( Ixodidae scapularis ) and mosquitoes  (  Ae. aegypti  ).  They found that  J. communis  essential oil (0.057 ± 0.013 mg/cm2) was not quite as repellent as 85% deet, whose minimal effective dose  ranged from 0.005–0.023 mg/cm2 for volunteers participating in another study.  Linalool was speculated to be one of the primary active ingredients in the cedarwood oils they tested.

Peppermint essential oil

Kumar and others of the University of New Dehli applied 0.1 mL essential oil  from  Mentha piperita directly to forearm skin of volunteers.  Ae aegypti mosquitoes were used as attackers.   They witnessed 100% protection for over two hours.    After 150 min up to 7% of the mosquitoes were attacking the volunteers.

Lemon Grass Oil

A French group (Baldacchino 2013) used video recordings to measure flight of stable flies.  They discuss the use of lemon grass essential oil in slowing these insects down, decreasing the amount of time they spend flying, and their feeding behavior.   A British Columbian group (Peach 2019) found lemon grass essential oil to be an effective repellent for local coastal mosquitoes and Ae aegypti.

Geranium oil

Peach and coworkers (2019)  found that a blend of geranium and peppermint essential oils  lowered the  required dose to obtain 50% repellent of each single essential oil tested  by >1,000-fold.  They found ternary complexes to be less effective.  Ali and coworkers (2013) examined the essential oils of several subspecies of geraniums as an Ae aegytpi biting deterrent.  Individual chemical constituents were isolated and tested.   The biting deterrent activity of geranic acid was not significantly different from N,N‐diethyl‐m‐toluamide (DEET). Geranic acid is a phermone in some insects.



Ali A, Murphy CC, Demirci B, Wedge DE, Sampson BJ, Khan IA, Baser KH, Tabanca N.(2013) Insecticidal and biting deterrent activity of rose-scented geranium (Pelargonium spp.) essential oils and individual compounds against Stephanitis pyrioides and Aedes aegypti. Pest Manag Sci. 2013 69(12):1385-92

Baldacchino F, Tramut C, Salem A, Liénard E, Delétré E, Franc M, Martin T, Duvallet G, Jay-Robert P. (2013) The repellency of lemongrass oil against stable flies, tested using video tracking. Parasite. 2013;20:21. Free Paper


Carroll JF, Tabanca N, Kramer M, Elejalde NM, Wedge DE, Bernier UR, Coy M, Becnel JJ, Demirci B, Başer KH, Zhang J, Zhang S. (2011) Essential oils of Cupressus funebris, Juniperus communis, and J. chinensis (Cupressaceae) as repellents against ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) and mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) and as toxicants against mosquitoes. Vector Ecol. 2011 Dec;36(2):258-68.  Free Paper

Kumar S, Wahab N, Warikoo R.(2011) Bioefficacy of Mentha piperita essential oil against dengue fever mosquito Aedes aegypti L. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed.1(2):85-8. Free Paper

Peach DAH, Almond M, Gries R, Gries G.(2019) Lemongrass and Cinnamon Bark: Plant Essential Oil Blend as a Spatial Repellent for Mosquitoes in a Field Setting. J Med Entomol. 2019 May 30. pii: tjz078.

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