We looked at the hard evidence to see if clove or its derivatives were effective as a natural mosquito repellent and/or mosquito killer.
Summary of Scientific Research
So far as scientific standing goes, clove (scientifically known as Syzygium aromaticum, among others) has one of the best cases to make regarding its effectiveness at repelling bothersome mosquitoes. For example, a 2011 survey study compiled two different laboratory test results that indicated that a topical solution of clove oil could provide 100% efficiency at blocking some mosquitoes for between 120 and 225 minutes (1).
Several established sources for scientific information have also generally vouched for clove’s effectiveness, such as the University of Illinois Extension (2 ). As far as safety is concerned, the same 2011 survey study found that clove’s active ingredient, eugenol, could be safely used at around a 0.5% concentration. Higher concentrations may be generally safe also, but users risk skin irritation should they choose to use clove oil topically (1).
When it comes to form, clove oil is clearly the way to go if you are interested in replicating these mosquito-repelling properties at home. Scientific studies up to this point have focused on clove oil alone, with promising results across the board indicating its effectiveness in the desired domain. Though it does carry some skin irritation risk, clove oil may be among the most worthwhile options for folks seeking a natural mosquito repellant solution.
Clove Forms and Where to Get it
- Clove trees – In their natural form, clove trees are more challenging than average when it comes to growing and harvesting their zesty buds. Cloves typically require a tropical climate and often take up to six weeks to germinate. An even balance between sun and shade is best for helping a clove tree flourish, as is constant watering (in accordance with their tropical habitat) (3).
- This all being said, growing one’s own clove tree is not recommended due to the time and effort needed to establish a bud-producing tree from scratch. Instead, consider purchasing whole or crushed clove online.
- Essential oils – Clove oil is another option available for those desiring to take advantage of clove’s bug-blocking capabilities at home. Clove oil can be purchased online and deluded before being used for dermal applications.
2 – University of Illinois Extension. Repellents: What Really Works?. 6 Sept. 2006.
3 – Carolyn. How to Grow Cloves: Tips and Advice. Gardonoid.com. 14 July 2017.
Other Plants & Herbs as Mosquito Repellents
Checkout our analysis of other plants & herbs as natural mosquito repellents: