Natural/Herbal Insect Repellents to Use this Monsoon


The onset of the monsoon season is accompanied by the irritating humming of the dreaded mosquito, eager to enter through our doors and windows and quench its thirst for blood! According to recent statistics, chikungunya and dengue fever cases are on the rise, which is a cause for concern. There are many ways to deter unsolicited visitors such as mosquitoes, houseflies, and other bugs from entering our homes, but what do we do outdoors?

For ages, people have used herbal insect repellents to ward off insects. To prevent bites and the spread of disease, herbal repellents work by keeping insects away, rather than killing them.  

Natural/herbal insect repellents and how they work

Natural or herbal insect repellents are made from plants and other natural ingredients that have proven to repel insects. Some of the most common ingredients in natural insect repellents include citronella, lemongrass, peppermint, and eucalyptus. Natural insect repellents can be found in many forms, including sprays, lotions, and candles. While natural insect repellents are generally considered safe for use, it is always important to read the label instructions carefully and follow the directions for use. 

Mosquitoes and ticks are attracted to the carbon dioxide and skin odours emitted from the body. These bugs search for potential hosts using thermal, motion, and visual cues. Herbal repellents prevent insects from finding a human or animal host by interfering with their perception of taste and smell.

Different types of natural/herbal insect repellents

Monsoon is the season one needs to be extra cautious as it is when the risk of illness increases. Mosquitoes and other dangerous insects remain most active during monsoons. To keep such pests at bay, the best option would be to look for a natural and herbal remedy.  Here are some of the natural remedies to try out:

1. Neem oil is a potent insect repellent that can be used in a variety of ways. It can be directly applied on the skin, or added to lotions and creams. Neem oil can also be used as a spray or fogger.

2. Tulsi oil is best known for its use in candles and mosquito coils. It can also be used as an insect repellent and applied on the skin, or added to lotions and creams.

3. Lemongrass oil can be used in a spray or diffuser, or added to lotions and creams. It has a refreshing scent and is effective in repelling insects.

Never miss a new blog!

4. Eucalyptus oil is a potent natural insect repellent that can be used in a diffuser and sprayed on clothing, or added to lotions and creams. It has a pleasant scent and is very effective as an insect repellent.

5. Devadaru or cedarwood oil has a refreshing scent and effectively protects from insect bites.

Factory-made chemical insect repellents are widely available in the market today, but they can potentially be harmful to the skin. Fortunately, a variety of Ayurvedic herbs and natural essential oils are also available, which can deter these troublesome monsoon visitors without posing a threat to the body. Herbal extracts, including neem and citronella, have been used for centuries in India as natural repellents.

When to use natural/herbal insect repellents

The perfect time to use natural and herbal insect repellents is as soon as the rainy season starts. Insects are most active during this time of year and can carry diseases that can be dangerous, even fatal, to humans. 

Important tips:

  • During outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or even if just hanging out in the backyard, using natural insect repellents will be a better choice.
  • While travelling to a place infested with mosquitoes, always carry a natural/herbal mosquito repellent. Doctors also highly recommend this practice.
  • Always use natural/herbal insect repellents on infants and children.

Natural and herbal insect repellents are safe, and effectively repel insects from approaching the body. They are suitable for both adults and children, and are available in different forms, including, lotions, and oils.

How to use natural/herbal insect repellents

Rainfall is essential for subsistence, but not the pesky bugs and insects that accompany it. Therefore, the rainy season is the perfect time to stock up on natural and herbal insect repellents. Besides effectively keeping mosquitoes and other insects at bay, they are safe to use, even on pregnant women and young children. Here are some tips on how to use natural/herbal insect repellents:

  • Apply the repellent evenly on all exposed areas of the skin, including the neck, wrists, and ankles.
  • Reapply the repellent every few hours, or as needed.
  • When using a spray repellent, make sure to apply it in a well-ventilated area.
  • Avoid using products that contain DEET, as it can be detrimental to health.

Do keep these tips in mind and enjoy the monsoon season without getting bothered by all those pesky insects!

Advantages of natural/herbal insect repellents

  • They are generally much safer than chemical repellents. This is especially important in the case of children and pets, as they are more likely to ingest a repellent when it is applied or sprayed. 
  • They are environment-friendly compared to their chemical counterparts.
  • They contain essential oils, which have been proven to effectively repel insects.
  • They emit a pleasant smell, unlike chemical repellents that can often be quite strong and unpleasant.

Points to note when applying insect repellents

Use a repellent only as directed on the label's instructions, and do note the following advice.

  • Use repellent that is just adequate to cover exposed skin. 
  • Avoid using repellents excessively. 
  • Read the label directions for clarification on the time gap before reapplication.
  • Do not use repellents on open wounds and irritated or sunburnt skin.
  • Spray away from the face, ears, eyes, and mouth. To apply repellent on the face, rub it onto the hands first.
  • Upon entering home, wash the face, hands, and feet and change clothing.
  • Do not mix any repellent with sunscreen.


With the monsoon season in full swing, it is time to find effective ways to keep those pesky insects at bay. Luckily, there are a number of natural and herbal insect repellents that can do the job just as well (if not better) than chemical-based options. 

Hence, the most eco-friendly and health-conscious way to keep the bugs away would be to give natural insect repellents on Amala Earth a try.