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Do B vitamins keep mosquitoes away?

Ochlerotatus notoscriptus, Tasmania, Australia

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Word has it this is going to be a horrendous year for mosquitoes.  Great! Besides rain, nothing ruins a beautiful summer’s eve  on the patio more than mosquitoes  – especially if you live in Wisconsin – the home of July, August, and winter!  I dread mosquitos, not just because they’re annoying, but because I’m highly sensitive to their bite (I itch for two weeks and my arms & legs look like those of a 6 yr. old!) I’ve also had Lyme Disease and know that many respected Lyme literate doctors believe mosquitoes can spread Lyme. So, protecting myself from bug bites is a big deal – the problem is finding a repellent that works but won’t harm me in the process (like DEET).  The information you find on the internet can be conflicting but there is anecdotal evidence to support it.  So here’s a look at some of the more natural repellents along with a few products, and you can decide what works for you!

B – Vitamins

My research didn’t lead me to anything scientifically conclusive, but based on  comments from real people and others in the natural health arena, either the B-1 vitamin (thiamin) or a B – complex containing B-6, were effective for many people in keeping the biting bugs at bay. The caveat to the B vitamins is you should not expect them to work overnight. It’s best to start taking them weeks before you venture out – but you can also use a liquid B-1 supplement and dab it on your skin. I’m eager to see if the B-vitamins works. I’ve been faithfully taking my B-complex every day so the real test will come when I head to our community garden plot and make myself a living sacrifice to the mosquitoes and “no-see-ums!”

Lemon eucalyptus oil

The CDC has confirmed that lemon eucalyptus oil is a proven mosquito repellent with no threat to human health. It’s simply eucalyptus oil mixed with natural lemon and lemongrass oil (w/no neurological damage) and it works. This is another one I’m going to have to try.

Geranium oil

Another widely used essential oil, geranium oil is also known to be effective in keeping mosquitoes away. It is often used in combination with soybean oil. You’ll find geranium oil in many formulas of natural insect repellents like our Herbal Armour Insect Repellent from All Terrain.

Citronella oil

This is likely one of the most popular essential oil used as a repellent and is also an ingredient in many natural repellent formulas. It’s probably most recognized for its use in candles and incense. A study done by the University of Guelph in Ontario and published in PubMed found that people positioned near a citronella candle had 42.3% fewer bites and those near the incense had 24.2% fewer bites. It’s best not to rely on the candles as your only source of  protection.


This one is still under investigation, but many say consuming extra garlic will help deter mosquitoes.

Neem Oil

Many organic gardeners are familiar with neem oil as an insecticidal spray for their vegetables, but it has also been used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine.

There’s no hard-fast solution for what’s “bugging” us, but now you have a little more ammo for the battle of the bugs.

+Mary Bloomer is an advocate for natural health and wellness and writes regularly for Natural Healthy Concepts. Visit the site today to browse a wide selection of herbal nutrition supplements, homeopathic medicine and natural skin care! 

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8 Responses to Do B vitamins keep mosquitoes away?

  1. GreenMom May 29, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    Actually, the CDC has recommended use of Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE) as an effective insect repellent, not eucalyptus essential oil. OLE is registered with the EPA and is proven effective for 6-8 hours, the same as 20% DEET. There are currently three products available in the US, Cutter(TM) Lemon Eucalyptus, Repel(TM) Lemon Eucalyptus, and Coleman(TM) Botanicals. OLE is produced from the essential oil, but goes through a manufacturing process which enhances the natural PMD content, which makes it much more effective than the essential oil itself.

    • Mary Bloomer June 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

      Thanks for the clarification GreenMom2 – we did our homework on the research but it seems we need to do a little more! We always appreciate feedback to our blogs!

  2. Louise McNally December 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Well, did the B vitamins work????

    • Mary Bloomer December 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

      Good question, Louise! Yes, taking the B vitamins did seem to help me! I’m normally a buffet table for mosquitoes! Others may have different results since our body chemistry varies.

  3. Beth Murray April 7, 2013 at 8:49 pm #

    My husband and i live in ca but do travel to areas with biting bugs and we have found that the vitamin b works. I grew up in ohio and the mosquitos did not like me much. I tend to be very acidic, so with the vitamin b i think we did b6. I didnt get bit at all.

    Thought maybe it was a fluke or wives tale so appreciate your blog. Going to branson in June so going to do the b vitamin now and hope it works. Thanks

    • Mary Bloomer April 8, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      Thanks for your testimonial Beth, it helps our customers when they make their healthcare decisions. We appreciate you taking the time to check out our blogs, too!

  4. Victor Smith July 17, 2014 at 2:08 am #

    Although it has not been proven scientifically that vitamin B helps in keeping mosquitoes away. But there are a lot of people who actually believe that. Some physicians prescribe that Vitamin B makes perspiration smell a bit like yeast and this smell drives the mosquitoes away. This is one of the newly discovered and very popular Vitamins Benefit .

  5. Kitty Buckboro July 31, 2019 at 11:44 am #

    For years , I’ve been taking niacin before venturing out into mosquito land. I swear by it. They buzz up to me, then buzz off! My daughter gave some niacin to some friends on day 2 of a mosquito infested camping trip in Canada, & they all noticed a big improvement. I used to take low dose (50 mg) if the regular niacin, to stay under the “flush” threshold. but now all that’s available is 500 mg of the no-flush. This is OK, because the occasional hot “flush” is very unpleasant, and doesn’t happen with no-flush formulation.

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