Eucalyptus is the common name for a genus for tall trees that have a very powerful minty smell. You may have heard of these trees when Koalas are being featured on TV. But lately, Eucalyptus has become even more popular because of another animal, one that’s not cute at all – the annoying tiny mosquito.
The essence collected from eucalyptus plants is a powerful deterrent. And since it does work, we think that making a eucalyptus tree mosquito repellent at home won’t just help you with your pest problems. It’ll help you with your budget too.
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How does eucalyptus repel mosquitoes?
Like citronella, eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus citriodora) have a chemical that can deter mosquitoes. The compound p-menthane-3,8-diol has a strong odor that can confuse the insects and alter their sharp sense of smell.
One research published on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health states that among three major mosquito repellents, eucalyptus, neem, and a mix of several essential oils, eucalyptus came out with more than a 90% bite protection rate for 4 hours. This makes it comparable to commercial DEETs, which the study claims to give about 84.81% protection for 6 hours.
Meanwhile, another research suggests that eucalyptus-based repellents can be as good store-bought DEET, as long as the eucalyptus is mixed with other active ingredients. It turns out that these repellents are able to give complete protection from 6 to 7.75 hours. Depending on how they were formulated, they can potentially replace DEET on the shelves.
What’s lemon eucalyptus oil?
It’s a common misconception. But lemon eucalyptus essential oil is not the combination of the oils from the lemon fruit and the eucalyptus tree. In fact, it’s from a single plant, a lemon-scented gum tree that’s from a completely separate and independent species – the Eucalyptus citriodora or Corymbia citriodora.
But even though this oil is from a different plant, it can still be used against mosquitoes. That’s because it has the mosquito-repelling chemicals of the two known repellents, citronella and eucalyptus. Its oil contains citronellal, citronellol and some traces of p-menthane-3,8-diol too. However, its effects are mostly comparable to that of citronella. So it’s not as effective as E. globulus and E. citriodora.
How to Make a Eucalyptus Tree Mosquito Repellent
Making a eucalyptus tree mosquito repellent is easy. It just takes mixing and spraying. The harder part is when you have to keep a schedule in applying these sprays. Nevertheless, here are 3 easy recipes we compiled from reliable sources.
Recipe No. 1
Wellness Mama’s bug spray is made from a bunch of aromatic essentials oils. Here’s what you need:
- 20 drops each – lemon eucalyptus and lavender oil
- 30 drops each – citronella and Igeranium oil
- 10 drops rosemary oil
- 1/2 cup natural witch hazel
- 1 tbsp vodka or rubbing alcohol
- 1/2 cup water (or vinegar)
- 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin (optional)
Place all the essential oils into a spray bottle. Then add the vodka or rubbing alcohol. Shake the bottle, and put in the witch hazel. Shake the bottle again to combine the mixture. If you want, you can pour glycerin to make the ingredients stick together more.
You might have some apprehensions about spraying alcohol and a bunch of essential oils on bare skin. But you can apply the mixture on clothes and gear instead, just to be on the safe side.
Recipe No. 2
This recipe uses only three ingredients. So if don’t like to gather too many items, this spray from Lifehacker is for you.
- 30 drops lemon eucalyptus oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 oz witch hazel
Start with the lemon eucalyptus oil. Then add the vanilla and witch hazel. Mix everything together. And you’re ready to use your repellent. Remember to reapply this every 2 hours or so.
Recipe No. 3
Lastly, we have another very simple recipe from Herbs and Oils World. This one’s got only four ingredients in it:
- 10 drops each – eucalyptus, lemongrass and peppermint oil
- 2 oz water
Pour the water inside a spray bottle. Add all the oils, and shake the bottle to mix all the ingredients together. After that, you’re ready to use it. Don’t forget to keep the mixture away from the eyes though. Essential oils are known to irritate them.
Making a eucalyptus tree mosquito repellent is easy. It’s maintaining it on the body that’s difficult. Sometimes we forget about it and blame the bites on how ineffective they are. So we could buy the best repellent in the world, but it won’t do a thing if we forget to apply it regularly.