8 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes
Outsmart biting bugs while bringing new beauty to your garden with these superhero plant species.
Most insect-repelling plants do so with their natural fragrances, which keep annoying mosquitoes away and introduce wonderful scents throughout your garden. If you don’t want to douse yourself or your garden in chemical bug sprays you can grow some of these plants to help keep mosquitoes away naturally. Plant these plants in areas where guests will be often such as by a seating area or a doorway.
This fragrant mint “cousin” contains a chemical called nepetalactone, which is both a feline attractant and a useful insect repellent. While Catnip does repel mosquitoes in close proximity, some people apply crushed leaves for more protection.
Note: Your catnip might bring all the cats to the yard. The perennial herb, related to mint, is easy to grow.
This member of the mint family has white flowers and a gentle lemony scent, as well as some healing properties. It is particularly good at keeping biting insects away, but it is also an invasive species, so be careful when growing it.
Enjoy delicious pesto dishes, and keep mosquitoes at bay, with this insect-repelling herb. Basil is one of the few herbs in which you don’t have to crush the leaves to reap its benefits.
A 2009 study showed that the essential oil from this delicious herb is toxic to mosquito larvae.
This beautiful potent plant with one of the freshest odors, not only repels mosquitoes, but also keeps moths and flies away. The flower’s perfume is well-known, and while it will scent the air, it is still most effective when actually rubbed onto the skin.
This plant in its concentrated form is sometimes used as an insect repellent, and its essential oil has been shown to keep away the adult species of several insects as well as their larvae.
6. Citronella Grass
Known for its distinct smell, citronella grass is the most commonly used natural ingredient in mosquito repellants. This low maintenance plant does best in large planters because it cannot withstand frost, but in warmer climates, can be planted directly a sunny area in the ground.
Rosemary is an herb that many of us are very familiar with and their woody scent is exactly what keeps mosquitoes as well as cabbage moths and carrot flies away. They do best in hot and dry climates and thrive in containers, which may be ideal for areas with winters. They can also be pruned into all sorts of shapes and sizes and make great borders or decorations. While the pests stay away you can enjoy the herb’s scent and also use it to season your cooking.
The incense of both sage and rosemary when they burn not only smells good, but it is also unpleasant enough for the little critters and will keep them away—provided you are near the smoke!
So, you can’t just plant and be done, however. The aroma needs to be in the air around you, at the very least, and ideally on your skin. To get the maximum effect, crush herb leaves in your hands to release their perfume, and then gently rub the leaves and their oils over your skin.
On the other hand, when you are away from your garden – hopefully full of natural mosquito repellents – you may still need an organic bug repellent.