Why An Essential Oil Diffuser Is A Must-Have For Your Patio This Summer

Even if you've put effort into designing the perfect patio, it likely won't be a very relaxing place to be if you're living in fear of mosquitoes and constantly needing to swat them away. An abundance of mosquitoes can ruin any patio. Not only are these pests annoying, but they can also risk your health since they transmit diseases such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, and malaria.

To keep yourself and your family safe from general itchiness as well as potential disease, you need to take steps to reduce the mosquito population around your patio. First of all, you should avoid common mistakes that attract mosquitoes to the yard, such as leaving standing water and debris around. In addition, a surprisingly effective option for repelling mosquitos is to use an essential oil diffuser on your patio. Certain essential oils, particularly when used in a diffuser, can help deter mosquitoes by overwhelming their senses.

An essential oil diffuser will actually work better than a scented candle — even with the same essential oil. Consider investing in an essential oil diffuser and placing it on your patio. Then, turn it on whenever you go outside and spend time with your family.

Adding an essential oil diffuser to your patio

There are many great essential oil diffusers on the market, and most work similarly. However, some have advanced features that others don't, so you should browse a bit to find one that's ideal for your needs. It can be especially helpful to choose a diffuser that has a timer and an auto switch-off feature. You'll probably also want to buy one that's portable and battery-operated so that it will be easy to place outside. 

It's a good idea to think carefully about where you'll be placing your diffuser when making a purchase. When placing a diffuser outside, it can be helpful to consider the size of your patio. A larger diffuser will have a larger tank that will need to be changed less frequently. However, it will also take up more space.

Once you buy a diffuser, you'll need to add water to the tank's fill line. Then, you'll typically need to add between 5 and 10 drops of your chosen essential oil before proceeding to turn it on. The oils will then diffuse and fill the air, helping to repel mosquitoes.

The effectiveness of essential oils as pest deterrents

Most essential oils can be useful for deterring mosquitoes, but some seem to work a bit better than others. Although citronella is a popular scent and essential oil to use as a pest repellent, a 2009 study in the Journal of Vector Ecology found that geraniol and linalool are actually more effective at repelling mosquitoes. Geraniol is a naturally occurring compound that is found in many essential oils, including rose, geranium, palmarosa, and lemon, while linalool is found in essential oils such as coriander, petitgrain, basil, and lavender, with lavender having the highest amount of linalool. 

All three of these compounds are particularly effective when used in an essential oil diffuser. In the study, geraniol had a 97 percent repellence rate while linalool had a repellence rate of 93 percent. Citronella wasn't quite as effective, at only 68 percent. Keep in mind that each of these were significantly less effective when used as a candle, so use a diffuser for best results.

These essential oils also do a great job of keeping other pests at bay. By using an essential oil diffuser with some of these essential oils, you'll also be scaring away other annoying pests and keeping your patio and home even more comfortable. Geraniol, for example, is known to repel flies, ticks, ants, and certain types of mites. Linalool works well for repelling fleas and ticks, as well as the Tyrophagus putrescentiae mite. Citronella does a good job of repelling flies, gnats, ants, and ticks.