Is peppermint essential oil sprayed on shrubs ok for mosquito control?

Asked June 4, 2015, 5:25 PM EDT

I read you can mix peppermint essential oil with water to spray shrubs where mosquitos hide. I live in Texas. Would this harm the shrubs? I have hollies and boxwoods, also english ivy. Thanks, Faye

Smith County Texas

1 Response

Dear Faye,
I asked our area Extension entomologist your question, and here is his reply:

There are no scientific data, to my knowledge, of using peppermint oil or other plant oil sprayed on foliage to successfully control mosquitoes. [note, Extension's recommendations are based on research and field experience, and we cannot recommend home remedies]. There is a new product that uses garlic oil in combination with a sugar attractant, that when sprayed on foliage kills mosquitoes. The concept has been tested and used for several years in the field by Terminix pest control. I can’t verify how well it works compared to other methods; but I would suggest this approach before using such home remedies. The product can be purchased online and at Target stores and Lowes Hardware.

I don’t know about phytotoxicity with peppermint oil. This is another problem with using untested and unregistered products as pesticides.

I hope this helps. You might check out Dr. Mike Merchant's blog as he has been writing about mosquitoes recently, due to the abundant rain.