Beat those Biting Bugs

There are various natural options for repelling biting insects such as mosquitoes and midges that can be such a nuisance in summer.

Vitamin B1

In my experience Vitamin B1 is effective for many people at preventing mosquito bites, when taken in a dose of 100mg once or twice a day. This is safe for adults but not for children. It may take up to 2 weeks to have its full effect. It makes the skin unpalatable to the mosquito. Vitamin B1 can be bought on its own or in a B complex supplement.  It is important to maintain the balance between the different B vitamins in the body so vitamin B1 should not be taken on its own long term, especially in high doses, so it is best to limit it to the summer or holiday season, or take in a complex.


Garlic works in a similar way to Vitamin B1 by preventing insects from biting due to its taste.


Neem is an Indian remedy used as a nit treatment and insect repellent. Insects dislike both the smell and the taste of it. It is also beneficial to dry skin, is antibacterial and antifungal.


Citronella is well known as an insect repellent and citronella candles are popular to leave burning out of doors to repel insects. It gives a pleasant lemony scent. It is also sold as a pure essential oil, which should be diluted in a carrier oil before applying to skin.


Eucalyptus oil may be more effective than citronella at repelling insects. It can be combined with citronella in a carrier oil at a dilution of no more than 10 drops combined essential oil per 15ml carrier oil. Keep away from eyes and delicate areas and test on a small patch of skin first in case of sensitivity.