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10 Natural Mosquito Repellents for When You’re Eating Outdoors

Dining al fresco is among the best summer activities—until mosquitoes show up for a feast, too. These natural mosquito repellent ideas keep your table bug-free without any harsh chemicals.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.

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Citronella & Lavender Keep those pesky mosquitoes away.via crenshawcandles/etsy.com

Citronella and Lavender Candles

Set the mood for your dinner with a candle that repels bugs and adds ambiance. Its blend of citronella and lavender smells bright and citrusy, and reviewers on Etsy love the aroma!

Why it made our list: This handcrafted candle is even made with an eco-friendly wick.

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Lavender Essential Oil Bulk 100% Pure Natural Aromatherapyvia HoustonMarina/etsy.com

Lavender Essential Oil


Lavender oil is good for more than just smelling nice—it’s also commonly used to keep mosquitoes at bay. Pour some onto a tray and keep it at the center of your table to prevent pests from joining the meal.

Why it made our list: You can buy this 100% pure lavender essential oil in a convenient roll-on for direct application.

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Bug Protector Mosquitoes All Natural Bug Repellentvia rei.com

Bug Protector Natural Mosquito Repellent

Combine the best of four natural essential oils for an extra-effective blend. The spray has been lab-tested for efficacy, and has been proven to repel mosquitoes immediately and over time, so you don’t have to frequently reapply. See what garden plants repel mosquitoes, too.

Why it made our list: With its all-natural formula, you can use this spray on kids, pets and fabrics that are in need of protection.

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Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent Pump Spray 4 fl ozvia target.com

Repel Plant-Based Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent

Repel has long been a trusted name in insect repellent, and now it has its own blend of natural bug spray. It’s made with lemon and eucalyptus, two essential oils known to keep bugs at bay, and won’t leave skin feeling greasy.

Why it made our list: This spray works for up to six hours!

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Citronella Verbena Body Balmvia anthropologie.com

Citronella Verbena Body Balm

If you’d prefer an alternative (or addition) to traditional sprays and candles, give this body balm a try. It smooths into skin with its beeswax and jojoba oil formula, leaving a refreshing citrus scent with no residue.

Why it made our list: With its pocket-sized container, this balm easily packs away into backpacks or purses.

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Bite Me Not -- Cinnamon Scented Natural Insect Repellent -- Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Citronella, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptusvia DailyAromatherapy/etsy.com

Bite Me Not Natural Insect Repellent

Cinnamon oil has long been known as one of the most effective natural insect repellents, so it’s a good alternative to the citrus-scented options that flood the market. This spray combines a few essential oils but carries a cinnamon scent.

Why it made our list: This insect repellent is safe to spray on hair for extra protection from head to toe.

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Lemon Eucalyptus 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil - 30 mlvia amazon.com

Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Lemon essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil combine to keep bugs at bay with this pure oil. It provides an energizing scent and has been lab-tested for quality and purity so you can feel confident about using it on your family. Find more secrets for keeping mosquitoes out of the backyard.

Why it made our list: Edens Garden is a women-owned, family-operated business we’d be happy to support.

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MOSQUITO REPELLENT CANDLEvia murphysnaturals.net

Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Candle

Not only does this candle’s colorful, vintage-inspired container add charm to your picnic table, but it also combines a high concentration of citronella, cedar, peppermint, lemongrass and rosemary essential oils to provide a natural barrier against bugs.

Why it made our list: This candle costs only $10 and provides 30 hours of bug-free burning.

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8oz Natural Insect Repellent Pump Spray - Herbal Armorvia target.com

Herbal Armor Natural Insect Repellent

Six essential oils are combined to make this DEET-free insect repellent spray. Its extra-large size is great for long camping trips, so you won’t have to return to civilization to replenish your stock.

Why it made our list: Herbal Armor’s bug spray has been proven safe for sensitive skin.

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citronella essential oilvia shantiaromatherapy/etsy.com

Citronella Oil

Apply a bit of citronella oil to your skin before dinner to keep mosquitoes from bothering you throughout the meal. This bottle of citronella oil smells fresh and energetic, so it won’t bother you with an icky chemical smell while you eat.

Why it made our list: You can use this essential oil for other things, too, like moisturizing skin.

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Megan Mowery
Megan is a freelance writer based in Des Moines. You can usually find her shopping at the farmers market, reading a book or scrolling through Instagram.

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