Transform Fresh Rosemary Into A Mosquito Repellent

Mention rosemary and your mind may wander to your favorite candle or soap scents, or savory meals whipped up in a gourmet kitchen. There are actually many other uses for this fragrant herb beyond scented household products and seasoning food, including how it can be a key component in homemade mosquito repellent. Yes, you can use dried rosemary to make your own concoction to keep these pests away from you, your family, and your pets.

According to SeedsNow, all you need to do is combine 1 cup of dried rosemary and 1 quart of water in a pot and let it boil for 20 to 30 minutes. In another larger container that holds a half gallon or more, add a quart of cool water. Strain the water steeped with rosemary into the larger container holding the cool water and mix. Then, you're ready to put the diluted rosemary mixture into spray bottles to spritz on as mosquito repellent when you're outdoors. Chances are you'll have some left over, so place any unused rosemary water in the fridge until you need a spray bottle refill. Toss the remainder of the water when you've noticed that the rosemary smell has dissipated significantly.

Other ways to use rosemary as a mosquito repellent

If you're more into decorating than cooking up a homemade mosquito repellent, you can grab a few empty mason jars and create some cute and clever luminaries instead. In a Sprinkles to Sprinkles tutorial, sliced lemons and limes, essential oils (they used lemon, lavender, cedarwood, and more), fresh rosemary, and water combined in a jar and topped with a floating candles create these pretty mosquito repellant candles you can use outside.

Looking for even more ideas to use the fresh rosemary to deter mosquitos? Try tossing a few sprigs with the green leaves still attached onto the hot coals of your grill after you finish a cookout. Or, you can place some in your fire pit as you enjoy an evening outdoors with family and friends, who will certainly appreciate you sharing the bounty of your gardening efforts with them in this way.

How rosemary works to repel mosquitos

Anytime you can find an effective alternative to using chemicals to repel bugs from your yard or patio, that's a good thing. Rosemary is a natural solution that can do the trick, but what's the reasoning behind it? While you might find the scent of the herb pleasing, mosquitos don't agree — and it's as simple as that. 

Is just planting rosemary enough to keep mosquitos at bay, though? Maybe not. Mississippi State University Extension mentions that you might have better luck rubbing crushed rosemary on your clothes or skin than simply keeping it nearby in your outdoor spaces. They also caution that the pungent oils exuded from fresh rosemary may be a skin irritant. With this in mind, especially if you've noticed signs of an allergic reaction to using rosemary oils on your skin or scalp in the past, take care when using this fragrant herb to thwart mosquitos. Sticking to burning it in your fire pit or enjoying a pretty jar candle might be a better way to go in these instances.