While there is no shortage of articles claiming that rubbing(isopropyl) alcohol repels mosquitoes, there is a lack of credible evidence.  There was one study in 2015 that showed 90% isopropyl alcohol repelling insects, but the study only tested on bed bugs(1).

Some claim that rubbing alcohol dehydrates insect’s bodies, eventually killing them(2).  Also, a claim exists saying that rubbing alcohol gives off a disgusting smell to insects.  However, there aren’t many sources to back this up.

Rubbing alcohol is a common household product, so it would be a dream come true if it was the answer to our mosquito problems.  However, with a lack of scientific research into it, all you may end up with is dry skin.  

However, rubbing alcohol may be useful for easing the itch that a mosquito leaves after sucking your blood, so at least it has some use?  

Where to Get Rubbing Alcohol & How to Use It

  • Bottled

    Most convenience stores/pharmacies sell rubbing alcohol in a bottle, with varying percentages of isopropyl alcohol(70%, 90%, etc.).  However, for our purposes, the percentages don’t matter much; either will do for mosquito purposes.

  • Spray

    To spray pesky mosquitoes, all you need is to get a spray bottle, fill it with equal amounts of rubbing alcohol and water.  From there, spray it at mosquitoes. If the alcohol won’t kill it, the pressure of the spray will.

Rubbing alcohol has many uses around a household, but unfortunately, repelling mosquitoes isn’t one of them, at least that we’re not aware of.  But if you got bed bugs? Rubbing alcohol may be your savior.


1 – kb.osu.edu –   “From this study we can see that alcohol has some potential to be a fairly reliable treatment method against bed bugs, as there were significant mortality rates observed.”

2 – pestcontrolfaq.com –   “By nature, this solvent is known for being a drying agent as well. By spraying it directly on insects it destroys them by dehydrating their bodies, in turn, insects know to stay away from areas that smell of rubbing alcohol.”

Other Household Items as Mosquito Repellents

Checkout our analysis of other household items as natural mosquito repellents: