5 Foods to Fight Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes: summer’s annoying little companions. Mosquitoes might be small, but they have a strong sense of smell that attract them to their victims. Knowing how to defend yourself against these tiny creatures is key in surviving the summer months.

Chemical repellents like OFF! help repel mosquitoes, but not because mosquitoes don’t like the smell of these repellents. It’s because the chemical DEET is very effective at masking the smell of carbon dioxide and lactic acid. While DEET is effective, it can also be dangerous to your body. Foods can be used as a repellant and are healthier and more natural alternatives without the dangers DEET contains. Whether you consume it or apply it to your skin, these foods will help fight off those pesky mosquitoes.


Not only can garlic keep vampires away, it can keep mosquitoes away as well. That’s because garlic releases a gas called allicin, which is toxic to bugs. Allicin is also responsible for garlic’s smell. When you eat garlic, the smell is emitted through your skin, which messes with insects’ sense of smell and makes them steer clear.


Citrus has a natural chemical called nootkatone. Nootkatone is a chemical compound found within citrus fruits that has proved to be effective in warding off mosquitoes. Grapefruit has the highest concentration of nootkatone, so eating plenty of grapefruit should make you less of a target to mosquitoes. Also, if you rub the inside of an orange or lemon peel on your skin, that also is an effective repellent and smells a whole lot better than garlic.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an old folk-remedy bug repellent that many people swear by. There isn’t an scientific evidence to back this claim up, but generation after generation has used it. Not only can you put some in a spray bottle (diluted with water) as a bug spray, ingesting a tablespoon three times a day is said to cause bugs to stay away from you.


Vanilla is a pretty appealing smell to most, except to bugs. Dilute one tablespoon vanilla extract with a cup water and wipe the mixture on your exposed skin to discourage mosquitoes, flies, and even ticks.


Tomatoes are an excellent source of thiamine. Thiamine is a B1 vitamin that is rich in certain vegetables and foods. Not only will a diet that has tomatoes included in it make you less attractive to bugs, but rubbing tomato juice on a bug bite is said to reduce pain and itchiness if you happen to get bit.

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