I live in a tropical region and have mosquito problems in the evening. We normally use the commercial mosquito repellent liquid vaporizers. But these are said to be toxic in long term usage. So I was searching for alternatives and found these two videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUyixgQ-J60 - In this, one of the methods is to use camphor tablets in place of the mat used in those kinds of machine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yAkG-oo4CE - In this, though not in English, it is explained to use a mix of neem oil and camphor as the solution in the vaporizer bottle. The machine works the same way as the normal one.

I'm wondering if this has any serious side affects like the commercial mosquito repellents. Or is this also another untested home remedy tip? Sorry if this question is trivial.

I was confused whether to post this in Life Hacks or here, but decided to do it here since the question is more related to health.

1 Answer 1


First of all, please refer to this study from Oxford University on use of Camphor, Eucalyptus, and other terpenic balms and compounds on children. Please be aware of their safety if they are in the vicinity and make certain they are not exposed to them in excess, as they can absorb harmful amounts through their skin if not carefully moderated.

If you're looking for a "home remedy" type solution, here's a fairly simple yet effective method that I've successfully tried myself. The quality of the video itself is lackluster, but the contents disclosed are solid.

Another good method would be mosquito fish. I just posted this up on a different forum, so I'll just quote it directly here:

...I would strongly encourage you to ask the county for what's colliquially known as "mosquito fish". I'm not sure about Riverside, but when there was a West Nile Outbreak in Fontana about a decade back, the city would distribute these fish for free; you can also find them at larger aquarium suppliers. These fish are a genetic variant bred specifically with special traits that allow them to survive and breed under conditions such as standing water and lack of heating, and they feed on mosquitos and their larvae. We had a 100 gallon outdoor tank that we kept out in the open but to the side of the house where there was the least amount of foot traffic, covered with chicken wire, and added some java ferns/moss to give the fish cover to work with. Any mosquitos within the immediate vicinity of the property would naturally be attracted to the tank first, and then fish would then happily do their job. This method may seem counter-intuitive, and there's the added element of risk when you're creating an attractant rather than a deterrent, but it is arguably "green" as a pest control method and I can vouch for it's effectiveness...

EDIT: For scientific references, please refer to this and this article as cited in the Oxford paper (#2 & #6) and pointed out by @CareyGregory.

  • 1
    This doesn't answer the question asked. Also, two of your three links are broken.
    – Carey Gregory
    Aug 1, 2019 at 14:32
  • @careyGregory The first point is regarding potential health hazards related to products cited by OP: I'm wondering if this has any serious side affects... it may not be a comprehensive analysis of each component, but camphor is presumably a major/active ingredient, so I don't see why it wouldn't be relevant? 2nd and 3rd points are simply additional suggestions the OP might find useful, in consideration to why he's posting this question to begin with.
    – Arctiic
    Aug 1, 2019 at 18:42
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    Now that you fixed the first link the answer is better, but that link doesn't establish that camphor is hazardous. It cites other studies to establish that. Your answer would be stronger citing one or more of references [2] through [6] in that paper.
    – Carey Gregory
    Aug 1, 2019 at 21:43
  • @CareyGregory I do concur from a technical standpoint, but I can already foresee an issue with the average visitor glossing over those sources, whereas the Oxford paper at least includes photos of commonly misused household products, e.g., Tiger Balm. I've edited to additionally highlight those sources for completeness, but I hope that by including the Oxford paper I'd increase the likelihood of retaining the average visitor's attention long enough to hopefully impart a more memorable impression. I am admittedly biased, as my daughter of 16 months had suffered due to ignorant in-laws before.
    – Arctiic
    Aug 2, 2019 at 14:42
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    It's your answer so your choice. Just be aware that the target audience of this site wouldn't have a problem understanding the more specific references. You should assume your answers are being read by medical professionals, academicians, medical students, and others with a sound scientific grounding. And keep in mind you're allowed to provide more than a single supporting reference. The more, the merrier! :-)
    – Carey Gregory
    Aug 3, 2019 at 0:09

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