Mosquito Prevention and Treatment without Chemicals

(some chemical-free DIY methods)

Remove or drain areas of standing water if possible.

Avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk, the times of day when mosquitos are most active.

Wear long sleeves and long pants if possible, and wear baggy (so that there's a layer of air between your skin and the fabric) light-colored clothing (mosquitos notice and are attracted to dark or brightly-colored clothes).

Do not use scented soaps, deodorants, shampoos, or perfume, especially those with floral scents.

If mosquitos are around, try to stay still and do not wave your arms or breathe heavily. This will make you less noticeable to them.

Mosquitos are also attracted to the bacteria found on sweaty, smelly feet, so keep yours as clean and dry (preferably in ventilated shoes) as possible.

As non-chemical insect repellants, you can try cinnamon oil or pure vanilla extract mixed with equal parts water. Some people report that white or cider vinegar applied to the skin is effective. Others say that tucking a fabric softener sheet into their clothing works, too. The question of thiamine and B complex vitamins as a repellant is unresolved -- some medical professionals say that daily supplements of 25-50 mg thiamine (a B vitamin) works (though it takes about 2 weeks of doses for it to produce a skin odor that repels mosquitos), and others say the vitamins have no effect.

A Japanese study has shown that people who have consumed beer experience an increased amount of mosquito landings.


Try putting ice or a cold compress on bites to counteract the itch.

Don't scratch if you can help it. If you must, scratch lightly around the bite.

Try applying one of the following materials to your irritated skin:

  • Toothpaste (in a very small quantity)
  • Liquid soap (don't rinse off)
  • Alcohol
  • Aspirin (rubbed directly onto moist skin; do not use if you're sensitive to aspirin)
  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Witch hazel
  • Milk
  • Juice from crushed onions
  • Baking soda (in a paste made with a little water)
  • Hot sauce (counterirritation!)
  • Echinacea tincture (if available -- apply three times a day)